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Are your kid’s immunization records up to date? Time to breakout those little yellow books to double check! And remember to also contact Ottawa Public Health to update your child’s official immunization records.  

Starting this fall, all students in Ontario (unless given an exemption) are required by the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) to show proof of immunization of:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

In addition to these vaccines students now need proof of immunization against three more diseases in order to attend school:

  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Varicella (chickenpox): required for children born in 2010 or later

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The September 15 Board of Health meeting focused on:

First up, Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health, spoke about progress on the upcoming strategic planning process, OPH’s successful Accreditation Canada visit and provincial changes to school vaccination requirements. 

Healthy, Safe and Active Community: Reporting on Board of Health’s 2011-2014 Strategic Plan
With the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan now in its final year, OPH presented its progress report on the plan to the Board of Health. The report provided a snapshot of the activities and some of the key successes under the plan.  

Watch a video summary of the 2011-2014 Progress Report.

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It’s a busy weekend for our Community Food Advisors (CFAs) at local Ottawa markets. This weekend, CFAs will be offering kale samples and demonstrating some of their tasty recipes.

Saturday, September 13, 2014 
Metcalfe Market
9:30-10:30 a.m. 
8th Line Rd. Fairgrounds

Westboro Market
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Byron Park

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One World Connected, was the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) which was held on September 10, 2014. Connection with oneself, with others, and with a community is critical to ones sense of hopefulness and wellbeing.

Every year the goal of WSPD is to come together all across the world to show support for suicide prevention, to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died, comfort those who grieve, and strengthen our connection with each other. During WSPD, we remember that we are all connected to each other, through shared experiences, sorrow, hope, determination, commitment and compassion.

To honour and bring awareness to this day, the Ottawa Suicide Prevention Coalition co-chaired by Ottawa Public Health, hosted a breakfast conversation about suicide prevention research, community resources and best practices. The event exceeded expectations with over 160 people attending from various organizations, community groups and agencies. Ottawa Public Health along with its partners, were pleased to see so many people coming out to learn, share, and bring greater awareness to mental health and suicide prevention.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, please do not hesitate to call the Distress Centre Ottawa at 613-722-6914 or 866-996-0991. You can also access a full list of Mental Health and Addiction resources available in Ottawa at


To mark the release of our State of Ottawa’s Health 2014 report, we asked slam poet ArRay of WoRds to deliver his spoken word on public health in Ottawa.

Check it out and please help us spread the word! 

Join the conversation. We invite you to tell us what public health issues are important to you!  Take our Have Your Say survey and have your voice heard. Your input will help shape future Ottawa Public Health priorities for our community. Survey closes September 30, 2014.

Get involved on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr (#MyOttHealth).

Contributing author: Colleen, Ottawa Public Health Staff

I’m often told by my children that I am in the “dark ages” when it comes to technology. I use a cell phone but I don’t carry it with me all the time. My 22 year old lectures me that I should always have it with me, saying “that way when I text you, you can respond to me right away.” She doesn’t get that I don’t want to be connected 24/7. I have noticed that many people feel the way she does.

I’ve noticed that more and more people walk down the street with their heads down looking at their smartphones, not aware of the world around them, their safety and the safety of others. I wonder how they manage to walk in a straight line, let alone walk by other pedestrians, make turns or cross the street. Is distracted walking just a collision waiting to happen?

Then just when I feel like our sidewalks are packed with “walking zombies”, I had a very positive pedestrian experience that makes me see that many people enjoy walking without distractions.

After walking down Richmond Rd. in Westboro this past weekend, I came away feeling that I had been on a mini-vacation. The sidewalks were busy with people of all ages shopping, eating ice cream, and sitting at outdoor cafés or on a street bench.  I saw pedestrians walking and aware of their surroundings. They were having face-to-face conversations, enjoying the pedestrian friendly street and taking in the activity around them.  

The next time you’re out on a busy street, try keep your head up and your smartphone down - to clear your head and get away. For more tips on being safe when you walk, visit


Earlier this summer, the MarketMobile was launched in four Ottawa neighbourhoods. This is  an innovative new project using a chartered bus to bring fresh and affordable vegetables and fruit to local residents that have limited access to healthy food. Sherry Nigro, the manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health, attended recent community events celebrating the arrival of the MarketMobile and writes about how this project is bringing more than fresh and healthy produce to the communities it visits.  

I recently attended the inaugural events at Morrison Gardens and Vars of the new MarketMobile.  This is a bus that travels to designated neighbourhoods every second week to offer low cost fruits and vegetables to local residents.  It is a partnership initiative led by the Poverty and Hunger Working Group that has evolved from the Good Food Markets that are popping up across the city.

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Contributing author: Nancy, Ottawa Public Health Staff

I love my neighbourhood. Everything I need is within a 5 to 10 minute drive – daycare, groceries, work, pharmacy, and even my kids’ school. I’ll admit we planned it that way when we purchased our house. But as my family got bigger, so did our cars. Now I feel strange taking the car for a 5 minute drive to the dentist or for a haircut.

I recently had my bicycle tuned up, explored different options to store items like a pannier rack for groceries or library books, and started to use my bicycle instead of driving everywhere! I found it really hard to shoulder check, I didn’t know where I was supposed to be in the lane, and only some cars would slow down for me.

On Mother’s Day, I treated myself to the City of Ottawa Women’s only cycling course. It was awesome, well worth the money, and certainly worth the 4 hours. We first practiced in an arena then rode with traffic, and even managed some intersections. Pat our instructor, took us through the basics – shoulder checking, signaling, and cycling as a group. I loved her technique and told my husband we could use the same methods when teaching our kids the basics. During the on-road component of the course, Pat would point out some of the things she noticed that could be improved – it enabled me to make small changes by applying our new knowledge “on the spot”.

Taking this short workshop really showed me that learning from “just another cyclist” isn’t always good enough. Although Ottawa roads are very busy, bikes do belong on the road making it important for cyclists to be visible, predictable and to know how to engage with traffic.

There are lots of workshops available, right now! Go to the City of Ottawa website and look up cycling workshops in the Recreation Guide. I guarantee these workshops will enhance your love of biking and you will feel much more comfortable choosing the seat that moves you!


Last week CFRA Ottawa’s Sarah Anderson @SarahCFRA featured Ottawa Public Health (OPH) in a series on mom & baby health. 

The series covered topics such as breastfeeding, OPH’s Baby-Friendly Initiative designation, and information on local programs, prenatal classes and the Breastfeeding Buddies volunteer program.

Breastfeeding being encouraged any time, any place by Ottawa Public Health 

Ottawa Public Health proud of Baby-friendly Initiative designation 

Breastfeeding Buddies program links experiences volunteers with new moms to offer peer support 

Prenatal classes about more than just the basics for Ottawa moms

To learn more about the prenatal services offered by Ottawa Public Health visit:

Residents in Vars and Hunt Club East will experience a new kind of “drive thru” this weekend as the MarketMobile aims to improve access to healthy foods in the City’s east-end. The MarketMobile is an innovative new project using a chartered bus to bring fresh and affordable vegetables and fruit to four Ottawa neighbourhoods that have limited access to healthy food.

Mayor Jim Watson, Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais, Member of Provincial Parliament Grant Crack, and Member of Parliament Pierre Lemieux will be on hand in Vars for the market, which runs from 10:45 to 12:45 p.m.

The six-month MarketMobile pilot project is being led by the Poverty and Hunger Working Group, with support from multiple public, private and community partners including Ottawa Public Health, the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa Community Housing, Loblaws Rideau and community members.  The MarketMobile will visit four communities – Morrison Gardens, Caldwell, Hunt Club East and Vars - on Saturdays on a rotational basis from July 26 until the end of December. The full MarketMobile schedule is available at

“Access to healthy, affordable food can be particularly challenging for residents in our rural communities,” said Jean Seguin, President of the Vars Community Association. “We are delighted that the MarketMobile will be coming to Vars on a regular basis to bring a variety of fresh items at our doorstep. This initiative is also a perfect opportunity to encourage village gatherings and a window for rural community discussions on social and economic issues impacting on our residents.”

For more information about the MarketMobile, visit and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook (#MarketMobile). For information on eating well, visit or call 1-877-510-510-2 to speak to a registered dietitian.