From October 5 to 11, the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie (CSCE) will celebrate our community’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic response to ensure no one is left behind. This year more than ever, we’re inviting everyone in Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell to join us in recognizing the everyday heroes who’ve stepped up to meet the new challenges brought by the coronavirus while also addressing longstanding inequities.
The week is an important opportunity for our staff, volunteers, and community members to recognize and celebrate each other’s work, and also the work and tenacity of other community-based organizations, grassroots teams, local leaders and decision-makers. It’s also a time to look ahead.
“We’ve seen so many people and organizations step up here in Eastern Ontario to ensure people still have access to vital services and supports during the pandemic,” says Marc Bisson, CSCE Executive Director. “Here at the CSCE, our staff and volunteers are striving every day to learn about new and increased needs in our community, and to work hand-in-hand with local partners during recovery to address barriers and inequities in our health and social systems made more glaring by COVID-19.”
Some of the work at CSCE over the last few months includes: social check-in calls, delivery of food and other supplies, starting virtual programs, advocating for equity, etc. But staff and leaders at CSCE also know that the work of recovery is just beginning.
“As we all know, the pandemic is not over yet, and many communities continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Marc Bisson. “At the same time, the post-pandemic recovery is becoming part of the conversation. As we look into the future, we need to re-imagine what a truly healthy recovery looks like and redesign a health system that works for everyone. That will mean building on trusted relationships; investing in community and social services to build a more integrated health and wellbeing system rooted in health equity; and leveraging the strengths of community voices and leadership.”
Community Health and Wellbeing Week is coordinated by the Alliance for Healthier Communities of which the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie (CSCE) is a member. The Alliance represents Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Community Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics across Ontario.