Wellness & Health Promotion

Parkdale Infant Nutrition Security Targeted Evaluation Project (PINSTEP) – 2016-2021 Report

PINSTEP is a partnership between the University of Toronto and Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (PQWCHC). The main purpose of PINSTEP is to investigate opportunities to increase access to postnatal lactation support through the CANADA PRENATAL NUTRITION PROGRAM (CPNP).

Parkdale Infant Nutrition Security Targeted Evaluation Project (PINSTEP) 2016-2021 Report


High levels of breastmilk feeding despite a low rate of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in a cohort of vulnerable women in Toronto, Canada

Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for 6 months is a global public health goal, but measuring its achievement as a marker of population breastmilk feeding practices is insufficient. Additional measures are needed to understand variation in non-EBF practices and inform intervention priorities. We collected infant feeding data prospectively at seven time points to 6 months post-partum from a cohort of vulnerable women (n = 151) registered at two Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program sites in Toronto, Canada. Four categories of breastmilk feeding intensity were defined. Descriptive analyses included the (i) proportion of participants in each feeding category by time point, (ii) use of formula and non-formula supplements to breastmilk, (iii) proportion of participants practising EBF continuously for at least 3 months; and (iv) frequency of transitions between feeding categories. All participants initiated breastmilk feeding with 70% continuing for 6 months.

Maternal and Child Nutrition Article

International Breastfeeding Journal: Effect on breastfeeding practices of providing in-home lactation support to vulnerable women through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program: protocol for a pre/post intervention study

Only one-third of Canadian infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life as recommended. Skilled lactation support in the early postpartum period is one strategy for improving breastfeeding outcomes by building breastfeeding self-efficacy and resolving difficulties. Access to such support is limited among vulnerable women, including those who are new immigrants, low income, under-educated, young or single. The Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) aims to improve birth and breastfeeding outcomes among vulnerable women, but currently lacks a formal framework for providing postpartum lactation support.

Full Protocol for a Pre/Post Intervention Study 

Program Evaluation findings for Niiwin Wendaanimak Program:

Urban Indigenous populations in Canada are steadily growing and represent diverse and culturally vibrant communities. Disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples’ experiences of the social determinants of health are a growing concern. Under the guidance of the West End Aboriginal Advisory Council (WEAAC), Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (PQWCHC) launched the Niiwin Wendaanimak Four Winds Wellness Program that seeks to enhance health and community services for homeless and at-risk Indigenous populations in Toronto. Download the program evaluation to learn more:

Full Niiwin Wendaanimak Program Evaluation

Ontario Lung Association’s (OLA) Hair Nail and Beauty Salon work-related asthma pamphlets in simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and English:

The following brochures provide information on what workers should be aware of to protect themselves from developing work-related asthma in the hair, nail & beauty salons industry:

Healthy Skin, Healthy Nail Technicians: A Resource for Toronto Nail Salon Workers

With help from funding through the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease, and the Ministry of Labour, the Nail Salon Worker Project will be producing a series of resources focused on workplace health and safety in nail salons. These resources will complement the work that peer workers carry out during the delivery of workshops in nail salons, and will provide a standalone resource that can be shared and disseminated amongst nail technicians. They also include information on where to access additional supports related to employment standards, settlement and immigration, and healthcare.

The first resource is focused on skin protection.
The second resource, focused on reproductive health, will be released in early 2017.
Resources will be available in English, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
For more information or to request copies for your agency please contact Marika Heinrichs by email or by phone: (416) 703-8482 Ext. 233.

Queen West Garden Group

Our garden group focuses on ways to link gardening to mental health promotion, physical activity and healthy eating. Throughout the summers, participants in the garden programs made new connections and learn new skills. Download the PDF below to learn more.

Lets Grow – Gardening and Mental Health Resource Manual CTCHC 2013