Back to top

Letter to the Editor & Comings and Goings, September 2003

This week we have a response to OHPE 326.1, Toolkit of Better Practices in Tobacco Control: Accessing Programs that Work ( Barbara Neuwelt writes us about the East End Community Health Centre and Toronto Public Health's recent collaboration on a tobacco prevention project for youth.

We also have a new round up of farewells, welcomes and welcome backs in our second Comings and Goings column.

Send us your news! Read our submission guidelines at and write to We look forward to hearing from you.

I Letter from Barbara Neuwelt

East End Community Health Centre (CHC) and Toronto Public Health recently collaborated on a tobacco prevention project for youth. The project was built on the concept of "tobacco denormalization," i.e., educating youth about how the tobacco companies are trying to manipulate them and how they market their products to youth. The goal is for youth to make informed choices about whether or not to buy in to the tobacco companies' agendas by smoking.

The UNPACK project involved youth between the ages of 14 and 22 in a series of educational sessions, followed by work with a graphic artist in a computer lab where together they developed four postcards with different images and messages to educate other youth about the tobacco companies. The post cards are similar in look to concert promotion cards and will be distributed to clothing and music stores across the city, as well as through agencies looking for a fresh approach to tobacco prevention.

Funding for the group program was provided by East End CHC and Toronto Public Health. Funding for production of the cards is being provided by Toronto Public Health, Toronto Heart Health Partnership and the Council for a Tobacco Free Toronto. The cards are hot off the press.

If you would like a copy, or if you would like the report on the youth project, please contact Barbara Neuwelt, Program Manager, East End Community Health Centre, Toronto, at

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

II Comings & Goings

Leaving Ontario for Saskatchewan...

Dr. Mohammad A. Khan left his position as Workplace Health Promoter with Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit in Ontario, where he'd worked since November 2001, to join Kelsey Trail Health Region in Saskatchewan as Medical Health Officer on June 25, 2003.


Leaving Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse for Cancer Care Ontario...

Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), the Preventive Oncology Division, announced that Helene Gagne is joining the team as a Senior Planner starting October 16, 2003. John Garcia, Director of the Preventive Oncology Division writes, "Helene Gagne worked at the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse (OPC) as a health promotion consultant for the last 13 years ( Helene is an experienced bilingual consultant specializing in program development, organizational development and training on health promotion strategies. Helene's work emphasized French-speaking community groups and developing comprehensive French language services. She provided leadership to the Francophone stream of the Ontario Health Promotion Summer School and the Francophone Best Practices in Health Promotion project (joint initiatives with the Centre of Health Promotion)."

Helene's adds, "It is with sadness that I leave OPC and my colleagues. The last 13 years were wonderful and rich in opportunities to advance the field of health promotion. I will take great memories and networks to my new job. I am looking forward to joining the Preventive Oncology Division at CCO ( and I hope that my new work will allow me to stay in touch with most of you."


Moving from Coordinator to Management...

Natalie Champion left her position as Chronic Disease Program Coordinator (including Heart Health) on August 26, 2003, and began a Management position within the Porcupine Health Unit. She says "It has been a great experience working in Heart Health and I wish all of you great success with its future. Please contact Jennifer McLeod, Manager of Health Promotion & Clinical Services, for any future inquiries at"


Back from Maternity Leave...

Tracy Howson, Acting Manager of the Heart Health Resource Centre (HHRC), writes that Lisa Mitchell returned from maternity leave on September 15 (Lisa's daughter Lucie recently turned one!): "Lisa and Karima [Kassam] will be sharing the position of project coordinator...Lisa will be working Monday and Tuesday and every other Wednesday. Similarly, Karima will work Thursday and Friday, and the alternate Wednesday. We are very fortunate to have such talented people working for the HHRC. Please join me in welcoming Lisa back."