When the Healthy Canada by Design CLASP Coalition was renewed in 2012, it included five additional health authorities from five additional provinces. Among those five new partners is the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Wellness Advisory Council which is supported by the Building Healthy Communities Collaborative in leading the Newfoundland Healthy Canada by Design CLASP project. The Collaborative includes volunteer members from Memorial University, the Eastern Health Regional Health Authority, the Department of Health and Community Services, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, and the planning profession.
Supported by Planning Facilitators funded through the Healthy Canada by Design CLASP Initiative, the Newfoundland Healthy Canada by Design CLASP project was formally launched with the Planning and Public Health: Working Together for Community Wellness workshop that was convened on May 30, 2013. “We expected about 30 participants,” offered Mary Bishop, Planning Facilitator for the Newfoundland Healthy Canada by Design CLASP project, “but we ended up with about 70 people from across the province instead”.
The workshop included presentations from planners and health professionals. Carol Ann Cotter, a Health Promotion Consultant with the Department of Health and Community Services, began the workshop by providing an overview of local activities. Dr. Catherine Donovan, Chair of the Provincial Wellness Advisory Council and Associate Professor of Clinical Public Health at Memorial University, provided a strong rationale for future collaboration by presenting the evidence which demonstrates the link between health and the built environment. The importance of planning and healthy design was emphasized by the project’s Planning Facilitators, Fay Matthews and Mary Bishop, as they outlined the five things planners should know about the built environment.
In the afternoon, Stephen Jewczyk, Director of Planning for the City of Mount Pearl, spoke about the Municipal Planning Process and identified areas where future collaboration could occur. The final presentation of the day was a Health Impact Assessment panel led by Pablo Navarro, Senior Research Officer at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research. Mr. Navarro provided an overview on Health Impact Assessments, while panelists described how they could be utilized in the Newfoundland and Labrador context.
“We were using the workshop to build awareness about what makes a healthy community among public health professionals, planners, and the public in the province” explained Bishop. “We plan to build on those relationships; to engage workshop participants in our projects in Newfoundland and to connect them with the larger Healthy Canada by Design CLASP Coalition”.
A report on the Newfoundland workshop, along with some of the workshop presentations, can be downloaded from the Healthy Canada by Design CLASP website at https://hcbdclasp.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/nfld-workshop-report-final-july-11-2013.pdf.
Prepared by Kim Perrotta and the Newfoundland Healthy Canada by Design CLASP Project Team