Ontario’s Community Health Centres (CHCs) have been around for over forty years. They are inspired by the hope that our health system is evolving toward a focus on keeping people well – not just treating them when they get sick.  The CHC model is rooted in the belief that there are several determinants of health and well-being including accessible services, shelter, food, education and social support.

In order to keep people well CHCs deliver primary care services in combination with health promotion services, illness prevention services and community development initiatives.  CHCs mount projects to address the social, economic and environmental issues that impact people’s health.

CHCs are governed by community members and they prioritize improving the health and wellbeing of populations who have traditionally faced barriers accessing health services. These may include people who face language, cultural or geographical barriers or social barriers like poverty and stigma.

Model of Health and Wellbeing

The Model of Health and Wellbeing unites all Community Health Centres with 3 principles and 8 attributes and guides the West Elgin Community Health Centre’s delivery of primary health care.  It champions transformative change for people and communities facing barriers to health.

Our Guiding Principles

The Highest Quality, People and Community-Centred Primary Health Care
We commit to continuous improvement in the quality of services and programs with all efforts oriented to meet the specific needs of the people and communities being served.

Health Equity and Social Justice
We design services and programs to reduce health disparities and inequities. We also advocate for healthier public policy and against unfair practices and prejudices that harm people’s health.

Community Vitality and Belonging
We partner with community members to build safe and caring communities where everyone is valued and feels like they belong.

Our Model’s Attributes

Population Needs-Based Planning
We strive to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire population in our area. We assess the needs of different demographic groups and develop action plans to address them.

A Community Development Approach
We work with community members to develop solutions that support healthy living.

A Strong Focus on the Determinants of Health
We mitigate the impact of the many non-medical determinants of health.  We also advocate for healthier public policies that enable people to access a healthy environment and afford other basic necessities of life.

Interprofessional, Integrated and Coordinated
Membership in interprofessional teams extends well beyond clinical providers to include health promoters, social workers, outreach and community development workers. Teams collaborate with a wide range of primary care providers, as well as other parts of the health and social service system.

Anti-oppression and Culturally Safe Practices
We recognize many populations face discrimination that harms their health and wellbeing.  We ensure our staff receive ongoing training in anti-oppression and culturally-safe practices.

The priority is providing appropriate access to everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. Accessibility requires breaking down all racial, cultural, linguistic, physical, social, economic, legal and geographic barriers that prevent people from accessing health services.

Community-Centredness and Community Governance
Based on what we learn through a wide range of engagement processes, we constantly reorient our services to meet the community’s changing needs. Community-centredness is strengthened by another defining feature of the model: community governance.  It’s community members who set the strategic direction of the Centre.

Accountability and Efficiency
Community governance also ensures we are accountable to our community and funders. In addition, we develop and apply reporting indicators so funders can track our performance with respect to effectiveness and efficiency.




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