The Gateway Community Health Centre provides accessible community governed primary health care services that encourage individuals and communities to take ownership for their health. We recognize equality, education, income, food security, housing, and the environment as key contributors to achieving health
That all members of our communities have access to quality primary health care.
Commitment | Trust | Respect | Accountability
Community Health Centre Model
As a Community Health Centre, our services focus on primary care, illness prevention, health promotion, community capacity building and service integration. The CHC Model of Care is comprehensive, accessible, client and community focused, inter-professional, integrated, inclusive of the social determinants of health and grounded in a community development approach. We advocate on issues of public policy and on matters that affect the well-being of individuals and communities and adhere to the principles of social justice.
Alliance for Healthier Communities
The Alliance for Healthier Communities is Ontario’s voice for community-governed primary health care. They represent over 120 community-governed primary health care organizations which include Ontario’s Community Health Centres (CHCs), Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs), and Community Family Health Teams (CFHTs). Community governance enables health services to be more easily oriented towards what community members identify as their most important needs.
The Alliance for Healthier Communities, as well as its members, believe good health is much more than something you get in a medical clinic. They believe that better health begins in our homes, in our schools, in our workplaces, and in the communities where we live. Their goal is therefore to work towards a complete state of well-being for individuals, families, and entire communities.
The Alliance for Healthier Communities has developed an evidence-informed Model of Health and Wellbeing (MHWB) to guide the delivery of primary health care. The model defines health in accordance with the World Health Organization: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Like the World Health Organization, our goal is to achieve better health for all. To reach this goal, our model champions transformative change for people and communities facing barriers to health.
In adopting the Model of Health and Wellbeing, the Gateway Community Health Centre is committed to the following guiding principles:
- The Highest Quality People and Community Centred Primary Health Care: We commit to continuous improvement in the quality of services and programs with all efforts oriented to meet the specific needs of the people and communities being served.
- Health Equity and Social Justice: We design services and programs to reduce health disparities and inequities. We also advocate for healthier public policy and against unfair practices and prejudices that harm people’s health.
- Community Vitality and Belonging: We partner with community members to build safe and caring communities where everyone is valued and feels like they belong.
Our Model’s Attributes
Community Health Centres that adopt the Alliance’s Model of Health and Wellbeing exhibit the following attributes:
- Population Needs-Based Planning – Centres strive to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire population in their catchment area. They assess the needs of different demographic groups and develop action plans to address them.
- A Community Development Approach – Centres work with community members to develop solutions that support healthy living. For example: community gardens, affordable housing projects, and civic engagement campaigns enable community members to actively participate in public policy decision making.
- A Strong Focus on the Determinants of Health – Centres mitigate the impact of the many non-medical determinants of health. For example, to serve people facing socioeconomic challenges, centres provide additional supports: transit tickets to get to health appointments, counselling on how to secure employment, or access to additional social services and peer support groups. Centres also advocate for healthier public policies that enable people to access a healthy environment and afford other basic necessities of life.
- Inter-professional, Integrated and Coordinated – Membership in inter-professional teams extends well beyond clinical providers to include health promoters, social workers, and outreach and community development workers. Teams collaborate with a wide range of primary care providers as well as other parts of the health and social service system.
- Anti-oppression and Culturally Safe Practices – Centres recognize many populations face discrimination that harms their health and wellbeing. They ensure their staff receives ongoing training in anti-oppression and culturally safe practices.
- Accessibility – The priority is providing appropriate access to everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. Accessibility requires breaking down all racial, cultural, linguistic, physical, social, economic, legal, and geographic barriers that prevent people from accessing health services.
- Community Centredness and Community Governance – Based on what they learn through a wide range of engagement processes, centres constantly reorient their services to meet communities’ changing needs. Community-centredness is strengthened by another defining feature of the model: community governance. It is community members who set the strategic direction of the centre that serves them.
- Accountability and Efficiency – Community governance also ensures centres are accountable to their communities and their funders. In addition, centres develop and apply reporting indicators so funders can track their performance with respect to effectiveness and efficiency.