Highlights and Lowlights
Good news or bad news first? This is probably one of my least favourite questions...but it seems appropriate today since I have a couple of extremely good news items, but also a not-so-good update today.
Good news first.
About health and access, I had a fascinating meeting with the lead primary care physician of the Inner City Health Associates last week. I met with Dr. Gary Bloch to learn more about how ICHA has facilitated and advocated for increased access to health care among homeless and at-risk individuals in the GTA, mainly in Toronto. It was great to learn about how they have worked from having initially three doctors at a shelter, to now having a network of about 60 doctors involved in this work throughout the GTA. I also learned about interesting resources like Health Care Connect, which helps connect Ontarians to a family doctor. The most exciting highlight from this meeting is that we will likely work together to coordinate a physician education event in York Region about issues relating to poverty and health. This event may be the beginning of some ongoing partnerships with local physicians who are interested in being involved in our Street Health goals of improving health among homeless and at-risk people in York Region.
More good news, we had our second Capacity Building event yesterday - Understanding Ontario Works in York Region. A special thanks to members of the Capacity Building Working Group, our guest speakers, and all who attended. You made this event a success! We definitely learned a lot about the ins and outs of Ontario Works, as well as gained a much better understanding of Hostel Programs coordinated through York Region. Presentations were followed by a riveting Q&A discussion, which will also continue through the online HOTS Network as members have more questions and information to share. Presentation notes will also be posted on the HOTS Network, so stay tuned! I'm sure many are also looking forward to our next event on March 5th that focuses on ODSP!
And now the bad news.
Some may have noticed that things have been a little quiet lately from Jane's end. Unfortunately Jane slipped and had a concussion early last week, so she has been home for the last while. We have certainly missed her in the office and do hope she is taking care to recover well! To end with some good news, she definitely sounds much better on the phone and we do hope she is able to rest up and return when she is ready. If anyone wants to send her a message, feel free to post a comment below!