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Health Equity

Being as healthy as possible is about more than our diet, exercise and access to a healthcare system when we need it. In fact, health is largely affected by our environment – where we are born, live, grow, learn, work, play and age – and by the social and economic systems that govern our society. In other words, much of our health is the result of conditions outside of our control. These conditions are called the social determinants of health (SDH). 

Social Determinants of Health

SDH have an impact on people’s opportunities in society, such as our income, education or employment. SDH includes the discrimination we may face based on ability, age, body size, culture, ethnicity, family status, gender, language, race, religion, sex, social class, or socio-economic status. Experiences of discrimination, racism, violence and historical trauma are especially important SDH for groups such as Indigenous Peoples, 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, newcomers, and Black Canadians.

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Advancing health equity

Health equity is a public health approach that aims to change the conditions that stop people from being able to achieve their best possible health. HPPH uses the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Health Equity Guideline to inform our local health equity work. 

Using a health equity approach, HPPH and our community partners work together to improve social, economic, environmental and health systems in Huron and Perth. 

Health equity initiatives

The Lived Experience Expert Panel (LEEP) is a virtual panel of adults aged 18+ in Huron and Perth counties who have lived experience with one or more of these systems: 

  • Social assistance (Ontario Works, ODSP) 
  • Courts (family, civil, criminal, youth custody)
  • Child welfare (Children's Aid, foster care, group homes)
  • Education (school systems, including residential schools),
  • Healthcare (mental health, addictions, disability)
  • Other systems that regulate peoples' lives (Immigration, the Indian Act)  

And/or who have experienced discrimination based on ability, age, body size, culture, ethnicity, family status, gender, language, race, religion, sex, social class, socio-economic status etc.  

Lived experience means that you have been involved in one or more systems in the past, are currently involved, have helped someone, or have worked in one or more systems. Many people have all of these types of experience. 

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is looking for more people to join LEEP. We rely on LEEP expertise to inform our health equity work. Answers to LEEP surveys help shape solutions in our communities.  

If you are interested in joining LEEP or would you like more information, email or complete this online form to send your contact information. A LEEP staff person will call you. 

  • You fill out a consent form and answer a few questions about you and your community. 
  • HPPH emails you a confidential survey each month. The survey works on a computer, tablet or cell phone. You can also get the survey in the mail or speak to someone on the phone. 
  • Survey questions might be about best ways to deal with poverty, how to reduce social isolation or create helpful resources for people, or how to improve systems or make change in communities. 
  • Each survey takes about 20 minutes to complete. 
  • Everyone who answers LEEP surveys will annually receive a $50.00 gift card to a place of their choice. 
  • Read the 2024 report to panelists, LEEP: the first four years! 

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