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What do the Wallaceburg Lakers and a barbecue have in common?

They are both satisfying your hunger for hockey and food during a free event at the Wallaceburg office of the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre.

On Thursday, September 29, the CKCHC is opening its doors to the community for an evening of fun, food and facts.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the CKCHC, along with a myriad of other community agencies, will be spotlighting their services and conversing with residents about how to further advance health and social equity in the community.

This event is one of at least 100 events across the province during Community Health and Wellbeing Week which takes place from September 26 to October 1.

This year’s theme, People and Communities First, speaks volumes about the need to actively involve community members in the planning, delivering and evaluating of services within and beyond the Chatham-Kent borders. With the health system transformation currently underway in Ontario and in Chatham-Kent, it is imperative now more than ever to engage those who are directly impacted by these changes.

“Putting people and communities first means understanding their diverse needs and making sure we respond to those needs in the most effective ways,” stated Laura MacDougald, CKCHC health promoter.

CKCHC officials say research shows a people and community-centred approach delivers a wide range of benefits: it increases the community’s capacity to stay healthy, promotes trust between the community and health providers, increases program participation and also raises awareness about the links between health outcomes and social issues.

As the CKCHC and other participating agencies rally the community on September 29, the Wallaceburg Lakers will be offering a pep rally of sorts with autograph signings and social media-worthy picture taking. Hot dogs and prizes are also available during this service provider and service user intermingling event.

Guests are being encouraged to share their ideas, their voices and their stories.

The Association of Ontario Health Centres, of which the CKCHC is a member, coordinates Community Health and Wellbeing Week. The Association represents 108 community-governed primary health care organizations including Ontario’s 74 Community Health Centres, 10 Aboriginal Health Access Centres, 11 Community-governed Family Health Teams and 13 Nurse Practitioner-led clinics.

Each is governed by community members which equips them to orient services and programs to community needs.

For more information about this event, please contact Laura MacDougald or Allison Berkvens, CKCHC Health Promoters, at 519-397-5455.