Twenty-five years ago when London InterCommunity Health Centre began, there were four staff members. Anthoula Doumkou, now the Planning and Community Programs Manager, was one of them. The first of its kind in London, LIHC offered and continues to provide a health promotions model of care that works with clients through all stages of life.
When I first moved to the community where I now live, the East Village, I was in a dark place. When I started taking art classes at a community studio at the Ark Aid Mission called The New School of Colour, it began to help a lot. It was a sort of therapy.
I am a proud volunteer with North East London Community Engagement (NELCE) and with the London InterCommunity Health Centre. As a group we help the community when and where they need us.
Jessica loves to take pictures and spend time at the park. She also loves to draw and paint in her spare time. “These simple things show what’s in the everyday life of me, it’s not much but I still love it.”
What I hope for the community is to advance with peace. No racism, we all treat each other like one flesh, not to see colour, sizes, ages and beauty. We all have the same purpose, we are human beings. We should live like humans.
Sarah loves to play soccer. For 13 years it’s been the one place she can find calm and peace from her troubles. She was one of the first players to play on the indoor field at BMO Centre when it opened.
More than 2100 families were waiting for affordable homes as of December of last year.
An average of 3000 people per month use the London Food Bank.
Approximately 80% of London InterCommunity Health Centre clients have incomes in the lowest and second lowest income bracket.
$7.3M of the London Police budget will be spent on events involving individuals identified as having “definite or probable serious mental illness”.
Ontario spends 2.9B per year on poverty induced healthcare costs. Across Canada, it’s $7.6B per year. In total, poverty costs more than $72B annually.
And poverty costs YOU...between $2300-2900 per household per year.
Healthcare is an Economic Tsunami
The average hospital stay in Canada costs nearly $7,000 per patient.
One HIV/AIDS diagnosis cost Canadians 1.3M over the lifetime. Testing is prevention! The Options Clinic at the Health Centre's Options Clinic provides free, anonymous HIV testing to anyone.
The economic burden of diabetes in Ontario was more than $5B in 2010 and is expected to rise to $6.9B by 2020.
The economic burden of mental illness is estimated at $51B per year.
CHCs (Community Health Centres) advocate for healthy public policy to eradicate poverty, calling for things like an increased minimum wage, or guaranteed annual income.
CHCs work on breaking the cycle and stigma of poverty to empower people, and connect them with services and resources that lift them out of the cycle of poverty. At a grassroots level, this means providing people with knowledge and resources, social support, or assistance with navigating broader systems.
CHCs keep people well through health promotion and illness prevention programs, to reduce the burden on hospitals and ERs. We provide HIV testing, diabetes education and management that prevent costly complications, smoking cessation resources, community programs, and more.
CHCs address the social determinants of health like income, food security, housing, social inclusion/exclusion, and community vitality, in order to keep people healthy and well. This means a healthier community for all of us and less money spent on healthcare, policing, criminal justice, and EMS calls.
Hospitals account for the greatest share of health spending in Canada.
ONTARIO COULD CREATE DOZENS OF NEW CHCS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE HOSPITAL.
A completely, white, proud, pigeon, scrub
Waddles, in and out, of the, push, and, mud
At, heart, a beautiful dove
Everyone, would surly love
From the egg and from the womb, she is born into this world.
Time for her to be taught the survival techniques needed
For her to rise and survive in this world.
Life starts off to be rather enjoyable; everything is as it should be.
A holistic approach to health care optimizes community wellness, creates stronger communities, and improves quality of life for everyone.
The traditional approach to health care is to treat a symptom.
60% of our health care concerns are directly related to our working and living conditions, yet we spend the majority of our health care budget on hospitals where we treat symptoms.
We need to stop treating symptoms and start addressing the root factors that lead to illness.
Instead of waiting for people to get sick, a holistic approach to health care focuses on prevention, promoting health and working toward overall well-being. This approach to health care considers the bigger picture, including the health of the broader community. Community Health Centres like London InterCommunity give better service by creating a unique system of care:
Where all are welcome...
- Accessible. Remove the barriers between the service and the people who need it, like ensuring accessible buildings, websites and hours, offering interpreters and helping with transportation to the centre.
- Anti-oppressive and culturally safe. It’s about respect and equality.
Where we focus on wellness...
Population and needs-based. The right care for those who need it the most. Ensuring limited resources go to the places and people with the greatest need.
Interprofessional, Integrated and Coordinated. Health care providers working collaboratively as a team to meet a variety of client needs. Letting each professional do their job to their fullest capacity.
Where we respond to social and community need...
Based on the determinants of health. Housing, employment, income, food security, social inclusion and education are all part of a healthy life. By building programs that address these elements, better outcomes happen.
Grounded in a Community Development Approach. Build programs with the community, and support community members as they take ownership of the development, stewardship and growth of those programs. Programs like community gardens give participants a chance to take charge and give back to their neighbours.
Where transparency and collective voice is valued...
Community governed. The Health Centre serves the community, and the community has a strong voice in how the Centre is run.
Accountable and Efficient. Everyone involved in the Health Centre needs to know that the programs are achieving their goals and the money is well spent.
To ensure a more proactive, wellness-focused system, we have to think differently about how we approach our health. It's time to move beyond symptoms and tackle what really makes us sick.