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Incoming Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences to advise province on pandemic response

The Government of Ontario has named Dr. Jane Philpott a special advisor on a new health data platform that will improve prevention and response to COVID-19.

Dr. Jane Philpott
Incoming Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Dr. Jane Philpott has been named by the provincial government as a special advisor on a new health data platform. 

Several Queen’s experts have played an active role in helping the Government of Ontario respond to the ongoing pandemic. Jane Philpott, who begins her term as dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences on July 1, is now joining the effort as well.

On June 4, the province announced that Dr. Philpott had been appointed as the special advisor to support the design and implementation of the new Ontario Health Data Platform, a tool that will help researchers and health systems better respond to COVID-19.

“Whether on the frontlines of health care or as a medical educator or in this new role as special advisor, I'm honoured to be part of Ontario's fight against COVID-19,” Dr. Philpott said in a release issued by the Ontario government. "This integrated data platform is an essential element in the province's response to the pandemic. I look forward to watching how it will facilitate a broad range of health research and support quality improvements in clinical care.”

The Ontario Health Data Platform is being developed in consultation with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner. The information that the platform will gather will help researchers to increase detection of COVID-19; discover risk factors for vulnerable populations; predict when and where outbreaks may happen; evaluate the effectiveness of preventative and treatment measures; and identify where to allocate equipment and other resources.

“Dr. Philpott has extensive leadership experience in the health care system and her advice will be invaluable as we finalize the creation of the Ontario Health Data Platform,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a release issued by the Ontario government. “This data platform will provide our world-class researchers and health system partners with secure access to better and more consistent population data, improving decision-making in health care and aiding our efforts to beat COVID-19.”

At the federal government level, Dr. Philpott served Minister of Health, Minister of Indigenous Services, and as President of the Treasury Board. She was announced as the next dean of Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences in February and will succeed Richard Reznick in the role.

To learn more about the Ontario Health Data Platform and Dr. Philpott’s appointment, see the Ontario government’s website.

To learn more about how Queen’s experts are playing a leading role in advising the Ontario government’s response to COVID-19, see the interviews the Gazette conducted with Troy Day and Chris Simpson. Dr. Day, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is serving on the Provincial COVID-19 Modelling Table. And Dr. Simpson, Vice-Dean (Clinical) of the Faculty of Health Sciences, is serving as the clinical science lead on Ontario Health’s COVID-19 Health System Response Oversight Table.