Hackathon sign beside participants.

SHN’s first-ever Health Equity Hackathon was an incredible success!

A key initiative in driving forward SHN’s strategic direction to Improve Health Equity, on January 30, 2020, we spent the day partnered with volunteers from across our community finding real-world solutions to emerging questions around health equity and health service utilization in Scarborough. We used the “hackathon” format to make it a day of intensive collaboration – moving fast, keeping the energy up and the ideas flowing. The event brought together community health partners, students, patients, and families to:

  • Gain a better understanding of factors that influence access and use of health care services; and
  • Identify priority gaps and reasons for relatively low utilization of health care services by Scarborough residents.

The unique perspectives and lived experiences our participants brought to bear in understanding, and creating solutions to, the challenges Scarborough faces in providing equitable health care enriched the day and grounded our work in reality.

As was remarked by many – the “hackathon” style created some real magic. It necessitated a vibrant group of (in many cases) strangers to bind together as a cohesive group, find productivity in the friction of conflicting ideas, and drill down on extremely complex issues…and fast!

The extraordinary work that came out of your efforts will now become the work plan for SHN’s Health Equity, Patient and Community Engagement team over the coming months and years, as we move your ideas into action.

We had some incredible speakers!

Gavin Wardle (Partner, Preyra Solutions Group) – really set the table for the day with a thought-provoking talk on his team’s research into the contributing factors at play in Scarborough’s health care utilization rates.

Dr. Andrew Bond (Medical Director, Inner City Health Associates) – framed the data in the world of hands-on clinical practice, recharging the teams to come back from lunch ready to turn their issue identification into concrete solutions.​​​​​​​

And a very special thank you to our gracious hosts at Carefirst

They provide an exemplary model for the delivery of equitable care in Scarborough, and we are fortunate to call them our partners.

Learn more about the work Carefirst is doing at carefirstontario.ca