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4.2.2

Establish and co-ordinate a Healthy Communities Partnership in Waterloo Region to take action regarding 3 community identified priorities:  healthy eating, physical activity and mental health promotion. 

greenstatusFinal update (September 2014)
The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership, coordinated by Public Health is part of a provincially mandated health promotion strategy that asks local community members to identify and advocate for local policy actions to improve health outcomes and reduce levels of chronic disease.

In 2013, the Partnership’s projects focused on building on the success of the Official Plan and work done during 2012. The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable used Partnership funds to hire a consultant to identify specific zoning and licensing bylaws that could be changed to encourage healthier eating. This resulted in a report being drafted, Planning for Food Friendly Municipalities, as well as community skill building workshops being established on how to advocate for favourable changes.

Waterloo Region Active Living Network (WRALN) was also able to hire a consultant to engage physical activity service providers, organizations, decision-makers, and interested individuals in shaping WRALN’s physical activity promotion strategy. This culminated in their Blueprint for Physical Activity Action in Waterloo Region.

In the fall of 2013 the Waterloo Region Mental Health Work Group (working with the Partnership) held a community forum to engage with 75 community stakeholders at Kitchener City Hall. This was an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and opinions on mental health promotion and avenues for favourable mental health policy related to healthy eating, physical activity, and inclusive communities.

2013 also saw Partnership research carried out in local townships. The Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition, and Woolwich Healthy Communities, developed local community profiles and policy recommendations specific to each township based on community consultations, reports on identified gaps in local service, and a review of existing policies.

The Partnership is currently waiting to hear if it has received funds for a proposal it submitted early in 2014, and several more policy related projects are being planned.  In 2014, the Partnership has engaged in some new communication activities – monthly e-blasts and the creation of a webpage. The community is eager for the Partnership to be an on-going endeavor.

Progress Update (September 2013)

The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership is part of a provincially mandated health promotion strategy that asks local community members to identify and advocate for local policy actions to improve health outcomes and reduce levels of chronic disease. Region of Waterloo Public Health co-ordinates the work of the Partnership, administers funds, and links to the wider Corporation, as appropriate, to share information about the Partnership.

In March 2011, the Waterloo Region Community Picture was released; it featured a broad overview of six key health promotion priority areas: physical activity, sport and recreation, injury prevention, healthy eating, tobacco use and exposure, substance and alcohol misuse, and mental health promotion. Based on feedback from a community consultation process, the Partnership decided to focus on three policy areas: healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health. The Partnership has since engaged pre-existing networks to take the lead in each of the three policy areas: the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, the Waterloo Region Active Living Network (WRALN), and a group comprising mental health service providers and people with lived experience related to mental health.

In January 2012, the Partnership secured funds from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to complete three projects to advance the policy goals of its partner networks. A consultant was hired to review the Official Plans of all area municipalities in Waterloo Region, and to make recommendations on how they could be strengthened to further promote healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health. The consultant’s report “Supporting Advocacy on Municipal Official Plans – A Report to the Healthy Communities Partnership” is now available. Second, the Partnership hosted a policy advocacy forum in April 2012 at which fifty members of three partner networks learned the about strategies to constructively influence local policy development. The WRALN received funds to develop a website to help promote community engagement in the development of its physical activity charter.

In July 2012, the Partnership applied for more funding from the Ministry to follow up on the review of Official plans, enable the WRALN to develop a blueprint for action based on its physical activity charter, and enable the Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition to move toward policy development as a health promotion strategy.

In January 2013, the Partnership’s funding proposal was approved and distributed among its partner networks. The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable used funds to hire a consultant to review how the Roundtable and supporters could advocate for supportive environments for community gardens and temporary farmers’ markets. This culminated in a report (“Planning for Food Friendly Municipalities”) and a skill building workshop on how to advocate for such supportive policies. The WRALN was able to hire a consultant to carry out focus groups and interviews which led to the development of policy recommendations for their “Blueprint for Physical Activity” report. Third, the WHCC hired a consultant to develop a community profile and policy recommendations based on community consultations and gaps in local service (“Building Capacity for Policy Work: What Helps and Hinders Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Good Mental Health for Residents of Wilmot Township”).

In March 2013, the Partnership applied for more funding from the Ministry to follow up on a number initiatives, including strengthening the healthy eating network, determining how best to share and act on the WHCC’s and WRALN’s policy recommendations, and branding the HCP Stewardship group. This proposal is currently under review and funding should be released in early fall 2013.

Progress Update (January 2013)

The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership is part of a provincially mandated health promotion strategy that asks local community members to identify and advocate for local policy actions to improve health outcomes and reduce levels of chronic disease.

The Region has established and co-ordinated a Healthy Communities Partnership to take action regarding three community identified priorities:  healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health promotion.  The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership is part of a provincially mandated health promotion strategy that asks local community members to identify and advocate for local policy actions to improve health outcomes and reduce levels of chronic disease. Based on feedback from a community consultation process, the partnership has decided to focus on three policy areas: healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health. 

In January 2012, the partnership secured funds from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to complete three projects to advance the policy goals of its partner networks.

Progress Indicators

  • Completion of the proposed work plans

Related Links

 

greenindicator   Strong progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (PDF)
yellowindicator   Moderate progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (RTF)
redindicator   Progress needed   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (Flash)