Update from Heather & Kate -- Summer 2011

We’ve got a lot of exciting news about organizational growth and change to share!

The Centretown Community Health Centre (CCHC) and Planned Parenthood Ottawa (PPO) have received funding from the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (Champlain LHIN) to sustain PPO’s Community Education program till March 2012 and to explore long-term solutions to sustain and enhance sexual health services in Ottawa. This will include a process to explore the opportunities and risks of integration across the full spectrum of available options, ranging from strategic administrative and programmatic alliance to full integration, with a view to strengthening sexual and reproductive health services in Ottawa.  

With the help of an external consultant, CCHC and PPO will evaluate potential integration options. There are strong value alignments between both groups and this potential partnership can blend PPO’s expertise in sexual health education and CCHC’s broad client base to better serve the Ottawa community.

As you know, addressing sexual health related issues in Ottawa is pressing. Recent evidence signals a sharp rise in the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the region, particularly among youth. This points to an escalating need for sexual and reproductive health education and services. Such prevention initiatives are proven to decrease the transmission of STIs, encourage healthy sexual habits and behaviours, and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy. This preventative approach is also in line with the Champlain LHIN’s priority which emphasizes the importance of prevention to reduce the load on the healthcare system.

The project also benefits from strong ongoing support on behalf of other local partners, among them: the Ottawa Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa Public Health, and local settlement agencies. By leveraging our diverse expertise and resources, we aim to enhance sexual health education, with specific attention paid to vulnerable populations. This includes newcomer youth, homeless or street-involved youth, otherwise marginalized youth, newcomer women, and seniors. A final report with recommendations will be submitted to the Champlain LHIN in March 2012.

In addition, PPO has received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support fund development strategies and guide the implementation of a communications plan. Please check out the posting for the new Fundraising and Communications Coordinator position on our website here.

Happy summer everyone!

Kate (Board President) and Heather (Executive Director)