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Health Equity Workshop

Resources for creating a professional development workshop on health equity in environmental health.

The Equity in Environmental Public Health Workshop Toolkit is a collection of readymade and customizable resources that can be used to create a professional development or planning session for staff and management on health equity in environmental health. The toolkit includes:

  • a facilitator's guide
  • ready-made sessions
  • customizable sessions
  • evaluation & follow-up materials

Facilitator's guide

We recommend that first-time users of this toolkit start with the Facilitator’s Guide (PDF).

This toolkit is based on The Handbook of Health Equity in Environmental Public Health Practice (PDF), a collection of resources and tools created as part of the Through an Equity Lens project at BCCDC.

Who is the toolkit for?

Although originally developed for practitioners in BC, the toolkit is intended for use across Canada.

The toolkit is designed primarily for EPHP team leaders and managers. All the materials are provided along with speaking notes and background information for facilitators. You don't need to be a health equity expert to use the toolkit, but some prior exposure health equity concepts and their application to EPH practice is helpful.

If you are new to health equity, you may wish to consult with colleagues or a health equity specialist (such as a population health equity specialist, a medical health officer or a social health equity nurse with expertise in determinants of health).

What does the toolkit include?

The toolkit includes three ready-made sessions as well as instructions and materials to create your own dedicated health equity session for EPHPs. 

You might use the toolkit to:

  • add a short introductory presentation about health equity to a team meeting
  • plan a dedicated educational session about health equity in your department
  • organize a 2- to 3-hour workshop to explore health equity in more depth

You can also use any individual element (such as a PowerPoint slide, handout, video, group discussion question or interactive exercise) to facilitate discussion in an informal setting or meeting with staff and colleagues.

The materials can be adapted for local use or supplemented with additional resources.

Professional development credit

This toolkit has been approved for professional development hours (PDHs) credit as part of the CIPHI Continuing Professional Competencies (CPC) Program. Log in to the CIPHI Member Service Centre to apply for PDH credit (1 hour for attending or 3 hours for planning and hosting a session).

Ready-made sessions

Each of the ready-made sessions includes an agenda, a PowerPoint presentation with speaking notes, optional interactive exercises and materials to host an internal session with staff or management on an equity-related topic.

Opening the PowerPoint files

When you open the PowerPoint files there will be a security warning that "References to external media objects have been blocked." Click "Enable content" to be able to view the online videos embedded in some slides.

Session #1: Introduction to health equity

This presentation introduces the concepts of health equity and the social determinants of health, illustrates ways that they can intersect with EPHPs’ practice, and briefly introduces a few ideas about how EPHPs might respond to health equity issues. It includes an optional group discussion exercise in which participants explore scenarios and discuss equity-related issues and how they could respond in practice.

Session #2: Health equity knowledge to action

This workshop includes a brief introductory PowerPoint presentation and interactive small group sessions to introduce and learn how to use health equity tools for environmental public health practice. It builds on the material in the Introductory Session.

Session #3: Building organizational capacity for health equity

This workshop includes a brief introductory PowerPoint presentation, optional discussion exercise, and a World Café module to explore how to increase capacity for health equity action in your department or organization.

Customizable sessions

This part of the toolkit includes a master presentation that you can customize, a selection of exercises and a list of sample questions for group discussion.

Master presentation

This slide deck (PPT) includes all slides for the toolkit and is organized by topic. For some topics, you will have a choice between a short presentation section (approx. 5-10 slides) or a summary slide (or slides) if you which to briefly review or highlight a health equity topic without going into detail. Speaking notes are included with all slides to provide additional background and ideas for how to present the material.

Interactive exercises

We recommend including at least one brief interactive component for any session longer than 20-30 minutes. Sessions of two hours or more will benefit from one longer interactive component or several shorter ones. These components help keep the audience engaged and provide opportunities to practice using tools or connect new ideas to practice.

World café

Organize a world café to discuss ideas and values, or to generate ideas and new knowledge, about any health equity-related issue. It is particularly useful to get input about new concepts or to address complex problems or that do not have simple answers.

Scenario review

This exercise illustrates how health equity issues might arise in environmental public health practice. It encourages self-reflection and can be used to guide discussion about how to consider the equity implications of common occurrences.

Case studies

This exercise uses a resource developed by BCCDC that use examples from real actions across Canada to illustrate key success factors and guide participants through a discussion to identify opportunities in their own work.

Framework exercise

This exercise uses a practical tool developed by BCCDC, NCCDH, and NCCEH to guide participants through a process that identifies actions individuals or organizations can take to support health equity.

A role to play exercise

This exercise (from Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) can help identify actions individuals can take in their day to day work – or that organizations can implement to better support health equity. Use it as an individual reflective exercise or as a tool for small group discussion.

Questions for group discussion

Incorporate time for large or small group discussion into a session to gauge understanding and opinion, answer questions, or explore specific health equity topics in more depth.

Evaluation & follow-up materials

Feel free to use or adapt these forms to fit your needs.

SOURCE: Health Equity Workshop ( )
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