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The OHS Insider Newsletter, Spring 2014

May 21, 2014 // OHS Newsletter

Help the Ontario Health Study tackle big questions in health research with just a small blood sample

How can you make an even greater contribution to the Ontario Health Study (OHS)? Join the more than 20,000 OHS participants who have already contributed to the Study’s Blood Collection Program to enhance the data provided in their online questionnaires. Additional samples are still needed.

How to get involved

If you have fully completed the Study’s online questionnaire, an “Express Interest” button will appear on the right-hand side of your personalized OHS homepage next time you log in. By clicking this button and following the steps you could be invited to provide a blood sample. At this time invitations will only be extended to those ages 35-69, but if you fall outside this age range you may still receive an invitation at a later date.

Providing the Study with a blood sample is a quick and easy process that can be done at any LifeLabs®Patient Service Centre once you receive your invitation. By contributing a blood sample to the Study you make the information you provided in the questionnaire even more useful. Be sure to express your interest in the program and take your contribution to the Study even further.

More information about the OHS Blood Collection Program

More information about eligibility and the process of providing a blood sample


Saying goodbye to the Toronto Assessment Centre

Since opening in July 2012 the Toronto Assessment Centre was key in advancing the Ontario Health Study’s mission, collecting blood samples and physical measurements from 4,800 participants. However, many Study participants provided feedback that showed a strong desire to take part in an assessment centre visit without having to travel to Toronto. As part of the transition to OHS’s next phase (see story below), the Toronto Assessment Centre was closed on March 28. The Study thanks all those who visited the Toronto Assessment Centre and its staff and looks forward to sharing this positive experience with participants province-wide. Here’s what some of the Centre’s visitors had to say about their visits:

  • “It was excellent from start to finish. Staff members are great, courteous and knowledgeable. Answered all questions very well.”
  • “An interesting experience and the entire staff was extremely friendly and helpful.”
  • “Everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable. It’s clear the staff are excited about this project. Excellent!”
  • “Great experience – it feels great to help with the Study and I hope to get friends and family on board.”

We’re coming to you: Ontario Health Study hits the road

The Study has entered an exciting phase by switching to a new system for assessment centre visits. Instead of having one centrally located centre in Toronto, the Study will now set up Local Study Centres (LSCs) in communities across the province. The Local Study Centre will pop-up in communities for three or more days, giving those who have completed the OHS online questionnaire an opportunity to take their participation to the next level and meet and talk with Study staff.

Those who have not previously visited an assessment centre or provided a blood sample to the Study and are between the ages of 35-69 are eligible to visit a Local Study Centre. The visits are open to existing and new participants. New participants will have the opportunity to complete their OHS questionnaire onsite before or after their visit. A Local Study Centre visit involves providing a small blood sample and having physical measures taken such as your weight, blood pressure and handgrip strength.

Be sure to watch the Study’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for the announcement of Local Study Centre location near you.If you would like to suggest a community that the OHS team should visit or if you have a facility to offer that could be used as a Local Study Centre please contact the Study at 1-866-606-0686 or     



Click here to view the infographic as a PDF file.