History of HCCC

In April 1998, a small roundtable meeting with senior volunteer and staff representatives from national health charities met with the federal Minister of Health, the Honourable Alan Rock.  This meeting provided an opportunity for a small sub-sector to come together on broad mutual interests and concerns.

At that time, national voluntary organizations working in health were at a turning point.  For some time, there had been discussion amongst several organizations about how best to come together to deal with issues of common interest.  A structure needed to be formed that would help to address that.

The voluntary health sector had long had a strong voice in policy development and the development and implementation of national projects initiated by the federal government and others.  It was time to ensure that the collective voice of citizens from across the country was heard at the federal level.   It was becoming more important for the sector to develop new ways of working together.  Without a strong and effective coalition, an important voice would not be heard. 

The Minister of Health expressed his support for the establishment of a Liaison Committee with senior departmental officials to meet with representatives from national voluntary organizations working in health.  Accordingly, the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (NVO) received a financial contribution from Health Canada to establish a Health Issues Office, the primary objective of which was to work with national voluntary organizations working in health.  The option of establishing aCanadian Council of Health Charities(CCOHC) was explored. 

Such a council would allow for more cohesive involvement with the broader voluntary sector on common issues and there would be an increased ability to present a collective view publicly (ie., at the political and departmental levels as well as with other coalitions, etc).

The Council was designed to be an umbrella coalition for national health charities to work together. 

The Coalition had the following functions:

  • To act as a vehicle for national health charities to work together on common issues and concerns
  • To empower national health charities to increase their capacity to respond to issues
  • To provide a common voice on common issues
  • To act as a resource to member organizations
  • To provide networking opportunities
  • To increase awareness of the contribution of health charities to Canada's social fabric
  • To provide a mechanism to communicate with sub-sectors of the voluntary sector, government and the private sector on common issues

Representatives of national health charities agreed that their primary areas of common interest were:

  • Health research
  • Health information
  • Surveillance
  • Community/patient support

HCCC continues to evolve to meet the needs of its members.  We work collectively to address challenges and opportunities in the charitable sector and to advocate on issues related to health research and health policy to positively affect health outcomes for Canadians.

Our current focus is on advocacy related to health research and health policy, the creation and facilitation of networking opportunities for our members, and revenue generation to sustain the work of the coalition.

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