BPAO does the BHVI at Tommy Douglas

On March 26 and 27, community organizations came together to host a Black health fair at Tommy Douglas secondary school in the York Region.

The intention was to create space for Black families to come and access information about community organizations, overall health, and receive vaccination, if interested.

With restrictions on mask wearing lifting, people are finding fewer reasons to get vaccinated. Understanding this, community organizations are creating space where the health and wellness conversation can still be had.

The community health fair event had music, booths where Black led and serving organizations could share about their work, and even therapy dogs.

The Black Physicians Association of Ontario participated in the event, offering opportunities for patients and community members to speak directly with Black doctors for any concerns they may have had.

Dr. Melanie Henry was one of the doctors on site during the day’s event and is the York Lead on the Black Health Vaccine Initiative team. She grew up in York Region and was excited by the opportunity to serve the community that helped raise her.
“This is the first time I’ve had the chance to work specifically with my family and my community in my career like this, it’s been an amazing experience,” she said.

While fewer people are coming out to get vaccinated, Black doctors are still encouraging people to remain informed and to get vaccinated as the pandemic has not fully ended.

“I think, we have to reassure people as much as possible and slowly over time as we have these conversations, around the dinner table, people will be better off,” she said.


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