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Concurrent Sessions

Wednesday, June 16 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Collaborative Governance in OHTs

The purpose of this highly engaged session is to have an open and honest dialogue about the broad range of experiences in emerging OHT design, development and implementation, and learn how governors can support their organizations, and executive directors/CEOs, to be system leaders. The session will explore the notions of collaborative governance and collaborative decision-making, and will look at what it means for governors to think beyond their organization, incorporate system planning and manage multiple levels of accountability. We will also look at formal collaborative governance structures, processes and practices that can help strengthen relationships between OHT partners, enable continuous trust building and sustain collaborative governance in the OHT environment after the Collaborative Decision-Making Agreement has been signed.

Presenters: Ross Baker, Professor, University of Toronto; Paula Blackstien-Hirsch, Principal, Quality thru Improvement

Advancing Indigenous Cultural Safety Through Organizational Change

Creating culturally safe environments for Indigenous clients, staff and health care providers requires transformative change at the individual, organizational and health system levels. While many organizations have taken the important first step of providing training to staff about implicit bias and the link between colonization and Indigenous health outcomes, there is also a need to acknowledge that systemic racism exists and to design targeted organizational change initiatives that address it. In this session, participants will be introduced to the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council’s organizational change framework and explore how it can be used to identify and address the hidden and often unintentional ways that bias is integrated into policies, processes, and programs within community health settings.

Presenters: Rafa Khan, Junior Policy Analyst, and Mallika Patil, Project Coordinator, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council

Partnerships for Racial Equity

Engaging with health and non-health sector partners to contribute to effective local strategies is an essential part of a sustainable approach to reducing health inequities. This workshop, offered by the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH), will offer participants a practical approach to creating and sustaining multi-sectoral partnerships to move towards a culture of racial equity. Using a combination of presentations and interactive exercises, this workshop will build the skills and confidence of participants to design effective strategies for partnerships that advance racial equity within their practice to create substantive change and address health inequities.

Presenter: Dianne Oickle, Knowledge Translation Specialist, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health; Pemma Muzumdar, Knowledge Translation Specialist, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health

Mieux-être des jeunes enfants francophones = adultes outillés, « santé mentale 0 à 4 » (SESSION PRESENTED IN FRENCH)

La séance visera à sensibiliser le public aux objectifs actuels en ce qui concerne les interventions globales, culturellement et linguistiquement appropriées, et les programmes de promotion de la santé afin d’améliorer la santé et le développement des enfants (de 0 à 4 ans) et de leurs familles francophones en Ontario. Nous aimerions également engager des discussions sur l’amélioration de l’accès aux programmes de promotion de la santé de la petite enfance pour les familles francophones de l’Ontario.

Presenters: Katerina Firlova and Léa Plazanet, Health Nexus

Addressing barriers to healthcare with technology

In today’s healthcare climate, access to technology has an increasingly important relationship with access to healthcare. Technology can be effectively utilized to mitigate socio-economic factors such as language barriers, no access to transportation, having to choose between work and care, and other determinants that impact on health. Whether providing in-person or virtual care, technology can enable collaboration between the healthcare teams and patients, advance an equitable health system, and help improve the health and well-being for those facing barriers.

Presenters: Rohit Prakash and Alison Foster, TELUS Health

Measuring Health Equity: What Matters to You?

How can we improve efforts to ensure that everyone in Canada receives equitable health services? In this panel discussion, we will take you on a journey that explores CIHI’s work on health equity and our race-based and Indigenous identity data standards. You will hear how this aligns with the work of the Ontario Alliance for Healthier Communities. You’ll also get a sneak peek at how this important work can support data collected in virtual care.

Panelists: Zannat Reza, CIHI; Neha Ahmed, CIHI
Moderator: Jennifer Rayner, Director, Research and Evaluation, Alliance for Healthier Communities


Equity over Equality: The Need to Improve Diabetes Health Literacy
One size does not fit all, and not all clients learn in the same ways. Understanding individuals’ health literacy levels is an important step to understanding an individuals needs. By doing so, we can offer appropriate and accessible information at the same health literacy level of individuals, which can be beneficial in improving chronic conditions such as diabetes, leading to better health outcomes.

Presenter: Nazli Parast, Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator, Centretown Community Health Centre, Community Diabetes Education Program of Ottawa


Informing Social Prescription: Virtual peer-led ROM tours for equity-seeking people living with chronic conditions
As Canadians age, chronic conditions are growing concerns that impact individual well-being. Museum engagement can improve well-being for people with chronic conditions (Fancourt & Finn, 2019; Pennington et al., 2019). Although arts-based programs have demonstrated positive outcomes, research to examine virtual peer-led museum tours for well-being is needed. This session will describe experiences of individuals living with chronic conditions who attended virtual Royal Ontario Museum tours in Toronto. The tours involved using objects to facilitate discussions of power, community, storytelling, migration and mental health. Presenters will discuss how self-management programs and adoption of social prescribing to virtual peer-led museum tours can positively impact well-being.

Presenters: Katrina Fackelmann, Master of Occupational Therapy Student Researcher, University of Toronto; Jessica Shih, Master of Occupational Therapy Student Researcher, University of Toronto


How to adapt creative art interventions for homeless and low-income women during the pandemic
For the past 20 years, Regent Park Community Health Centre has organized a weekly Art Afternoon program for women who deal with extreme poverty, homelessness, severe mental health issues, addiction and violence. Program evaluations have demonstrated extremely high participant satisfaction and engagement, reduced social isolation, increased self-esteem, and greater access to health and social resources and counselling in the community. Due to the pandemic, unfortunately the art program could no longer be held in person, leaving many of these women further isolated. To respond to this gap in services, program staff creatively implemented various innovative strategies to allow women to continue receiving the benefits of creating and engaging with art.

Presenters: Josie Ricciardi, Manager of Community Health Workers, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Regent Park Community Health Centre; Flavia Genovese, Regent Park Community Health Centre


Our Community - Our Voices: A Community Ambassador Model of Engagement during the Pandemic
Community Ambassadors play crucial roles in enhancing access to COVID-19 testing in northwest Toronto, and have helped to inform Black Creek Community Health Centre’s local response to the pandemic. In a community as diverse as Black Creek-Humber River, Community Ambassadors draw on their lived experience, cultural understanding, and social networks to do outreach and engage with vulnerable clients and community residents who are at high risk for contracting or transmitting COVID-19. Ambassadors are instrumental in promoting COVID-19 testing clinics in the community, sharing reliable information within the community, and connecting residents with the supports they need.

Presenters: Tamanah Sultani, Health Promoter, Black Creek Community Health Centre; Michelle Westin, Senior Analyst-Planning, Quality and Risk, Black Creek Community Health Centre

Wednesday, June 16 | 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Advancing Health Equity in OHTs: Governors’ Role

As Ontario’s health system undergoes transformation to better integrate health, social and community services, it offers a unique opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing and equitable access to care for people and communities facing barriers. Alliance members have a long history of advancing health equity, and as Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) continue to evolve, governors and leadership have an important role to play ensuring health equity remains on the agenda. Grounded in the Health Equity Charter, this session will explore strategies, tools and frameworks to advance health equity through OHTs: from building a shared culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, to collecting socio-demographic and race-based data, meaningfully including key voices at various decision-making tables and co-designing with those who are most marginalized and face the most barriers in your communities. The session will also include small group discussions for participants to share their experiences, successes and challenges advancing health equity in their OHTs.

Presenters: Anna Greenberg, Chief, Strategy and Planning, Ontario Health, Jennifer Rayner, Director, Research and Evaluation, Alliance for Healthier Communities; Iman Mohamed, Vice-Chair, Somerset West Community Health Centre

Addressing Climate Change - a Unique Role for CHCs

This skill-building workshop will build on the Alliance’s recently adopted resolution on Climate Change. This session will draw on the facilitators’ recent scan of community health centres in Canada involved in environment-related programming. It will open with workshop participants sharing their experiences. We will then provide a primer on climate change, the connections to health, and possible roles for CHCs. These examples will seed a discussion exploring ways that participants can initiate or accelerate climate change related programming in their CHCs. Finally, we will explore how to collectively support each other in addressing climate change in a CHC context.

Presenters: Paul Young, Health Promoter, South Riverdale Community Health Centre; Gary Machan Community Development Consultant, CSC Chigamik CHC

Health and the Hidden Violence of Race: Examining the Impact of Anti-Black Racism in the time of COVID-19

Early data of the COVID-19 crisis, broken down by race, is alarming. In places where race-based data has been collected, it is clear that COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black, racialized, and poor communities at rates not commensurate with their population proportion. Recent data from Toronto Public Health has shown that in Toronto, Canada’s most multicultural and multiracial city, 14 percent of COVID-19 cases are among Black people, who make up only 9 percent of the population. Understanding the impact of racism and discrimination is too often limited to its consequences on social opportunities (education, job, housing, etc.) and forms of explicit structural violence. But its articulation with health distribution and quality of life are sometimes overlooked, especially policy-making. This session will focus on the bio-political aspect of the COVID-19, a pandemic that continues to ravages black communities by presenting a through-line on anti-black racism in Canada and how it structures health access to treatment.

Presenters: Liben Gebremikael, Executive Director, TAIBU Community Health Centre, Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director, Black Creek Community Health Centre

Rural Mobile Health Outreach: Trust Built on Socks & Snacks

A review of a pilot, Nurse Practitioner-led mobile health outreach program in Oxford County. A low barrier “street medicine” model of healthcare and outreach services unique to people living in rural communities who are greatly affected by homelessness, addictions, mental and physical health concerns. Conversation regarding the power of connections made and the lessons learned.

Presenters: Jennifer Stock, Nurse Practitioner, Oxford County CHC; Amanda Cook, Community Outreach Worker, Oxford County CHC; Abbie Boesterd, Community Outreach Worker, Oxford County CHC

Raising the Bar on 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in Community, Health and Social Services

Despite significant efforts to build 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion within community, health, and social services over the past decade, 2SLGBTQ+ communities continue to face stigma, discrimination and ignorance when accessing care. This session will provide an alternative approach that moves away from one-off workshops and towards an implementation-based model able to effectively change organizational cultures and services. Through an implementation-based approach, organizations can develop and implement effective strategies to move 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion forward by building relationships with local 2SLGBTQ+ communities and strengthening service provider competencies working with 2SLGBTQ+ service users. We’ll also look at how this approach can support the introduction of policies and procedures to raise the bar on 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion with an organization.

Presenter: Fae Johnstone, Principal Consultant, Wisdom2Action


Combining digital health and practice support to improve care coordination and chronic disease management in Northern Ontario communities
This session introduces an innovative population health management approach to address referral barriers faced by many primary care providers (PCPs) and to provide better care management for COVID-19 vulnerable patients. Electronic Medical Record (EMR)-integrated tools and practice improvement support are delivered to PCPs to manage high-risk patients using the Telehomecare program. Patients enrolled in the Telehomecare program are monitored and triaged by the program’s staff, who engage the resources required to further support patient care. Care coordination is strengthened with PCPs receiving notifications and reports from the provincial Telehomecare program in their EMRs for key events, such as enrolment notification and progress reports.

Presenters: Simon Ling, Executive Director, Products and Services, OntarioMD; Reza Talebi, Manager, Practice Engagement - Client Services and Engagement, OntarioMD


Power in APPreciation: Innovating to support digital health equity
Inequity is a real-life experience, regardless of which world you’re in: the real or the virtual. In this spotlight, we’ll go beyond TEAMS and ZOOM channels we have all recently become more accustomed to. We will show you how we innovated to quickly to adapt to COVID-19 constraints, allowing clients capacity to access our services in a multi-pronged way that kept them safe and connected. We will showcase our volunteer tracker app, COVID-19 screening app, flu-clinic booking app, and PPE management app to highlight thinking that can transform models of care delivery to address inequitable access to healthcare, during the pandemic and beyond.

Presenter: Callum Tyrrell, VP, Innovation and Improvement, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities


Cyber Security – pay now or pay (way more) later
With tight funding across the board, what should leadership be focusing on to maintain a reasonable cybersecurity posture? What are some low or no cost ways to implement reasonable safeguards to protect your organization? This session will enhance your understanding of the importance of safeguarding data in the digital age.

Presenter: Rodney Burns, Chief Information Officer, Alliance for Healthier Communities


Black Creek Community Health Centre’s Primary Care in Interpersonal Health Teams and Digital Equity

Black Creek CHC primary care providers have been actively involved in Interpersonal Health teams through:

  • COVID-19 pop-up testing clinics
  • Portable blood pressure machines program
  • Food security services and support
  • A variety of services, programs and equipment to increase digital access to the Jane/Finch community in Toronto
  • Virtual health care services and programs
  • A laptop accessibility program
  • An online Client experience survey

Session participants will learn about how these service adaptations and innovations were made during COVID-19 and the impacts they have for clients’ health equity.

Presenters: Doris Forlemu-Kamwa, Senior Director of Primary Care, Black Creek Community Health Centre; Maniola Sejrani, Health Navigator, Black Creek Community Health Centre

Thursday, June 17 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Anti-Black Racism: Responding to the Crisis of Then and Now

Important developments over the past few years, including the growing Black Lives Matter movement and increased awareness of Canada’s colonial legacy and its ongoing impacts on Indigenous people, have highlighted the pervasive, systemic nature of racism in all modern day institutions. These developments have also brought to light the responsibility we all have to confront and dismantle racism. This session will look at how racism, especially against Black people, manifests in the healthcare system, its negative impacts on their individual and collective wellbeing, and what role governors across the province have to play in addressing anti-Black racism in our own practices and organizations, as well as the broader healthcare system and society at large.

Presenter: Simone Donaldson, Founder, Agapé Lens Consulting and Therapy

Build organizational capacity to support the health and wellbeing of Francophones in your community

There are Francophones in nearly every community in Ontario and they are a diverse, highly-intersectional population with diverse needs when it comes to health and social care.

In this session, organizations (both non-Francophone and Francophone) will learn about shifting trends in Ontario’s French speaking populations, the various intersectionalities with other marginalized groups, and how to leverage supports such as the French Language Health Planning Entities and French-led / Bilingual organizations among the Alliance membership and in your regions.

Presenters: Lisa Gotell, Executive Director, Entité 4; Sébastien Skrobos, Executive Director, Entité 2

Making the Invisible visible: How can we get support if no one thinks we are there?

The "invisibility" of the LGBTQ+ community in a heterosexist society is a constant source of concern and places our community at great risk in terms of our emotional, physical and mental health, safety and stability. The invisibility of our community plays out in a number of different ways that we will examine and discuss. We will specifically look at and hear about our invisibility in data collection and in rural settings. We will take a look at the detrimental effects of invisibility and isolation on specific parts of our community such as LGBTQ+ youth and seniors, as well as Transgender, third-gender and non-binary people. We will also share some ways to reduce invisibility and isolation through the use of digital platforms that increase visibility and connectedness.

Presenters: Celeste Turner, LGBTQ2+ Support Coordinator, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre; Racquel Bremmer, Manager, Clinical and Allied Health Team, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre

Confronting the Truth: Black Women’s Narratives of Empowerment and ‘Essential’ Exploitation During COVID-19

At Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre (WHIWH-CHC), we have witnessed how Black women have been forced to maintain the Strong Black Woman schema, internalizing ideals such as independence and self-sacrifice, to be essential workers and navigate global trauma perpetuated by systemic inequities. This population has also endured the following: grief, depression, anxiety, poverty, negotiating safety in workplaces, financial stressors, and other mental health challenges. This active learning session aims to identify the unique structural inequalities experienced by Black women during the pandemic, engage in meaningful discussion, and amplify narratives of empowerment.

Presenters: Joelleann Forbes, Mental Health Therapist, Women's Health in Women's Hands

Culinary Activism: Prioritizing Nutrition in Harm Reduction

It has been well documented that people who use drugs disproportionately experience food insecurity. People are currently dealing with the triple crisis of homelessness, the overdose crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is no secret that inadequate nutrition or lack of nutrient-dense food negatively impacts our physical and mental health. However, we also need to focus on the social, psychological and soul impacts of not having a place to eat with community, not having enough to eat, and not having a choice in what you eat and the fact that all of these factors are amplified in the context of the global pandemic. Through a partnership formed between Somerset West Community Health Centre, Parkdale Food Centre and local food businesses we have had the chance to see how cross-sectoral partnerships can help us truly meet the needs of all our neighbours.

Presenters: Karen Secord, Executive Director of The Parkdale Food Centre, Parkdale Food Centre; Callie Lathem, Harm Reduction Worker and Health Promoter, Somerset West Community Health Centre; Carley Schelck, Partner and CEO, The Urban Element; Simon Bell, Kitchen Manager, Parkdale Food Centre; Thalia Cirelli

Virtual healthcare, privacy and digital equity – where do they intersect?

With COVID-19 minimizing in-person appointments with clients, numerous healthcare providers moved to secure virtual platforms to allow for audio-video connection. However, anybody with a slow and unreliable Internet connection and/or incompatible devices was left out. Email and text messages/instant messages aren’t considered secure and private enough to allow for use in care delivery. This presentation will address these issues and provide guidance on the use of communication channels that are still frowned upon, and how they can be used to achieve digital equity, especially for those facing socio-economic barriers to health.

Presenters: Simeon Kanev, Privacy Business Lead, Alliance for Healthier Communities; Rodney Burns, Chief Information Officer, Alliance for Healthier Communities


Extension of Simulation-Based Learning to Reception Staff
Hospital reception staff were required to expand their responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including respiratory illness screening. Reception at Casey House Hospital also experienced increased after-hours activity in our vestibule where harm reduction supplies are available 24/7. Incident reports and client feedback highlighted an opportunity to better equip reception staff to identify situations requiring attention and communicate these with clinical staff. In this session, we will share our experiences extending simulation-based learning to non-clinical staff to build this knowledge and confidence. These learnings are useful for all healthcare facilities to improve teamwork and client experiences during these times of increasing community needs.

Presenters: Andra Cardow, Advanced Practice Nurse, Casey House; others to be determined


Primary Care Collaborative Drive-Through Flu Clinic
In an effort to reduce the number of cases of influenza, thereby keeping people healthy and leaving hospital space available for COVID-19 patients, the Niagara Falls Community Health Centre collaborated with other primary care teams and the City of Niagara Falls to provide an accessible way for the community to get their flu shots during the pandemic. To meet the needs of marginalized populations, walk-up and drive through options were made available to the community. The community health centre partnered with other organizations to provide transportation assisance for clients, and to provide a safe, accessible space to receive flu immunization. Close to 3,700 folks were immunized over eight sessions, demonstrating the value of primary care collaborations. This session will examine the steps taken to set up this service and the key enablers of collaboration.

Presenter: Carolyn Dyer, Director of Primary Care and Community Health, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre


Building a Culture of Best Practice: Quest Community Health Centre’s Best Practice Spotlight Organization Pre-Designate Project Journey
Quest Community Health Centre, located in St. Catharines, Ontario, is currently engaged as a pre-designate organization in the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization accreditation project. With a three-year project timeline (2018-2021), Quest’s interdisciplinary team is evaluating the use of five clinical best practice guidelines in daily practice. Specific implementation plans have been developed, based on the results of a service gap analysis relevant to the recommendations contained within each best practice guideline.

Presenters: Jenny Stranges, Program Director, Quest Community Health Centre; Emily Kedwell, NP/BPSO Project Lead, Quest Community Health Centre; Joanna Lynsdale, NP-PHC, Quest Community Health Centre


Designing an Inclusive and Interdisciplinary Community Health Centre and Community Hub
Many community health centres require design changes to support the diversity of our communities, which include marginalized and racialized groups who often experience discrimination in healthcare spaces. Building a new community health centre provides an opportunity to create a vibrant community hub, one that can create a sense of belonging and pride of place, encourage collaboration among providers and partners, and facilitate holistic health and wellbeing, including addressing digital equity. This session will show how the Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre used design to create an inclusive space, engage diverse stakeholders and use evidence-based design practices.

Presenters: Jamie Cook, Senior Project Manager, Healthcare, Colliers Project Leaders; Nadine Favics, Office Administrator/Corporate Support, Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre; McMichael Ruth, Principal, Architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson

Thursday, June 17 | 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Future beyond COVID: Possible impacts and what governors should be thinking about

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way we live, work and deliver services in our communities. It has exposed and exacerbated the many flaws and inequities in our systems and has redefined priorities. Looking far ahead into the future during the times of unprecedented changes and planning for a post-COVID recovery is challenging, especially as we continue to deal with ongoing pandemic and its immediate impacts on the communities we serve. It is, however, important to ensure Alliance members play a role in shaping the new normal. This session will delve into the possible implications of the pandemic, as well as explore governors’ roles in mitigating its negative impacts and embracing the opportunities to strengthen their organizations and contribute to a just and healthy recovery that works for everyone.

Presenter: Zayna Khayat, Future Strategist, SE Health

Application of Bioethics from an Indigenous Lens

The Indigenous Primary Health Care Council has partnered with Indigenous knowledge keepers and bioethicists from across the province to co-design Ontario-specific bioethics curriculum for application within academic and health care settings. Building expertise in bioethics from an Indigenous lens will support mainstream practitioners and empower Indigenous self-determination on the path of wholistic health and wellbeing. In this session, participants will be introduced to the IPHCC bioethics curriculum and informed of the co-design process implemented to ensure it educates, informs, and helps create safer spaces for Indigenous Peoples within the health care sector.

Presenters: Nicole Blackman, Provincial Director; Caroline Lidstone-Jones, CEO - Indigenous Primary Health Care Council

Zooming Out: An Exploration of a Digital Equity Framework for Front-Line Staff

Digital equity describes the examination of barriers created by technology, especially for marginalized folks and the actionable steps to diminish them. With the COVID-19 pandemic, front-line services and resources have transitioned into digital modes of delivery, magnifying inequities. Through the lens of digital equity, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities has re-imagined its youth programs during COVID-19 for marginalized communities. Our panel presentation focuses on these digital equity themes: Accessibility; Designing Virtual Spaces; and Community Empowerment. Our panel will present each theme alongside client stories to illustrate digital equity gaps and solutions. Presenters will include front-line staff and community youth leaders.

Presenters: Gnanushan Krishnapillai, Children & Youth Health Program Facilitator, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities; Renee Allen, Children & Youth Health Program Facilitator, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities; Roshne Nandakumar, Chief, Mind & Spirit Youth Leadership

Addressing Barriers to Labour Market Participation of Vulnerable Populations: The Health2Work Partnership in Waterloo Region

Ontarians living in poverty face many barriers to employment, including lack of access to first-line treatments for musculoskeletal pain. This can negatively impact their ability to seek employment or enter re-training programs. Health2Work (H2W) is a program developed by the Region of Waterloo in partnership with Langs Community Health Centre and the Ontario Chiropractic Association, which seeks to bridge these gaps by providing people receiving Ontario Works (OW) access to assessment and treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. By addressing barriers to employment/re-training, H2W has potential to support OW clients across Ontario in the face of challenges exacerbated by COVID-19.

Presenters: Jessica Parish, PhD, Health Policy Analyst, Ontario Chiropractic Association; Bill Davidson Executive Director, Langs Community Health Centre; Dr. Jennifer Nash, BHSc (Hon), DC, Lead Chiropractor, Health2Work, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University; Martha Wolfe, MEd, Supervisor, Integrated Services, Region of Waterloo, Community Services Department; Dr. Amy Brown, Community Chiropractor, Health2Work

The Blue Door Project – An innovative new collaboration supporting under-insured people living with HIV

This session will describe the experiences and successes of The Blue Door project, a recent collaboration between 10 community health and social support organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. Our goal is to improve the health of people with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) with limited or no health insurance, by providing otherwise inaccessible health and social supports through a dedicated walk-in clinic that connects and refers these patients to stable, coordinated ongoing care. The project also aims to engage and expand the network of primary care providers interested in providing ongoing care to this highly marginalized population.

Presenters: Sophie Bart, Director, Quality and Clinical Services, Regent Park Community Health Centre; Dr. Alan Li, MD, Regent Park Community Health Centre

Collective Impact Approaches to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences

In this knowledge mobilization session, colleagues from Guelph and Kingston CHCs and their community partners will share their journey of collective impact approaches to address adverse childhood experiences. Experiences in childhood shape who we are and set the stage for who we will become.  

Researchers call stressful or potentially traumatic abuse, neglect or household dysfunction adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs can increase the risk of negative health behaviours and outcomes later in life. We will share our community engagement strategies and community approaches to building our movements, and our lessons learned along the way of becoming ACE’s informed communities that foster resilience.

We will also be sharing details about our on how we plan to advance action on the Alliance 2020 resolution to create an ACEs Community of Practice set to launch this summer.

Presenters: Kate Vsetula, Guelph Community Health Centre; Sarah Haanstra, Toward Common Ground; Wendy Vuyk, Kingston Community Health Centres


Impact of Family Loss and Separation on Refugee Youth: A systemic problem and research-based solutions at system and community level
A full range of research, including a scoping review of peer-reviewed articles and experiential data from refugee youth and their service providers, reveals that separated refugee youth suffer from mental health issues (PTSD, depression, and anxiety), social determinant issues (poverty, insecurity and deprivation), and integration issues (policy gap, inappropriate service, and barriers to accessing resources). Self-conscious emotion, repressive defensiveness, denial distress, and restraint behaviour can increase stress contributing to attention deficit, aggressive and self-destructive behaviours. Language barriers, social isolation, and cumulative severity of trauma are influencing factors. The research to be presented reveals corrective suggestions for individual, community and systems levels.

Presenters: Akm Alamgir, Manager, Quality and Accountability System; Scientist, Research and Evaluation Department, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services


RAJO: The Somali Youth and Family Empowerment Project
RAJO is a five-year community-based project that provides culturally sensitive services to high-risk Black youth and their families in Ottawa and Edmonton. The project aims to address refugee trauma, poverty, and isolation, which increase young people’s vulnerability to mental health issues, substance abuse and related crime. It also integrates youth into schools, meaningful recreation and cultural activities, as well as employment programs, and promotes healthy family functioning. This session will examine the evidence-based health promotion model used to implement RAJO, the impact of RAJO to date, and the implications for research-informed programs similar to RAJO in community-centred governance.

Presenters: Asma Bulale, Program Manager, Centre for Resilience and Social Development; Hamza Darar, Program Manager, Centre for Resilience and Social Development


Barriers for cervical cancer screening among eligible population of the immigrant communities in Toronto and self-sampling option as a solution
This qualitative research was conducted over 33 clients and six service providers at Access Alliance in Toronto. Convenience data collection technique was followed by a collaborative data analysis model. The study identified barriers for cervical cancer screening, which includes stigma, culture, gender-appropriate healthcare service provider, perception about disease threat versus benefits of screening, and poor knowledge about resources. The key solution was recorded as the culturally appropriate self-sampling process.

Presenters: Akm Alamgir Manager, Quality and Accountability Systems, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services


Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers - Health and Experience with Canada’s “Not so Universal” Health Care System
Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers have been coming to Canada for more than 50 years to contribute to food production for all Ontarians and the economic viability of Ontario’s agriculture sector. They spend up to 80% of their non sleeping time at work doing demanding physical labour in rural Ontario, and this is reflected in their health status and their challenges in accessing healthcare. These challenges, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a snapshot of health issues will be discussed. The session will highlight the progressive, creative and dedicated work being done by CHCs and Family Health Teams to improve the health status of this population of essential workers, who more importantly are our neighbours and valued members of our communities.

Presenter: Michelle Tew, RN BScN DOHS COHN(C), Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc.