New Community Health Care Hub for Weston/Mount Dennis

    $3 Million Investment Boosts Family Health Care In One Of Toronto's
    Priority Neighborhoods

    TORONTO, Nov. 27 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing $3 million
to establish a new hub of health and community services for residents of
Toronto's Weston/Mount Dennis community, Deputy Premier and Health and
Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
    "Our government is committed to working with local communities to ensure
that all of our families have better access to family health care closer to
home, more opportunities for success and a higher standard of living," said
    Weston/Mount Dennis was identified as one of 13 Toronto neighbourhoods
most in need of improved community infrastructure in the 2005 Strong
Neighbourhoods Task Force report conducted by United Way of Greater Toronto
and the City of Toronto.
    "The new Weston/Mount Dennis community hub will provide many benefits to
the people who need it the most in this community," said Laura Albanese, MPP,
York South / Weston. "The services offered by the agencies located in the new
facility reflect the direct needs of our community."
    "This hub at the Weston/Mount Dennis Satellite CHC will bring together
local residents and a broad range of services and programs to strengthen this
neighbourhood," said Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater
    The new Satellite Community Health Centre will provide increased access
to the full range of family health care services offered by physicians, nurse
practitioners, nurses, counsellors, community workers and dieticians. CHCs
provide essential family health care services for those who have difficulty
accessing health care due to barriers such as language, culture, physical
disabilities, homelessness, poverty or geographic isolation.
    In addition to health care services, the centre will also provide broader
community supports such as youth peer support programs, programs to address
violence, youth leadership training and skills development, parent and child
programs, and outreach to isolated seniors.
    "Community health care must aim higher than simply treating illness,"
said Smitherman. "That's why our government is launching a series of
initiatives that will address the underlying conditions that contribute to
healthy lives and strong communities."
    Today's announcement is part of the McGuinty government's plan to expand
opportunity for all Ontarians, which also includes:

    -   Establishing the Ontario Child Benefit, which will deliver up to
        $1,100 to low-income children, whether their parents are working or
    -   Raising the minimum wage by $0.75 annually so that it reaches $10.25
        by 2010.
    -   Delivering 35,000 new housing allowances and funding over 18,000 new
        units of affordable housing
    -   Delivering 22,000 new child care spaces to ensure that more families
        have the support they need to raise their children.

    "We're delighted to be partnering with the government of Ontario and the
United Way on this project," said Lee Fairclough, Chair of the Board of York
Community Services. "Working together we will be able to provide a wide range
of health care and social services which will be a huge benefit to this

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at: under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:

    Disponible en français.



    Community Health Centres (CHCs) are non-profit organizations that provide
primary health care for individuals, families and communities. They also
address other factors that affect wellness, such as education, employment,
income, social support, environment and housing.

    Current Status in Ontario

    CHCs are an important part of the province's primary care renewal
strategy, complementing Family Health Teams and other models in place to meet
the family health care needs of Ontarians.
    There are currently 54 CHCs and 10 satellites CHCs operating in Ontario:
27 in large urban centres, 14 in smaller urban centres and 13 in either
northern and/or rural communities. CHCs currently have approximately 350,000
active clients.
    Satellite CHCs are sponsored by existing CHCs to either serve a different
neighbourhood or town, or to serve a distinct priority population, for
example, at-risk youth. Satellite CHCs are smaller than CHCs and offer a
smaller range of programs that are tailored to meet the needs of that
    In November 2005, the government announced $74.6 million to support a
three-year expansion of the CHC program, funding 22 new CHCs and 17 new
Satellite CHCs by 2007-08.

    Programs Overview

    CHCs use a community development approach to health care that ensures
Ontarians who face access barriers such as race, language, poverty, physical
disabilities or geographic isolation have access to family health care and
community health programs.
    The centres have teams of health care professionals including physicians,
nurse practitioners, nurses, counsellors, community workers and dieticians who
deliver a range of services.
    The services offered by each CHC vary depending on the needs of the local
community. A CHC will identify local needs and then offer programs and
services to meet those demands. These can include:

     -  Family health care
     -  Primary mental health care
     -  Nutrition workshops
     -  Housing security and homelessness
     -  Access to employment
     -  Supports to immigrants and refugees
     -  Seniors drop-in
     -  Multilingual programming on a variety of topics
     -  Women's support group


    United Way of Greater Toronto (UWGT) is a registered charity and community
impact organization dedicated to improving lives and strengthening
neighbourhoods across Toronto. The United Way identifies needs and takes
action to create a better, safer, stronger city through research, partnerships
and support of a network of 200 health and social service agencies. These
agencies deliver quality services and programs to every corner of Toronto to
impact the following areas: employment, health care support, hunger and
homelessness prevention, neighbourhoods, newcomers, people with addictions,
people with HIV/AIDS, people with disabilities, women who have been abused,
seniors and young children. In 2007, United Way remains focused on three
priority areas - strengthening neighbourhoods, creating opportunities for
youth and helping to fulfill the potential of newcomers.


    The United Way of Greater Toronto's Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force
report (released in October, 2005) identified the need for local non-profit
organizations that can address the needs of their area in a multi-purpose,
holistic way. The report also called for increased infrastructure in thirteen
priority neighbourhoods in the City.
    As part of the United Way of Greater Toronto's Neighbourhood Strategy, it
will support the development of community hubs in eight of the priority
neighbourhoods. Community hubs will enhance infrastructure in these
under-served neighbourhoods and create a central place that will bring
together local residents and a broad range of services and programs to
strengthen neighbourhoods. Hubs are envisioned as locally responsive and
accessible to the diversity of people living in the neighbourhood.

    Disponible en français.


For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's
Office, (416) 212-4048; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Joanna King, Public Relations Officer, United Way of Greater
Toronto, (416) 777-2001 ext. 386; Marcia Gilbert, York Community Services,
(416) 636-0500; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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