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OHS Insider #8

Nov 21, 2013 // OHS Newsletter

Ontario Health Study online survey marks third anniversary

On September 29, 2013 the Ontario Health Study celebrated its third anniversary as an online study. The Study is one of the largest long-term health studies ever attempted in North America and already nearly 225,000 Ontarians have taken the online survey. The information obtained through the survey will help scientists understand the risk factors and causes of chronic diseases and spur the creation of new prevention strategies and treatments. If you haven’t already done so please sign up for the Study at

Boost your positive impact on future generations by providing a blood sample or visiting our Assessment Centre

Six thousand participants have provided the Study with a blood sample and more than 3,500 have visited the Toronto Assessment Centre. If you are one of these individuals we thank you for taking part and urge you to encourage others to do the same. If you have not participated in these aspects of the Study you can express your interest in doing so by visiting your personal homepage on the OHS website. Please note that only participants meeting certain criteria will be asked to provide a blood sample or visit our Assessment Centre.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing: Peterborough Counts-Ontario Health Study campaign. Stay up to date at

Regional Showcase: Peterborough

The “Peterborough Counts” Ontario Health Study campaign has quickly reached 25 per cent of its goal to register 11,000 participants in the Study. The local campaign team has been promoting participation in the OHS by presenting to local service clubs and running public service announcements on local radio and TV.

Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough and chair of the campaign is impressed with the results so far. “While we still have a ways to go to reach our 11,000 goal, I’m pleased to see the wave of interest in the Ontario Health Study starting to take hold in our community,” she said. “We know that hundreds of people have received emails inviting them to sign up for the Study, and I’m appealing to them to sign up today and help us build the momentum.”

Peterborough is being targeted for recruitment for the OHS because its residents have an above-average rate of participation in the Study and one of the highest rates of volunteerism in Ontario. The ultimate goal of the Peterborough Counts campaign is to recruit 10 per cent of residents 18 or older (approximately 11,000 people).

Engagement photos

SickKids Farmers' Market Terry Fox Foundation "Great Canadian Hair-Do" fundraising event

Dr. Vivek Goel named new scientific leader of the Ontario Health Study

Vivek Goel

Dr. Vivek Goel has been named the new Principal Investigator of the Ontario Health Study, replacing Dr. Lyle Palmer who has led the study since January 2010 and oversaw its growth. Goel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Health Ontario (PHO) and brings a wealth of experience to his role with the Study.

Goel’s career in healthcare evaluation and research has been focussed on chronic disease prevention and control. He is a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Goel is also Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Before joining PHO in 2008, Goel was vice-president and provost at the University of Toronto.

Goel earned his medical degree from McGill University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He completed his post-graduate medical training at the University of Toronto focussing on community medicine. Goel also earned a Master’s degree in health administration from U of T and a Master’s degree in biostatistics from Harvard University, School of Public Health.

Second round of invitations to visit Toronto Assessment Centre to be sent out starting soon

Beginning very soon, Study participants who have previously been invited to visit the Toronto Assessment Centre but have had their invitations expire will receive another. Those who have previously indicated that they are not interested in attending the Assessment Centre will not be contacted.

Unlike previous invitations to visit the Assessment Centre these invitations will not expire. However those wishing to attend the Assessment Centre must complete the screening questionnaire within four weeks or they must start the process over. The screening questionnaire must be completed in a timely fashion so that it can provide, as accurately as possible, a snapshot of your current health.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us using one of the methods below. A member of the OHS team will be happy to assist you.

OHS call centre
Telephone: 1-866-606-0686
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.