Give a kid a nutrition lesson in a classroom, and he might forget it later that day. Teach a kid to cook nutritious meals he likes to eat and share with friends, and those lessons might just last a lifetime. Involve a kid in how those lessons are taught? That helps to create a lifelong sense of purpose and wellbeing. And that’s the principle that drives health promotion in the seven Toronto Community Health Centres that run a program called Guys Can Cook! (GCC).
West Nipissing Community Health Centre (CHC) is celebrating a major milestone – the grand opening of its new building in a former school. This bilingual centre is one of more than 20 AOHC members that provide French-language services to Franco-Ontarians across the province. West Nipissing CHC has been serving people and communities in Sturgeon Falls since 2010, but up until recently it was located in the community’s former hospital.
To put people and communities first, AOHC members actively engage the people they serve, every step of the way planning, developing and evaluating health and wellbeing services and programs. In order to ensure a people- and community-centred approach, AOHC members are also governed by community representatives, which makes them distinct from other parts of Ontario’s primary care system.
In the speech from the throne on September 12, Premier Wynne reiterated her government’s commitment to community hubs, affirming they make it “easier to access health, social, education, cultural and recreational programs and services that nurture community life.” But creating hubs, and making sure they serve the community in the most effective way, is no easy matter. How can more Ontario communities get there?
Welcome to this first blog posting from the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC). We begin by asking: why is public debate about Ontario’s health system so focused on doctors and how much they are paid delivering services to patients. If you agree with us that we need to change shift the conversation, will you participate in a province-wide online communication initiative?