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10 Promising Practices to Guide Local Public Health Practice to Reduce Social Inequities in Health

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The reports describe the process and findings of the Sudbury & District Health Unit (SDHU) Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA) Fellowship. The project sought evidence to guide the health unit to orient programs and services to reduce social inequities in health. Through an extensive literature review process, the project identified 10 local public health practices that have potential to reduce social inequities in health.

Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

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The environment is more than the physical characteristics that surround us—like air pollution, industrial plants, or tobacco smoke—it also includes social, cultural, and economic characteristics.   The purpose of this Atlas is to illustrate the myriad of ways the environment affects our health.

Community Toolbox

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The Community Tool Box is a global resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance in creating change and improvement.

Count Me In!

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An initiative of the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse (now Health Nexus), Count Me In! is a health promotion strategy that highlights the relationship between inclusion and health. The purpose of the project was to engage others in raising and sustaining the work of health promotion, with emphasis on the strategies of inclusion and engagement.

Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Development

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As the main dissemination product of the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD), the Encyclopedia was developed for the use of policy makers, planners and service providers. It is a compendium of texts written by leading experts on topics related to the social and emotional development of young children, from conception to five years of age. It covers 33 topics, referring to different age periods as well as to specific services for children aged 0-5 and their families.

Handbook to Healthier Communities– Influencing Healthy Public Policies
(OCDPA, 2011)

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Developed in 2011 by the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, this handbook is for anyone who wants to advance policy in their community or encourage policy change at the local level. It is a brief version of the Toolkit to Healthier Communities – Influencing Healthy Public Policies. The ‘steps’ to policy development are summarized in one‐page overview format for your convenience. Policy ideas are also included in this handbook, which helps support healthier communities. More information on policy, as well as details, examples, tips, resources and worksheets is provided in the full version of the toolkit to guide you through the steps to policy development.

Health Equity and Prevention Primer

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Health inequities are more than disparities or differences in health and safety outcomes. Inequity describes unfairness and the systematic nature of disparities. The Health Equity and Prevention Primer (HEPP) serves as a web-based training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in policy advocacy, community change, and multi-sector engagement to achieve health equity. The Primer helps practitioners integrate a health equity lens into their initiatives in pursuit of overall health and safety.

Health Promotion Clearinghouse (HPC) Resource Lists

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HPC has a produced a total of 23 resource lists identifying key national, provincial and local resources related to a diversity of topics. Each list is a work in progress. Topics include, but are not limited to: Aboriginal Health; Advocacy and Policy Development; Building Community Capacity; Health Promoting Schools; Mental Health Promotion; Nutrition and Healthy Eating; Partnership Building; Physical Activity and Active Living; Population Health; Proposal and Grant Writing; and Social Marketing.

Health Promotion Consortium (Educational Resources)

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The Healthy Communities Consortium is a group of four health promotion organizations (Health Nexus, Parent Action on Drugs, Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, and the Ontario Public Health Association) collaboratively supporting community organizations and partnerships in Ontario build healthy communities. Their website includes a useful section titled “Educational Resources”, which includes a listing of resources related to various topics such as: Active Communities; Active Transportation; Built Environment; Community Engagement; Evaluation; Evidence-informed Practice; French Language Resources; Health Equity; Mental Health Promotion; Partnership Development; Planning; Policy Development; and Results-Based Accountability

Making it Happen: Healthy Eating at School

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Created to inspire and enable school communities in British Columbia to take action on nutrition policy and practices that affect youth. The project includes three videos and a website. The website provides educators, administrators, and parents the tools they need to influence school policies and practices, such as healthy fundraising ideas, healthier vending practices, and altering recess and lunchtime practices. The videos are intended to help initiate dialogue about healthy eating at school. While the videos use BC examples, the universal themes and comprehensive approach resonate with communities across Canada.

Online Health Program Planner (OHPP)

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The OHPP is a tool developed by the Health Communication Unit (THCU). It guides users through part or all of THCU’s six-step planning process and helps make evidence-informed planning decisions. The six steps include:

  1. Project Management;
  2. Situational Assessment;
  3. Program Objectives;
  4. Choosing Strategies and Activities;
  5. Developing Indicators of Success; and
  6. Reviewing the Plan. Step-specific support menus are provided on every page.

Research for Organizing

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This toolkit is designed for organizations and individuals that want to use participatory action research (PAR) to support their work towards social justice.  PAR helps us to analyze and document the problems that we see in our communities; allows us to generate data and evidence that strengthens our social justice work and ensures that we are the experts about the issues that face our communities.  In this toolklit you will find case studies, workshops, worksheets and templates that you can download and tailor to meet your needs.

The Last Straw! A Board Game on the Social Determinants of Health©

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The Last Straw! is a fun and exciting teaching tool on the social determinants of health. The game has three objectives:

  1. to promote discussion about the social determinants of health;
  2. to help players build empathy with marginalized people and gain an awareness of players’ own social location; and
  3. to encourage learning in a fun and supportive environment.

Toolkit to Healthier Communities – Influencing Healthy Public Policies (OCDPA, 2011)

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The purpose of the toolkit is to help you influence policies that support healthier communities. It expands on the work of the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (OCDPA) and its many project partners. The toolkit is based on The Health Communication Unit’s (THCU) eight step process to policy development and builds on the Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC)’s Workbook for Influencing Physical Activity Policy. See also the accompanying resource Handbook to Healthier Communities.

Tools & Approaches for Assessing & Supporting Public Health Action on the Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity

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This guide, co-produced by NCCDH and NCCHPP, presents tools and approaches used specifically to reduce (or at least to not increase) health inequalities.

Unnatural Causes – is inequality making us sick?

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This is an extensive website containing various tools and resources on health equity. Based on the acclaimed documentary series titled Unnatural Causes broadcast by PBS aimed at tackling the root causes of the United States’ huge socio-economic and racial inequities in health.

Youth Employment – A Practical Toolkit for Employers and Agencies

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Raising the Roof has launched an online toolkit for prospective employers and community agencies.