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Resources for health professionals

Connect with Ottawa Public Health

Receive emergency communications from OPH

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) provides healthcare professionals with credible information about emergency local health issues and direction during health emergencies, as mandated by the Health Protection and Promotion Act (1990).To ensure that OPH can reach you using our automated messaging system, please use our online form to register. You may also select to receive:

  • The Physicians’ Update electronic newsletter
    Receive an e-mail listing that months’ articles posted to our new blog, featuring clinically useful information, updates on public health guidelines and procedures, upcoming professional development opportunities, services and resources to assist you with both patient referral and education.
  • Outbreak Management E-bulletin
    Are you on top of infection prevention and control measures at your Long term Care or Retirement Home? The Outbreak Management e-bulletin will assist health care workers and others employed in these settings with the most current information on upcoming educational events, best practice updates on infection prevention and control measures, legislative requirements and current trends and health issues.

Workplace Health electronic newsletter

Find out more about health issues affecting your business or organization and learn about health initiatives you can introduce into your workplace. Subscribe to Healthy Ottawa @ Work.

Forms for health professionals




Influenza order forms

For doctors and pharmacists who have received the first two auto shipments, use the form if you need to order more vaccine. If you are a retirement home, LTC facility or workplace that has been pre-approved for the UIIP, you can use this form to order your vaccine.

If you are a Health Care Agency, use the Influenza Vaccine Order Form for the Universal Influenza Immunization Program [PDF 1.5 MB]] and fax it to 613-580-2783 with one month of temperature logs.

Influenza consent forms

These forms are available for physicians who want to use a consent form for the administration of the flu vaccine.

Immunization of School Pupils Act


To order catch-up Menactra® vaccines for clients needing to meet the new Immunization of School Pupils Act requirements.

Publicly funded vaccines for Ontario

To order vaccine, fax the order form to 613-580-2783

When returning vaccines to Ottawa Public Health, please complete the form and include a copy with vaccines being returned

Adverse Events Following Immunization Reporting Form (AEFI)

To report an adverse event following immunization (AEFI), complete the reporting form and fax to Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-9660 or phone 613-580-6744 for more information.

Resources for Adverse Events Following Immunizations (AEFIs): 

[ Top ]

Communicable diseases

Referral forms

  • Geriatric Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa referral form [PDF 404 KB]
    This referral form must be used when referring older adult patients to the Geriatric Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa (GPCSO), whose mandate is community mental health outreach. Once the referral form is received, it is triaged by the clinical coordinator and reviewed by a psychiatrist.
  • Royal Ottawa Geriatric Psychiatry Program referral form [PDF 123 KB]
    This referral form should be used to refer older adult patients to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (ROMHC), which has an ambulatory care service – a hospital based service offering interdisciplinary support, consultation and treatment through its three components: the Geriatric Psychiatry Day Hospital, Out-patient Clinic and Out-patient Electroconvulsive Therapy.

Print resources


Cleaning and disinfection


Fall prevention

This fall prevention one hour online learning module is designed to give anyone working with older adults such as personal support workers, volunteers, friends and family, or older adults who support others close to them, valuable information regarding falls and fall prevention.

This training is based on current literature, the Canadian Fall Prevention Curriculum and best practices in fall prevention.

City of Ottawa ulearn: Falls and Older Adults

Older Adult Resources:
The “You CAN prevent Falls” factsheet [PDF] is available, to assist older adult in making the needed adjustments to their home and lifestyle to help stay independent and safe. It includes a tool to assist in identifying hazards around the home, information about protective health behaviours to reduce personal risk, and an action plan to make changes

The Staying Independent Checklist[PDF] is intended to be used by older adults to complete a self-screening for falls risk.

Hand hygiene


Extreme Heat Events
Info and tools for health care providers on the dangers of extreme heat, and how to properly prevent, diagnosis and treat heat-related illnesses.



Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: Guidance Document for the Management of Suspected Rabies Exposures
This document is in support of the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current) under the Ontario Public Health Standards.

Signage for medical clinics


OPH Tuberculosis (TB) Screening and Contact Management Guidelines This resource outlines:

  • TB  reporting requirements
  • Instructions for giving and reading a tuberculin skin test (TST)
  • Guidelines for screening patients (no known contact with TB) with TST
  • Contact management (known contact with TB)
  • Indications for treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI)
  • Medication guidelines for treating LTBI
  • Website links regarding Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs)
  • Downloadable PDF [333 KB]

Together we can… Stop Tuberculosis poster

Physicians' Update

Latest issues: 

2017: January | April

2016: January | February | March | April | May | June | July/August | September | October

2015: May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

April 2017

Mumps update Spring 2017

  • There has been an increase in mumps activity in Ontario
  • Information regarding testing and management of mumps is reviewed in the article

January 2017

New! Expansion of the HPV program to include gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

  1. Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are at high risk of anal and other cancers caused by HPV
  2. Publicly-funded HPV4 (Gardasil) vaccine is now available for Ontario residents who identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, and trans individuals, who are 26 or younger
  3. You can order this vaccine directly from Ottawa Public Health to administer to eligible patients in your office

TB Prevention Workshops 2017

October 2016

Influenza 2016/2017: Important Updates for Physicians

September 2016

Upcoming Surveillance for School Immunization Requirements

  • Upcoming surveillance for requirements of the Immunization of School Pupils Act
  • Impact of surveillance on physician’s practice can include increased requests for: immunization records, immunization service, and vaccine orders.
  • Physician’s play an important role in assisting OPH to remind parents to report immunizations to the health unit.

Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) – New Reporting Fact Sheet

  • New fact sheet is available online from Public Health Ontario to assist physicians in mandatory reporting of adverse events following immunization

July/August 2016

Lyme Disease Update – 2016

  • Although levels of infected ticks in Ottawa are not yet sufficiently high enough to warrant a recommendation for post-exposure prophylaxis, we are seeing an increase of Lyme disease in Ottawa
  • Symptoms and exposure history are key to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease. Early localized Lyme disease  is a clinical diagnosis; laboratory testing is neither required nor recommended
  • Report all suspected, clinically diagnosed, and laboratory confirmed cases of Lyme disease to Ottawa Public Health

June 2016

New! Changes to the Ottawa Public Health HPV Immunization Program

  • New! Starting in the fall of 2016, two changes will be implemented to the publicly funded human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program

TB Prevention Workshops 2016-2017

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017

May 2016

CHEO and The Royal Implement New Approach to Outpatient Mental Health Care

  • CHEO’s Mental Health Program and The Royal’s Youth Mental Health Program (the Young Minds Partnership), and The Royal’s Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program are implementing the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) for outpatient mental health services.
  • CAPA is a collaborative service model focused less on formal assessment and more on problem solving and offering choices to patients based on their individual strengths and goals.
  • Referral processes are not changing, wait times are expected to go down, and patients will be working towards specific, shorter term goals through a variety of treatment paths either with the hospitals or community service providers

The combined MMRV vaccine – only for 4-12 year olds

  • MMRV vaccine is only indicated for children 4 to 12 years of age, and cannot be used to ‘catch up’ students over age 12.
  • Patients older than 12 years of age should receive separate MMR and varicella vaccines given on same day at separate sites. 
  • In cases where both vaccines cannot be given on the same day, the MMR and varicella vaccines must be separated by at least 4 weeks.

April 2016

Statement by the Medical Officer of Health: A Next Step in Addressing Substance Misuse in our Community

  • Right now, there’s an evolving conversation taking place at the federal, provincial and local level about how we approach substance misuse in our communities. This conversation has the potential to broaden the way in which our community delivers services to address drug addiction – for the better.

Are your adolescent patients using cannabis? Here is the latest evidence.

  • The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) found that in 2013, 32% of Ottawa high school students reported using cannabis in the past year
  • This article includes a summary of and a link to the recent report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, “The Effects of Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence” summarizes the current scientific evidence related to youth cannabis use, as well as screening resources for primary care practitioners and their adolescent patients.

Provincial Post Concussion Return to School Evaluations

  • Ministry of Education policy requires physician assessment before re-entry to school for students post-concussion.

March 2016

Ottawa Public Health Focus Group Message for Physicians

  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has retained Nanos Research to conduct focus groups with health professionals.

STI Medication Ordering for Physicians

  • Free STI medications are available through the OPH Sexual Health Centre to treat Sexually Transmitted Infections in your practice.
  • These medications can be ordered to stock in your clinic or order on a case by case basis to treat patients.
  • This service includes the support of a public health nurse to assist with any questions.

Newpatient resources to help prevent falls in older adults

  • “You CAN prevent falls!” is a new resource to help patients make adjustments to home and lifestyle to reduce fall risk.
  • A great resource for patients who come for follow-up after completing the self- screening tool, “Staying Independent Checklist”.

Academy of Medicine Ottawa – serving Ottawa physicians since 1946

  • Message from Academy of Medicine Ottawa to Ottawa Physicians

February 2016

Salad Recall due to Listeria monocytogenes

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall of certain salads and leafy greens across Canada due to Listeria monocytogenes.
  • Listeriosis is a rare but serious infection caused by consumption of food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.
  • Further information on testing and clinical management including indications for empirical treatment) is provided by Public Health Ontario

Urine Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Young People under 25

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea are common in sexually active women and men under age 25
  • Testing rates have decreased in young women since change in Ontario pap testing guidelines
  • Urine nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is a sensitive, specific and non-invasive way to test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea in young patients seeing you for other reasons.

2016 Ottawa Public Health TB Prevention Workshop

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016 (Cancelled)
  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016

January 2016

New Bilingual Mental Health Support Services for Parents/Caregivers in the Champlain Region offered by Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO)

  • Providing peer support, system navigation, and face to face individual family support
  • For parents and caregivers of children, youth and young adults up to age 24 years

Situational awareness about local misuse of non-opioid prescription medication

  • Ottawa Public Health has recently become aware of a recent change in local drug use behaviours

December 2015

Quitting Smoking: New Year’s Resolution to Reality

  • Taking 30 seconds to ask your patients if they smoke can turn a thought into an attempt to quit or reduce.
  • Guide your patients to the resources and services available at no cost through My Quit and Ottawa Public Health Cessation Services

Clarification of catch-up immunization schedule for school-age children:  Tdap-IPV vs DTaP-IPV

Children who begin their immunization late,  between the ages of 1 and 7 years are not adequately immunized if only receive Tdap-IPV Adacel–Polio® or Boostrix-Polio®)

  • Pediacel® vaccine must be used for primary immunization of children aged up to and including 4
  • Quadracel® or Infanrix-IPV® vaccines must be used for primary immunization of children aged 5 and including age 6 (as they contain higher pertussis and diphtheria antigen content)
  • Quadracel® or Infanrix-IPV® must be ordered from OPH on a case by case basis

November 2015

November is “Take Action on Radon” Month

  • During the month of November, Ottawa Public Health and external partners will be publicizing the dangers of radon gas. Your patients may approach you with questions
  • Radon is the # 2 leading cause of lung cancer after smoking
  • Test kits for radon are available for purchase from major hardware stores or from Ottawa Public Health
  • Online free CME is available on the topic

Worried about a pregnant patient?

  • Refer to the Ottawa Public Health Healthy Babies, Healthy children program!
  • Early Intervention Works

October 2015

Check out several free, accredited, online CME courses

  • Refugee Mental Health
  • Spotlight on Cancer Screening
  • Aboriginal Relationship and Cultural Competency

NEW Mental Health Resources for Point-of-Care

  • New point-of-care website designed to help primary care providers support patients and their families withmental health needs (referrals, handouts, screening tools).
  • Free mental health walk-in counselling services available to all ages in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Somali languages across the Champlain LHIN to assist individuals, couples, and families by providing immediate counselling support.

No time for nutritional assessments?

  • NutriSTEP® is a fast and easy nutrition risk tool for toddlers and preschoolers
  • It can be completed by the parent prior to the child’s visit
  • Aids in assessment of the eating habits, physical activity and development of your young patients. 

Where parents go, to get in the know and access great parenting resources!

  • Make it easier for your youngest patients to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • Access to great parenting resources are now available.
  • Learn more about Parenting in Ottawa

September 2015

Immunization: Requirements for School Children 

  • Children attending primary or secondary school in Ontario must have proof of immunization against designated diseases
  • Families are required to provide this documentation to their local Public Health unit, where immunization status is assessed.
  • As we enter a new school year, parents may contact you to request additional information regarding their child’s immunization record, or to request missing vaccinations for their child.

August 2015

How much is too much?

Alcohol screening reduces alcohol consumption

Do you ask patients about alcohol? Physicians are uniquely positioned to directly influence patient wellness on alcohol misuse; a leading cause of death and disability. Alcohol screening in the health care setting results in greater awareness for your patients and reduced alcohol consumption.

July 2015

Better Strength, Better Balance!

Better Strength, Better Balance! is a free fall prevention exercise and education program for people aged 65+ that was developed using evidenced based criteria.

Important information on Heat for Health Practitioners and Patients

  • Extreme heat events are posing a growing public health risk in Canada, as a result of a changing climate
  • Health Canada is implementing new alert criteria

Is it is safe to swim at Ottawa’s beaches?

Ottawa Public Health inspects water quality daily for bacterial levels at all Ottawa beaches (Britannia, Mooney’s Bay, Westboro, Petrie Island East Bay , Petrie Island River Beaches ) and the out of town beaches twice monthly. Water samples are sent to the Ontario Public Health lab for analysis which involves a 24-hour turnaround, meaning the posted lab results are from the previous day’s sampling.

June, 2015

Lyme Disease Update

  • Prevention is key – advise people to take measures to avoid being bitten by ticks and to do a ‘full body tick check’ after being in natural areas
  • Advise all patients to seek medical attention if symptoms of Lyme disease develop in the 30 days following a tick bite (whether or not the tick was acquired in a high risk area)
  • Report all suspect and confirmed cases of Lyme disease to Ottawa Public Health

Immunization: A shot of prevention

  • OPH is increasing surveillance activities by reviewing immunization records as part of a multi-phased immunization strategy.

To continue receiving both emergency communications and Physicians’ Update newsletters from OPH, please register with OPH. Note: OPH will not share this information with any other agencies.


We gave Physicians’ Update a makeover!

We will now be sending out a monthly e-bulletin with article links. We hope you enjoy this new and improved way to read about our programs and services that can benefit your patients and your practice (e.g. free dental care for children and youth, early prenatal classes and supports for new parents in their homes, access to support to quit smoking, and many more services).  Browse through the list of articles each month and read at your convenience. All articles will be archived and easily searched in our new blog.

The objective of this new format is to make it more user friendly so Browse, Click, Read, and Enjoy.

Physicians’ Update May 2015 - This month’s articles:

To continue receiving both emergency communications and Physicians’ Update newsletters from OPH, please register with OPH. Note: OPH will not share this information with any other agencies.


Overdose Resources for Professionals

Opioid resources

Print resources

The following print resources are available in French and English. Please contact to request copies.

  • Posters for display at your organization/medical office
    • Anything can be cut with fentanyl
      Anything can be cut with fentanyl
    • Got questions about drugs? (For youth grades 6-8)
      Got questions about drugs? Talk to someone you trust
  • Postcards for patients/clients
    Front side: Anything can be cut with Fentanyl
    Anything can be cut with Fentanyl

    Back side: Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose
    Know the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose
  • Parenting in Ottawa resource for parents
    Where to get tips and resources about speaking to your kids about drugs
    You are your kid's first line of defense against drugs

Other resources


Drug Overdose Deaths in Ottawa, 2000-2015

Report: Drug Overdose Deaths in Ottawa, 2000-2015 [PDF  834 KB]

Problematic Substance Use in Ottawa, 2016

This report focuses on the prevalence of use, and the associated morbidity and mortality from the problematic use of illicit drugs, excluding cannabis, and of opioid prescription drugs used for non-medical purposes.

Problematic Substance Use in Ottawa - Technical Report [PDF 2.5 MB]

Ottawa Student Drug Use and Health (OSDUH) Report, 2014

The Ottawa Student Drug Use and Health Report 2014 offers a snapshot of health risk behaviours among youth in Ottawa using data from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS).

Full report [PDF 875 KB]
Infographics: Drug Use [ PDF 1.24 MB ]

Overdose and HIV and hepatitis C infection among people in Ottawa who use drugs

This report provides epidemiologic information about the risk of overdose and HIV and HCV infection among people who use drugs.
Report [PDF 369 KB]

Substance Misuse in Ottawa, 2013

This report focuses on the prevalence of substance use and the attributed burden of mental health, addictions, injury and chronic disease in Ottawa. It is meant to inform an evidence-based dialogue in our community to foster effective health prevention, promotion and interventions related to substance misuse. 
Substance Misuse in Ottawa Report [PDF 887 KB.]