NETWORK OF ONTARIO'S
COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRES
MODEL OF CARE CHARTER
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority
has made the world better."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whereas Ontario's Community Health Centres (CHCs) share a common language and a common history of more than 35 years of holistic, interdisciplinary community-based care; and
Whereas the province's CHCs play a unique role as a vehicle for completing Tommy Douglas' vision of the Second Stage of Medicare – not just patching people up when they get sick, but keeping them well in the first place; and
Whereas our work recognizes the intersection of health disparities and social inequities and is thus undergirded by a commitment to the principles and values of social justice and the need to
work for political and economic change; and
Whereas CHCs constitute a dynamic movement of empowered and empowering people dedicated to building healthy individuals, families, communities, partnerships, environments and civic institutions;
The following Charter
Sets forth a set of attributes and principles that form the nucleus of who we are and what we do as Community Health Centres in Ontario; these principles with their underlying beliefs and values not only form our internal identity, but also reflect who we are to the external environment;
Describes and prescribes a way of working together, clients and providers, Centres and communities, that asserts: Every One Matters;
Recalls and reminds us that CHCs' understanding of primary health care places us squarely at the community heart of a larger struggle for equity and social justice, for the right to holistic care, regardless of status, endowment or condition, that takes into account all aspects of human dignity;
Acclaims the distinguishing features of our collective identity as organizations and communities and provides an opportunity to affirm our commitment to the values, principles and beliefs embedded in the CHC Model of Care.
The Community Health Centre Model of Care: A Statement of Principles
CHCs offer a range of comprehensive primary health care and health promotion programs in diverse communities across Ontario. Services within CHCs are structured and designed to eliminate system-wide barriers to accessing health care such as poverty, geographic isolation, ethno- and culturo-centrism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, language discrimination, ageism, ableism and other harmful forms of social exclusion including issues such as complex mental health that can lead to an increased burden or risk of ill health.
The CHC model of care focuses on five service areas:
The CHC Model of Care is:
CHCs provide comprehensive, coordinated, primary health care for their communities, encompassing primary care, illness prevention, and health promotion, in one to one service, personal development groups, and community level interventions.
CHCs are designed to improve access, participation, equity, inclusiveness and social justice by eliminating systemic barriers to full participation. CHCs have expertise in ensuring access for people who encounter a diverse range of social, cultural, economic, legal or geographic barriers which contribute to the risk of developing health problems. This would include the provision of culturally appropriate programs and services, programs for the non-insured, optimal location and design of facilities, oppression-free environments and 24 hour on-call services.
Clients, patients, program participants and community residents are at the heart of a CHC's activities. Planning follows a population health approach and develops best practices for serving a given population's needs. In view of the special relationship that CHCs have with their communities, whether based on geography and/or specific populations, the needs of those groups and individuals are of primary importance.
CHCs build interdisciplinary teams working in collaborative practice. In these teams, salaried professionals work together in a coordinated approach to address the health needs of their clients. Depending on the actual programs and services offered, CHC interdisciplinary teams may include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, Aboriginal traditional healers, chiropodists, counsellors, health promoters, community development workers, and administrative staff.
CHCs develop strong connections with health system partners and community partners to ensure the integration of CHC services with the delivery of other health and social services.