What Makes our Community Healthy?

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We are a committee of dedicated staff from South Shore, South West and the Annapolis Valley District Health Authorities working to support a population health approach in the Western area of Nova Scotia. The committee meets on a regular basis to explore ways to educate employees and the public about population health and how its principles can make a positive change in the health of our communities.

What's your picture of health? Can you imagine it differently? Watch our video, explore the website, use the tools and most importantly, take part in the conversation.
Redefine. Rebuild. Reconnect: Changing Our Picture of Health

Population Health in Action

A population health approach recognizes that any review of the health of the population needs to extend beyond an assessment of traditional health status indicators like death, disease and disability. A population health approach considers issues related to mental and social well-being, quality of life, life satisfaction, income, employment and working conditions, education, and other factors known to influence health (often called the 'determinants of health'). A population health approach acts to improve the health status of the population as a whole, or specific groups, by taking action to address the determinants of health.

 This deceptively simple story speaks to the complex set of factors or conditions that determine the level of health of every Nova Scotian.

Why is Jason in the hospital?
Because he has a bad infection in his leg.
But why does he have an infection?
Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected.
But why does he have a cut on his leg?
Because he was playing in the junkyard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp jagged steel there that he fell on.
But why was he playing in a junkyard.
Because his neighborhood is kind of run down. A lot of kids play there and there is no one to supervise them.
But why does he live in that neighbourhood?
Because his parents can't afford a nice place to live.
But why can't his parents afford a nicer place to live?
Because his mom is depressed and can't work.
But why is his mom depressed?
Because she has no family and friends to support her and she worries about money all the time.
But why does she worry about money all the time?
Because her husband is unemployed.
But why is her husband is unemployed?
Because he doesn't have much education and can't find a job.
But why...?

Population Health Tools and Resources

Population Health in Action Workbook
A Population Health Approach: Definitions and Guiding Principles
Population Health Bookmark
A Population Health Implementation Approach for Health Authorities

Visit Success Stories for some local examples of stories using population health approaches.


Links
Health Promotion 101 (on-line course)
Public Health Agency of Canada - Population Health
Health Promotion Clearing House


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