Launch of Community Based Research Resources - "Inclusion Research is
conducted for and by people who are marginalized"

TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - The Ontario Women's Health Network (OWHN) has released two new resources for conducting community-based research with women who experience marginalization. These publications, which were funded by Echo: Improving Women's Health in Ontario, include the Inclusion Research Handbook and the Guide to Focus Groups. Based on OWHN's experience consulting with hundreds of women in over 50 focus groups, these resources are intended to help community members and organizations conduct community-based research and ensure that women's voices are included in health research, policy and practice.

Inclusion Research is a meaningful way of engaging with women who have experienced marginalization in community-based research. It has proven to be effective at actively involving visible minorities, immigrants, youth, low-income women, women with disabilities, women who have experienced male violence, women with mental health issues, and other marginalized groups whose voices often go unheard. Inclusion Research creates partnerships within the local community and includes women who have experienced marginalization in all processes of the research project.

To date, OWHN has worked in collaboration with project partners and Inclusion Researchers to conduct two Inclusion Research projects: Count Us In!: Inclusion and Homeless Women in Downtown East Toronto, which explored how health and social services can better promote the health of homeless women, and Marginalized Women, Inclusion and Stroke, which was designed to promote stroke prevention among marginalized women.

The Inclusion Research Handbook introduces this innovative community-based research method and provides a how-to guide to conducting Inclusion Research, including a training manual for Inclusion Researchers.

Focus Groups provide a unique opportunity to engage with the community and allow women to voice their experiences and concerns. The Guide to Focus Groups is intended to support researchers in conducting focus groups in their communities.

"These new tools are going to help us get a better handle on the different cultural and socio-economic issues affecting the health of women in this province by integrating the very women we want to learn about, into the research process," said Echo CEO Pat Campbell. "The resources that the OWHN has developed take the complex diversity that was once a barrier to gathering high quality data, and turns it into a powerful advantage."

About OWHN - Formed in 1997, the Ontario Women's Health Network (OWHN) works with women, health and social service providers, community organizations and others to support equitable, accessible and effective health services for all women in Ontario. Our mission is to link women to health information and resources and to address the health and health care barriers faced by women in Ontario, particularly women who are marginalized, through our research and advocacy work. Our vision is a society in which every woman has the opportunity to achieve, sustain and maintain healthy living to its fullest, as defined by that woman herself.

For information about OWHN and the Inclusion Research Handbook and Guide to Focus Groups please contact:

Julie Maher, Provincial Director

Ontario Women's Health Network

416-408-4840

owhn@owhn.on.ca

About Echo - Echo is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Echo's mandate is to be the focal point and catalyst for women's health at the provincial level. Echo promotes equity and improved health for women by working in collaborative partnerships with the health system, communities, researchers and policy-makers.

SOURCE ECHO

For further information: For further information: Julie McFayden, Public Affairs and Community Engagement Officer, (416) 597-9687 ext. 232, jmcfayden@echo-ontario.ca

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ECHO

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