Reporting to the Manager of the Toronto Food Strategy, the Health Policy Specialist works closely with the chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council and the 30 member council. The Health Policy Specialist facilitates collaboration and dialogue with city divisions and other food system stakeholders including farmers, food industry, environmental and public health practitioners and researchers, foundations, academic institutions and policy-makers. Contributes to Toronto Food Strategy initiatives
- Provides leadership in the analysis, development, implementation and evaluation of complex public policies that have influence/impact on the health of people who live, work and play in Toronto
- Monitors the broad political and policy environment related to social, environmental, and economic issues as they impact on health
- Identifies emerging issues/trends related to population health and health inequities
- Examines and provides consultation on issues and develops policy options and recommendations in order to provide divisional and corporate leadership in advocacy and healthy public policy
- Leads and coordinates project teams. Develops and implements project plans for work assignments, ensuring delivery of all components within prescribed timelines
- Provides expert advice and consultation to the Medical Officer of Health, Senior Management the Board of Health and other relevant stakeholders on health issues
- Utilizes relevant theory/frameworks to guide complex policy analysis, development, and evaluation
- Analyzes policy related literature and reports produced by others including other city divisions, other public health units, academics, other levels of government, other jurisdictions, non-government organizations, think tanks, and Centres of Excellence
- Contributes to the development and implementation of consultations, roundtables, and policy dialogues with key stakeholders, including community groups, other city divisions, other sectors, including the private sector, and elected officials
- Conducts situational analyses, environmental scans and jurisdictional reviews
- Generates and evaluates a range of policy options, assesses the feasibility, costs, benefits, and implications of various options, and recommends viable options and implementation strategies
- Establishes, fosters and maintains collaborative working relationships with key stakeholders including, but not limited to, Toronto Public Health staff, as well as staff from other City divisions, other municipalities, the provincial and federal governments, Non Government Organizations and elected officials
- Leads the research for and writing of comprehensive and concise briefing materials, discussion papers, options papers, technical and policy reports, position statements, and Board of Health/Committee reports related to healthy public policy issues to inform decision making
- Prepares and makes presentations to and responds to inquiries from senior divisional and other City staff, elected officials, community agencies and the public
- Represents the Division and communicates divisional priorities at professional and community meetings, workshops and committees
- Master’s degree preparation in Health, Social Sciences or Environmental Sciences or an equivalent combination of a baccalaureate degree and extensive experience relevant to the primary duties of the position.
- Experience with food policy, food security and food system issues.
- Experience in community development and capacity building, public education and advocacy, including the ability to engage a wide variety of stakeholders including farmers, food activists, food industry, diverse communities and politicians.
- Experience in facilitation of complex community groups, team building and conflict management.
- Experience in project management, policy research and analysis, planning and advocacy.
Must also have:
- Knowledge and ability to apply the determinants of health, access and equity principles.
- Strong communication written and verbal skills.
- Proficiency with MS Office, including Word and PowerPoint.
- Ability to work at a leadership level with city divisions and external organizations dealing with food system issues.
- Ability to work with food experts and others to design innovative food policies, programs, training and education.
- Ability to work flexible hours, which may include overtime, shift work, evenings and weekends.
- Ability to attend meetings in all areas of Toronto and occasionally outside the GTA.
- Ability to work cooperatively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
- Ability to work effectively within a municipal government context.
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