Healthy communities & population health
Working with community partners, municipalities, and other teams to improve the social determinants of health to promote overall health and reduce health inequities.
Supporting healthy communities through a population health approach
The Canadian Medical Association has stated that "the social determinants of health can have a larger impact on individual and population health than the health care system." Our Population Health's team's goal is to work with community partners, municipalities, and other teams within VCH to improve the social determinants of health in order to promote the overall health of communities and reduce health inequities.
What are health inequities?
Health inequities are caused by systemic, avoidable factors and outside the control of the people affected.
We are particularly concerned with the gap in health status for certain populations. People with low incomes tend to have poorer health than people with high incomes. Similarly, Aboriginal people tend to have poorer health than non-Aboriginal people.
A key to reducing health inequities is to create more equitable conditions and opportunities for everyone. We work to achieve this through planning, policies and health promotion initiatives.
Our Population Health team
The Population Health Team in the Office of the Chief Medical Health Officer provides leadership and expertise on population health initiatives. The team is headed by a regional director and includes policy consultants, knowledge translation and health promotion specialists. Many VCH staff use a population health approach, including the Medical Health Officers and community health staff.
We focus on the following priority areas to help build healthy communities:
- Early Childhood Development
- Social Connectedness
- Physical Activity
- Neighbourhood Design
- Food Security
We partner with:
- Other VCH teams and departments to support the delivery of equity and accessible services for all populations in our region.
- Municipal governments to identify joint priorities through sharing data, monitoring trends and participating in planning tables.
- Community agencies to promote innovation and to fund non-profit organizations to deliver health promotion programming.
- Academic and research institutions to identify priority areas for research.