Themes:

Public Health

Those who work in a public health setting promote, protect and improve, and when necessary, restore the health of individuals, specified groups, or the entire population.

Public Health Agency of Canada, 2007; p.13)  Reference: Public Health Agency of Canada. Core competencies for public health in Canada: Release 1.0. website [ 2007; Available from: URL:http://www. phac-aspc.gc.ca/ccph-cesp/pdfs/cc-manual-eng090407.pdf

Research Funding

Strengthening a population health approach for health system planning

A new law in Ontario, called the Patients First Act, requires public health units (PHUs) and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to work together in new ways. This project aims to answer the...

 Active

 2017-2018

Primary Investigator

Building Primary Health Care Nursing Leadership to Enhance Collaboration between Primary Health Care and Public Health

The objectives of this four and a half year program of research were to: explore structures and processes required to build successful collaborations between PC and PH; understand the nature of...

 Completed

 2008-2012

Primary Investigator

Scholarly Work

Deputy Director, World health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario) for Primary Care and Health Human Resource

Since 2009, Dr. Ruta Valaitis has been a Deputy Director, World health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario) for Primary Care and Health Human Resources. Dr. Valaitis was elected Secretary to the Pan American Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centres Network (PANNMCC) and served in that role from 2011 to 2013.

 Active

Committees

Executive Steering Committee for the Standards Modernization Process

The Executive Steering Committee for the Standards Modernization reports to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) provides overall strategic leadership and guidance on the review of the Standards Modernization with a goal to strengthen and enhance accountability and transparency within the public health system. Dr. Valaitis is an invited member of this committee which meets monthly which is guiding revisions to the Ontatio Public Health Standards 2008.

 Active

Committees

Health in the Hubs

The McMaster University School of Nursing (SON) is dedicated to improving the health of residents in our local communities and fulfilling the School’s mission of community engaged scholarship.

 Active

Projects

Smoke-Free Ontario Scientific Committee Working Group to establish Best Practices at Public Health Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion’s (MHP) goal is to improve the health and well-being of Ontarians and to help contribute to the sustainability of our publicly funded health care system. MHP is moving forward to achieve its vision of “healthy communities working together and Ontarians leading healthy and active lives.” MHP will achieve this vision by focusing on several core goals and priorities including the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.

 Active

Committees

A Content Analysis of Infant Feeding Messages in Canadian Women’s Magazine, 1945 to 1995

The purpose of this study was to describe trends in the number, types, and themes of infant feeding messages presented in a nationally distributed (monthly) Canadian women's magazine from 1945 to 1995.

 Completed

Articles

A Questionnaire for Assessing Community Health Nurses’ Learning Needs

This article reports on the development and psychometric testing of a learning needs assessment questionnaire related to the Canadian community health nursing Standards of practice.

 Completed

Articles

A Scoping Literature Review of Collaboration Between Primary Care and Public Health

The purpose of this scoping literature review was to determine what is known about: 1) structures and processes required to build successful collaborations between primary care (PC) and public health (PH); 2) outcomes of such collaborations; and 3) markers of their success.

 Completed

Articles

A Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Extranet: Supporting Local Communication and Information Dissemination

The objective of this study was to explore the use and perceptions of a local Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Extranet and its potential to support future information and communication applications. The SARS Extranet was a single, managed electronic and limited access system to manage local, provincial and other SARS control information.

 Completed

Articles

A Systematic Review of the Association Between Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Caries

This systematic review investigated the relationship between early childhood caries (ECC) and breastfeeding.

 Completed

Articles

Affiliate Network Member, Primary Health Care System (PHCS)

In 2010 -2015, Dr. Ruta Valaitis became an Affiliate Network Member, Primary Health Care System (PHCS).

 Completed

Committees

An Environmental Scan of Health and Social System Navigation Services in an Urban Canadian Community

Systems navigation services provided by a designated provider or team have the potential to address health and social disparities. We conducted an environmental scan of navigation activities in a large urban Canadian community to identify and describe: service providers who engage in systems navigation; the clients who require systems navigation support and the issues they face; activities involved; and barriers and facilitators in providing systems navigation support to clients.

 Completed

Articles

An Environmental Scan of Primary Care and Public Health in the Province of British Columbia

This report describes an environmental scan that was completed in May 2009 of primary care and public health in the province of British Columbia (BC) as one of a series of steps in a larger program of research: Strengthening Primary Health Care through Primary Care and Public Health Collaboration Study (Strengthening PHC Study).

 Completed

Reports

An Environmental Scan of Primary Care and Public Health in the Province of Nova Scotia

This report describes an environmental scan that was completed in July 2009 of primary care and public health in the province of Nova Scotia (NS) as one of a series of steps in a larger program of research: Strengthening Primary Health Care through Primary Care and Public Health Collaboration Study (Strengthening PHC Study).

 Completed

Reports

An Environmental Scan of Primary Care and Public Health in the Province of Ontario

This report describes an environmental scan, which includes information up to May 2009, related to primary care (PC) and public health (PH) in the province of Ontario (ON). It is one of a series of steps in a larger program of research entitled: Strengthening Primary Health Care through Primary Care and Public Health Collaboration Study (Strengthening PHC Study).

 Completed

Reports

An Online Toolkit to Support Public Health and Primary Care Collaboration

The aim of this toolkit is to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that support the development and maintenance of successful collaborations between primary care and public health. This toolkit is for practitioners, managers, policy makers, and students from a variety of disciplines working in primary care and public health.

 Completed

Projects

Brokering for the Primary Health Care Needs of Recent Immigrant Families in Atlantic, Canada

This case study describes how broker organizations supported a network of community-based services to work together to address the primary healthcare needs of recent immigrant families with young children.

 Completed

Articles

Built Environment Interventions Aimed at Improving Physical Activity Levels in Rural Ontario Health Units: A Descriptive Qualitative Study

Few studies to date have explored the relationship between the built environment and physical activity specifically in rural settings. This paper is the result of a Masters thesis project that focused on rural health units' activities to address the built environment aimed at improving physical activity.

 Completed

Articles

Community Health Nurses’ Learning Needs in Relation to the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice: Results from a Canadian survey

Canadian Community health nurses (CHNs) work in diverse urban, rural, and remote settings such as: public health units/departments, home health, community health facilities, family practices, and other community-based settings.

 Completed

Articles

Competence Trust Among Providers as Fundamental to a Culturally Competent Primary Health Care System for Immigrant Families

The aim was to explore how an organization's trust in the cultural competency of other service providers (competence trust) can influence the effectiveness of a services network in meeting the needs of recent immigrant families.

 Completed

Articles

Computers and the Internet: Tools for youth empowerment

Youth are often disenfranchised in their communities and may feel they have little voice. Since computers are an important aspect of youth culture, they may offer solutions to increasing youth participation in communities. This study involved public health nurses to support the school-based community development project.

 Completed

Articles

Effective Public Health Practice Summary Statement of “Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response: Use of Information Technologies and Decision Support Systems (2002)

To understand how and if information technology (IT) and decision-support systems (DSS) can be effective in detection, management, and communication during a bioterrorist event.

 Completed

Reports

Electronic Social Support Groups to Improve Health

This review sought to answer the question: what is the use, nature and impact of electronic support groups in the prevention and promotion of health?

 Completed

Reports

Evaluation of the Spark Health Promotion Web Site

Tailoring Online Health Promotion: A Toolkit for Communities has been produced to share our learning and experiences in working to build a health promotion web site (www.youthspark.ca) to meet local needs by and for rural youth in Huron County, Ontario Canada.

 Completed

Reports

Immunization Competencies for Health Professionals

Prepared by the Professional Education Working Group of the Canadian Immunization Committee, Public Health Agency of Canada. The aim of this handbook is to promote safe and competent practices to achieve higher vaccine coverage rates. This effort will enable and maintain the highest possible degree of community protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.

 Completed

Reports

Invited advisor on a realist review pertaining to primary care and public health collaboration related to social pediatrics led by researchers at Public Health Ontario

Dr. Ingrid Tyler's, Public Health Ontario, presentation on 'The Social Pediatrics Realist Review' focussed interest on child and maternal health and related social pediatrics, as well as, advancing primary care/public health collaboration in this area. Dr. Ruta Valaitis was an invited advisor on this presentation.

 Completed

Committees

Invited Member of the MOHLTC Family Health Team Action Group Sub-committee on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

During 2006 - 2007, Dr. Ruta Valaitis served as an invited member of the Ministry of health and Long Term care (MOHLTC) Family Health Team (FHT) Action Group Sub-committee on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP).

 Completed

Committees

Member of Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, E-Health Council for Public Health

During 2004 - 2007, Dr. Ruta Valaitis was a member of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, E-Health Council for Public Health

 Completed

Committees

Member of the Advisory Committee Orientation: Transition Program for Nurses New to Public Health

From 2006 - 2009, Dr. Ruta Valaitis was a member of the Advisory Committee for the design and development of an Orientation Program for new nurses transitioning into public health careers.

 Completed

Committees

Member of the CASN Education Subcommittee for Public Health

From 2004 to 2012, Dr. Ruta Valaitis was a member of the CASN Subcommittee for Public Health.

 Completed

Committees

Member of the Working Group: Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): Professional Education Working Group- Vaccine Prevention

From 2006 - 2009, Dr. Ruta Valaits was a member of the Working Group: Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): Professional Education Working Group- Vaccine Prevention

 Completed

Committees

Methods, Strategies and Technologies Used to Conduct a Scoping Literature Review of Collaboration Between Primary Care and Public Health

This paper describes the methods, strategies and technologies used to conduct a scoping literature review examining primary care (PC) and public health (PH) collaboration. It presents challenges encountered as well as recommendations and 'lessons learned' from conducting the review with a large geographically distributed team comprised of researchers and decision-makers using an integrated knowledge translation approach.

 Completed

Articles

Moving Towards a New Vision: Implementation of a public health policy intervention

This paper explores policy implementation in two exemplar public health programs -chronic disease prevention and sexually-transmitted infection prevention - in Ontario, Canada. It examines public health service providers’, managers’ and senior managements’ perspectives on the process of implementation of the Ontario Public Health Standards 2008 and factors influencing implementation.

 Completed

Articles

National Collaborating Centre: Public Health Methodologies and Tools: Environmental Scan

The purpose of this environmental scan was to support the identification and setting of priorities to guide the launch and development of the National Collaborating Centre for Public Health Methodologies and Tools (NCC: MT). It was conducted on behalf of the Ontario Public Health Research Education and Development (PHRED) program.

 Completed

Reports

Online Communities of Practice as a Communication Resource for Community Health Nurses Working with Homeless Persons

This study explored community health nurses' viewpoints about a Canadian online community of practice to support their practice with homeless or under-housed populations.

 Completed

Articles

Online Discussions with Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents: Perspectives and possibilities

The Internet is an innovative strategy to increase public participation. It is important to include pregnant and parenting teens' perspectives when planning programs to meet their needs. This qualitative study explored online discussions as a strategy to enhance participation by this population.

 Completed

Articles

Phase 2: Strengthening the Quality of Community Health Nursing Practice: A Pan Canadian Survey of Community Health Nurses’ Continuing Education Needs Study

The purpose of this second phase of the study was to identify current practice activities of CHNs across all Canadian Provinces and Territories and to measure their continuing education needs in relation to the CCHN Standards.

 Completed

Reports

Preparing the Community Health Nursing Workforce: Internal and External Enablers and Challenges Influencing Undergraduate Nursing Programs in Canada

The Canadian Schools of Nursing (CASN) Task Force on Public Health was mandated to facilitate Schools of Nursing to provide students with the foundation required to meet the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice. As a member of this Task Force Dr. Valaitis led this paper which reports on an environmental scan that explored barriers and enablers influencing the integration of community health nursing content in baccalaureate education in Canada.

 Completed

Articles

Primary Health Care and Nursing Education in the 21st Century: A discussion paper

Report to the WHO. Primary health care (PHC) is a philosophy and an educational practice approach. Nursing is one of the key services for the delivery of PHC. The purpose of this background paper is to examine PHC education for nurses in the globalized world.

 Completed

Reports

Public Health Nurses’ Perceptions of Mobile Computing in a School Program

The use of mobile computing in healthcare practice has grown substantially in recent years, yet little is known about its impact.This descriptive, exploratory, qualitative study explored the perceptions of public health nurses (PHNs) in a school health program about their use of mobile computing.

 Completed

Articles

Research Uptake Strategies: An Ontario think tank on strengthening collaboration between public and primary care

A full day think tank on strengthening collaboration between public health and primary care was held at Public Health Ontario in Toronto in 2012.

 Completed

Projects

Stop, Look and Listen: An interactive guide to working with communities

This was a CD-ROM program designed to teach community health nursing students and other professionals about the process of community action. It focused on the principles of primary health care, community assessment and community development. Child pedestrian injury prevention was the main issue addressed in this programme

 Completed

Projects

Strengthening Primary Health Care Through Public Health and Primary Care Collaboration: Final Report

Final Report to Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF). ISBN 978-1-927565-02-5.

 Completed

Reports

Supporting Successful Implementation of Public Health Interventions: Protocol for a Realist Synthesis

There is a growing emphasis in public health on the importance of evidence-based interventions to improve population health and reduce health inequities.

 Completed

Articles

Tailoring Online Health Promotion: A Toolkit for Communities

Tailoring Online Health Promotion: A Toolkit for Communities has been produced to share our learning and experiences in working to build a health promotion web site (www.youthspark.ca) to meet local needs by and for rural youth in Huron County, Ontario Canada. The Toolkit is loosely organized according to the phases of project development that we experienced in the YouthSpark project.

 Completed

Reports

Tailoring Online Health Promotion: A Toolkit for Communities

Tailoring Online Health Promotion: A Toolkit for Communities: This toolkit was produced based on our experience and evaluation of working with public health staff and youth in a rural community to build a health promotion website for youth by youth.

 Completed

Projects

Technology to Encourage the Adoption of Health Promoting/Protecting Behaviours: A Comprehensive Literature Review

A technical report commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Canada to inform the 2014 Chief Public Health Officer’s (CPHO) Report on the State of Public Health in Canada.

 Completed

Reports

The Experiences of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Postpartum Women in the First Four Weeks at Home

We used a qualitative descriptive approach to explore and describe the situated experiences of socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED) postpartum women in the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge. This works informs public health nurses providing care to this population.

 Completed

Articles

They Don’t Trust Us; We’re Just Kids”: Views about community from predominantly female inner city youth

The cornerstones of health promotion are the concepts of empowerment and community participation. There has been little research, however, on how these concepts are actualized within a youth population and even less from a gender perspective.

 Completed

Articles

Using an Integrated Knowledge Translation Approach to Build a Public Health Research Agenda

Public Health Systems Research (PHSR) is an emerging field of research that is gaining importance in Canada. On October 22 and 23, 2012, public health researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers came together at the Accelerating Public Health Systems Research in Ontario: Building an Agenda think tank to develop a research agenda for the province.

 Completed

Articles

Viewpoints About Collaboration Between Primary Care and Public Health in Canada

Although there is a global movement toward health system integration and collaboration, little is known about values, beliefs, and attitudes towards collaboration between stakeholders in public health (i.e. promotion, protection, and prevention with vulnerable groups and/or at the population level) and primary care (i.e., family practices, nurse-led clinics).

 Completed

Articles

Women’s Experiences Breastfeeding in Public Places

This two-part field study compared researchers’ recorded observations to mothers’ perceptions of attention they received while publicly breastfeeding.

 Completed

Articles

Students

Picture Name Degree Ruta's Role Thesis Topic More Info
Dr. Judy Burgess Dr. Judy Burgess Post-Doctoral Program Co-Supervisor A Tool to Evaluate Interprofessional Teams in Primary Care More Info.
Danielle Hunter Danielle Hunter MS eHealth Graduate Program Student Advisor An examination of the impact of e-Health on health equity among marginalized populations More Info.
Leena W. Chau  Leena W. Chau MSc Co-Supervisor Examining the Delivery of Mental Health Services Using a Population Health Framework in Primary Care and Public Health Collaborations, University of British Columbia More Info.
Rachael Haalboom Rachael Haalboom MScN Supervisor Vision Screening in Schools by Public Health More Info.
Bellraj Eapen Bellraj Eapen MS eHealth Supervisor Efficacy of web-based tailored health communication for behavioural modification in sun safety: A randomized, comparative study of tailored and response independent information delivery More Info.
Cara-Lee Coghill Cara-Lee Coghill MScN Supervisor Exploring the Built Environment and Physical Activity in Rural Ontario Health Units More Info.
Rebecca Spark Rebecca Spark MScN Supervisor An exploration of experiences of academics and decision-makers in a collaborative program of research More Info.
Janice Feather Janice Feather MScN Supervisory Committee Member A Narrative Exploration of a Nurse Navigator Role in Primary Care More Info.
Sandra Isaacs Sandra Isaacs PhD Supervisor How community-based services work together to address the primary health care needs of recent immigrant children More Info.
Erin Ziegler Erin Ziegler PhD Supervisor LGBT populations and access to primary care More Info.
Linda Brousseau Linda Brousseau PhD Supervisor In Progress More Info.
Tracey Lovett Tracey Lovett MScN Supervisory Committee Exploring structures and processes that support collaborative practice amongst community health nurses who work with breastfeeding families More Info.
Jeri Dunne Jeri Dunne MSCN Supervisory Committee Member Approaches to Public Health Practice: Exploration of Chronic Disease Prevention in Ontario Health Units More Info.
Christine Kurtz-Landy Christine Kurtz-Landy PhD Committee Member Nursing, Health and social Service utilization by “at risk” postpartum women More Info.
Beth Potter Beth Potter MSc Committee member Breastfeeding in Public Places More Info.