Community Health is... equity focused, data-driven, people-centred, social prescribing, inclusive, digital equity, Essential

#Community health is essential. So is wider support for the work it does.

essential, adjective & noun

Definition: Absolutely necessary, indispensably requisite.

Where do we turn (or want to be able to): In a crisis, during a pandemic, when we get sick, when we need help for our families, children, or neighbours, when we celebrate, when we want to feel strong: Close to home. Our communities. And the organizations that serve us there.

We might live in an ever-more (digitally) connected world that seems bigger and braver. But we have all learned over several years that we live and depend on the people and services closest to home. Community health organizations – Community Health Centres, Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations, Community Family Health teams, and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics – are among those key and increasingly essential parts of the health system that we depend on to help us when we need it, and to help keep us healthy to begin with. From mental health services and groups to pathways for housing and food support, from early childhood care to seniors care, from services for newcomers to outreach for isolated people in rural and remote areas, community health is essential in thousands of different ways across Ontario every single day.

The Alliance for Healthier Communities and its 109 members celebrate Community Health and Wellbeing Week 2023. We’re calling on communities, leaders, and healthier community builders, advocates, and champions to join us. Ontario needs to strengthen its community health sector with investments like never before, so they can be ready now, and in the future to serve the health and wellbeing needs of people across the province. To reach the vision of equitable health and well-being for everyone living in Ontario, we have to plan for the health workforce of the future, lead with health equity and improved health for all, and build on what data shows works in our health system – comprehensive, preventative, team-based care that’s integrated with health, social and other community programs and services.

WHEN: October 16 to 22, 2023

Theme: Community Health is Essential

Community health is essential in thousands of different ways. Join us this October in telling stories that support the work done every day to keep people healthy.

#Community Health & Wellbeing Week and Human Connection Events Listing >>

#Key messages:

  1. Community health is proven.

Proven to work for people and communities at comprehensive primary care, disease prevention and health and wellbeing. Proven at improving breast cancer screening rates, rates of effective diabetes care, and effective at helping people maintain complex chronic conditions while living in their communities. Proven to be efficient and effective at helping complex clients manage mental health and substance issues through a broad spectrum of care including harm reduction and safer supply. Proven to work. Proven to be accountable to the communities it serves. Proven to address the inequities people face in accessing safe, accessible, and culturally appropriate care. Proven to meet community needs. Proven to be there in a crisis.

  1. Community health helps people.

Helps people access primary health care where they live. Helps people navigate the health system. Helps people understand their health. Helps people meet unmet needs: housing, food, transportation, medications, oral health care … [add items] and much more. Helps people take control of their health. Helps people access care in their own language. Helps people who face barriers, like racism and poverty, when accessing health care. Helps people where they’re at, with outreach, mobile units and satellite locations. Helps people by listening to people. Helps people find a place to belong. Helps people design a better health system that works for them.

  1. Community health is essential.

Essential for health equity. Essential for an effective health system. Essential to a connected health care system. Essential to supporting effective access to primary health care. Essential to belonging. Essential in cities. Essential in rural areas. Essential in the North. Community health is critical to the health and well-being of people and communities.

  1. Community health is under-resourced.

Organizations and teams that play essential roles in our communities and our lives require support and resources to do the work they do. Even if we don’t call on their services every day, or ever, we need to know they’re there, able to help keep our communities healthy, especially in a crisis. To keep community health organizations strong, we call for them to be supported by all levels of government. Community health is under-resourced and is essential to healthy communities, so we need to be confident it can meet our needs now, and in the future.



Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Oct 16 Oct 17 Oct 18 Oct 19 Oct 20 Oct 21 Oct 22
Harm Reduction

Climate Change

Queen's Park Lobby Day Social Prescribing Conference - Cultivating Connections: Pathways to Wellbeing

Social Prescribing for Human Connection

Homelessness and Other Social Determinants of Health Digital Equity

#Activities and Materials:

#Events: Community Health & Wellbeing Week and Human Connection Events Listing >>

Please note: You can submit events organized to celebrate CHWW 2023 using this link -