The Carlington Summit

The Board of Directors and staff of Carlington Community and Health Services are proud of the results of our first accreditation review by Community Organizational Health, Inc. (COHI) through its Building Healthier Organizations program. The report of the review committee showed that CCHS provides leadership in many areas.

“The Board views the process as a really big step ahead,” says Peter Mix, President of the Board of Directors of CCHS. “Recognition of the particular strengths of community health centres (CHCs) is becoming vitally important for us and for the whole movement in these days of shrinking budgets. The process helps to establish our credibility.”

The accreditation process is designed to help CHCs achieve excellence by identifying both strengths and areas for improvement. Five areas are reviewed: governance, management, administrative systems and practices, community capacity, and programs and services.

The Centre achieved accreditation but beyond that was also acknowledged as being innovative in many areas, including Community Action. “We were not surprised by this,” says Peter Mix. “The Board and staff are very active in this area in many ways. We keep on top of issues and have lobbied all levels of government for years.”

The accreditation process required a great deal of work prior to the May 1 - 5 visit. “The Centre staff did a wonderful, thoughtful job preparing for the review and participating during the week. We want to thank them for their efforts in this review and in the excellent work they do which allowed us to be rated so highly in so many areas,” notes Peter.

CCHS personnel are also involved in other aspects of the review process. Michael Birmingham, Executive Director, served as Chair of the group that developed the process, and two Board members, Greg Clunis and Wendy Croome, have been trained and are ready to review other CHCs. “I am hugely impressed with the system. This group developed a comprehensive framework that works well with CHCs that are very different from one another,” says Greg.

Wendy Croome notes further, “CCHS was rated as innovative in the area of promoting learning and the development of new and better ways to provide services. Our participation in the review process for other centres shows that orientation. And it's neat to work with people so committed to the movement and willing to give of themselves.”

Reviews are conducted on a three-year cycle. CCHS has much of which to be proud, but as with any review, certain areas were identified as needing some attention. Before the next review in 2002, we will continue to build on our strengths and improve in our weaker areas, to be an even more innovative Community Health Centre in the future.