October 17 to 23 is Community Health and Wellbeing Week in Ontario, an annual communications and advocacy campaign initiated by members of the Alliance for Healthier Communities. One of the main goals of this event is to help bring attention to the issues and needs in community healthcare through messaging and special events.
Seaway Valley Community Health Centre celebrated the start of the week on Monday by raising their flag at the Justice Building beside City Hall.
Seaway Valley Community Health Centre is a non-profit charitable organization that provides support and programs to improve overall health and wellness in our community. Examples of some of their upcoming free programs include Emotions and Me and Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.
Joining them at the flag raising were Mayor Glen Grant and the Centre de Santé Communautaire de l’Estrie, our local French health centre.
“In this Community Health and Wellness Week, we reaffirm our commitments to fight oppression and inequities in all forms of health care and other services,” said Marc Terrien, Community Health Manager at the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie, “Let’s ask leaders for increased funding for community health to maintain and expand programs and attract and retain dedicated health professionals who serve people who face barriers to health and wellness.”
The shortage of healthcare professionals in Cornwall was a key point in the discussion that day, seeing as many in our community are without a family doctor and staffing shortages continue to impact our local clinics and hospital.
“Your organization is known for highlighting inequities in healthcare,” said Mayor Glen Grant, “This is an amazing week for getting people together to recognize that. And now with the lack of doctors and nurses … we have to work together to resolve that issue.”
Stephanie Hemmerick, SVCHC Community Programs Manager, pointed out that despite the inequities in healthcare, our community has a lot of strengths that we can build on.