The following blog story was first published in the United Way of York Region’s blog on November 29, 2011. It is reposted here with permission.
Meet Jane Wedlock – a Knowledge Mobilization Officer who was hired to work for us as part of our partnership with York University to develop research initiatives that will examine how living conditions (the social determinants of health) affect health.
The goal of this initiative, according to Jane, is to support the advancement of UWYR’s Community Impact agenda: “helping youth grow up strong, healthy, caring and responsible; enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence; and improving the well being of individuals and communities to enhance overall quality of life through this additional partnership with York University’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit.”
Jane’s position provides community based knowledge mobilization services, which means building relationships and brokering partnerships between community organizations and faculty/students; enhancing access to academic research to support community policy development and program activities through various media; and creating training and capacity building opportunities in conjunction with Community Leadership Resources staff at UWYR.
All of those involved have the same focus on the Social Determinants of Health – the factors that really shape our health and wellbeing. This includes issues related to poverty and economic independence, housing and homelessness, immigration, education, and food security.
Jane has a good working relationship with the university staff at the KMb Knowledge Mobilization Unit where this work has been going on for the past five years. Having worked with them closely on various projects, Jane adds that with York University, United Way will be hosting a series of five Meeting Houses, entitled, “…more than roads, sewers, stores and schools” (which you can read, here) that will offer opportunities for resident conversations in areas of significant future growth in York Region.
“We will be exploring how research/learning opportunities can support these conversations and the subsequent development of social infrastructure in these communities,” explains Jane.
This one year project is funded through a grant from The Canadian Institute for Health Research and will provide an opportunity to expand the impact of research on the development and implementation of effective community health policy as well as the delivery of services.