January 19, 2022 - Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is pleased to announce the receipt of $1,158,677 over 3 years from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to implement the Healthy Kids Health on the Move for Equity (HOME) Program in Thunder Bay.
This initiative supports the delivery of health and community services for an estimated 1,500 children and their families in four priority neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay. These areas were identified through a comprehensive community needs assessment and include the neighbourhoods around Windsor Street, Academy Heights, Westfort and McKellar Park. The program brings together residents and community partners to provide evidence-informed programming around physical activity, nutrition, smoking prevention and cessation, mental health, and other topics identified by participants. The HOME program is supported by partners on the Healthy Kids Steering Committee.
"From a public health perspective, neighbourhood-based initiatives aimed at promoting healthy behaviours are integral to improving overall wellbeing and reducing the risk of chronic disease,” says Dr. Janet DeMille, TBDHU Medical Officer of Health. “We value the commitment of our many partners working towards enhancing the lives of children and their families.”
The Healthy Kids HOME program has two main components:
- Expanding Healthy Kids sites in priority neighbourhoods, which provide a safe space for accessing health promotion programming and social services; and,
- A four-week Healthy Kids Family Program to equip parents/caregivers with health-related knowledge, self-efficacy, coping skills, and information on local services and resources.
“This unique collaboration will indeed contribute to shaping healthier children and families in our City,” says Rachel Bayes, Healthy Kids HOME Program Coordinator. “I’m thrilled to work with so many community partners to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and abilities of families in these neighbourhoods to engage in healthy living strategies and access community services.”
The program will be evaluated by principal investigator, Dr. Erin Pearson, Associate Professor in Kinesiology at Lakehead University, who will measure health outcomes and impact on the community.
Healthy Kids Steering Committee partners: Anishnawbe Mushkiki Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay, Children’s Centre Thunder Bay, City of Thunder Bay, Communities Together for Children, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, EcoSuperior, Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario, Lakehead Public School Board, Lakehead Social Planning Council, Lakehead University – School of Kinesiology and Department of Psychology, Little Lions Waldorf Child and Family Centre, Our Kids Count, P.R.O. Kids Thunder Bay, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay Chill Soccer Club, Thunder Bay District Catholic School Board, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board, Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Public Library, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, United Way Thunder Bay.
For information about Healthy Kids Thunder Bay events and program updates, follow @healthykidstbay on Facebook and Twitter.
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