Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

(Agence De La Santé publique du Canada)

Tel: 613.954.8524

130 Colonade Road
A.L. 6501H
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Theresa Tam, BMBS (UK), FRCPC - Interim Chief Public Health Officer/Director

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Institute Profile

With more than 2,400 staff members, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is the country’s leading public health institute. It works to prevent chronic and infectious diseases, build health capacity in terms of research and training, prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, and minimize avoidable injuries.

PHAC’s main goals for 2009 are to increase awareness of the factors that underlie health and well-being, reduce incidence of infectious diseases, improve Canada’s ability to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, and strengthen its surveillance and public health capacity.

Recent PHAC campaigns aimed to promote good health practices include implementing the healthy pregnancy initiative, partnering with the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities Guide, and updating Canada’s Physical Activity Guides with versions for children, youth, adults, and seniors.

The agency is also working to make significant improvements in Canada’s emergency preparedness for pandemic influenza, infectious disease outbreaks, and foodborne illness.

See the NPHI Case Study on the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Public Health Expertise and Reference Center, Quebec (INSPQ)

(Institut national de santé Publique du Québec) 945, avenue Wolfe
Quebec (Quebec) G1V 5B3

Dr. Nicole Damestoy -  Director General

Institute Profile

With more than 700 professionals and physicians, the Institut national de santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ) is the province's public health expertise and reference center, which it established in 1998.

The Institute's functions include providing expertise/advice, information, knowledge transfer and skills development, researching and assessing the impact of public policies, and offering quality assurance, testing, and specialized laboratory services in support of clinical and population-based interventions. It provides bilingual expertise (French and English).

The INSPQ collaborates with the Québec government on improving the determinants of health through two of its pillars of action:

These are given concrete expression in two of the organization's structuring frameworks:

Central to its mission is the INSPQ's mandate to advise the Québec Minister of Health of the health impact of public policies, it being incumbent on all departments to consult the latter in relation to the development of laws and regulations that may have an impact on health. This is why the Public Health Agency of Canada, at the time of its inception, designated the INSPQ as the location of the "National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy" (French and English sites), whose mandate is to strengthen the public policy expertise of public health actors across Canada through the development, sharing and use of knowledge. The Centre disseminates its work through two sites: (in English) and (in French).

The Institute is a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention. It also helps to build expertise in emergency preparedness measures, targeting Ebola for example, in collaboration with the IANPHI and the WHO, and to strengthen public health systems in various countries. The Institute also adopted, in 2017, guidelines for international collaboration aimed at optimizing the essential exchange of knowledge and skills.

Each year, the Institute makes public over a hundred public health advisories, studies, briefs, or reports. To learn more about the INSPQ's science news, subscribe to the Institute's Résonances newsletter.

To perform its role of assisting in public health decision-making, the Institute relies on the effective combination of three areas of expertise:

  • Theme-Based expertise: adapted to the evolving needs of the population and addressing current public health issues, such as infectious diseases, occupational health, environmental health and toxicology, safety and injury prevention, individual and community development, lifestyles and prevention of chronic illnesses, analysis and evaluation of health and social service systems;
  • Analytical expertise: microbiology and medical biology laboratory services, toxicology laboratory services, clinical screening services;
  • Methodological expertise: information management and analysis, knowledge translation, planning, research, and evaluation.

In collaboration with universities and professional associations working in public health, the Institute develops and offers ongoing training programs, helping ensure the development and maintenance of skills in its fields. It also helps develop and update public health courses at the undergraduate, masters and PhD levels. The Institute contributes to the development and implementation of ministerial orientations in health and social services, including first and foremost, Québec’s Public Health Program.

French Version

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Canada Facts




9,984,670 sq km


$1.736 trillion




  • Cancers
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimers/Dementia
  • Lung Disease


5 deaths/1,000 live births


Male: 79
Female: 83


Source: WHO, World Bank, World Health Rankings