CFPC launches Clinical Poverty Tool

November 7, 2016

(November 7, 2016, Mississauga, ON) – The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), eight of its provincial Chapters, and the territories, in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP), today launched a new resource called Poverty: A Clinical Tool for Primary CareProvidersto help family physicians identify patients who may suffer health issues as a result of living in poverty.

Social and economic factors known as the social determinants of health play a big role in the health outcomes of patients. Individuals living in poverty are known to be at increased risk for numerous adverse health conditions.

“Building on the success of the Ontario poverty tool, which the CEP developed with clinical leadership from Dr. Gary Bloch, the CFPC has adapted this resource to support primary care providers and their patients across Canada,” says the CFPC’s Executive Director and CEO, Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE. “The tool has been enhanced and customized for each province and the territories through the incorporation of provincial statistics and local resources.”

The poverty tool provides helpful resources and offers family physicians a three-step approach for addressing poverty within their practice, screening all patients, and identifying those who are vulnerable; considering poverty as a risk factor for multiple chronic conditions; and asking questions of the patient to allow for intervention. The Ontario version of the tool has received positive feedback and uptake in Ontario since its launch in 2015; its webpage has received more than 16,000 views and 2,500 print copies have been distributed across the province. To build on this success, each new provincial/territorial tool has been updated to reflect regional data, provide a list of local supports, and help connect patients to reliable local programs and services.

“Family physicians need to have a well-rounded understanding of each patient’s circumstances to provide the most appropriate care,” adds the CFPC’s President, Jennifer Hall, MD, CCFP, FCFP. “The poverty tool encourages patient–doctor engagement and is designed to raise awareness among family physicians about how poverty can influence health issues and how it can be effectively addressed to support the well-being of each patient.”

The CFPC will continue to work with its provincial Chapters to disseminate this new resource to family physicians across Canada.

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) represents more than 35,000 members across the country. It is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training, certification, and lifelong education of family physicians. The College provides quality services and programs, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine. The CFPC accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools.

About The Centre for Effective Practice

The Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) is a federal not-for-profit organization that aims to close the gap between evidence and practice for health care providers. We are here for providers. To give them what they need to provide the best care to their patients. CEP engages with providers throughout our processes and creates solutions based on best-evidence that can be adapted into the local context. CEP is an independent organization that is funded through its project work with organizations that have a shared vision for improving the quality of care for Canadians.


Susan Monic
Manager, Communication Services
College of Family Physicians of Canada
905-629-0900 ext. 432


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