A year old, the African Canadian Health Network, hosted by HAAC, is excited about its accomplishments in building collaboration and culturally effective programs.
I made connections that I would not have made elsewhere.
In the Fall of 2011, several organizations working with African Canadian communities came together to talk about ways to improve collaboration and improve the health of African Canadians.
The African Canadian Health Network was formed to connect people, learn from each other and the community, and collaborate to take action.
We are more aware of what is happening in the community, and more able to connect with others to offer more appropriate services.
To date, over 35 people have attended one or more network meetings. The 15 regular members work in community agencies, or are local health professionals and
provincial government representatives.
The greatest benefits are knowing what other organizations are doing,
The Network facilitates information and experience sharing. Members provide updates on their areas of work including challenges and successes.
The network has given me new insights on understanding the culture of the African Canadian community, [and to] tailor my programs with this in consideration.
The process has had the effect of making programming more culturally specific and effective. It has also increased interest in health research within the African Nova Scotian Community.
The Network produces a newsletter three times a year as a direct way to share information with the community at large.
Collaboration between Mental Health Services, Addictions, Prevention and Treatment Services and the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church is foundational to this program that builds on faith and spirituality in addressing addiction.
A great benefit of the network is the updates on projects etc. from the people at the table as well as an opportunity to work together on projects.
One example of groups working together is the creation of a faith-based program for support and education regarding addictions and mental health.
We’re getting updates, avoiding duplication, raising awareness, connecting with others working in the community and finding authentic ways to collaborate.
The network members look forward to expanding next year. It welcomes all who want to attend
Everyone is included in the discussion and everyone’s contribution is not only welcomed, but greatly valued.