Grassroots Organizing Delivers Success
Our creation is a lesson in the good things that happen when community members pull together over issues of common concern.
The idea for a Bramalea CHC first surfaced at a meeting in December 2002. The meeting was convened by board member Melissa Toney, and attended by about 20 health providers, representatives of health and social service agencies, as well as community leaders throughout Malton and Peel. Those in attendance had watched how community mobilization in nearby east Mississauga led to the creation of a new satellite for LAMP CHC. The satellite would finally address long standing gaps in the delivery of health and social services.
Could the same community organizing pay off in Bramalea and Malton where a rising population and a growing number of high needs neighborhoods heightened urgency for enhancing Primary Health Care? After visiting other CHCs in the region and consulting with a wide range of groups throughout the region, the stakeholder group decided the answer was yes.
Stakeholders selected Peel Senior Link as the agency to lead the process and in December 2004 a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Health. In 2005, the provincial government announced funding for the new CHC, and shortly after, additional funding was allocated for a satellite in Malton.
After the announcement, the Association of Ontario Health Centres conducted an extensive community consultation process to determine the most appropriate and relevant services and programs to be offered at the new centre, the populations to be prioritized, and where the new centre should be created. The findings coming out of the dozens of interviews, focus groups, and community forums have closely shaped the direction the centre will take during its first few years of operation.
In 2008 a volunteer board of directors was appointed for the CHC. The first annual general meeting was held on September 15, 2009.