Meet the people helping community members find health and social services in East Toronto

Collage of people with three images at the top and four at the bottom. Text across the centre reads #OneEastToronto.

If you live in Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park or Taylor-Massey, you’ve likely met or talked to a community health ambassador. Recognized as community leaders in the neighbourhoods where they live, these individuals help connect their friends, family and neighbours to the healthcare, social and community services they need.

During the pandemic, this involved going door to door to help people book vaccine appointments and answering questions related to COVID-19. Over the past year, community health ambassadors have also helped people catch up on care by sharing information about preventative cancer screening, mental health counselling and other services.

There is a network of more than 60 community health ambassadors who work across East Toronto. Many of them live and work in neighbourhoods where people experience challenges to accessing care services, such as Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and Taylor-Massey.

These ambassadors are employed by and report to various member organizations of East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto. These organizations include Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, Flemingdon Health Centre (FHC), The Neighbourhood Group Community Services, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization and WoodGreen Community Services.

East Effort: Community COVID Response Project, an initiative of ETHP led by FHC, helps coordinate the work of community health ambassadors across the east end. In addition, there are a number of staff and community health ambassador leads who play an important role in ensuring their ambassador teams have the tools and resources they need to effectively work in the community.

Over the past year, these staff and ambassador leads helped organize learning opportunities for their teams, including tours of ETHP sites like Health Access Taylor-Massey and workshops that offer advice and guidance for talking to people about preventative cancer screening and mental health stigma. They also helped create multilingual flyers about where people can get care, and mobilized their teams to share information about healthcare and social services at parks, libraries and community events.

In this, the collective work of community health ambassadors in East Toronto would not be possible without the staff and ambassador leads that East Effort and ETHP work closely with.

Meet our staff and community health ambassador leads

To help recognize the work of these individuals, we’re sharing a special edition of our #OneEastToronto series where you can learn more about their stories and how they are working together to help local residents find and get the care they need.

Click on each title below to learn more about each individual and their work in the community.

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