We envision a healthy, resilient and empowered community where people are connected and support each other.
We engage with individuals, families and organizations to deliver comprehensive health services and programs that enhance community health and well-being.
Service and Program Philosophy and Model of care
Black Creek Community Health Centre (BCCHC) medical and health promotion staff has adopted the "Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion" and the AOHC “Model of Health and Wellbeing”. All staff work through our inter-disciplinary teams to address the social determinants of health of our clients and community.
♦ We believe that Health is a resource for every day life and not just the absence of illness.
♦ We believe that our health and the health of our community is determined by Peace, Shelter, Education, Income, Food, Environment, Social Justice, Equity and Access to meaningful Health Care Services.
♦ We believe that in order to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well- being we all must be given the chance to realize our dreams, meet our needs, and cope with or change our environment.
♦ We believe that health promotion takes place at the individual and community levels and we will work with those to acknowledge and or increase their capacity to manage their health and the health of their community.
♦ We believe that the health of the community is maximized through a partnership of BCCHC’s staff with individuals and communities, which combines their skills, knowledge, and life experience/expertise.
♦ We believe that our programs and services should be responsive to and meet the needs of the community as defined by community members themselves.
BCCHC promotes the full integration of health promotion into all aspects of the organization. Adequate funds are allocated to achieve a number of the BCCHC health promotion goals and objectives. Nurse Practitioners, Therapists, Dietitians, Community Health Workers and Program Managers have responsibilities and time allocated to health promotion and it is explicitly included in their job description.
Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical mental and social wellbeing, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy lifestyles to wellbeing.
Prerequisites for health
The fundamental conditions and resources for health are peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic prerequisites.
Good health is a major resource for social, economic and personal development and an important dimension of quality of life. Political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behavioural and biological factors can all favour health or be harmful to it. Health promotion action aims at making these conditions favourable through advocacy for health.
Health promotion focuses on achieving equity in health. Health promotion action aims at reducing differences in current health status and ensuring equal opportunities and resources to enable all people to achieve their fullest health potential. This includes a secure foundation in a supportive environment, access to information, life skills and opportunities for making healthy choices. People cannot achieve their fullest health potential unless they are able to take control of those things which determine their health. This must apply equally to women and men.
The prerequisites and prospects for health cannot be ensured by the health sector alone. More importantly, health promotion demands coordinated action by all concerned: by governments, by health and other social and economic sectors, by nongovernmental and voluntary organizations, by local authorities, by industry and by the media. People in all walks of life are involved as individuals, families and communities. Professional and social groups and health personnel have a major responsibility to mediate between differing interests in society for the pursuit of health.
Health promotion strategies and programmes should be adapted to the local needs and possibilities of individual countries and regions to take into account differing social, cultural and economic systems.
Health Promotion Action Means:
Build healthy public policy
Health promotion goes beyond health care. It puts health on the agenda of policy-makers in all sectors and at all levels, directing them to be aware of the health consequences of their decisions and to accept their responsibilities for health. Health promotion policy combines diverse but complementary approaches including legislation, fiscal measures, taxation and organizational change. It is coordinated action that leads to health, income and social policies that foster greater equity. Joint action contributes to ensuring safer and healthier goods and services, healthier public services, and cleaner, more enjoyable environments.
Health promotion policy requires the identification of obstacles to the adoption of healthy public policies in non-health sectors, and ways of removing them. The aim must be to make the healthier choice the easier choice for policy-makers as well.
Create supportive environments
Our societies are complex and interrelated. Health cannot be separated from other goals. The inextricable links between people and their environment constitute the basis for a socio-ecological approach to health. The overall guiding principle for the world, nations, regions and communities alike is the need to encourage reciprocal maintenance - to take care of each other, our communities and our natural environment. The conservation of natural resources throughout the world should be emphasized as a global responsibility.
Changing patterns of life, work and leisure have a significant impact on health. Work and leisure should be a source of health for people. The way society organizes work should help create a healthy society. Health promotion generates living and working conditions that are safe, stimulating, satisfying and enjoyable.
Systematic assessment of the health impact of a rapidly changing environment - particularly in areas of technology, work, energy production and urbanization is essential and must be followed by action to ensure positive benefit to the health of the public. The protection of the natural and built environments and the conservation of natural resources must be addressed in any health promotion strategy.
Strengthen community action
Health promotion works through concrete and effective community action in setting priorities, making decisions, planning strategies and implementing them to achieve better health. At the heart of this process is the empowerment of communities, their ownership and control of their own endeavours and destinies.
Community development draws on existing human and material resources in the community to enhance self-help and social support, and to develop flexible systems for strengthening public participation and direction of health matters. This requires full and continuous access to information, learning opportunities for health, as well as funding support.
Develop personal skills
Health promotion supports personal and social development through providing information, education for health and enhancing life skills. By so doing, it increases the options available to people to exercise more control over their own health and over their environments, and to make choices conducive to health.
Enabling people to learn throughout life, to prepare themselves for all of its stages and to cope with chronic illness and injuries is essential. This has to be facilitated in school, home, work and community settings. Action is required through educational, professional, commercial and voluntary bodies, and within the institutions themselves.
Reorient health services
The responsibility for health promotion in health services is shared among individuals, community groups, health professionals, health service institutions and governments. They must work together towards a health care system which contributes to the pursuit of health.
The role of the health sector must move increasingly in a health promotion direction, beyond its responsibility for providing clinical and curative services. Health services need to embrace an expanded mandate which is sensitive and respects cultural needs. This mandate should support the needs of individuals and communities for a healthier life, and open channels between the health sector and broader social, political, economic and physical environmental components.
Reorienting health services also requires stronger attention to health research as well as changes in professional education and training. This must lead to a change of attitude and organization of health services, which refocuses on the total needs of the individual as a whole person.
Moving into the future
Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love. Health is created by caring for oneself and others, by being able to take decisions and have control over one's life circumstances, and by ensuring that the society one lives in creates conditions that allow the attainment of health by all its members.
Caring, holism and ecology are essential issues in developing strategies for health promotion. Therefore, those involved should take as a guiding principle that, in each phase of planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion activities, women and men should become equal partners.
Commitment to health promotion
The participants in this Conference pledge:
♦ to move into the arena of healthy public policy, and to advocate a clear political commitment to health and equity in all sectors;
♦ to counteract the pressures towards harmful products, resource depletion, unhealthy living conditions and environments, and bad nutrition; and to focus attention on public health issues such as pollution, occupational hazards, housing and settlements;
♦ to respond to the health gap within and between societies, and to tackle the inequities in health produced by the rules and practices of these societies;
♦ to acknowledge people as the main health resource, to support and enable them to keep themselves, their families and friends healthy through financial and other means, and to accept the community as the essential voice in matters of its health, living conditions and wellbeing;
♦ to reorient health services and their resources towards the promotion of health; and to share power with other sectors, other disciplines and most importantly with people themselves;
♦ to recognize health and its maintenance as a major social investment and challenge; and to address the overall ecological issue of our ways of living.
The Conference urges all concerned to join them in their commitment to a strong public health alliance
The Values and Principles that unite us:
Highest Quality People and Community Centred Health and Wellbeing
Everyone participates, individually and collectively, in decisions about their health and wellbeing.
Individuals and communities receive health care that meets their needs, in a timely fashion and from the most appropriate providers, and experience the best possible results.
Health care and other service providers work in respectful, collaborative relationships with individuals, families, and communities and each other.
The quality of care is optimized through continuous innovation and learning to improve the experience and outcomes of those accessing care, and the efficient use of resources.
Health Equity and Social Justice
Reduction in social inequality improves Health outcomes.
Social inequality is reduced when all people and institutions become aware of, and act on the understanding, that inequality impacts health outcomes for the already marginalized populations.
Equity and dignity and integrity of the person is manifest in access to nutritious food, safe and secure housing, clean water, adequate and appropriate clothing, dignified and justly-remunerated employment.
Health care appropriate to all ages and stages of life, and mechanisms of fulsome engagement and participation in civic, social and political processes.
Community Vitality and Belonging
Safe and caring communities improve health outcomes.
Shared values and shared vision strengthen belonging.
All members of the community have opportunities to participate in decision making about their communities.
Public, private sectors and community organizations work together to strengthen inclusive, caring and connected communities.
Attributes of the Model of Health and Wellbeing are:
Anti-oppressive and Culturally Safe: AHACs and CHCs provide services in anti-racist, anti-oppressive environments that are safe for people: where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with truth, respect, honesty, humility, wisdom, love and bravery. In practice we emphasize the presence of people from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, resulting in their ability to control or influence the processes operating in their health services, and we believe this is one of the major ways to create a safe environment.
Accessible: CHCs and AHACs are designed to improve access, participation, equity, inclusiveness, and social justice by eliminating systemic barriers to full participation. CHCs and AHACs have experience in ensuring access for people who encounter a diverse range of racial, cultural, linguistic, physical, social, economic, legal, and geographic barriers which contribute to the risk of developing health problems. Removing barriers to accessibility includes the provision of culturally appropriate programs and services, programs for the non-insured, optimal location and design of facilities in compliance with the accessibility legislation, oppression-free environments, extended hours, and on-call services.
Interprofessional, integrated and coordinated: CHCs and AHACs build inter professional teams working in collaborative practice. In these teams, salaried professionals work together to their fullest possible scope to address people’s health and wellbeing needs. CHCs and AHACs develop strong partnerships and integrations with health system and community services organizations. The partnerships and integrations ensure the delivery of seamless and timely people and community-centred health, and key social determinants of health services and programs, with appropriate referrals. Referrals encompass primary care, illness prevention, and health promotion, in one to one service, personal development groups, and community level interventions.
Community-governed: CHCs and AHACs are not-for-profit organizations, governed by community boards made up of members of the local community. Community boards and committees provide a mechanism for CHCs and AHACs to represent and be responsive to the needs of their local communities, and for communities to develop democratic ownership over “their” Centres. Community governance builds the health of the local communities through engaged participation contributing to social capital and community leadership.
Based on the Social Determinants of Health: The health of individuals and communities is impacted by the social determinants of health including income, education, employment, working conditions, early childhood development, food insecurity, housing, social exclusion, social safety network, health services, Aboriginal status, gender, race and racism, culture and disability. CHCs and AHACs strive for improvements in social supports and conditions that affect the long-term health of people and communities, through participation in multi and cross-sector partnerships and advocacy for the development of healthy public policy, within a population health framework.
Grounded in a Community Development Approach: The CHC and AHAC services and programs are driven by community initiatives and community needs. The community development approach builds on community leadership, knowledge, and the lived experiences of community members and partners to contribute to the health of their communities. CHCs and AHACs increase the capacity of local communities to address their community-wide needs and improve their community and individual health and wellbeing outcomes.
Population and Needs-Based: CHCs and AHACs are continuously adapting and refining their ability to reach and to serve people and communities. CHCs and AHACs plan services and programs based on population health needs and develop best practices for serving those needs.
Accountable and Efficient: CHCs and AHACs are high performing efficient Primary Health Care (PHC) organizations that are accountable to their funders and the local communities served. CHCs and AHACs strive to provide fair, equitable compensation and benefits for their staff. Capturing and measuring their work are essential parts of delivering Primary Health Care. Developing and implementing meaningful indicators based on our Model of Health and Wellbeing allows for reporting to all funders about services and programs delivered as well as the outcomes that follow.