One of the challenges in figuring out how to act on complex problems such as systemic health and other inequalities is identifying the key pathways where change in policy, programs or community resources will have a significant impact and then identifying the most effective policy levers for moving that change forward. In general, this will require an effective balance of macro social and economic policy changes to reduce structured inequality, policies and investments to strengthen community resources and resilience, cross-sectoral collaboration, and local adaptation and innovation.
Drilling down, Wellesley has identified key directions to drive a more equitable health system. More specifically again, service providers, experts and advocates have emphasized that access to quality interpretation addresses a crucial barrier to an equitable and effective health care system. Local Immigration Partnerships have become a crucial forum for the necessary community-level collaboration and coordination on health services for newcomers and other challenges. I spoke to the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership on health equity strategy, immigrant health and the potential of enhanced interpretation.
What I like about working with diverse colleagues is always learning about a new initiative or new way of thinking about a common problem. Or sometimes a particularly clear way to put an issue: in talking about providing treatment for homeless people one of the hospital colleagues in the partnership spoke of how “staff hate to discharge someone to nowhere.”