Blackness in Canada: Facing Racism to Improve Black Health
In our opening plenary, we tackled the history of anti-Black racism in Canada and its impacts on Black health and wellbeing. Dr. Charmaine Nelson, a professor of art history at McGill University and this year's William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University, unpacked the history of slavery in Canada and how it shapes the Black experiences today.
Opioids, Overdose and Harm Reduction
While policy makers have at times been slow to respond to Ontario’s opioid and overdose crisis, our members have demonstrated great leadership in working with communities to reduce harm to people who use drugs through de-prescribing, supervised consumption, overdose prevention and much more. In this plenary, we explored how to build local support and find the right strategy for your community. Speakers include: Rob Boyd of Sandy Hill CHC; Frank Crichlow from South Riverdale CHC; Jackie Harris from Central CHC in St. Thomas, and Steven Goodine, Board member of the London InterCommunity Health Centre.
The Future of Health and Wellbeing
What does the future hold for health and wellbeing in Ontario? Inspired young leaders are working to advance a healthy, equitable and just future by claiming their space and creating space for others to imagine the future. In this panel, moderated by Anu Radha Verma, Parkdale Queen West CHC's Board Chair and herself a young leader in this space, we explored some of the main issues that we must address today to ensure healthier communities and a more inclusive society in the decades to come. The panel featured Max FineDay, Executive Director of Canadian Roots Exchange, a national youth-led charity that provides Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth with opportunities to engage in reconciliation dialogues and leadership development and Fayza Abdallaoui, President of the Board, Ontario Movement for Francophone Immigrant Women (MOFIF).
Healthier Together: Social Prescribing in Action in the UK
Social prescribing is a new spin on an old idea - that people are healthier when they are connected with social resources and supports in their communities. In our final conference plenary, we welcomed UK experts from the Social Prescribing Network to share best practices in social prescribing - reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing by better connecting primary care, health promotion and community development for individuals and communities. They were: commissioner Tim Anfilogoff, Head of Community Resilience, Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG); physician Dr. Marie Anne Essam, Clinical Lead for Social Prescribing at HVCCG; and community involvement leader Alyson McGregor, the National Director of Altogether Better, an NHS national network organization whose interest lies in transforming the relationship between citizens and services.