Lori Kleinsmith

Lori Kleinsmith is a health promoter at Bridges Community Health Centre (CHC), located in the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario. Prior to joining Bridges CHC in 2009 she worked for 15 years in various health and wellness capacities including managing an employee fitness centre and coordinating two community-based injury prevention organizations. Her areas of special interest include the social determinants of health, advocacy, inter-professional care, community engagement, and tobacco cessation. Follow Lori on Twitter @LoriKleinsmith


Articles and Opinion Pieces by this author

The importance of using a health equity impact lens to analyze public policy

Policy decisions on everything from childhood education to housing can have unintended consequences on the public’s health.  A Healthy Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) is a decision support tool designed to identify these unintended consequences.  It walks users through the steps of identifying how a program, policy or similar initiative will impact population groups in different…

The important role of social work in primary care

The staff at the Community Health Centre (CHC) where I work often discuss behavior change and the fact that many of our clients struggle to make changes that could affect the quality of their life. “If this client would only make some of the dietary changes as I’ve suggested…” “Despite all that we know about…

When public policy fails

Canadian health agencies continue to develop diabetes prevention and management strategies that primarily focus on “lifestyle”: poor diet, excess weight, and lack of physical activity.  But the exclusive focus on “lifestyle” ignores the important role played by the social determinants of health.  A recent paper entitled A toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes,…

Health equity – missing in action

I’ve been reading a new book called Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health, edited by Elizabeth McGibbon.  The book raises the question of why we continue to have such vast health inequities in Canada, despite the volume of evidence pointing to the large role played by the social determinants of health in causing illness and…

Community Health Centres – The best kept secret in health care?

Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Deb Matthews, has called them “a bit of a secret in health care”. The Honorable Roy Romanow is a big supporter of them.  They are Tommy Douglas’ “Second Stage of Medicare” in action.  Are Community Health Centres (CHCs) the best kept secret in health care and, if…

Poverty and health

I see the effects of poverty everyday in my job as a health promoter at a Community Health Centre. Many of our clients live in deep poverty conditions, relying on social assistance, food banks, and meal programs to get by each month.  They have little stability, living day to day, month to month in a…