Medical and Community Care

Community and Multicultural Health

What does community and multicultural health involve?
For patients and families who do not speak English or who are newcomers to Canada, the healthcare system can be overwhelming. Language and cultural differences can make it difficult for patients to communicate their needs and concerns — and to understand their treatment. This lack of understanding can result in decreased access to healthcare or misunderstandings between healthcare providers, patients and families. In turn, many men, women and children of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds can be at greater risk for health problems.

Creating culturally competent healthcare programs and services help keep our communities healthy and empowers community members to take responsibility for their health and the health of their families. Culturally competent healthcare takes into account not only differences in language, but also differences in practices and experiences that affect our expectations in healthcare interactions.

UHN’s Community and Multicultural Healthcare Area
Located in the heart of one of the world’s most diverse cities, we meet the needs of our community by offering a variety of resource programs.

Interpretation Services:
Staffed by professional interpreters, these language services are available to all patients. Interpretation is available in Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Medical and Community CareUnit:
The Unit carries out research, planning and evaluation of services, to ensure programs continue to address community needs.

Health Information Resource Centre:
The Health Information Resource Centre provides reliable, accessible multilingual books, videos and pamphlets on health topics and community programs and services.

Connecting with the community to meet diverse needs
Another key component of community and multicultural healthcare is the Healthy Living Centre, which provides four programs designed to help patients — particularly the elderly — and families establish and maintain healthy lifestyles and cope with chronic illnesses.

Seniors’ Wellness Clinic: a centre that emphasizes independence and illness prevention

Diabetes Education Centre: an education centre with programs to help patients cope with diabetes

Pain Management Program: a program of stress reduction, behavioural therapy and other techniques to help patients who suffer from chronic pain

Community Osteo-Arthritis Management Program: education on safe medication, exercise, and pain management

At UHN, we are committed to bridging the gap between healthcare providers and patients of diverse backgrounds. Through these and other innovative programs and services, we are working toward creating a more welcoming, culturally inclusive healthcare environment.

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