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.