All LHINs have prioritized community engagement. In equity terms, it is especially important to ensure the voices of the most health disadvantaged communities are heard and that their needs and perspectives are built into equity planning and interventions. Similarly, it is vital that these populations are involved in defining the terms for equity-focused evaluation. Wellesley did some earlier work on these issues as LHINs were developing their community engagement strategies.
Given that the roots of health inequalities lie far outside the health system, LHINs and their partners need to be able to incorporate the wider social determinants of health into their planning and actions. Cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboration are seen to be critical ways in which the underlying social determinants of health inequalities can be addressed on the ground.
Among Wellesley papers, a brief to the Senate Sub-Committee on Population Health, a policy paper, an article on the potential of local mobilization, a seminar for the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, and a series of speeches have addressed how this can be done.
These notes set out some starting points on both community engagement and building collaborations and partnerships to address the social determinants of health.