(Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres)

What does a church, a councillor, and a flu shot clinic have in common?

They are the building blocks of a healthier community.

That is what was highlighted during this year’s province-wide Community Health and Wellbeing Week (CHWW) initiative at the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres (CKCHC).

During the week of October 22-28, the CKCHC hosted or participated in various events to promote this year’s CHWW theme Building Healthier Communities Together.

At the core of this year’s theme is local partners and community members, and the relationships the CKCHC have built from the ground up.

“To build a healthier community, the first place we start is with the people we serve – our biggest insights come from their needs, their ideas, and their feedback about our programs and services,” stated Laura MacDougald, CKCHC Health Promoter.

“That’s why in Chatham-Kent, we work with many local partners in our community to break down barriers of all kinds that keep people from getting and staying healthy.”

One of those partners is the Knox Presbyterian Church in Wallaceburg.

The CKCHC Health Promoters offer monthly outreach services at the church to ensure community members are aware of the programs and services that are available in Wallaceburg.

These community members were instrumental in the development of the program Coffee Corner which is a drop-in program that provides participants with a safe and supportive environment for casual conversation and social activities.

During CHWW, this partnership was celebrated during the church’s weekly Soup Cellar. A healthy meal, trivia questions and door prizes were enjoyed by the community members.

The CKCHC also hosted two open houses during CHWW, one at their Chatham site and the other at their Walpole Island site.

In an effort to strengthen democratic engagement, Ward 4 councillor, Jamie McGrail, and Ward 6 candidate, Don Fuoco, attended the Chatham open house.

They were introduced to the healthcare team and offered a tour of the facility while gaining valuable insight into the barriers that clients face. The CKCHC hopes to continue being engaged with the new council members and mayor as they are all integral to improving the health and wellbeing of the Chatham-Kent community.

CHWW was capped off with a visit to the Chatham-Kent Children’s Safety Village where many community providers, including the CKCHC, were invited to attend their Safe Treating in the Village event. The CKCHC Health Promoters provided toothbrushes to the participating children and youth to assist them with tooth and gum health.

CHWW may have come to an end but the oath to building healthier communities together has not. Partnerships have always been weaved into the CKCHC’s service delivery fabric as it allows them to expand healthcare access to the community.

On Friday, November 2, the CKCHC and its longstanding partner, the Chatham-Kent EMS, deployed the municipality’s new mobile medical support trailer to provide flu shots to the Francophone population in Pain Court.