In 2018, a group of Black health leaders in Ontario formed the Black Health Committee (BHC) to use their positions as leaders of community health organizations to improve health outcomes for all Black people and communities in Ontario. This Strategy provides a long-term, evidence-informed policy framework as part of the overarching vision to improve Black health. This Strategy builds on previous work undertaken to address social determinants of health for Black people and communities in Ontario, including improving health services. It adopts an assets-based and anti-Black racist approach to inform the delivery of health services by community health centres and other community health organizations across Ontario.
The Black Health Strategy was launched on April 14, 2022. Watch a recording of the virtual launch event below.
The Strategy emphasizes that addressing anti-Black racism is central to improving the health of Black people in Ontario and essential to affirming our right to attaining and maintaining healthy lives and having access to health services without fear of racial discrimination. Further, this Strategy entails targets and processes that are the cornerstone of the BHC’s targeted approach to community health centres and other members of the Alliance for Healthier Communities to ensure Black people accessing care at these centres enjoy the same standard of health as other people living in Ontario. The three-year timeframe of this strategy comes at a critical time in ongoing efforts to address health disparities for Black people living in Ontario. Our collective efforts must be targeted to ensure the best outcomes can be realized.
To help achieve this, the Black Health Committee undertakes to:
- Coalesce actors working across governments and sectors to address health disparities through the delivery of quality care to Black people in Ontario.
- Advocate for investments to make Ontario’s health systems accessible, culturally safe, and appropriate, effective, and responsive for all Black people in Ontario.
- Promote the attainment of good health and well-being for Black communities in Ontario across our life course by addressing the intersecting issues of anti-Black racism and other social determinants of health.
About the Black Health Committee:
The Black Health Committee is a permanent committee of the Alliance for Healthier Communities. It is comprised of Black health leaders of community health centres and members of the Alliance for Healthier Communities. Collectively, our work and the success that it has is built on the partnership structures that underpin it. Addressing anti-Black racism and how it blights the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve is at the heart of this Strategy. Our ambition is to support the development of people-centred health programs, holistically considering the historical context that frames Ontario’s Black communities’ individual and community health needs. In doing this work, we seek to reorient health programs and health policy-making process to make significant investments in strengthening people-centred care and integrated health system that engages social and political actors at all levels to consider adequately, engage and demonstrate leadership to address anti-Black racism in our societies and its contribution to ill-health.
The Black Health Committee is chaired by Francis Garwe, CEO, Carea Community Health Centre and its members are Angela Robertson, Executive Director - Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre; Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director - Black Creek Community Health Centre; Florence Ngenzebuhoro, Executive Director - Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto; Keddone Dias, Executive Director - LAMP Community Health Centres; Liben Gebremikael, Executive Director - TAIBU Community Health Centre; Lori-Ann Green Walker, Executive Director - Women’s Health In Women’s Hands Community Health Centre; Paulos Gebreyesus, Executive Director - Regent Park Community Health Centre; Safia Ahmed, Executive Director - Rexdale Community Health Centre; Simone Atungo, Chief Executive Officer - Vibrant Healthcare Alliance; and Nhlaloenhle Ndawana, Executive Director, Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre.