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Healthy Communities: An Approach to Action on Health Determinants in Canada

Project Description

This pan-Canadian project was funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) from 2010-2012 as one of eight Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) projects. It was based on the Healthy Communities model, an ecological approach of health promotion and chronic disease prevention based on the broad determinants of health. The model integrates health promotion and community development principles within a multi-sectoral planning framework to support collaborative community initiatives aimed at creating conditions conducive to health for all. 

This project was a collaboration of four provincial Healthy Communities networks:

  • Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition
  • Réseau québécois de Villes et Villages en santé
  • Mouvement Acadien des Communautés en Santé du Nouveau-Brunswick
  • BC Healthy Communities

These networks collaborated across disciplines, sectors, languages and geographies to raise awareness of the Healthy Communities approach; share tools, resources and best practices; and help empower communities to take action on the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.  

The anticipated results of the Healthy Communities project were:

  • Communities are mobilized to take action on chronic disease prevention and/or the determinants of health using the Healthy Communities approach
  • A National Healthy Communities Network is established to support new and existing Healthy Communities coalitions  

These results were achieved using three main strategies:

  • Partnerships and Coalition Building: Supporting inter-provincial collaboration and partnership between the four partner agencies in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of project activities, and development and maintenance of provincial Healthy Communities networks across sectors and jurisdictions.
  • Knowledge Exchange: Gather, document and disseminate Canadian research, policies, and community practices of the Healthy Communities approach to chronic disease prevention.
  • Community Capacity Building: Develop and implement community workshops, events and provide ongoing consultation and support to encourage effective use of the HC approach to chronic disease prevention and to address the determinants of health.

The following publications were produced by the project: