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What Makes Us Healthy?

Not everyone living in Renfrew County and District has the same opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long and healthy life.

What does being healthy mean to you?

Consider a story about a boy named Jason…

Why is Jason in the hospital?

Because he has a bad infection in his leg.

But why does he have an infection?

Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected.

But why does he have a cut on his leg?

Because he was playing in the junkyard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp, jagged steel there that he fell on.

But why was he playing in a junkyard?

Because his neighbourhood is kind of run down. A lot of kids play there and there is no one to supervise them.

But why does he live in that neighbourhood?

Because his parents can’t afford a nicer place to live.

But why can’t his parents afford a nicer place to live?

Because his Dad is unemployed and his Mom is sick.

But why is his Dad unemployed?

Because he doesn’t have much education and he can’t find a job.

But why …?

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health starts in the communities of Renfrew County – where we live, learn, work, and play.

An estimated half of all illness is caused by life circumstances such as income, education, employment, social connections, early childhood experiences, food, housing, race and gender. About 15 percent of illness is caused by our biology and genetics. About 10 percent of illness is caused by things in our environment such as air quality and civic infrastructure. About 25 percent of illness is related to quality of health care and access to health services.

Infographic Link: What Makes Canadians Sick?

Source: Canadian Medical Association, 2013

Making the Connections: Our City, Our Society, Our Health Video


What Determines Health? – Learn more about the determinants of health from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Let’s Start a Conversation About Health…and Not Talk About Health Care at All (Video) – Learn more about the social determinants of health through a video created by Sudbury & District Health Unit.


Some people in Renfrew County and District are less healthy and live shorter lives, not because of personal choice, but because of the circumstances in which they live. When differences in health are systematic, avoidable and unfair and have the potential to be changed or decreased by social action, they are called health inequities. See the report on Health Inequities in Renfrew County and District Report, 2018 to learn more.

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Pembroke Office

TEL: 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097

Renfrew Office

TEL: 613-432-5853 or 1-800-465-5000

Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.