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The Health Equity Impact Assessment Community of Interest

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has identified equity as a key component of quality care. To advance health equity and reduce avoidable health disparities between population groups, MOHLTC has developed the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA), a practical tool focused on reducing inequities that result from barriers in access to quality health services and programming, and to increase positive health outcomes for vulnerable or marginalized groups.

Building upon the existing capacity and expertise in this area, the Health Equity Impact Assessment Community of Interest (HEIA CoI) – led by Branka Agic, Manager of Health Equity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Sirad Mohamoud, Senior Policy Advisor at MOHLTC, with support from Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) – is helping to facilitate the implementation of the HEIA tool within the mental health and addictions sector and build an evidence base for the use of the tool in the Ontario context.

If you would like to join, or learn more about, the HEIA CoI, please contact Andrew Tuck at andrew.tuck [at] camh [dot] ca.


Using Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) in Community Mental Health
July 31, 2014

On July 14, 2014, a training webinar took place titled, ‘Using the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool in Community Mental Health’. The webinar was co-presented by:

  • Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario
  • Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC)
  • Health Nexus, and
  • CMHA, Toronto

The HEIA was developed by MOHLTC to help reduce avoidable health disparities among Ontarians. The HEIA is a decision-support tool that enables users to consider how a program, policy, or other initiative will positively or negatively impact different population groups. By using this tool, organizations can reduce negative impacts that could widen inequities that some population groups face.

In this webinar, the co-presenters Sheela Subraminian (CMHA, Ontario), Nila Sinnatamby (MOHLTC), Andrea Bodkin (Health Nexus), and Alexandra Lamoureux (CMHA, Toronto) discussed:

  • Health equity and what it means in the mental health context;
  • Why HEIA is important for health service delivery, program planning, and policy development; and
  • How to conduct the HEIA, with an example from the community mental health sector.

Watch the webinar here. You can also use the links below to view specific sections of the webinar:

Webinar Part 1: Introduction and Background

  • Welcome and introductions (0:00)
  • Today’s goals and agenda (2:18)
  • What is health equity? (4:16)
  • Understanding equity in mental health (13:48)

Webinar Part 2: How to use the HEIA Tool in Community Mental Health

  • About the HEIA (26:48)
  • How to use the HEIA: The 5 steps (32:41)
  • Case study: CMHA Toronto’s Smoke Stoppers program (52:00)
  • Final tips: Adding a mental health lens and ensuring success (1:06:35)
  • Q & A session (1:14:45)

Supplementary materials are also available:

January 29, 2013

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Health Equity Office and Education Services, in partnership with MOHLTC, have created a self-directed interactive course which will introduce you to the Ontario Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool. Available free of charge, the course can be accessed here. The course will be formally launched in January 2013 but your feedback is welcome in the meantime!