Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership
The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership (WRHCP) is a network of organizations and individuals with a shared interest in promoting health and reducing chronic disease in Waterloo Region.
The WRHCP is specifically interested in local policy development that promotes mental wellbeing, healthy eating, and active living in a comprehensive way. With funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, we support organizations that want to make policy changes at the local level.
The Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership invites you to our 4th annual networking session... Check the Sharpening our Focus event invitation for more details.
Check the pictures from the April 30th networking session. Check the video of the keynote speaker.
What have we done?
In 2013, the WRHCP had a busy year. One of our projects identified specific zoning and licensing bylaws that could be changed to encourage healthier eating, then hosted a workshop to help people learn how to advocate for these changes.
Another project held focus groups and interviews with those who promote physical activity to receive feedback on what policy changes could enable people to live more active lifestyles.
A third project focused on mental wellbeing, hosting a community forum for the public to share their thoughts and opinions on ways to promote mental health through policy changes.
Finally, the WRHCP supported research carried out in two local townships. The Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition and Woolwich Healthy Communities both developed community profiles and then met with people to talk about policy work that could be done to make it easier to eat well, move more, and feel included.
Where did we come from?
In 2010, the Ministry of Health asked Public Health units to form Healthy Communities Partnerships and required that they focus on promoting policies that help people to be healthy. As a result of a community consultation process in 2010-2011, our community chose healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health as three priority areas in which to focus policy advocacy work. We also acknowledged that those who experience poverty are at greatest risk of poor health and need to be engaged and involved in our planning and decision making.
The WRHCP approached the organizations and networks already doing work in Waterloo Region related to the priority areas and asked them to take the lead. The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable agreed to take the lead on the healthy eating policy work. The Waterloo Region Active Living Network is taking the lead on the priority of increasing physical activity. A group of mental health agencies have formed a Mental Health Working Group and are working together on the priority of mental health and wellbeing. These three groups are referred to as partner networks of the WRHCP. Since that time, some rural partners have also benefitted from WRHCP funding and have begun to do policy work around healthy eating, active living, and mental health in their communities.
The WRHCP is guided by a Stewardship Group. Each partner network has at least one representative on this group. The Stewardship Group organizes networking events for the WRHCP and provides guidance on all funding proposals that are sent to the Ministry. The terms of reference for the Stewardship Group can be found here.
The figure below shows our structure.
You can learn more about each of our partner networks by viewing their web sites:
Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable
Waterloo Region Active Living Network
Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region
Mental Health Working Group (no website at this time)
You can learn more about our rural partners here:
Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition
Woolwich Healthy Communities
Reports on Policy Advocacy Activities
In this section you will find reports on policy work completed through WRHCP funding. One of our projects was to commission a report that identified specific zoning and licensing bylaws that could be changed to encourage healthier eating, then hosted a workshop to help people learn how to advocate for these changes.
Strategic Communications Plan
Policy Advocacy to Promote Mental Health in Waterloo Region
Planning for Food Friendly Municipalities in Waterloo Region
Building Capacity for Policy Work - Wilmot Township
Blueprint for Physical Activity Action in Waterloo Region
Supporting Advocacy on Municipal Official Plans
Waterloo Region Healthy Communities Partnership: Community Picture
Waterloo Region Community Assessment
If you are interested in learning more about the WRHCP, or subscribing to our e-newsletter, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-575-4400 x5297
Link to WRFSR Facebook page