Issue 26 | November 7, 2023
Bulletin of the Alliance's Learning Health System
Special Issue
Cultivating Connections: Pathways to Wellbeing
This month, EPIC News welcomes two guest authors: Malique Saleh and Deven Saxena. Both are practicum students currently completing placements with the Social Prescribing program at the Alliance for Healthier Communities. Here, they share their perspectives on last month's virtual Social Prescribing Conference, Cultivating Connections: Pathways to Wellbeing, hosted by the Alliance.
Malique Saleh
Malique Saleh, a passionate 4th-year social work student at Carleton University, is driven by his commitment to health equity. Currently, a practicum student at the Alliance for Healthier Communities, he's gaining valuable hands-on experience while pursuing his aspiration to become a teacher.
Deven Saxena
Deven Saxena is a practicum student at the Alliance for Healthier Communities. He is in his 4th year at Western University studying Health Sciences. He is passionate about health equity, healthcare technology and virtual healthcare. When he isn’t working at the Alliance or studying, he can be found playing guitar or walking in the park with his dogs. 
Unlocking The Healing Power of Music
Heart Work,
Not Hard Work
Bridging Gaps for the Aging Population
New Tools &
Get Involved: Research & Sharing
Learning Events & Programs
Unlocking the Healing Power of Music
A Glimpse into Innovative Social Prescribing
Malique Saleh
One noteworthy concurrent session, “Integrating Music on Prescription into Healthcare,” showcased several creative initiatives that bring together music and healthcare. 

These programs are collectively building a path in the emerging field of music-based social prescribing, demonstrating the profound potential of music to foster wellbeing and address a range of health challenges. Social work elements are embedded in each of them. As a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work, and as an avid music enjoyer, I could not be more excited to attend this session.

Developing a Model of Music on Prescription

The Music and Health Research Institute at the University of Ottawa is transforming healthcare by forging strong partnerships with healthcare and social service institutions to implement music programs that directly impact patients’ lives. This initiative involves a range of professionals, including music educators, musicians, and speech language therapists. This is intriguing because the therapeutic potential of music doesn't depend on the specialized skills of a music therapistBy focusing on feasibility studies, quality assurance, and evaluation, they are working towards a robust model of music on prescription. This will ensure that this music initiative is not only effective but also responsive to the unique needs of different individuals and circumstances. This kind of approach resonates with the social work values of individualization and the importance of addressing the specific needs of each client.

Supporting Communication through Choral Singing

The SingWell Project, based at Toronto Metropolitan University, delves into the social and psychological benefits of group singing. Their approach highlights the strength-based aspects of choral singing and its potential to support people with communication challenges. SingWell is focused on various populations, such as people diagnosed with aphasia, breathing disorders, hearing loss, Parkinson's disease, stuttering, and more. The initiative is breaking down barriers, showing that music can indeed be a universal tool for promoting overall wellbeing and enhancing communication skills. These principles are deeply rooted in the social work mission of empowering individuals and fostering inclusion. 

Singing to Breathe

Better Breathing Choir exemplifies the power of music to enhance the lives of people with respiratory conditions. By using the choir as a platform, these initiatives illustrate how music fosters connection, strengthens the vocal cords, and improves participants’ quality of life.

Singing Community

Radical Connections, a nonprofit organization, brings the arts into healthcare. They initiated "unmasked connections," a program that facilitated interactions between residents and a diverse team of artists through virtual platforms. This program was designed to address unique challenges arising from COVID-19. Residents were free to choose artists they resonated with, based not only on music but also on language and cultural preferences. The impact was profound, and it connected individuals through music, empowered residents to share their poetry and stories, and reduced feelings of isolation.

Valuable Lessons

In the field of music-based social prescribing, I have uncovered valuable lessons. The use of music, tailored to individual needs, resonates with social work values, highlighting the importance of personalized care. Collaborative partnerships, as seen with the Music and Health Research Institute, showcase innovative approaches that integrate music into patient wellbeing. Additionally, the adaptability of their music initiatives during unexpected challenges, such as the “unmasked connections” program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrates the field's resilience. Looking ahead, these insights open doors for potential applications in healthcare and social work settings. They empower individuals through the influence of music, offering new avenues for holistic wellbeing.

This session highlighted that the integration of music on prescription into healthcare is not just an aspiration, but an innovative reality. It is clear that these programs are reshaping our understanding of the impact that music can have on improving the overall wellbeing and addressing a wide range of health challenges. As a student in social work, it is inspiring to see these ground-breaking initiatives that bridge the gap between the arts and healthcare, unlocking new possibilities for enhancing our health and quality of life through a social work lens.
Heart Work, Not Hard Work
Fostering Health Equity through Social Prescribing
Deven Saxena

I recently had the privilege of attending the Social Prescribing conference, which featured insightful sessions on health equity. These sessions shed light on the pivotal role that social prescribing plays in building healthier communities and the importance of considering the perspectives of marginalized groups.

Place as a Community Prescription

The keynote speaker, Jay Pitter, highlighted how space can be used to improve community health. Drawing on her personal experiences growing up in public housing in Toronto's east end, she emphasized the role of design, policy, and programming in community spaces. Jay highlighted the powerful narrative of reclaiming spaces after trauma. Her story underscored the significance of considering the healing and therapeutic potential of community environments.
Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency
The session on Indigenous health emphasized the need to implement trauma-informed care in social prescribing and clinical settings. It was stressed that healthcare professionals should engage in conversations with clients to understand their unique views on health. A vital part of this process is acknowledging the Seven Sacred Values and ensuring cultural safety when dealing with Indigenous patients.
It was remarkable to learn about the integration of traditional Indigenous healers into primary care teams, providing advice, support, and guidance to patients, and connecting them to community and cultural resources. The idea of integrating traditional Indigenous healers into healthcare recently came up in a project on trauma-informed care that I was working on for school. A key element that was underlined throughout this project was the fact that Indigenous patients often have greater health outcomes when traditional healing values are combined with Western healthcare approaches, rather than simply the latter. 
It was stressed that social prescribing embodies concepts found in traditional Indigenous healing practices and culture. There was recognition that asking for consultation and input from Indigenous communities is essential, but it should be done mindfully to avoid overburdening them. To do this, it is crucial to include Indigenous voices and consultations from the very beginning, with a focus on creating reciprocal gains for these communities.
Black-Focused Social Prescribing
The Black-Focused Social Prescribing (BFSP) session discussed the importance of creating culturally safe spaces. The importance of decolonizing elements of the healthcare system to make it culturally safe was emphasized, along with aligning strategies with policies to ensure sustainability.
A major success of BFSP is that all levels of government are now engaging with Black health strategies, and community perspectives are prioritized in program evaluations. Cultural principles are used to enable communities to evaluate these programs effectively, promoting allyship and respect for Black culture from all communities.
Culturally safe programming was discussed, emphasizing the need to tailor it to the individual, meet people where they're at, and practice curiosity and active listening - but that these processes take time. Neil Price, Co-Founder and Executive Director of LogicalOutcomes, stated "If you are not curious, you’re going to end up with a lot of misconceptions." He went on to explain: “There’s no quick way to do this work. The consensus building, the trust building, the safety that has to be cultivated demands that this is not quick work.” 
Unique Evaluation for BFSP
The evaluation process for BFSP was unique in its emphasis on moving away from an extractive approach and focusing on ensuring that the information collected benefits the communities involved. This process also explored how ancient African culture intersects with contemporary policies and procedures, and how Afrocentric values are being centered in the project.
The significance of allowing clients and patients to share their wisdom and experiences in a safe space was highlighted. This practice fosters a structure of evaluation that permits storytelling without leading it toward a predetermined outcome.
In conclusion, these sessions underscored the vital importance of social prescribing as a tool for improving health equity, recognizing the need for cultural safety, humility, and trauma-informed care in all aspects of healthcare. Building healthier communities is a collaborative effort that includes marginalized voices from the beginning and cultivates reciprocal gains for all parties involved. While this work is not easy, it's essential, and it's shaping a future where healthcare is more inclusive and holistic for all. As Francis Garwe beautifully put it: “This is not hard work, it’s heart work.”  
Innovative Social Prescribing
Bridging Healthcare Gaps for the Aging Population
Malique Saleh
Social prescribing is at the forefront of healthcare discussions, and the 2023 Social Prescribing conference session, “Bridging Healthcare Gaps for the Aging Population,” highlighted some innovative strides being made in this field to advance equity for older adults. The session, presented by the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, shed light on a social prescribing program they are developing with and for older adults in downtown Toronto. The team’s commitment to community engagement, coupled with a person-centred approach, underlined the essence of social prescribing.

At the heart of the team’s approach is the introduction of community health workers and link workers into a traditional healthcare setting. These new roles are designed to tackle the specific obstacles associated with implementing social prescribing within this distinct healthcare setting, bridging the connection between healthcare institutions and the community. The incorporation of such roles is not without its challenges, such as navigating complex human resources practices and territorial concerns. These concerns reflect the hesitations and uncertainties healthcare professionals often experience when navigating transformative changes. It underscores the challenges of introducing new roles that deviate from established norms and how these roles fit into the traditional healthcare hierarchy.

Additionally, as the team embraces a more comprehensive, community-oriented, and self-determined approach to health and wellness, there are considerations about the impact on established practices. There is a need to transition away from the traditional, compartmentalized view of health, which categorizes it into mental and physical, to embrace a more integrated and holistic perspective. This raises questions about how these changes will be incorporated into daily healthcare routines and potential interactions with Indigenous practices, which have existed for thousands of years.

The program prioritizes developing community relationships, ensuring that healthcare institutions are seen not as imposing, but rather as an integrated part of the community. By engaging community agencies and making personal connections, the team is breaking down preconceived notions and building an asset map that brings healthcare closer to the community. This perspective emphasizes that healthcare providers like the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team are not just for emergencies and “sickness care,” but also for fostering overall community wellbeing. As the team actively connects with community organizers and shares the array of services they provide, the community is beginning to see them as allies in achieving better health, beyond the conventional view of emergency services.

The goals of the program are not confined to healthcare, but extend to strengthening community bonds and reducing social isolation. By addressing issues such as food, income security, and promoting provider wellness, the St. Michael’s Hospital team envisions a comprehensive shift in the way healthcare is practice and taught there. 
Tools and Resources
Funding Opportunities

RFP: Get funding for research to advance healthy aging 
Submit your letter of intent by Tuesday, November 16
The Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation is offering funding for projects that can advance knowledge about healthy aging and chiropractic care. Researchers are invited to submit a letter of intent demonstrating scientific rigour and alignment with the fund’s objectives . Find guidelines, submission details, and FAQs here.

  • Just announced! The successful applicants from the Spring 2023 funding round can be found here. A total of $200,000 was awarded to 6 research projects.

RFT: Conduct a literature review about chiropractic care and stroke
Apply by Tuesday, January 23
The Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation has just announced their first Request for Tender (RFT). Research teams are invited to submit proposals to conduct an exhaustive systematic review of literature to ascertain if there is an association between cervical spinal manipulation and ischemic stroke. If it is determined that such an association exists, does the evidence suggest that it is causal? Information about eligibility and submission instructions here.  

Health Workforce Innovation Challenge
Join between now and April 24
Earn funds for your organization while testing new ideas and solutions for retaining and supporting your workforce! Healthcare Excellence Canada is offering a 12-month Open Innovation Challenge, and participating teams can earn up to $112,000 to develop and implement their ideas. The sooner you join, the more you can earn! All participants will be supported through peer networking, expert coaching, and learning events. Learn more here and here.

Tools for Improvement and Highest-Quality Care

Talk Tobacco
Indigenous Tobacco Cessation Support from Cancer Care Ontario
Talk Tobacco was developed by and for Indigenous people in Canada to meet the need for culturally relevant, accessible and targeted tobacco and vaping cessation services. Participants receive talk-based cessation support and access to other resources via phone, text, web-based chat, or online community groups. They can self-refer or be formally referred by a healthcare partner. For more information, email

Promoting vaccine boosters with plain-language explanations
Shareable video from South Riverdale CHC
The South Riverdale Community Health Centre has just launched a new video to promote the uptake of vaccine boosters. The short, animated video uses plain language to describe how vaccine boosters work, why they’re important, and where they can be accessed. As we enter a season of increased respiratory illnesses, it’s important to increase vaccine confidence and promote the uptake of COVID-19 boosters and annual flu shots. Watch the video here and share it widely with your clients, communities, and personal networks. 

Rethinking Patient Safety: A Discussion Guide for Patients, Healthcare Providers and Leaders
Toolkit from Healthcare Excellence Canada
Healthcare Excellence Canada and Patients for Patient Safety Canada held many conversations about patient safety with users of the health system, people who work in healthcare and safety scientists. Their learnings are summarized in this key statement: Everyone contributes to patient safety. Together we must learn and act to create safer care and reduce all forms of healthcare harm. In this discussion guide, they elaborating in depth on that key statement, provides a list of considerations that go beyond traditional thinking on patient safety, and pose discussion questions that can help spark conversations about how the considerations can be put into action. 

Free consultations about air quality improvements
25-minute virtual appointments from MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
Free advice is available for community organizations about how to reduce transmission of COVID-19 through indoor air quality measures like ventilation and filtration. Meet online with air quality experts at the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo, and get answers to your questions about HVAC systems, portable air filters, UV disinfection, and more. See this flyer for more information, and email Pearl Buhariwala to book your appointment. Use this checklist to get started.

Social Prescribing: a Resource for Health Professionals
Toolkit from Centre for Effective Practice | Updated for 2023
This resource is designed to support health professionals working in primary care to implement social prescribing in their practice. It brings together the best available evidence and expert opinion to provide guidance on social prescribing. 

Webinars, Podcasts, and News You May Have Missed

The key role of health equity in addressing the climate crisis and other environmental risks
Recorded Webinar from the Alliance for Healthier Communities
Two researchers from CAMH whose work explores the health impacts of climate change shared how these impacts intersect with other determinants of health, deepening existing inequities. They also shared case examples from Canada and Australia of innovative, whole-community responses as well as key policy directions to advocate for.

New in our Library

New research demonstrates that community primary health care is essential to health system modernization, calls for system-level integration of clinical and social care.
This article, just published in Longwoods Healthcare Quarterly, describes how the provinces have approached primary health care renewal since 2001. Increasing the number of CHCs was an essential renewal strategy In Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick; additionally, CHCs were becoming more established in British Columbia, Saskatoon, and Nova Scotia. The article also notes that while system-level integration of clinical care has improved in many jurisdictions; integration between clinical and social care is lagging and generally occurs locally rather than at the system level. The article concludes with a call for “a federal accord on integrating health and social services to provide truly comprehensive and integrated care.” 

Evidence for Social Prescribing from 13 Countries
This literature review, just published in Frontiers in Medicine, identifies, describes, and synthesizes the broad array of social prescribing outcomes that have been studied in 13 countries, and it maps the outcomes that have been most commonly studied. It highlights the value of heterogeneity and mixed-methods approaches in outcome studies for capturing nuanced experiences and outcomes in this nascent area of practice.
Learning Events & Programs

Developing Anti-Racist Approaches to Research and Analytics at ICES
Thursday, November 9, 1:00-2:00 pm | Webinar | Free
Join research and KT leaders at ICES for an open discussion on how you can develop or learn about race and related data guidance. This virtual session will introduce the Guidance Document and Framework for Anti-Racist Approaches at ICES to organizations and community members interested in developing or learning about incorporating race and related data into their research or work.
Move, Improve, Remove: Fall Prevention Series from Loop
November 7, 16 & 28 | Webinar Series | Free
November is Falls Prevention Month. This three-part webinar series can help you support fall prevention with your clients and community members.

  • Tuesday, November 7, 12-1pm | Move your body: Exercise and Physical Activity to Reduce the Risk of Falls. This webinar will review the current evidence and provide some clinical pearls of wisdom on how exercise can help reduce the risk of falls. Learn more here. Register here.

  • Thursday, November 16, 12-1pm | Improve your health: Medication Considerations for Fall Prevention and Fall-Related Injury. This webinar will explore the structured approach to medication review to improve identification of fall risk increasing drugs (FRIDs) and the role of deprescribing to reduce fall risk. Medication management considerations of fall-related injuries will be discussed in a case-based format. Register here.

  • Tuesday, November 28, 12-1pm | Remove hazards: Reducing the Risk of Falls by Removing Environmental Hazards: An Evidence-based Approach. This webinar will focus on detecting, reducing, and removing fall risk hazards in the built environment. Evidence-based advocacy, educational, and behavioural approaches to reduce environmental hazards will be discussed. Register here.

Health Promotion: The Future is Bright
Monday, November 13, 12:00-1:00 pm | Webinar | Free
This webinar, presented by Health Promotion Ontario, will shine light on the value and relevance of health promotion in creating a robust and sustainable health system needed today. Target audience: Undergraduate & graduate students and anyone interested in public health and health promotion. Register here.

Adapting Environments for Sensory Loss
Monday, November 13, 1:00-4:00 pm | Webinar | $50
Explore adaptations, including DIY solutions, that create spaces that are functional, user friendly and inclusive for individuals with sensory loss in this webinar from DeafBlind Ontario Services. Register here by November 12.

Caring for persons on methadone in PHC: Toward safer, more inclusive care
Tuesday, November 14, 12:00-1:00 pm | Webinar | Free
This interactive virtual workshop will include case presentations and facilitated participant discussion. Learn more here. Register here.

Chatham-Kent Addictions Awareness Conference | Addictions and Antagonism: Accounting for Narcissism in the Treatment of Addiction
Thursday, November 16, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm | In-Person Conference | $165-195
Learn how to account for antagonistic personality styles when working with clients who are experiencing addiction. Learn more and register here by November 8.

IPHCC Online Lunch ‘n’ Learn: Inuit Storytelling with Chris Church
Wednesday, November 15, 12:00-1:00 pm | Webinar | Free
The IPHCC is hosting a one hour lunch and learn webinar about Inuit Storytelling featuring Chris Church. Chris Church is Inuvialuit and Gwich’in from Inuvik, NWT, now living in Ottawa. He is a professional athlete, actor, and youth coordinator. Learn more and register.

ECHO Ontario Interactive Online Medical Education: Pediatric Concussion
Starts November 15 | Four-Week Online Training | Free
Earn CPD credits and learn with the support of peers and an interprofessional specialist team. Present your real cases for collaboration. Four weekly sessions begin November 15. Open to all health care providers. Learn more here. Register here.

Learn to Successfully Structure Orientation for IEHPs
Wednesday, November 22, 1:00-2:00 pm | Webinar | Free
Speakers will describe the uniqueness of Internationally Educated Healthcare Professional (IEHP) orientation; important topics that should be covered; and concrete, actionable recommendations that can be adapted to your organization. Learn more here. Register here.

Supporting Workplace Mental Wellness: The TAKE'N5 Collegial Peer Support Model
Tuesday, November 28, 12:00-1:00 pm | Webinar | Free
Promoting psychological wellness in the workplace is an important way to address the Health Human Resource (HHR) crisis. TAKE'N5 is a collegial peer support model that can help mitigate psychological stress injury and build sustainable capacity for your organization to support psychological wellness. Jo-Ann Vis, a social work researcher from Lakehead University, will share an overview of the model and tools that organizations can start using now. Learn more here. Register here. 


Applying a social prescribing approach in a public health context
Wednesday, December 6, 12:00-1:30pm | Webinar | Free
This webinar, presented by the Mental Health Promotion in Public Health Community of Practice, will feature experts in  social prescribing and public health, including Natasha Beaudin from the Alliance for Healthier Communities. The panelists will discuss how social prescribing can be implemented within a public health context. Attendees will hear about the research on social prescribing, guidelines for using social prescriptions, what social prescribing looks like “on the ground,” and health equity considerations. Learn more here. Register here.

Building Resilience: Navigating the Long-Term Impact of Trauma
Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 1:00—2:00 pm | Webinar | Free
This talk addresses the long-term impact of trauma on our way of being in the world and defines resilience as the human capacity to grow through adversity. This approach defies the separation between individuals and the social world, showing how we can all contribute to each other’s resilience and wellbeing. You will learn strategies for cultivating resilience in three areas: stress management and self-care, the quality of connection with others, and the support from one’s environment. Presented by the National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4). Learn more here. Register here.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement Annual Forum
December 20-13 | In-Person Conference, Orlando | Prices vary
This year’s forum is a 4-day event with 10 topic tracks, including Building Improvement Capability, Population Health, and Workforce Wellbeing. There are over 160 sessions and five keynote speakers, including Erin Brockovich and Don Berwick. Early bird rates available! Information and registration here.


2 Professional Learning Events (PLEs) for Alliance members only!
January 23 & 24 | In-Person Workshop, Toronto | Early bird rates available
Data and Quality Improvement professionals are invited to join us in January at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North for these two exclusive PLEs for Alliance members. Register by November 30 to save $25! For more information about these events, please see the Communique that was sent to Alliance member ELs on October 19.
  • Tuesday, January 23 | Data Management PLE: This day will be a mix of plenary and concurrent sessions focusing on data and how it is being used. Agenda coming soon. Register here
  • Wednesday, January 24 | Quality Improvement PLE: This PLE will help staff in member organizations have greater confidence in using data throughout the entire QI journey. Agenda coming soon. Register here.
The Alliance has secured a limited block of discounted rooms at the Sheraton Parkway for PLE attendees. Use this link to reserve yours.

Ongoing Training and Collaborative Learning

2 New Courses from Rainbow Health Ontario
Self-Directed Online Learning | Free Until November 30
Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) has launched two new courses: Fondements 2SLGBTQ and 2SLGBTQ Older Adults and Inclusive Care. Fondements 2SLGBTQ is the French version of their flagship 2SLGBTQ Foundations course; 2SLGBTQ Older Adults  is an introduction to providing clinically and culturally competent care to 2SLGBTQ seniors, elders, and older adults. Both are online, self-directed courses that you have up to 60 days to complete. To celebrate, RHO is offering them both for free until November 30. Register here

Fostering Canadian Integration for IEHPs: From Learning to Action
January 8 - March 29 | Online Training | Free
This 12-week program is designed to accompany and support Internationally Educated Healthcare Providers (IEHPs) with the challenges of finding their place in Canada, such as Internationally Educated Physicians and Nurses looking to obtain foreign credential and licence or to be optimally employed and thrive in the Canadian Healthcare system. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Presented by the Institute for Transformative Leadership at St. Paul University.

SPIDER Learning Collaborative: De-prescribing dangerous medications
Can data-driven QI activities help de-prescribe potentially harmful medications, for medically complex senior clients? Help answer this question and improve health outcomes for your clients by participating in a 12-month learning collaborative. EMR queries will be provided to help participating Alliance members identify clients who would benefit. Contact Jennifer Rayner for more information.
Research & Sharing Opportunities
Clinical Trials and Participatory Research

Help recruit participants for CanTreatCOVID. The Alliance is a partner in this pan-Canadian study that compares outcomes of different COVID-19 treatments in primary care. You can help by inviting your clients (and others in your network) to participate. This handy recruitment toolkit includes posters for your clinic or program space, banners for your website, videos, and information about signing up. Please share this opportunity with your team by posting this flyer, which has been customized for Alliance members, in your shared space.

  • New! Check out this short video featuring CanTreatCOVID project scientists, including the Alliance's Director of Research & Policy, Dr. Jennifer Rayner.

Interviews and Focus Groups

For racialized stroke survivors and family members/caregivers:
Lived-experience expertise can help develop knowledge about the needs and goals of racialized people after a stroke, as well as the gaps in support and services available to them. Researchers at the University of Toronto are looking for people who are Black/African, South Asian, or Chinese to share their experiences in meetings and through photovoice. Participants will be compensated. See the flyers linked above or email Hardeep Singh for more information. 


For your older adult clients 
A graduate student at the University of Toronto is surveying older adults about how they use the Internet for health information, and how they would like to learn new information for their health maintenance and improvement. Anyone aged 55+ is welcome to participate, especially those who are Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+; have disabilities; or live in rural/remote areas. Consent form and survey here. For further information, please reach out to Mary Hynes by email or at (416) 597-3422 ext. 7775.

For organizations providing health care or other supports to refugees and asylum seekers
Researchers at the University of Calgary are looking for people working in clinical, public health, or settlement organizations to answer some questions via an online survey. They want to understand who provides care to refugees and asylum seekers in Canada, how this care is coordinated and delivered, how it differs among jurisdictions, and how COVID-19 has impacted it. Participate by completing this short survey. In lieu of an honorarium, the research team will donate $10 to support refugee student scholarships. See flyer (English or French) for more information.

For interprofessional providers in primary care teams
Primary Care Teams Capacity Estimator (CapEs) Study
Dietitians, social workers, and occupational therapists who have worked in primary care in Canada within the last 3 years can help develop evidence for how these professions add capacity to primary care teams. The Capacity Estimator (CapEs) Study is a project of the Innovation Support Unit (ISU), part of UBC’s Department of Family Practice. Participants will complete a series of online surveys over 6-9 weeks. More information about the study is available on the ISU website.

For dietitians in interprofessional primary health care organizations
Researchers at the University of Ottawa and dietitians from Dietitians of Canada are conducting a survey which will inform their work as they develop implement, and evaluate new interprofessional learning modules for dietitians. This 20-30 minute online survey will identify key competencies and issues facing dietitians in primary care settings. Survey respondents may also opt to help test one or more of the free modules. For more information, check out the consent form in English or French. Ready to participate? Find the English survey here and the French survey here.
For anyone in the public health community
If you are a public health practitioner, decision- and policy-maker, educator, researcher, or if you are working in a health-influencing community organizations, you can help the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health (NCCPH) update the Core Competencies for Public Health. These core competencies describe the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective public health practice. You can participate through a virtual engagement session or via online survey.


Open Letter in Support of Safer Supply
Action for Safer Supply, a working group composed exclusively of people who use drugs who are all members of the National Safer Supply Community of Practice, is submitting an open letter to the federal government about the sustainability of safer supply and harm reduction programs across the country. The working group invites all people who use drugs, drug user organizations, associations, and groups, and any community-led harm reduction initiatives to sign on. 

Open letter to HOOPP: Divest from Fossil Fuels
HOOPP members: Please consider signing this open letter from Shift: Action for Pension Wealth and Climate Health, which calls on HOOPP to phase out fossil fuel investments. It’s also available in French. For more information, contact Laura McGrath.

Open letter to Vancouver Police, City of Vancouver, and Province of BC: Stop criminalization activities against community-regulated compassion club
The Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) has been operating a safer-supply compassion club in Vancouver since 2021, with financial support from Province of British Columbia, a business license from the City of Vancouver, and the knowledge of Vancouver Police. On October 25, 2023, amidst a broader uptick in public opposition to safer supply, the Vancouver Police executed search warrants, arrests, and interrogations against DULF’s compassion club. So far, 19 national and over 120 regional organizations as well as over 1,700 individuals have signed this open letter in support of DULF. You or your organization may sign on here.
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