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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
summer park with people walking and sitting

Building Healthy Communities

Where people live has as much influence on their health as how they live.

The built environment includes the settings where we live, work, learn, and play. Buildings, streets, parks, agricultural lands, road systems, land use patterns, and density are features that affect a person’s ability to make healthy choices and reduce their risk of injury and exposure to health hazards.

The built environment can affect:

  • level of physical activity
  • ease of access to healthy food
  • aging in place
  • safety of travel
  • air and water quality
  • access to jobs and services
  • social interaction
  • mental well-being
  • opportunities for recreation

Healthy Public Policy

Healthy public policy recognizes that policies outside of the health sector, and in all levels of government, have a deep impact on health. This is because these other sectors have an enormous impact on the social determinants of health and their distribution within society.

In Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, municipal leaders are well-positioned to make policies, plans, and by-laws that positively affect health. Decisions that are made today about community design, transportation systems, housing, access to recreation, and availability of legal substances contribute to the health of communities now and in the future.

Health in All Policies

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach used to advance healthy public policy, “where health becomes systemized as a standard part of the policy-formation process, and agencies are driven to integrate the policy formation under a health lens” (World Health Organization).

HiAP enables governments to make policies that address their priorities while simultaneously supporting the well-being of residents. Through an HiAP approach, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and local municipal stakeholders can work toward a shared goal of improving population health in HPEC and reducing health inequities among residents. Collaboration between municipalities and public health can help to maximize budgets and proactively address rising demands in health care and social services.

Working With Municipalities

To promote healthy living environments, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health works with municipalities and community organizations to create community settings that support health.

Public Health engages with municipalities to:

  • Provide information about the well-being of residents
  • Build capacity in healthy public policy through education and facilitation
  • Help define how HiAP can fit within municipal processes
  • Provide a health lens to municipal policies by commenting on policy documents such as official plans and plan updates

Municipal Official Plans play an important role in designing communities in a way that promotes and protects the health of residents and visitors. The Building Complete and Sustainable Communities: Healthy Policies for Official Plans  provides healthy public policy recommendations to municipalities when reviewing their official plans.

Additional Resources

Need More Information About Building Healthy Communities?

Call 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610.

News, Research and Reports RELATED TO: Municipalities

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The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.


Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.