Bookmark this page
The Regional Municipality of Durham printPrinter Friendly Version



News Release

Health Neighbourhoods project looks at the health and well-being of Durham Region Neighbourhoods

WHITBY, ON January 22, 2015

Durham Region Health Department has launched a project to examine health status in 50 “Health Neighbourhoods” across Durham Region. These 50 Health Neighbourhoods show the diversity of the Region. The project provides information to help support strong, safe and equitable neighbourhoods and improve the health and well-being of all area residents.

The project, which was started by the Health Department, is expanding to include other partners. The information provides a picture of how health varies by where you live and includes 62 indicators that impact health such as population, income, education, births, breastfeeding, early child development, injury, smoking, physical activity, obesity, infectious disease, life expectancy and more.

“This is the first time that such comprehensive health information has been available in Durham Region at the Neighbourhood level,” explained Mary-Anne Pietrusiak, an epidemiologist with Durham Region Health Department. “Although the information will be most useful to health and social service organizations, anyone can access the reports, maps and tables. You can view each indicator, such as smoking rate or life expectancy, to see how it varies across Neighbourhoods and compares to Durham Region, and you can also look at each Neighbourhood to see all 62 indicators profiled.”

Information from the Health Neighbourhoods project is available online at durham.ca/neighbourhoods. The site provides access to an Overview Report, feature reports, a map viewer, and 62 indicator summaries, along with neighbourhood profiles for the 50 Health Neighbourhoods, the eight area municipalities and Durham Region as a whole. The map viewer allows users to zoom in to specific Neighbourhoods and view roads and various points of interest, such as schools, recreational facilities, etc. In addition, the map viewer provides access to maps of specific demographic, early child development and health indicators.

Some of the findings highlighted in the Overview Report include:

  • Young families are most concentrated in Neighbourhoods in north and east Ajax, north Whitby, north Oshawa and north Bowmanville.
  • Income has a big impact on health; Neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes tend to have poorer health.
  • The Neighbourhoods in the downtown areas of Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa tend to have lower incomes, more seniors and fewer young people. These urban areas also have some important health challenges.

“In general, Durham Region residents enjoy good health,” explained Ms. Pietrusiak, “however, it’s clear that health varies by where you live. Information from the Health Neighbourhoods project will be used by Health Department staff to better understand patterns of health and disease, and to help focus health promotion programs more effectively. The data will provide communities with valuable information, allowing them to take action to improve the health and well-being of all residents.”

For more information on Durham Region Health Department’s Health Neighbourhoods project, visit durham.ca/neighbourhoods, or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

- 30 -

For more information, please contact Health Department.