What is a Community Health Centre?

Community Health Centres are multi-sector health and healthcare organizations that deliver integrated, people-centred services and programs that reflect the needs and priorities of the diverse communities they serve. A Community Health Centre is any not-for-profit corporation or co-operative which adheres to all five of the following domains:

  1. Provides interprofessional primary care
  2. Integrates services/programs in primary care, health promotion, and community wellbeing
  3. Is community-governed and community-centred
  4. Actively addresses the social determinants of health
  5. Demonstrates commitment to health equity and social justice.


Watch an interview with Peter McKenna

Watch an interview with Peter McKenna, who has more than 30 years experience working in community health care, and is the Executive Director of Rideau Community Health Society (Ontario). RCHS operates two rural community health centres – not unlike Salt Spring Island. The Salt Spring Community Health Society (SSCHS) invited Peter to a community discussion at Gulf Islands High School on September 25, 2018.

In these videos, Peter talks about the positive impact community health centres have on patients, health care providers and the communities they serve, the comprehensive services they offer, why it’s important to actively address the “social determinants of health” and the important role community members play in the creation of these types of innovative health centres. He suggests Salt Spring Island could benefit greatly from the establishment of a community health centre.

The first 30-minute video is an interview with Peter McKenna by three SSCHS board members. The second 15-minute video is a continuation of this informative discussion.

We invite you to watch the videos, and, while you’re here, find out more about what the Salt Spring Community Health Society hopes to accomplish.