Strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers to reduce the impact of COVID‑19 on African, Caribbean, and Black communities in Ontario

Etowa, Josephine B | $465,229

Ontario University of Ottawa 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

African, Caribbean, and Black communities (ACB) are vulnerable populations in terms of their health risks, receipt of adequate care and chance of recovery. There is an urgent need for action to mitigate ACB health risks and strengthen the capacity of healthcare systems. The main objective of this project is to accelerate the use of high quality and real-time evidence collected on the contextual vulnerability and challenges experienced by ACB communities to develop, implement and evaluate community-driven solutions to structural inequalities including systemic racism that continues to hamper the response and recovery from COVID-19. We will co-develop a minimum of four virtual educational modules for health providers aimed at: 1. Social determinants of health and health inequities; 2. Critical health and racial literacy (e.g. privilege, racism, implicit bias and the intersectionality of identities); 3. Organizational and provider cultural competency and safety; and 4. COVID‑19 and its impacts on health. We will also develop an interactive website to house the emergent modules, as well as resource toolkits, community fact sheets, policy tools and guidelines. Project evaluation activities will occur throughout the year including the development of a project logic model and evaluation framework to measure program outputs and impacts. Our project team consist of community partners, healthcare providers and knowledge users from diverse backgrounds and disciplines across Ontario: Alliance for Healthier Communities, Canadians of African Descent Health Organization, African Caribbean Council on HIV and AIDS in Ontario, Somerset West Community Health Centre, Women’s Health in Women’s Health CHC, AIDS Committee of Ottawa and TAIBU CHC. Moving forward we will work to extend our partnerships and focus on expanding training and capacity building activities to reach and meet the needs of health provider groups and settings throughout the province and nationally.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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