2015 Agent of Change Awards

At its September 2015 national conference in Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres recognized four organizations that have made outstanding contributions to health and social wellbeing across Canada.



Medicine Hat Plan to End Homelessness

In 2009, the City of Medicine Hat, Alberta and the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society (MHCHS) jointly committed to eradicating homelessness in Medicine Hat by the end of 2015. With political leadership by Medicine Hat Mayor, Ted Clugston, and the MHCHS Board of Directors, the city is well on its way to becoming the first municipality in North America to successfully put an end to homelssness. More: www.mhchs.ca 

Toronto Public Health

Extensive, peer-reviewed research from around the world documents the positive public health and safety outcomes of supervised injection  services (SIS). There is wide agreement among health professionals that SIS should be available as part of a comprehensive continuum of health services for people who inject drugs. In 2013, Toronto Public Health demonstrated exceptional leadership by formally recommending establishment of SIS as part of the continuum of harm reduction services available in Toronto. More: http://bit.ly/1SZiUQ4


As part of their immigrant settlement services, Kingston CHCs, based in Kingston, Ontario, have taken leadership to improve democratic engagement with newcomers. In 2014, during the municipal election, Kingston CHCs facilitated democratic engagement training for staff, clients and volunteers; organized an election “meet and greet” for community members and local political candidates, helping put local health issues on the election radar; created and distributed voting information resources for community members; and acted as a voting station for the election. More: www.kchc.ca/index.cfm/immigrant-services


In 2012, the federal government of Canada introduced punitive changes to healthcare coverage for refugees and their families seeking asylum in Canada. Since then, physician leaders from all parts of the health system, including Community Health Centres, have risen in defense of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, spearheading a call for reversal of these refugee health cuts. More: www.doctorsforrefugeecare.ca