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Fall 2015 Newsletter

Update from Bev Leaver, Executive Director

After some long months with no action at the Stonegate plaza site, you may have noticed some heavy equipment getting to work.  A lot has been going on behind the scenes.  Stonegate CHC and VanDyk have all but completed negotiations for a twenty year lease.  When the development is fully constructed, Stonegate CHC will be relocated to the southwest corner of the site and will become a permanent fixture of our community.  We have secured support from government funders that will allow us both to build and to operate the new CHC. 
 
VanDyk is now finalizing the soil remediation project and working on their application to the City of Toronto for a building permit for the building that will soon be our new home.  They hope to break ground if not by the end of 2015, as soon as they can in 2016.  We are working through the Ministry of Health process to get approval for the rooms we propose to have and the layout of our future centre.  Our architect, Charles Rosenberg of Hilditch Architects has built many beautiful public buildings including several Community Health Centres.  Many community members who attended our Annual General Meeting were able to see many of the projects his firm has completed.  The staff at Stonegate CHC will be working with Charles to ensure a beautiful and functional space that will serve this community for decades to come.  There will be opportunities for the community to see and comment on the design as it evolves.
 
We know it is difficult to have a huge construction site in your community, with all the noise and dust that comes with it. We are sitting on that site.   But we fought to stay here during construction because we know we are exactly where we need to be for all of the community members who walk to the Centre for all of the services and programs they need.  We try to keep our focus on the exciting opportunity of our future home.


Welcome to Mary Doran, Nurse Practitioner

We are thrilled to announce that Mary Doran, Nurse Practitioner, has joined the Stonegate Family Practice.  Mary is filling in for one of our other nurse practitioners, Crystal Lawrence, who is on maternity leave for the next year. 
 
Mary completed her Master of Nursing and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at Ryerson in 2012. Since graduating, Mary has provided comprehensive primary health care to patients of all ages at a community and academic family health team. She is a welcome addition to the team, and we are very lucky to have her at Stonegate.


Flu season is coming.  Be prepared and plan to get your flu shot early.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a serious illness that is caused by a virus.  Anyone can get the flu. You can have it and not feel sick and still pass it to someone else. You can infect others 1 day before your own symptoms even appear. It can spread from person to person by cough or sneeze droplets. If you don't wash or sanitize your hands after coughing or sneezing into them, you can pass it on with a handshake.
 
The flu is not the same as a cold. Unlike the common cold, the flu can develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia. Some people can become very sick and may need hospital care if they contract the flu. High-risk groups include children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women and people who already have other health problems like  asthma, heart disease or uncontrolled diabetes.
 
The best way to stay healthy this season is to get your flu shot early, before mid November. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to protect you against the flu. You cannot catch the flu from flu shots.
 
Everyone over the age of 6 months can get the flu shot. The flu virus changes often, so you need to get a flu shot every year. It's easy and it's free.
 
The free flu shot will be available at Stonegate in the next few days.   Stonegate clients should call us at 416.231.7070 to book your flu shot appointment.  If you are not a Stonegate client, we recommend you call your doctor or local pharmacy to ask about getting your flu shot from them.
 
To learn more about the flu, visit https://www.ontario.ca/health-and-wellness/flu-facts


Martial Arts

We received positive feedback from community members that observed the Martial Arts demonstration as part of our Community Celebration. Based on community interest we are  planning to implement a Self Defense program for adults of all ages later this year.

If you would like to participate  please contact us at  416-231-7070 extension 307. 

We will add your name to a “INTERESTED IN PROGRAM LIST” if we get enough community members expressing interest we will run a Saturday group.


Stonegate Farmers' Market & Mobile Good Food Market

The season has come to a close for our 2015 Stonegate Farmers' Market. The last Market date was Tuesday, October 6th. We'd like to thank all of our regular and new customers for coming out to support the Market to build it into the community get-together it has become.

Stonegate CHC has also partnered with FoodShare Toronto to pilot run the Mobile Good Food Market indoors for the month of October at the Health Centre in our program room. The Mobile Good Food Market will run for the duration of October and if successful will continue through the winter months.

The Mobile Good Food Market is a truck that travels across Toronto selling affordable fresh food in    neighbourhoods. FoodShare has 18 year relationships with Super Select Produce Buyers at the Ontario Food Terminal in order to supply the Mobile Good Food Market with fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.

Stop by the Health Centre on a Friday from 5:00 - 6:30 pm to check out the Mobile Market and its great prices!


Fundraiser for Fresh Food! 

For the sixth season in a row, the Stonegate CHC is teaming up with the community to help put additional food on the table of those in need in our area. Our aim is to match last year’s Good Food Box Holiday Drive donations, in order to purchase over 300 Good Food Boxes for community members dealing with food and hunger issues and to support our market $ program which helps those in need purchase fresh produce at the seasonal Stonegate Farmers’ Market.

We rely on your generous support as poverty is a serious concern in the Stonegate Community, where 28% of families and 38% of children are living in poverty. This year more than ever, Stonegate needs your help. At the beginning of 2014, the Valu-Mart, Polish deli, Outreach Store, pharmacy, post office and convenience stores were forced to close due to plaza redevelopment. Our community has been a food desert ever since, without access to healthy food in the neighbourhood.
 
$18 buys a local family in need a large size Good Food Box brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables as a gift for the holidays.  We are asking that you consider sponsoring one or more boxes in order to help less fortunate families enjoy fresh, healthy foods.
 
A $50 donation provides Good Food Boxes to 3 families in need.
A $100 donation provides Good Food Boxes to 6 families in need.
A $250 donation provides Good Food Boxes to 15 families in need.
 
For more information or to make a donation, please connect with Julia Graham, at 416.231.7070 ext. 229 or visit our website www.stonegatechc.org to give on-line. Charitable tax receipts are available for every donation.


Introduction to Mandalas

In October Stonegate will be offering a new art class for women. A four week session will be offered beginning on Monday, October 19th that will focus on the Mandala. Participants will learn about the origins and applications of mandalas as well as how to make their own.
 
Mandalas are mainly considered of Southeast Asian origin; but they have not just been limited to Buddhist and Hindu spirituality. They have been present in Christianity as well as other spiritual traditions around the globe. As mandalas are used mainly for meditation, as a tool for self knowledge and relaxation part of each week’s session will focus on this.

The group will run from 2:30 - 4:30 pm and pre-registration is required. Call (416) 231-7070, ext. 307 for more information.

Lunch & Share: Community Health & Well Being - Tuesday, October 20th, 11:30 – 1:00 pm  
 
We will be hosting a lunch and share with Councillor Di Ciano on Tuesday, October 20th. Please join to share your stories of how housing, food access, quality jobs and access to services impacts you and your family.
 
This is part of Stonegate CHC’s support for encouraging the City of Toronto to approve the TO Prosperity: Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy.
 
Join us by securing your spot at our lunch & share by calling 416.231.7070 ext. 307 to register. 
Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage - Article by Access Alliance 
 
Many healthcare agencies have identified poverty as the leading cause of poor health outcomes and health inequity. Inadequate minimum wage rate is a key reason that pushes working families into poverty and economic insecurity. Because of low wages, working poor often work over-time or multiple jobs, including night shifts, and still struggle to afford healthy food, adequate housing, prescription medication, and dental and eye care. The adverse health impacts of poverty, low wages, juggling multiple jobs and working excessive hours just to make ends meet are well documented: High blood pressure, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, digestive problems, thyroid problems, cancers and low self-rated health. Working poor juggling low wage jobs may also delay accessing healthcare. These factors can lead to unnecessary health complications, increased emergency department utilization, and compounding of healthcare costs.

Since 2003, the percentage of people earning minimum wage has more than doubled from 4.3% to 9%.  Youth are not the only ones working minimum wage jobs. One-fifth of prime-age workers (above 25 years) are making minimum wage or very close to minimum wage. With the rising cost of living, people working full-time, full year at minimum wage earn 19% below the Low Income Measure of poverty. The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is calling the Ontario government to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with annual increases indexed to inflation. This rate will bring minimum wage workers 10% above the poverty line. This will not only help to reduce poverty but will also lead to improved health and cost savings for Ontario’s healthcare system.  

We want to convince the government to raise the minimum wage above the poverty line and introduce a fair wage policy. The Stonegate CHC is supporting the Fight for $15 & Fairness, will you?


Stay tuned to Stonegate CHC Facebook page or our website calendar for information about upcoming employment standards workshops.

Bell Manor Park Animation: A Space of Our Own

With the redevelopment of the Stonegate Plaza, the Health Centre took more programs outdoors into the park this past summer. 

Stonegate CHC program staff focused on animating the public space of Bell Manor Park in order to create a new community space in which to gather. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, art class, meditation and more took place in the park throughout the summer months.

We are aiming to continue and expand on this programming for next year and want your input as to what activities and events you'd like to see in the park.

Please send us your ideas by emailing Julia

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September 12th Community Celebration

Rain did not stop the Stonegate CHC Community from attending our event.  We moved some of our activities indoors. Children and families were treated to a magic show, face painting, martial arts demonstration and more.
 
Thank you to all that attended for making our event a success! 

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Stonegate Community Health Centre, 150 Berry Road, Toronto, ON M8Y 1W3
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