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Learning from Practice: Advocacy for health equity – Hamilton Public Health Services

In collaboration with other areas of local government and community groups, Hamilton Public Health has been advocating for health equity through its efforts to support initiatives such as basic income guarantee, food security and the Canada Learning Bond for low income residents.

This paper highlights three main roles that public health professionals at Hamilton Public Health took as part of their advocacy for health equity. These roles are described in Let’s Talk: Advocacy and health equity.

Role 1 Framing the issue:  In Hamilton Public Health, social determinants of health (SDOH) nurses used a framing strategy that targeted specific populations and issues.

Role 2  Gathering and disseminating data:  SDOH nurses used population health surveillance data to reveal where the inequities in the community existed.

Role 3  Working in collaboration and developing alliances: Hamilton Public Health worked closely with internal public health partners—including staff working directly with clients and Medical Officers of Health—as well as with community-based organizations and all levels of government.

Use this resource to:

  • Integrate an advocacy approach into your health equity activities
  • Develop a health equity framework or strategy for your organization
  • Support a conversation in your organization about how to create a safe space for moving advocacy actions further upstream toward structural change


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2016). Learning from Practice: Advocacy for health equity – Hamilton Public Health Services. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University.

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Tags: Access to health services, Assess and report, Communicate, Community engagement, Competencies & organizational standards , Critical works in health equity, Early childhood development, Environmental health, Evaluation, Event, Food security, Health literacy, Healthy public policy, Income inequality, Infectious disease, Intersectoral action, Key concepts, Leadership & capacity building, Methods & tools, Modify & orient, Partnership , Policy analysis, Public health unit / health authority, Sex & gender, Working conditions, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health

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