The road to better health

Community health brokers build a bridge to wellness in Crown Point

A successful cancer screening program called CASTLE (Creating Access to Screening and Training in the Living Environment) is expanding to help residents in the Crown Point neighbourhood take important steps to better overall health.

Focus groups in this east Hamilton community revealed the need for improved health care access and prevention information.  Funded by HCF, “CASTLE Beyond” uses a trained community health broker—someone who is known and trusted in the neighbourhood—to link residents to health promotion services. It’s a strategy proven to be effective, especially for underserved groups.

Through neighbourhood partnerships, the program focuses on the community’s self-identified needs and interests. In tandem with a public health nurse, the brokers connect with residents and organizations, to work together to promote health information and health-related activities.   By increasing their knowledge and confidence, residents are empowered to overcome barriers and take action on their own health, including accessing screening and other services and lowering chronic disease risks.