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New realities, same determinants of health in Newfoundland and Labrador

November 30, 2012

In October, Claire Betker and I met with public health practitioners, researchers, and community leaders working on the social determinants of health in Newfoundland and Labrador. We collaborated with the NL-Public Health Association, and the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) to co-host a workshop titled “New realities, same determinants of health: Your role in advancing health equity.” Later in the week we presented a similar, workshop via teleconference to four locations in Western Health.

To start the conversation, we showed the Sudbury & District Health Unit video  “Let’s Talk about Health… without Talking about Healthcare at All.”

Spontaneous applause erupted.  

Participants described the video as presenting a complex topic in a clear and compelling way. During group discussions they talked about the video’s ability to reach diverse audiences without using unfamiliar terms such as “social determinants of health.”

At one workshop we featured our case study from Winnipeg, MB which provides a real life example of how one health authority team is working to overcome challenges and develop common ownership of health equity issues in their organization and region. Using a process called progressive disclosure, participants discussed the case study, and reflected on their own experience and context. The case study reinforced the importance of working collaboratively on the social determinants of health.

During the workshop, participants discussed current health inequities in their region or communities and mapped their work to key roles to address the social determinants of health and advance health equity. This activity illustrated that there are numerous pursuits to reduce health inequities across the province. 

Claire and I enjoyed our time in the province immensely. The events provided the opportunity to reflect on and support the good work that is taking place. 

As one workshop participant said, “there was magic in the room – let’s keep the momentum going.”

Interested in event proceedings?

Students from Memorial University were engaged to work with the workshop co-hosts to summarize the proceedings.  Look for the workshop report from the NL-Public Health Association early in 2013.

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