Waterloo Wellington LHIN Newsletter
We are moving forward with planning the next three years of health care in Waterloo Wellington and a huge consideration in shaping our health system will be health equity.
At the Waterloo Wellington LHIN, we are fortunate to be able to hear so many stories about how health care is improving and benefiting our residents. A lot of great work to improve the health system and access to care has already happened. Now, the real work begins to make improvements to the health of our overall population through a stronger focus on health equity.
Experiences and health outcomes aren’t always the same for every resident. For those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized this can mean that care is not always accessible and their health outcomes are not the same. Health is impacted by so many other factors including the determinants of health, which include social and economic factors such as stable housing, food, education etc.
Through this work, we want all of our residents to achieve better health and better futures, not just some of our residents. At times, this will mean that we focus more resources on supporting all patients to gain fair and equitable access.
This edition of our newsletter includes many stories about changes that our health service partners have made in their practice to provide more equitable care, and the residents who have benefited from them. We are proud to work with our partners in building a health system that considers the needs of our vulnerable populations. It’s just simply the right thing to do.
Bruce Lauckner, Chief Executive Officer, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network
Malek’s Story: From Isolation to Hope
Malek came to Canada as a refugee,
a single mother of two children and ready to end her life. She was alone, completely isolated and emotionally destroyed.
“I wanted to end my life,” she explains. “I was just on the edge, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know who the people around me were. I was in a deep, deep depression.”
Culture and Language in Health Care: Removing Barriers for Better Care
Minh Quang knows how important communication and culture is in health care. Minh’s primary language is French, and he came to live in Canada from Vietnam. He had heard about French services offered at the Canadian Mental Health Association but it wasn’t until his 10 year-old son needed support that the need for language considerations in health care became critical.
Rami’s Story: Light at the End of the Tunnel for New Canadians
When Rami arrived in Canada from the Middle East, he was already lost and destroyed. In his home country he had endured so many years of violence through war, persecution and even incarceration because of his sexual orientation. The situation was so difficult that he had developed post-traumatic stress disorder. He had lost all hope.
Addressing Gaps in Health Care to Build Equity – and a Safe Space
Staff at Langs Community Health Centre have always been welcoming but recently, they’ve made a lot of changes to ensure that everyone feels included and acknowledged for who they are.
“It’s not just the lack of acceptance, there is discrimination, isolation. People from our communities who are LGTB are especially vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by the social determinants of health."
Highlights from Waterloo Wellington LHIN
On Friday, October 30, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN hosted a Twitter chat about health equity. Twitter chats are a great opportunity to engage, share new ideas and build partnerships.
The event was a great success and afforded many of our health service partners the opportunity to share what they’re doing in their own organizations to ensure health equity. A lot of information was shared!
You can find a transcript of the chat on our website here.
Health Service Provider Governors Symposium
During the month of November, governors from the sub-LHIN geographies of Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo (KW4) and Cambridge-North Dumfries met to envision what a truly integrated health system in Waterloo Wellington would look like. This collaboration will be vital as we work together to find ways to better integrate across the system.
Thank you to the governors who attended these sessions for your feedback, leadership and your commitment to collaboration, lead change and build partnerships across sectors to improve the health and well-being of residents.
We welcome your feedback. If you also have a story to share, please contact:
Telephone: 519.650.4472, Extension 248
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