We know that what surrounds us shapes us – our neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces affect our daily lives, including whether we will be healthy or not. Healthy Communities is about shaping the conditions that enable good health to flourish. Though individual behavior plays a role in health, in the long run, it makes more sense -- and is more just -- to eliminate barriers and change the odds so that everyone can be healthy. We do this through advocating for and supporting policy work in the areas of housing, food, tobacco, alcohol, injury, physical activity, and school health.
We work with communities to create different surroundings in our community – surroundings that promote health and make it easier for communities to be healthy.
Public Health works very closely with our partners in education to improve health and educational outcomes for children and youth. Municipalities are also key partners we work with to continue to understand how health is impacted through the way our communities are planned, designed.
Healthy Public Policy is a policy that enhances and has a positive impact on the social, economic and environmental aspect of health within our community. Public health works on public policy issues related to health disparities, preventing disease and injury, child and youth health, tobacco, alcohol, healthy eating, physical activity and healthy environments.
Examples of work in this area include:
- advocating for smoke free places and spaces
- injury prevention through South Shore Safe Communities
- safe and affordable housing through the South Shore Housing Action Group
- advocating for policy changes to make healthy food more affordable and accessible
- working with communities and facilities to develop and support food and nutrition policies
- working with our school board, principals and school staff continue to develop Health Promoting Schools