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Together, focusing on healthy communities

Peer health ambassadors

As of March 31, 2013 the Peer Health Ambassadors Program has ended.  Please contact us for information regarding the program, including contacting the Peer Health Ambassadors.

Goals

Flemingdon Health Centre and Fairview Community Health (FHC - FCH) received 2-year funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2011 to train a group of 48-96 Peer Health Ambassadors from diverse backgrounds. These peers were expected to run programs in multiple languages in the community with 570-1140 community participants. The goals of the project were to:

  • strengthen community capacity for health promotion and disease prevention
  • improve the engagement of FHC/FCH with the diverse populations living in the catchment areas
  • increase volunteerism and employment potential of the peer health ambassadors
  • increase the accessibility of FHC/FCH programs and services

Program Fundamentals and Outcomes

As of December 2012, we had trained 58 community residents as peer health ambassadors. Ambassadors were trained in general ambassador skills and program facilitation skills in one or more of five of the programs currently running at FHC. These programs are based on best practices:

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management
  • Community Well-being
  • Community Kitchen
  • Peer Tobacco Education
  • South Asian Diabetes Prevention
  • Prevent Diabetes - One Step at a Time

Ambassadors were supported by the program co-ordinator to run these programs in pairs with members of their communities. Most ambassadors speak English and one or more additional languages and they are encouraged to run the programs in their native languages. Our peer health ambassadors speak:

Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi, Arabic, Armenian, Swahili, Hindi, English, Bengali, Urdu, Russian, Punjabi, Dari and Spanish.

As of December 2012, over 800 community members had participated in peer-led programs.