Toronto, ON – Five years after the SARS outbreak, Ontario has reached a milestone in the overhaul of emergency health planning with the appointment of the founding president and CEO of the new Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, the province’s first ever, arms-length public health agency.
Dr Vivek Goel – currently vice-president and provost at the University of Toronto – will head the new agency, which is modeled on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Located at MaRS, the office will be named the Sheela Basrur Centre after the former Ontario chief medical officer of health and medical officer of health for the city of Toronto during the SARS outbreak.
“Dr Vivek Goel is one of the most respected health care researchers and population health scientists in the province,” said Dr David Walker, board chair of the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. “His extensive experience in health care evaluation and research, his administrative skills and training and above all his passion for the future of this new agency make him an ideal choice to head up the new agency.”
Currently vice-president and provost at the University of Toronto, Dr Goel is also a professor in the departments of health policy,management and evaluation and public health sciences. He is also adjunct senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Program in eHealth Innovation at University Health Network. He was president of the Central East Health Information Partnership, an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funded health intelligence unit. From 1999 to 2002 he was the scientific program leader at the Health Evidence Applications Linkages Network (HEALNet), a federal network of centres of excellence.
He has been engaged in a broad range of research activities related to public health, particularly focusing on chronic disease prevention and control. These research activities include the economic evaluation of health care interventions, optimization of the use of laboratory tests in the periodic health examination and the development of measures for health status assessment.