Central LHIN will strive to reduce health disparities as a shared
responsibility with its health service providers by integrating health
equity into strategies and activities within its mandate and influence.
Central LHIN statement of commitment for reducing health disparities
View the Central LHIN health equity statement in:
Health equity has been identified as one of the four priorities of Central LHIN’s Integrated Health Service Plan 2010-2013.
The goals of our health equity planning priority include:
- Target investments in health care services in identified geographic areas to address health service inequities
- Improve access to diabetes care and primary care in these areas
- Engage the public and improve collaboration across sectors
- Identify and support Aboriginal engagement strategy
- Support the provincial French Language Services engagement strategy
- Monitor health status indicators in identified geographic areas
Our Progress to Date
Input from stakeholders and planning groups spoke to the needs to improve inequities and improve access for people from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities and those with experiencing challenges in accessing care due to income, education or transportation issues.
Inequity in health care results in differences in health outcomes that are avoidable and unfair. Central LHIN’s health equity priority aims to reduce avoidable health disparities within targeted population groups in the South Simcoe/Northern York Region and North York West planning areas.
These areas have been defined as having populations who are at risk due to higher than average incidence of serious health conditions and inadequate access to primary care. Our equity strategy is based on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s population health framework and will focus on working with our health service providers and the communities to expand services where possible.
As part of the Central LHIN’s commitment to Health Equity, Central LHIN's Board of Directors and staff participated in health equity education sessions and developed the Central LHIN statement of commitment for reducing health disparities.
A Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group was also formed in 2007 to ensure that a health equity lens is placed on LHIN activities. The group worked on three priorities including:
- Community of Practice with the Black Creek Community Health Centre
A Community of Practice is a specific kind of learning community – a group of people who seek to deepen their knowledge and improve their practice in a particular domain by learning together. Key activities in such a program include identifying promising practices, sharing insights and tools, adapting them to local needs and conditions, and using ongoing results as feedback to drive continuous improvement.
The purpose of this initiative is to build capacity, in the community and among service providers to make concrete progress on diversity and inclusion in health service delivery. With a focus on solutions for newcomers and language barriers; tools. Training and support for service providers, and public education on access to health services and information.
- Hospital Health Equity Framework and Planning Guidelines
In 2008-09 a health equity framework and guidelines were developed to assist Central LHIN hospitals in creating health equity plans, as part of Schedule B of the Hospital Service Accountability Agreement (H-SAA). A Health Equity Collaborative Task Group comprised of health service providers from the acute care and community sectors was also created to aid in the development of these plans.
A similar process will take place in 2009-10 with community service providers to create a health equity framework and guidelines to assist them in developing individual health equity plans.
- Health Equity Promising Practices Inventory
In 2008/09 a health equity promising practices inventory was compiled to assist organizations to integrate a health equity approach into their leadership, governance, operations, services, partnerships and community engagement in order to reduce health disparities. A practice or strategy is considered "promising" if it is equitable, transferable, empowering and is or may be effective. For the purposes of this inventory, "promising practices" in health equity are strategies, actions, initiatives, approaches, policies or resources that can assist organizations to embed a health equity approach into their planning and decision making.
Health Equity Impact Assessment
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has identified equity as a key component of quality care. To support the integration of health equity considerations in health care design and delivery, the Ministry worked in collaboration with LHINs and health service providers to develop a Health Equity Impact Assessment Tool for use across the health system. The Health Equity Impact Assessment is a decision-support tool which has been demonstrated to reduce health disparities and improve targeting of health care investments. It has been successfully adopted in a number of international jurisdictions and is endorsed by the World Health Organization. Linked below is the tool, as well as a backgrounder with more information.