The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Priority Neighbourhoods report looks at Durham Region communities that require a focus for enhancing health and well-being

WHITBY, ON December 09, 2015 - Durham Region Health Department has launched a report under the Health Neighbourhoods project entitled “Building on Health in Priority Neighbourhoods”. This new report introduces a number of health priorities and community assets in seven Durham Region communities.

“Our health and well-being are affected by our living conditions - where we’re born, grow, live, work and age,” explained Mary-Anne Pietrusiak, an epidemiologist with Durham Region Health Department. “This report is intended to spark a dialogue with community partners and area residents to help create positive change and find ways to improve the health and well-being of residents in these neighbourhoods.”

The report notes that for some indicators, poor health is disproportionally concentrated in these Priority Neighbourhoods. Information in the report outlines that Downtown Ajax, Downtown Whitby, and the five Oshawa neighbourhoods of Lakeview, Gibb West, Downtown Oshawa, Central Park, and Beatrice North, have the lowest income levels of the 50 Health Neighbourhoods in Durham Region. However, these Priority Neighbourhoods also have many community assets including five public libraries, eight community centres, 88 parks, 42 recreation facilities, 26 elementary schools and much more.

“While the data show that these Priority Neighbourhoods have health indicators that require attention, there are also many positive attributes in these neighbourhoods on which we can build health,” said Ms. Pietrusiak. “More importantly, the people living and working in these Priority Neighbourhoods are best positioned to recommend ways to improve their own health.”

Regina Elliott, Manager, Public Health Nursing and Nutrition with the Health Department noted that building on partnerships and working collaboratively with the people in our communities can be a driving force for change.

“Each one of us can positively contribute to our health and well-being,” said Ms. Elliott. “Together, with community members and partners, we have the opportunity to make an even bigger difference in making all of Durham Region a healthier place to live, work, play and age.”

Launched by the Health Department last January, the Health Neighbourhoods project examines health status in 50 Health Neighbourhoods across Durham Region. These 50 Health Neighbourhoods also 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 Priority Neighbourhoods report and more information on the Health Neighbourhoods project can be found at Information is also available by calling Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

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

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For more information, please contact Health Department.