The annual Healthy Communities Conference - Collaborative Partnerships Making Healthy Change Happen, opened on May 14 with Paul Born, from Tamarack, an Institute for Community Engagement, sharing his vision of ‘collective altruism’.

Answers are so yesterday,” said Born. “We need to listen. We listen to engage people, people start to transform and suddenly we have change without fully understanding how we got there.” Born said community begins with stories. Over time trust grows. With trust we take care of one another. From that comes the energy to build reality from our dreams.

The Healthy Communities Conference explored strategies for healthy community collaboration and engagement. Presentations, workshops and plenary sessions addressed issues of health inequity; community action plans to enhance health; and ways to foster partnerships for healthy community development. The conference looked at the role each of us plays in supporting healthy community engagement in a rural and small urban context.

The Healthy Communities Conference partners and supporters included Community Foundation Grey Bruce, Foodland Ontario, City of Owen Sound and Ontario Power Generation. The conference was planned in partnership with the Grey Bruce Health Unit, City of Owen Sound, Heart and Stroke Foundation, United Way Bruce Grey, Keystone Child Youth and Family Services, Canadian Cancer Society, Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, Bluewater District School Board and community members.

The full Healthy Communities Conference package can be downloaded at:

http://www.healthycommunitiesconference.com/