Community Forum: Why Place Still Matters, Tues 9 March, 2010

January 8, 2012

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OTTAWA, ON – We have always suspected that where we live impacts our physical and emotional health. In February 2008, researchers at the University of Ottawa and in the Community uOttawa’s released the results of a study that examined 89 neighbourhoods in Ottawa and confirmed that place matters. The time has come for an update to that study: on March 9th there will be a community forum to consider and discuss Why Place STILL Matters — to be held at Ron Kolbus Centre (Britannia Park), starting at 08:30. The forum will open with remarks from Paul Dewar MP (Ottawa Centre) and include presentations about how neighbourhoods impact healthy eating and overweight/obesity; how neighbourhoods impact the readiness of our children to succeed at school; and how neighbourhoods impact the rate of hospitalizations and the use of hospital emergency rooms. The forum will be a call for community action to support healthier neighbourhoods. 200 leaders from Ottawa’s municipal sector — schools, health organizations, community & social service agencies, police & protection services, community associations, and others — will be present for this consultation opportunity. As Dr. Elizabeth Kristjansson (School of Psychology, uOttawa) says, “Everyone should have the same opportunities to be healthy and happy. We now know more about what makes a difference in neighbourhoods. There is no question that Ottawa is a city that cares — but some neighbourhoods are better at it than others. We can all learn from that.”

The forum has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the City of Ottawa, United Way, Success by Six, the Coalition of Community Health & Resource Centres and the Local Health Integration Network The research outcomes have already helped to shape the City’s Community Development Framework and the strategic priorities of many community health and social service agencies. Simone Thibault (Executive Director, Centretown CHC) says, “This is a remarkable partnership between “town and gown”; community organizations and local agencies and some of the city’s most renowned researchers. Together we can make a difference. With this new knowledge we can better focus our services and programs to have the greatest impact in neighbourhoods with the greatest capacity for change.”

For more information please contact

Dr. Betsy Kristjansson: kristjan@uottawa.ca; (613) 562-5800 x 2329
Simone Thibault: sthibault@centretownchc.org; (613) (613) 233-4443 x 2101
David Hole: davidjhole@gmail.com; (613) 421-1854