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Nutrition Specialist, Public Health Ontario

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline July 11, 2011

Public Health Ontario
Draft Job Description

Working Title:
Nutrition Specialist
(Temporary Full-time 6 month secondment or contract position)

Organization Summary:

Public Health Ontario (PHO) is an arm’s-length government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, PHO links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

PHO provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians.  For more information about PHO, visit

Position Summary:  

Reporting to the Director of Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (HPCDIP), the position is responsible for providing content expertise and technical support for two projects:

  • Chronic Disease Prevention Blueprint Partnership, a joint initiative between PHO and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO).  Over the next six months, the Partnership will be collaborating on the development of a Chronic Disease Prevention Blueprint comprised of key recommendations for government policy interventions addressing four key risk factors contributing to chronic disease: tobacco, healthy eating, active living and alcohol. In addition, the Blueprint will contain overarching, system-level recommendations for the prevention of chronic disease. Panels with expertise in the key risk factor areas will be established to vet the recommendations, which will be presented at a Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO) event in December 2011.
  • Ontario Sodium Summit, a collaborative project involving The Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario Division, Ontario Medical Association, Ontario Stroke Network, Champlain Cardiovascular Network, PHO and other partners

The Nutrition Specialist will support both the Partnership and Summit with the development of policy recommendations addressing healthy eating. This includes reviewing key policy documentation addressing healthy eating, conducting literature reviews and knowledge syntheses, providing strategic and policy advice to the Partnership and Sodium Summit Working Group.

Key Responsibilities:

The Nutrition Specialist will be responsible for:

  • Leading the identification and synthesis of new and emerging evidence/best practices in healthy eating policies;
  • Developing (or providing input into the development of) written reports, including jurisdictional scans, literature reviews and knowledge syntheses, to assist the Partnership and Summit Working Group with decision making and priority setting;
  • Providing Ontario relevant context to an International Expert Panel and other working groups established by the Partnership identify priority recommendations on healthy eating;
  • Supporting the development of the healthy eating recommendations and the healthy eating section of the Blueprint report, and Sodium Summit report;
  • Assisting with the development of materials for Partnership and Summit Working Group meetings/teleconferences, including sessions to engage the International Expert Panel on healthy eating;
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative working relationships within PHO and their health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention networks and partners;
  • Representing PHO and promoting its mandate and strategic initiatives through presentations, attendance at conferences and other activities;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • 5-10 years experience in a public health setting or a public health research, education and development unit (PHRED) in a role related to nutrition and healthy eating (direct experience with the development and implementation of healthy eating policies would be an asset);
  • Demonstrated knowledge of key international, national and provincial documents and initiatives related to nutrition, healthy eating and healthy weights;
  • Demonstrated experience with online resources used to identify evidence-informed best practices in the areas of nutrition and healthy eating;
  • Demonstrated experience with the development of jurisdictional scans, literature reviews, syntheses, and critical appraisals;
  • Experience working with and engaging expert panels and advisory committees;
  • Experience in a matrix management structure and within cross disciplinary teams;
  • Demonstrated computer and data management skills with proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project 2003) and familiarity with SharePoint;
  • Superior oral and written communication to: develop reports and presentations to inform and communicate strategically;
  • Ability to work under pressure and respond to deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
  • Strong critical thinking, analytical and conceptual abilities to develop ideas from inception through to implementation;
  • Demonstrated project management, research, and analytical skills, including knowledge syntheses and report preparation;
  • Excellent interpersonal, teamwork and relationship building skills;
  • Excellent problem solving skills.

Education and Experience:

  • Masters degree (or higher) in nutrition or related discipline (e.g., public health)
  • Registration or eligibility for registration with one of the colleges under the Regulated Health Professions Act
  • Working Conditions:
  • Working in the provincial office located at 480 University Avenue
  • General office environment,
  • PC use is approximately 80% of time
  • Access to on-site fitness center

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