Skip to main content

October 31 2019

This week on Tenfold - Embedding Community Engagement into an Organization: Peterborough Public Health's Experience

In this episode, Julie Brandsma from Peterborough Public Health joins Andrea to talk about embedding community engagement at the organizational level. Peterborough Public Health’s (PPH) community engagement journey began in 2013 when the health unit developed their strategic plan. “Community-centered focus” was identified as one of four strategic directions. This direction was important in order for the health unit to be accountable not only to the Ontario Public Health Standards, but also to the public and community agencies. Check out the podcast to learn more about PPH's experience!

Listen to the latest episode on PHESC's website or download it on your preferred podcatcher! 

Partner Profile

Every month, we'll be highlighting one of our PHESC partners. This month, we're pleased to introduce Heidi Schaeffer, special projects consultant with the Alliance for Healthier Communities. 

Where do you live? I live on a reforested farm in the municipality of Trent Hills, near a town called Campbellford in rural Northumberland county.

Where do you work? I am a special projects consultant with the Alliance for Healthier Communities, which is a member-based association supporting over 100 Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics and Community-Governed Family Health Teams. Recently I founded Advancing Change Together (ACT), a social profit consulting group. We facilitate multi-sectoral collaboration, evidence-based learning and change. I also chair the Outcome Mapping Learning Community, a global network founded in 2006 with approximately 4,000 evaluation practitioners from 43 counties who are working on difficult social, political and environmental problems.

What are some current projects that you’re working on? I facilitate learning processes for equity and inclusion, collaborative leadership, community engagement and complex systems design and evaluation. Currently, I support the Alliance board with inclusion and bias-reduced recruiting, and I engage health centre leaders in Community Health Ontario’s Leadershift project. The Leadershift project aims to build cross-system collaboration and leadership development with staff from Community Mental Health and Addictions Services, Home Care, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Community Support Services and administrative leads of Family Health Teams. I’m also starting work for the Alliance’s annual conference in 2020 and supporting health organizations to share their learning about strategic topics such as collaborative governance in the newly forming Ontario Health Teams. There is disruption in health and public health and decision-making needs to be continuously informed by multiple perspectives, and by the people most affected. This means we all need to learn how to do this collaborative work better and to work "with" people and not "for" or "on" them.  I am particularly excited to be presenting a workshop this fall on designing and facilitating authentic community engagement and cross-system collaboration.  The tools and concepts in the workshop will help organizations to mobilize knowledge for better services, policies, programs and projects.

What are you most excited for as a PHESC partner? PHESC is an important catalyst for building better understanding and deeper collaboration between primary health care and public health. Through PHESC, the Alliance for Healthier Communities was able to share its high performing practices in using health equity data, and health system leadership for prevention and the determinants of health. The PHESC partners worked together to adapt the content and include inspiring evidence-based examples of public health leadership for equitable population health.

What long-term impact do you hope PHESC will have on the public health workforce in Ontario? I hope it helps to build commitment and strategies to advance the value of public health organizations in achieving a sustainable health system that invests in prevention and equitable population health outcomes. And for boards of health specifically, I hope PHESC resources will build confidence, skills and leadership to create more inclusive, diverse and equity-focused Public Health organizations.

What’s the last book that you read that you couldn’t put down? “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer. She paints the path toward building deeper ecological connections and celebrating our give and take relationship with the natural world.

A profile image of Heidi

Indigenous Health Researchers Database

The Indigenous Health Researchers Database is available as a searchable feature on the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH) website. There are currently 330 researchers listed. However, we would like to see that number grow to 500 by the end of 2020. To request edits to an author's entry, or to request to be added to the database, please complete the online form.

The Third Issue of the Evidence-Informed Decision Making Casebook and Peer-to-Peer Webinar Series

Are you a public health practitioner interested in using evidence to inform public health practice, programs or policy? The newly launched third issue of the Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) Casebook is a collection of stories from public health practitioners that highlight the use of evidence in practice, or an initiative to build capacity for EIDM. Click here to access the EIDM Casebook online to explore the innovative ways that Canadian and global public health colleagues contribute to evidence-informed public health practice.
Are you interested in engaging with public health practitioners who are featured in the third issue of the EIDM Casebook? Don’t miss thePeer-to-Peer Webinar Series, returning this fall.

Recorded Webinar - LGBTQ2+ Inclusion in Health and Social Services

Homophobia and transphobia fundamentally shape the health and well-being of LGBTQ2+ communities. LGBTQ2+ communities are significantly more likely to struggle with mental health problems, to experience homelessness and to have substance use issues, but are less likely to access health and social services, and less likely to receive the inclusive care they need when they do. This webinar will provide participants with an introduction to LGBTQ2+ inclusion in health and social services, with a particular emphasis on shifting organizational culture, and bringing LGBTQ2+ inclusion into your everyday practice.

Click here to watch the webinar.