For the first time since around 2011, Algoma Public Health has released a new, updated report highlighting the health status of Algoma. The Community Health Profile is a tool used to help identify key health issues across the district and describe who is most affected in the local population.
This report includes information on life expectancy, maternal health, injuries, child and youth health, substance use and mental health, infectious disease and chronic disease.
Dr. Jennifer Loo, the Associate Medical Officer for Algoma Public Health, told SaultOnline that the APH’s Foundations and Strategic Support Team has been working on this project for a little over a year, using the most recent data possible from various sources such as health surveys conducted nationwide as well as hospitalization data, which is collected at a provincial level.
Loo explained how the report came together, saying that the first thing they looked at while compiling the information was the overall health of the community and the factors behind any health issues.
“Right at the beginning of the report, we look at life expectancy, how long are people living? And then we say, ‘well, what’s cutting that life expectancy short? What are people dying from? What are they hospitalized from?’ That’s how we determine what we talk about,” she explained. She also went on to explain how they then look at what some of the causes of death and illness in the region are.
She said compiling reports such as this one is an important way to identify the priority health issues that are affecting the local population, as well as the priority groups that need to be focused on – such as the people who’s health needs are the greatest. Loo also said it’s an important starting point for APH to work with community partners in order to address these needs.
One of the key points Loo made during the presentation are that everyone has personal health challenges, but that shouldn’t cause someone to succumb to them and not challenge themselves and others to be healthier. Another one was geared toward community leaders, challenging them to embrace that leadership role and work to make organizations and communities healthier places through supportive environments and healthy public policy.
“That’s our goal in public health – we want to create and sustain healthier communities, where everyone has the opportunity to achieve good health.”
For more information on APH, and to check out the electronic copy of this report, visit their website here.