Who We Are
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is one of Ontario’s 34 public health units. It is located in the southernmost area of Ontario bordering Detroit, Michigan, with a regional population of 422,630 residents and a geographical land area of 1,850 km. The WECHU service area is made up of nine municipalities, including Pelee Island which is the southernmost inhabited landmass in Canada. The WECHU service community is very diverse with unique needs, for example:
- There are over 165,000 households in the service area
- Average age of the population is 42 years
- Over 20% of residents identify themselves as an immigrant
- Nearly 1 in 5 households live in subsidised housing
- 1 in 4 children live in poverty
The Purpose of Our Refreshed Strategic Plan
A refreshed strategic plan allows our health unit to identify key priorities and directions over the next three years while building on the foundation of our 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. The WECHU has issued our 2022-2025 Refreshed Strategic Plan to provide strategic direction to the ongoing COVID-19 response, support recovery from unintended population health consequences of the pandemic and help understand how best to engage and support our community as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside, with a specific focus on priority populations. This document outlines our ongoing strategic priorities and introduces new ones that are relevant for the immediate local public health needs, adapts our organization’s values statements to the current climate, and sets objectives of importance for the WECHU’s priorities over the next 3 years.
This refreshed strategic plan will be continuously monitored against changes in community context and needs to determine the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s future readiness to develop the 2026–2030 Future Strategic Plan.
Healthy people in a healthy community.
The WECHU promotes, protects, and improves health and well-being for all people in our community.
Accountability We are responsible, ethical, and transparent in all that we do.
Empowerment We support all individuals and communities to increase control over, and to improve, their health and well-being.
Leadership We lead our community to optimal health outcomes by providing responsive, evidence driven services and guidance.
Collaboration Through meaningful partnerships, we identify and develop innovative solutions to ongoing and emerging public health challenges.
Equity We embrace diversity and are dedicated to equitable and inclusive approaches in all of our activities.
Advancing meaningful partnerships that focus on health equity and priority populations.
Increase collaborations to support equitable long-term approaches to addressing local public health needs.
Foster strategic partnerships that advance and support action plans on emerging public health issues that reflect and advance WECHU’s core values and priorities.
Develop and enhance relationships with local priority population groups to address local health priorities.
Advancing operational excellence by increasing employee capacity and knowledge, and through continuous quality improvement efforts.
Develop and implement a framework for embedding diversity, equity, and inclusive approaches across the organization.
Establish a structure for leadership development to ensure continuity of programs and services, supportive environments, and operational excellence.
Incorporate continuous quality improvement into organizational processes to ensure effective operations, resource management (human and physical), and adaptation to change.
Advance internal communications efforts to improve employee knowledge and transparency of organizational goals, objectives, and priorities.
Support employee mental health and well-being through effective and evidence informed strategies.
Effective Public Health Practice
Advancing programs and services through evidence informed decision-making, effective planning, and evaluation.
Ensure the inclusion of priority populations in the planning, development, and implementation of programs.
Evidence-based processes are embedded within the organization for planning, implementation, and evaluation to inform locally-relevant programming.
Continue to support and advance public communication of local health data and information.
Assessing and reporting on disproportionate health impacts related to COVID-19 and other key health indicators.