Will Gage, Associate Dean, Research & Innovation, Faculty of Health, York University This week's blog post is a guest post from Dr. Will Gage. Dr. Gage is the Associate Dean, Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Health at York University the owner of the blog Don't Fall, which shares on falls preventionRead More
Small steps towards a big problem: Addressing the social determinants of health at the community level
David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York) wrote the following guest blog post for “Health Policies” about a new initiative with UWYR that is focused on community solutions for community health challenges arising from the social determinants of health.
Health isn’t a problem. Not being healthy is a wicked problem. Wicked problems are persistent social problems characterized (among other things) by:
- Lack of clarity on all stakeholders associated with the problem
- Lack of clarity on the causes of the problems
- Lack of clarity on end points and outcomes
- Interventions change the nature of the wicked problem challenging evaluation
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are wicked problems.
There is an increasing amount of attention paid to SDOH at the international, national and local levels:
- International: The World Health Organization recently released the technical paper for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health to be held in Rio de Janeiro in October 2011.
- National: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) is one of six NCCs funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). In 2010 it released an environmental scan of the role of public health agencies in supporting policy responses to social determinants of health in Canada.
- Local: On June 22 York Region’s Human Services Planning Board release their report, Making Ends Meet which identifies poverty and income insecurity as the single human service priority for York Region. Health indicators and outcomes are included in the planning.
But how do you tackle such large, wicked problems. According to WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, all you need to do is:
- Improve living conditions
- Tackle inequitable distribution of power, money and resources
- Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.
I’ll get right on that. I’ll also get right on solving the upstream political issues underlying SDOH that were pointed out in a previous Healthy Policies blog.
NOT (and therein lies the problem – where do you start with a wicked problem like SDOH?)Read More
A KM in the AM on social determinants of health brought consensus on the challenge but fell short of imagining solutions. At ResearchImpact-York we will continue this dialogue to try to nudge the discussion forward. What will you do?
La dernière matinée de mobilisation des connaissances (KM in the AM) portant sur les déterminants sociaux de la santé a permis d’arriver à un consensus concernant les défis, mais n’a pu dégager clairement des pistes de solution partagées. Chez ResearchImpact – York, nous poursuivrons le dialogue afin de faire avancer la discussions. Et vous, qu’allez-vous faire?
Denis Raphael (School of Health Policy and Management, York University has written, “the primary factors that shape the health and well-being of Canadians – the factors that will give us longer, better lives – are to be found in the actual living conditions that Canadians experience on a daily basis.” WHO defines these conditions as social determinants of health (SDOH), “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The SDOH are mostly responsible for health inequities.” On April 12, ResearchImpact-York hosted a KM in the AM on social determinants of health (SDOH). Part of our suite of KMb services, KM in the AM is a monthly breakfast meeting where university researchers and non-academic stakeholders exchange information and sow the seeds of future collaborations.
Mina Singh and Beryl Pilkington from York’s School of Nursing presented along with Carolyn Mooi from the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Nicky Wright from the York Region District School Board. The presentations kicked off a discussion among the 18 attendees from community and municipal agencies and throughout York Region. Discussion (and there was plenty) focused on the health outcomes related to SDOH: immigration, poverty, homelessness, disability, seniors with people experiencing increased health challenges when more than one of these SDOH intersect. Everyone in the room could speak to the challenges but few were moving to solutions. Local solutions like Mississauga’s investment in community fitness program like Pilates were cited as one example. Nicky charged us to go home and help one person that evening illustrating that we all bear responsibly for being part of the solution.Read More
The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the AM event on Tuesday, April 12. The topic of the morning will focus on social determinants of health, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking. Confirmed Panelists: Mina Singh, FacultyRead More
The fourth annual York University Youth Diabetes Sports Camp has come to an end. Yet there remains plenty to celebrate. York’s KMb Unit was proud to witness the successful conclusion to a unique knowledge mobilization initiative. Being there every step of the way during the two weeks of the DiabetesRead More
By the end of the second week of the Youth Diabetes Sports Camp, the kids have made new friendships and greatly improved their skills in sports. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit interviewed kids with diabetes about some of their impressions and experiences at camp. The children with Type 1 greatly appreciate theRead More
The first week of the Youth Type 1 Diabetes Sports Camp, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit interviewed Prof. Michael Riddell, asking him about some of his reasons and motivations for starting this camp. We also began to learn more about what the camp is all about. Dr. Riddell was diagnosed with diabetesRead More
Monday, July 19 was the launch of the 3rd Annual Type 1 Diabetes Youth Sports Camp at York University. Dr. Michael Riddell started the Diabetes Camp in 2007 for active children and adolescents, ages 8-16, with type 1 diabetes and the numbers have grown from just 10 kids in 2007Read More
The York Institute of Health Research led a dynamic and participatory conference that drew a capacity audience of almost 100 registrants. Supported by the Ministry of Research and Innvoaiton and York University, YIHR is home to an emerging Evaluation Unit that will be offering evaluation services and capacity building.Read More
York Institute for Health Research (YIHR) Social Inclusion for Health and Well Being in Program Evaluation Thursday April 30, 2009, 8:30am-5:00pm, York University The York Institute for Health Research is hosting a full-day workshop on program evaluation and social inclusion to launch their a program eavluation centre. The day includes a keynote addressRead More
The YorkU KM Unit will be hosting its next KM of the AM event on Tuesday, February 24th. The topic of the morning will health promotion and prevention, with brief presentations by a university researcher and a community agency representative, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking. Confirmed Speakers: -Read More