At Southwestern Public Health, we work hard to make our programs and services fair and easy for everyone to access. Whether we are working with individual clients, neighbourhood groups or our community partners, we focus our efforts on finding ways to reduce barriers so that everyone who wants to access any of our programs and services has the ability to do so.
We are shaped by the quality of our childhood experiences. Support during childhood is one of the best ways to reduce the possibility of lifelong poverty. Ontario’s Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is a support program for expectant mothers and their partners and parents with children from birth to six years of age.
This program provides new parents with:
- A phone call after the birth of their baby.
- Home visits by public health nurses and family home visitors.
These visits provide support for those who are experiencing extra challenges before and after the birth of their baby.
- Education about having a healthy pregnancy and birth and how babies and children grow and develop.
- Help in finding community programs and services and support in their new parenting role.
There is no charge for this program. Call Elgin St. Thomas Public Health at 519-631-9900 to find out more or to register.
Southwestern Public Health provides free preventive dental services for children and youth 17 and under that attest to a financial hardship to preventive dental services. Our services include :
- Dental cleanings
- Dental screenings for enrollment into Healthy Smiles Ontario program (if eligible)
- Fluoride application
- Dental sealants
- Interim Stabilization Therapy
Enrollment into the Healthy Smiles Ontario program ensures that children in Ontario who are in need of urgent dental care can receive immediate treatment. Children must not be 18 years old in order to be eligible and have an urgent dental condition. Call us today to book your child’s dental screening to see if they are eligible for the Healthy Smiles Ontario dental program.
At Southwestern Public Health, we provide low cost birth control to women up to the age of 30. Public Health Nurses also offer services in the following high schools (EESS, AVSS, PCI or Central) in Elgin County every week. Visits are private and confidential. Check with your school nurse at your school to book an appointment.
Southwestern Public Health offers one on one quitting smoking sessions by appointment only. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday. First appointments are usually 45-60 minutes in length with follow up appointments 15-20 minutes in length. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) may be available to those clients who are eligible due to financial hardship. Contact us at 1-800-922-0096 for more information.
The health unit works with many different partners in the community at improving health outcomes for everyone. We work with partners from many different sectors such as: health, business, municipal, government, education, and social services. We cannot improve health outcomes, including poverty, on our own. Working on issues such as poverty and other factors that affect health takes a broader local effort of collective skills, resources and strengths.
We can work together towards…..
Southwestern Public Health is proud to be part of Bridges Out of Poverty. Bridges Out of Poverty is a group of committed community leaders and volunteers whose mission is to eliminate poverty by uniting the strengths and passions of those living in St. Thomas & Elgin County. The Bridges Out of Poverty Coalition recognizes that poverty can be reduced by building supportive, intentional relationships across class lines. To put this idea into action, the Bridges Out of Poverty Coalition introduced the CirclesTM program.
There is now research which documents the positive economic and social effects of paying a living wage. A living wage reflects what earners in a family need to bring home based on the actual costs of living in St. Thomas Elgin. In an effort to bring awareness and advocacy around the issue of low wages, Pathways to Prosperity chose to champion a living wage calculation for St. Thomas and Elgin County. The health unit is a supporter of this initiative.
Food for all is a local community collaboration that Elgin St. Thomas Public Health is a part of. In partnership, this local group is finding ways to learn about our community which will guide future programming and address service gaps. Food for all offers the opportunity to network, share resources, and work together.
The Elgin St. Thomas Healthy Communities Partnership is a local community group that works to identify and advocate for healthy public policies that ensure the healthy choice is the easier choice in our community that can be made by all.
The sad reality is that homelessness can and does take place anywhere, including St. Thomas and Elgin County, where about 100 youth are without permanent housing at any given time. In fact, during the winter of 2011-2012, nearly half of the people who stayed at the Inn out of the Cold emergency housing in St. Thomas were youth.
In response to this problem, the Community Action Network for Children & Youth Elgin has put together a Youth Homelessness Protocol, in which a number of community agencies coordinate services with the aim of housing youth and minimizing the impact that homelessness has on their lives. 211 South West Ontario is just one of the agencies involved in this collaborative approach to services, which , among other things, helps homeless youth reunite with their families or find alternative safe and affordable housing.