About Us

With the support of the Minister of Healthy Living, Health in Common coordinated the development and implementation of a strategy intended to further align efforts supporting healthy living.

Building on existing efforts, those involved in the development of current strategies and frameworks and representatives from existing coalitions and networks were invited to take part in the Healthy Living Summit process. An initial discussion to create a healthy living strategy shifted to a focus on creating healthy communities, and resulted in Vibrant Communities: A Plan for Action.

As a result of the Plan for Action, stakeholder work together has included:

  • Development of the Vibrant Communities Charter (2011)
  • Holding a Vibrant Communities Symposiums (2011 and 2012) to discuss the social, economic, environmental and cultural perspectives of a Vibrant Community

Currently, on behalf of the Manitoba Public Health Association, Health in Common is bringing stakeholders together to identify priority actions for each of the Charter components. The result will be Vibrant Communities – a Guide for Action.

Organizations or individuals interested in contributing to the Guide for Action can contact us for more information.

Vision

Thriving People, Vibrant Communities

Mission

Create sustainable environments that advance the right to wellbeing for all Manitobans.

Guiding Principles

  • Collaboration
    Work together, within and across sectors, building on existing success and avoiding duplication
  • Community Involvement
    Be continually informed by and responsive to community voices
  • Informed Decisions
    Base decisions on consultation, best available evidence and promising innovation
  • Fairness
    Ensure equity through a commitment to social justice
  • Inclusion
    Embrace and respect diversity within communities

Based on stakeholder consultation, available evidence and alignment at the Pan-Canadian level, Vibrant Communities: A Plan for Action focuses on two related areas – Community Development and Healthy Public Policy.

Focus Areas

Community Development

We can not address the well being of individuals without recognizing that people live in communities.

While there is no universal model for action that is applicable to all communities, there is a need for “a model process that enables, supports and empowers communities to engage with their citizens – and the various public, non-profit, community and private-sector organizations in the community – to develop a shared vision and unique, tailored actions to achieve that vision.”1 This process must build on community strengths, not weaknesses – asset-based community development.

This community development approach allows communities to address challenges they have identified and build the community capacity they require. This means creating and supporting a process and system that meets locally identified needs, not implementing national or provincial priorities directed at local issues.

Healthy Public Policy

Inter-sectoral by nature, healthy public policy is intended to better coordinate public policies in multiple sectors. This is required to address the factors that determine well being and to reduce inequities.

Some people are less healthy than others due to low household income, low levels of education, lack of adequate housing or poor working conditions. These social and economic conditions are the main cause of the huge health disparities that exist. In a province as wealthy as ours, these inequities are unacceptable.

As recommended by the Senate Subcommittee on Population Health, successfully addressing these conditions requires a whole-of-government approach. This approach recognizes that public policies are health policies; acknowledging that healthy public policy can diminish inequity and disparities in health.

Developing healthy public policy requires a process informed by and responsive to community voices. In this way community development and healthy public policy are inherently linked.

1Hancock, Dr. T. (2009). Act Locally: Community-based population health promotion. A report for the Senate Sub-Committee on Population Health.

Available Evidence

Moving forward we need to invest in initiatives that are effective.

The available evidence clearly supports the use of community development which allows community members to set their own priorities. It also shows policies making healthy choices easier, cheaper, and more convenient, having a much greater impact than interventions directed at individuals or the public.

Most Impact Potential Impact Less Impact
Target Environments

  • policies that make healthy choices easier
  • restrict unhealthy products
Target Environments

  • tangible changes in schools, workplaces
Target Environments

  • workplace promotional events, contests, etc.
  • school-based with little environmental change
Target the Public

  • community development (residents set priorities)
Target the Public

  • well-designed social marketings
Target Environments

  • mass media appeals
  • professionally-initiated campaigns to promote healthy lifestyle
Target Broader Determinants of Health

  • healthy economic, social & environmental policy
Target Individuals

  • individual counseling
  • group programs

Kreindler, S. (2008). Lifting the Burden of Chronic Disease: What’s worked, what hasn’t, what next. Directional Document. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.