Around 45 representatives from 31 local community organizations gathered at the Salle Culturel Alfred-Langevin (SCAL) on February 9, as part of a networking event organized by the The Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO) and the public health team at the Huntingdon CLSC.
The organizations set up informational kiosks and spent the day getting to know each other’s services while talking about ways to collaborate to better serve the community. At least 50 more representatives, including many employees with the CLSC, visited during what organizers described as a very successful day.
“We heard there was a need within our health network and from community organizations to network,” said Valérie Brousseau-Dubé, a community organizer with the CLSC’s public health team. “Especially following COVID,” she added, noting there had been a lot of new hires and virtually no opportunities to come together. “Bringing people here was strategic for us,” she noted, as the SCAL and the CLSC are in the same building.
“It is clear that in the Haut-Saint-Laurent, the organizations really want to help each other,” Brousseau-Dubé explained. “We are a small area, but when we look at what we have, everyone is here,” she said. “But to be able to help, we need a social network that is well stitched together.”
For Pauline Wiedow of the Montérégie West Community Network (MWCN), the opportunity to participate in the networking activity was too important to pass up. “It is connecting community organizations with health care workers, so they know how to refer people to us,” she explained. Kim Wilson, also from the MWCN, suggested the event represented a necessary first step in recognizing how important it is for local organizations to be working together.