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A message from Connie Clement, Scientific Director

Written ByConnie ClementConnie Clement on March 23, 2012
Connie Clement

Connie Clement, BSc

Scientific Director Emeritus

Connie Clement joined the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) in January 2011. Previously, Connie was the Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Toronto, a venture philanthropy collaborative, and Health Nexus/Nexus Santé, Canada’s premiere health promotion consultancy. She was Director of Planning and Policy at Toronto Public Health when six public health units merged, and previously held varied health promotion and sexual health management and front-line positions. Connie holds a BSc in Biology/Sociology from Trent University.

Driven by a strong commitment to public health practitioners across Canada, the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health is at an exciting juncture.

As an organization, we aim to improve health equity in Canada - narrowing the gap between the healthiest and least healthy individuals and communities.

What does this mean for public health? How can we, as a national organization, best support public health practitioners at the local level?

In 2010 we conducted an environmental scan: Integrating Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity Into Canadian Public Health Practice. Through key informant interviews, focus groups and a survey, practitioners informed our new strategic direction: to help public health practitioners advance health equity within the scope of their practice. Building on your advice, we’ve launched into new projects that advance knowledge, facilitate knowledge use, and accelerate network development.

We are advancing knowledge by

  • Helping public health practitioners illuminate inequities through population health status reporting practices, using an innovative collaborative learning approach;
  • Analyzing literature and asking public health leaders at all levels about the barriers and enablers they face when working to advance health equity;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of intersectoral action as a public health intervention for health equity.

We will release resources throughout next year, and undertake analysis about additional promising practices, such as community engagement, purposeful reporting, and the use of core competencies and organizational standards.

We are facilitating knowledge use and accelerating network development by

  • Leading workshops, webinars, and conference presentations. In February 2012 we partnered with the Institute for Population and Public Health to host a health equity workshop that brought key researchers and practitioners together. In April, in Nunavut we will host workshops jointly with the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy.
  • Launching an online community of practice. We hope that Health Equity Clicks: Community, supplemented by in-person networking events, will become one of your essential platforms. Through this new community, public health practitioners can dialogue, exchange resources, and explore solutions about how to better address the social determinants of health and advance health equity. 

In the coming months, we will add case studies, fact sheets, short videos, synthesis reports, meeting proceedings, and project updates to this website. Our aim is to become a ‘one stop shop’ for resources related to the social determinants of health, health equity, and Canadian public health practice.

Our sector’s appetite to become more effective and have greater impact on health equity astounds and encourages me. I can’t wait to connect with you, both in person and online, and to learn about the strides you’re taking across the country.


Assess and report, Intersectoral action, Knowledge translation

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