Let’s repurpose simpleton

I think we should repurpose the word ‘simpleton’ into something that isn’t so pejorative. There’s something to be said for circumventing the needlessly complicated. And to consider oneself a simpleton reflects a healthy sense of skepticism about the comprehensiveness of one’s knowledge. Besides, what’s the opposite of a simpleton? A ‘complicaton’? Who’d want to hang …

241 Simcoe Street

There is a lively debate in my city over the proposed locations for a supervised drug injection facility. One city-endorsed location is 241 Simcoe Street — a public housing complex just outside of the downtown core. I am a diehard supporter and advocate for harm reduction and I think a supervised injection site would greatly …

People are the way they are

People are the way they are because it is the way they have adapted to survive in their world. You can accept them or reject them for it, but it makes little sense to try to change it. People are they way they are because it is the way that works for them. The same …

The System Made Me Do It

I somehow found myself thinking about a passage from Hannah Arendt’s 1951 landmark Origins of Totalitarianism while I was at the Thames Valley Family Health Team conference a few weeks ago. (I posted more about the conference earlier.) The event was about delivering primary health care, and Arendt’s book is about totalitarian regimes, which makes …

Everybody’s advertising Facebook

Every time a company or business implores its customers or clients to ‘Like us on Facebook’ or ‘Follow us on Twitter’ they provide free advertising for Facebook and Twitter. Subsequently, in seeking likes and followers, businesses entrust communications with their customers and clients to a third party, a corporate intermediary — an intermediary that is …

Meditation of a Poll Official

On Thursday I worked as a poll supervisor for Elections Ontario. I have joined election teams for the last couple provincial and federal elections. I cannot fully explain my enthusiasm for working election days. The days are long and mentally exhausting, and yet strangely rewarding and enlightening. To be a poll official is to spend …

The Insidious Side of the ‘Housing First’ Model?

I have great respect and appreciation for the Housing First model. The proposition of Housing First, overly abbreviated, is as follows: the most effective way to constructively help a person address complex health and psychological challenges requires providing a stable and safe place to live. Until this safety and stability are in place, all the …

What we need is an innovative logic model

What we need is an innovative logic model to quantify the baseline metrics for our impact assessment tool to analyze the efficacy of our evaluation design against the resource mobilization parameters as defined by the strategic plan…

Humility is universally applicable

Yesterday I had the privilege of moderating a plenary panel discussion at the Thames Valley Family Health Team’s annual spring conference. The purpose of the panel was to share stories about patient experience. Four storytellers recounted personal moments when the healthcare system blossomed beautifully or failed miserably in response to an individual struggling with mental …