Journal Information
Journal ID (publisher-id): OJPHI
ISSN: 1947-2579
Publisher: University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Article Information
©2013 the author(s)
open-access: This is an Open Access article. Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and OJPHI are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes.
Electronic publication date: Day: 4 Month: 4 Year: 2013
collection publication date: Year: 2013
Volume: 5E-location ID: e193
Publisher Id: ojphi-05-193

Advancing Surveillance Outside the USA: The Canadian Policy, Practice, and Research Context
Effie Gournis*12
David Buckeridge34
1Toronto Public Health, Toronto, ON, Canada;
2Dalla Lana School of Public Health - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada;
3McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada;
4Direction de Sante Publique de Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
*Effie Gournis, E-mail:

  1. To explore how ISDS can better support researchers and public health practitioners working in the field of disease surveillance outside the United States; and
  2. To identify current surveillance issues in the Canadian public health system where ISDS can support dialogue and action.

The international Society for Disease Surveillance has success-fully brought together practitioners and researchers to share tools, ideas, and strategies to strengthen health surveillance systems. The Society has evolved from an initial focus on syndromic surveillance to a broader consideration of innovation in health surveillance. More recently, ISDS has also worked to support surveillance research and practice in International resource-constrained settings. Individuals who work in surveillance in developed countries outside the USA, however, have received little direct attention from ISDS. The policy and practice contexts in these countries are often quite different than the USA, so there is a need to support surveillance innovation in these countries in a manner that fits the context. Canadian surveillance practitioners and researchers comprise the largest International group of ISDS members, and these members have expressed an interest in working with ISDS to translate surveillance innovations into prac-tice in Canada, where a national surveillance network and forum is lacking. This Round Table will consider how ISDS can help to sup-port members in countries like Canada and will identify next steps for promoting the science and practice of disease surveillance in the Canadian context.


Individuals attending the ISDS 2012 Conference with an interest in public health surveillance in Canada or other similar countries out-side the USA will be invited to discuss how ISDS can better support their activities. The discussion will be structured around questions and results received for a survey circulated to Canadian ISDS mem-bers. The goal will be to discuss whether there is a specific formal role ISDS can play in helping members in Canada and other similar coun-tries working in public health surveillance.


Discussion will be prompted through sharing results of a recent survey distributed to all Canadian ISDS members and affiliates aimed at gauging their interest in developing a Canadian focused group within ISDS, whether they believe there is a need, and how we might accomplish this. The survey questions, range of answers, and impli-cations to future actions suggested in survey responses would drive the discussion.

Article Categories:
  • ISDS 2012 Conference Abstracts

Keywords: International surveillance, Canada, Surveillance network.