Sara Torres, Université de Montreal
Yvonne Chiu, MCHB Co-op, Edmonton
Trish Hack, Women’s Health Educators, Hamilton
Traicy Roberson, SMD Services, Manitoba
Ruth Wolfe, University of Alberta
Corinne Packer, University of Ottawa
Mechthild Meyer, Gentium Consulting
CPHA Conference,Toronto, May 28, 2014
To discuss...
The emergence of the first network of
Community Health Workers (CHWs) in
CHWs’ contribution to health
promotion and public health
CHWs, also known as..
 Lay health promoters
 Health aids
 Health educators
 Cultural brokers
 Multicultural health brokers
 Women’s health educators
 Promotoras
 Home visitors
 Peer support workers
Acontinuum of CHW Models…
Integrated within Canada’s formal healthcare
Public health units
Community health centres
Independent of Canada’s institutional
healthcare system
Community-based organizations
Ethno-specific organizations (Torres, 2013)
Internationally CHW initiatives in health
promotion are directed at:
Changing behaviours
Improving access to health and other
essential services
Addressing health inequalities among
families experiencing marginalization
In Canada, many CHWs while playing
these roles...
 Lack
contact with colleagues across
the country
 Are
not yet recognized as part of
health human resources workforce
Creation :
◦ November 2013
◦ Community-based organizations
◦ Public health units
◦ Community health centres
◦ Allies of CHWs (academics & independent
Meet other CHWs carrying out health
promotion interventions/initiatives
◦ Targeting determinants of health
◦ Seeking social justice
◦ Addressing health equity
Establish collaboration strategies
◦ To improve the field
◦ To improve health promotion among immigrant and
refugee communities
The network is expected to facilitate
recognition of...
CHWs’ contribution to health promotion
and public health
CHWs as part of Canada’s health and
human services workforce
Developing a single definition for
CHWs’ work
Organizing the CHW workforce
Developing core competencies for
Conducting further research on CHWs
and the work that they do
 Lack of understanding of the role of CHWsin
health promotion and public health
 Lack of financial support for the Network
 To establish connections with CHWs and
allies across the country
 To increase the visibility of CHWs as part of
Canada’s health and human resources
 Community
Health Workers Network of
Canada (CHWNC)
Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, University of Ottawa &
Ms. Dot Bonnenfant CHNET-Works for use
of the webinar infrastructure
Caitlin Mischki, Practicum Student, UofA
 Institut
de recherche en santé publique de
l’Université de Montréal (IRSPUM)

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