Health Issues


Aligning its work with the strategic directions of the Council on Aging of Ottawa (COA), the Health Issues Committee works with and for older adults to improve their quality of life by influencing public policy, program decisions and practices related to health and health care.


  • Advise the board of COA on issues, policies, opportunities and direction regarding health and health care that affect older adults in the Ottawa region.
  • Engage and consult with older adults as required regarding their health and health care concerns.
  • Collaborate with system partners to identify, prioritize, study, develop and implement strategies to address health care issues affecting older adults.
  • Collaborate with other COA committees to address learning needs and to develop and implement strategies related to health and health care.
  • Develop, implement and monitor the committee annual workplan aligned with COA strategic directions.
  • Establish ad hoc workgroups as relevant for addressing specific issues.



With the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in long-term care homes in our city and across the province and country, the Council on Aging of Ottawa (COA) is unwavering in its commitment to improving care in this sector.  Pre-existing and systemic vulnerabilities as well as values and attitudes towards seniors’ care have been laid bare by this pandemic.  This has happened despite extensive recommendations by experts, over many decades, for improvements in LTC. This includes specific recommendations for managing pandemics, for example in the 2006 report of the Ontario's SARS Commission. We need permanent improvements to LTC. This will require adequate funding and support for a vital service in this community. And we need it now! Read more


In late 2019, the Board approved the report Long-Term Care in Ottawa: We Need Change Now! that outlined the COA’s vision for long-term care, identified four priorities for change and highlighted measures for monitoring these needed changes. The original plan to release the report with a public event this spring was understandably cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More


Take Charge of Your Health: From 2014-2017 approximately 500 seniors were involved in all aspects of the development and delivery, or as participants of COA’s volunteer-led Take Charge of Your Health peer-learning program.  The program was held in 13 locations throughout the city.

Presented Take Charge of Your Health Poster at the Regional Geriatric Program Poster session in October 2017.


Long-Term Care Working Group (2018-present)

Health Literacy Working Group (2014-2017)


The committee will consist of 12 to 15 members. The committee will endeavour to include:

  • Older adults who have experience (personal and/or professional or as caregiver) and interest in health and health care issues.
  • Professionals from the various sectors of the health care continuum, namely: primary care; home care; community support; public health; mental health; palliative/hospice care; hospital – acute and non-acute; specialized services for older adults; long term care; retirement home and domiciliary.
  • Individuals with other knowledge and expertise such as public policy, academia, communication, administration and advocacy.
  • The membership should also be representative of our diverse community, including francophone, indigenous, ethno-cultural and LGBTQ.