Community Health and Well being Week celebrates our community’s work to support each other during COVID-19 while we plan a recovery that works for everyone

From October 5 to 11, Compass Community Health will celebrate our community’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic response to ensure no one is left behind. This year more than ever, we’re inviting everyone in our community to join us in recognizing the everyday heroes who’ve stepped up to meet the new challenges brought by the coronavirus while also addressing longstanding inequities.

The theme of this year’s week is Power in Community: A Healthy Recovery That Works For Everyone. The week is an important opportunity for our staff, volunteers, and community members to recognize and celebrate each other’s work in the North End and beyond and also the work and tenacity of other community-based organizations, grassroots teams, local leaders and decision-makers. It’s also a time to look ahead.

“We’ve seen so many people and organizations step up here in our community to ensure people still have access to vital services and supports during the pandemic,” says Brent Esau, Community Health Director at Compass Community Health, “our staff and volunteers are striving every day to learn about new and increased needs in our community, and to work hand-in-hand with local partners during recovery to address barriers and inequities in our health and social systems made more glaring by COVID-19.”

Some of the work at Compass over the last few months includes: advocating for the community gardens to reopen, check-in calls to our clients, beginning socially distant programming as best as possible and relying on virtual programs when required. Compass staff have also been working alongside public health at the assessment centres. But staff and leaders at Compass also know that the work of recovery is just beginning.

“As we all know, the pandemic is not over yet, and many communities continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Brent Esau, “At the same time, the post-pandemic recovery is becoming part of the conversation. As we look into the future, we need to re-imagine what a truly healthy recovery looks like and redesign a health system that works for everyone. That will mean building on trusted relationships; investing in community and social services to build a more integrated health and wellbeing system rooted in health equity; and leveraging the strengths of community voices and leadership.”

For additional information contact: Jenna McHugh 905-523-6611 x3007.

Background: Community Health and Wellbeing Week is coordinated by the Alliance for Healthier Communities of which Compass Community Health is a member. The Alliance represents Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Community Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics across Ontario.