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Integrating health equity into population health status reporting

on July 22, 2012

What happens when you mix together a bunch of public health practitioners and researchers from across Canada that are passionate about population health status reporting, with one regional health authority willing to try something new?  You get a “Learning Circle” and a whole lot of stimulating conversation! 

The idea behind this Learning Circle is to assemble different expertise and practice experience to support a “practice” hub that is working to integrate the social determinants of health and health equity into population heath status reporting.

Public Health Services, Capital Health (Halifax, NS) stepped up as the partner and practice hub and in March 2012 the Learning Circle met in Halifax. 

The first meeting focused on the Capital Health context, in particular the steps they have undertaken to prepare for their first population health status report, due to be released in early 2013.  We reflected on what we want to learn together and how population health status reports that integrate social determinants of health can result in improved health equity in Canada (i.e. Theory of Change).

The purpose of our overarching Population Health Status Reporting Initiative is to help Canadian public health organizations and practitioners improve methods to produce population health status reports that illuminate health inequities in order to support the development of effective health-equity policies. The Learning Circle meets via teleconference every two months to discuss key topics and issues and reflect on how Capital Health can apply the learnings to their work.

Bottom line, population health status reporting in Canada presents an opportunity for collaboration within and between the health sector, other government sectors and civil society.  These reports can help describe shared health issues and challenges, provide insight about how to address the key determinants of health, and focus on potential policy solutions.

As this project is implemented, we invite you to follow our progress and contribute to the conversation. We are all in this together!

Left to right: Andrew Bresnahan, Gaynor Watson-Creed, Kimberlee Barro

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