Community Health Centres (CHCs) are well-positioned as advocates for health equity in Toronto due to their unique model of care. CHCs use advocacy strategies in two ways: they advocate for policy change and they integrate advocacy into service delivery. Their capacity to advocate for policy change is however constrained by a lack of dedicated resources, service delivery priorities, accountability to funders, and non-profit restrictions. Addressing these challenges has the potential to enhance the capacity of CHCs, and the health sector more broadly, to respond to the upstream drivers of health inequities such as income inequality, precarious work, and discrimination.
This report draws on qualitative interviews conducted with CHC executive directors to provide an overview of CHC advocacy work and to highlight opportunities and obstacles for advancing health equity in Toronto.