CMHA Ontario recently participated in an online discussion hosted by Health Nexus on benefits and strategies for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (MOHLTC) Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool. HEIA is a decision support tool that lets users identify unintentional negative impacts of a program or policy on different population groups. The tool’s goal is to assist users to reduce negative impacts that may widen population heath disparities. CMHA Ontario supports MOHLTC’s efforts to increase awareness and use of the tool, and is a partner on the HEIA Community of Interest, which encourages the use of HEIA across the province to promote greater health equity.
The HEIA online twitter chat invited participants to share their experiences using the tool with the hashtag #healthpromochat. Participants ranged from organizations currently using the tool, such as the Ontario Women’s Health Network, to individuals who were interested in using the tool in the future.
Organizations participating in the discussion agreed that the HEIA is a great tool to collect and gather data from a broad evidence base, including information from individuals with lived experience and community-based knowledge. Community involvement was particularly emphasized in the discussion, with participants sharing strategies on how to engage individuals in the community in the HEIA process.
To read the complete recap of the discussion, visit Health Nexus’ storify collection of the chat. Learn more about the Health Equity Impact Assessment by visiting the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website.