Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BCHC Newsletter | March 2015

BCHC's New Communications Specialist: Welcome Jennifer Nichols
Jennifer is a communications specialist with over ten years experience working with Municipal, First Nation and Provincial governments on sustainability initiatives. She has extensive experience collaborating with urban and rural planners on engaging local governments around building complete compact communities and facilitating development.

Jennifer earned a bachelor of communication design from Emily Carr University and a master’s degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability. She brings a deep appreciation for broad collective processes while maintaining a sharp eye for detail. Outside of work, Jennifer contributes to Design Inquiry research and local place-making projects.  

Read more about the
BCHC team and how we work here.

City of Victoria Youth Council Open Minds to Mental Health Issues
By Sarah Graham
For the past three years, the City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) has discussed the importance of tackling stigma about mental health and promoting services available to youth. But when it came to creating a project that could tackle the diverse issues surrounding mental health, the Council struggled to decide on something concrete.

Through this struggle, the group of 14 to 24 year-old youth emerged with a fresh approach to mental health issues. On Tuesday, March 24th, the CVYC hosted a Mental Health Forum to stimulate discussion about existing mental health services available to youth and how they could be better supported.

Over 20 mental health practitioners, community members, and youth attended the event to share their valuable knowledge and opinions. Representatives from the Island Mental Health Association, Bipolar Babe, Need2, Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, the Inter-Cultural Association, and the Red Cross were in attendance.

Many participants remarked on how pleased they were to see such an event in Victoria, not only to tackle stigma but also to increase education about the hard work different organizations are already doing. Some suggestions for CVYC projects included a wallet card listing services available to youth, a social media campaign to promote different organizations, or including resources on the CVYC website. To learn more about the event click here. Stay tuned for a full summary of the event!

Read more about the CYVC.

Celebrate Seniors with Lori McLeod
By Michelle Sandsmark
“If you don’t see past the packaging, you don’t see the true heart inside,” says Lori McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation (GVEF). “I think it is really important for people to look closer and see the real person and not pass judgment based on age.” For the past 14 years, McLeod has worked in the name of improving the health and well-being of seniors across Vancouver Island.

McLeod became acutely aware of the issues seniors face through personal experience. One of McLeod’s family members became a victim of financial abuse while living in a seniors' apartment building. McLeod’s passion was awakened and continues to drive her tireless work advocating for seniors and their families with the Eldercare Foundation.
Her charisma and caring nature have helped grow GVEF’s dedicated team of staff, 100 enthusiastic volunteers, and 14 committed board members. The Foundation is a charitable organization devoted to raising funds to enhance the quality-of-life for seniors and those who care for them. The GVEF has trail-blazed many initiatives that support seniors and their caregivers including:
  • In 2006, the Foundation helped fund the development of the Yakimovich Wellness Centre and the Piercy Respite Hotel, two valuable resources in Victoria, BC.
  • In March 2015, the Foundation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Embrace Aging Month, an awareness initiative aimed at connecting people with resources and educational opportunities to help them navigate and embrace the journey of aging.
  • The GVEF’s Look Closer, See Me fundraising campaign has been incredibly successful and the organization has already raised two thirds of its $1 million goal. Almost $700,000 has already been spent on specialized equipment, program and community support to benefit our community’s valued elders.

McLeod is always searching for new and progressive ways to address the needs of seniors and caregivers. She has found incredible value in multi-sectoral collaboration. 

“It is important to leverage what you have by working with like-minded people and partners to actually make your footprint and the result that you leave is just a little bit bigger,” said McLeod.

McLeod’s compassion radiates in every aspect of her work as she continues to support seniors and their families across the Island. 
“I truly value older people and all their experiences and it tends to be that once people get to be a certain age they become invisible,” reflected McLeod, “Instead of them becoming invisible, I think they should be celebrated.”
While McLeod’s team of staff is small, the Foundation has made a lasting impact on the community - thousands of seniors and their families have received support from the GVEF.

Hear Lori speak about the Trust US! Intergenerational Initiative (Project) by clicking the image above. Trust US! is a project that entails a series of dialogues and community projects around key themes that will help to bridge the gap between seniors and youth in the Gorge-Tillicum area of Victoria. More here: bchealthycommunities.ca/trustus

Social Marketing and Community Capacity Building: Comparing Two Approaches
By Jodi Mucha

Communities are complex systems. They are more akin to raising a child versus baking a loaf of bread whereby, you follow a step-by-step recipe and can expect to get a perfectly baked loaf of bread each time. In the face of complexity within a community, there are also many different approaches being used to target specific groups, audiences or sectors to help address critical challenges and provide solutions or support.

Social marketing harnesses commercial marketing knowledge to understand the wants, needs and aspirations of people and how to offer products (tangible and intangible) that people believe meet their needs. Social marketing strives to create conditions that support behaviours, which increase the well-being and quality of life for individuals, families and societies across the globe. This is distinct from social media, and is utilized to address the determinants of health and social challenges using an array of interventions—often focused on making them fun, easy and popular.

There is a distinct difference between social marketing (in the context of public health) and community capacity building. This article provides a brief comparison of the two approaches as a means to support improved health and well-being of individuals and communities.

What is Social Marketing?
One well-known definition of social marketing is: "The application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence voluntary behavior of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of society."[1] Note the following key points in this definition.
Social marketing:
  • Uses commercial marketing strategies;
  • Involves influencing voluntary (not forced or coerced) behavior change (not just increased awareness or increased knowledge);
  • Promotes an end goal of improved personal welfare and improved welfare of society.

What is Community Capacity Building?

BCHC defines community capacity building as the processes and activities that maximize individual and community potential. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence and expansion in all areas of human and community development: physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and economic. In this way, capacity building efforts reflect the complexity of people, and the communities in which we live our lives.

Social Marketing [1]                    
Community Capacity Building
Focus on “what is” (i.e. the problem) as identified by professionals or consumers
Focus on “what could be” as defined by community
Targeted messages to appeal and promote
Conversations to build curiosity, awareness and relationships
“Sell” new attitudes, choices and behaviours
Explore root causes of attitudes, choices and behaviours, and what it will take to make changes
Emphasis on measurable outcomes in attitude, choice, and behaviour
Emphasis on supportive relationships, reciprocity, and resilience
Promote ideas and goals
Engagement to identify shared ideas and goals
Focus on consumer
Focus on citizen
Target audience
Include and involve diverse community members
Identify topic
Identify purpose and principles; community chooses topics to explore and address purpose and principles
Persuade and promote
Engage and expand (knowledge, skills, self-awareness, other awareness, cultural awareness, relationships, commitment to community well-being, etc.)
Promotes cost/benefit analysis (i.e. costs of not changing behaviours, or investing)
Promotes the potential for health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.
Market a range of slogans, products, services, or practices
Explore how everyone can contribute to the goal of healthy children in healthy families in healthy community, and “best practices” of community building
Promote use of available services
Raise awareness of and promote use of broad range of community assets: formal and informal
Focus on change in individuals. Change efforts address single identified issue.
Sees early childhood development as an issue that affects individuals and communities. Focusing on one issue, enhances community capacity to address a range of important community issues.
Change individual thinking and choice
Change individual and cultural thinking and choice
Communications strategy as primary tool, i.e. TV, radio, newspaper, internet, social media, banners and balloons
Primary tools are relationship building, shared learning, and engagement

BCHC defines community capacity building as the processes and activities that maximize individual and community potential. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence and expansion in all areas of human and community development: physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and economic. In this way, capacity building efforts reflect the complexity of people, and the communities in which we live our lives.

BCHC offers services to support community groups and local governments to assess, enhance and mobilize the capacities they need to continually create and improve community health and well-being. Learn more about how we can work with you to create customized approaches to fulfill on your healthy communities goals here.

[1] Alan Andreasen, Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development, and the Environment, p. 7
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

Northern Health Citizen Series

Where: Online and at various host sites across BC
Cost: Free

  • THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT) The Best is Yet to Be: Engaging Seniors' Wisdom and Voices in Building Healthy Age-friendly Communities.
    Register Here
  • THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT) It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Leveraging the Canada Winter Games for Healthy Active Communities in the Long Run. Register Here

For questions or to register, please contact Angela Bello at angela@bchealthycommunities.ca or go to bchealthycommunities.ca/events

To watch the recording from previous webinars, go to Citizen Series Project on the BCHC website and follow the links to each past event.

Art Reception: Collaboration Generation 
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (7:00-9:00 PM)
Where: Victoria City Hall, 1st Floor Gallery at 1 Centennial Square
Cost: Free

During the past two months, established artists and young people have come together through the Art Mentorship Program (AMP) to produce work in a variety of mediums.

Generation Collaboration will celebrate the completion of the art created during this time. Admission and refreshments are complimentary. More information here.

Cities Fit for Children Summit: Call for Presentations
NOVEMBER 12-13, 2015
Where: Vernon Lodge, Vernon BC

The 5th biennial Cities Fit for Children brings together municipal and regional policymakers, First Nations, and child/youth practitioners to strengthen community capacity in order to develop healthy thriving cities, towns and villages.

The 2015 event theme is "In my Backyard."  Presenters are invited to provide innovative ideas for creating child and family-friendly communities, share a “toolbox” of solutions, and provide evidence-based, applied research to support best practices. For more information on how to apply, click here. 

Recommended by Jodi Mucha
Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Makers
By Sam Kaner

The third edition of this ground-breaking book continues to advance its mission to support groups to do their best thinking. It demonstrates that meetings can be much more than merely an occasion for solving a problem or creating a plan. Every well-facilitated meeting is also an opportunity to stretch and develop the perspectives of the individual members, thereby building the strength and capacity of the group as a whole.

This fully updated edition of The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making leads readers through the struggle and the satisfaction of putting participatory values into practice, helping them to fulfill the promise of effective group decision-making. With previous editions already embraced by business and community leaders and consulting professionals around the world, this new book is even more insightful and easy to use.

Source: Chapters

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BCHC Newsletter | February 2015

Save the Date!
Cities Fit for Children Municipal Summit in Vernon on November 12-13, 2015

Mark your calendars as this engaging event will be hosted on November 12th and 13th, 2015 at the Vernon Lodge. Initiatives such as public art projects and natural play spaces will be showcased along with many other successes to be shared from multiple communities. The overall goal of the event is to build and support healthy and vibrant age-friendly communities that value childhood as the firm foundation of growth.

Vernon is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to raise a family, but it is not without its challenges like most communities. Vernon is home to many vulnerable children and a lower average income than the provincial average, but is also a community that really cares and works hard to create better outcomes for all its citizens.

The summit Chair, Lynne Reside, along with steering committee members, including City Council members, the city’s long range planner and other partners, have attended past Cities Fit for Children Summits and have demonstrated a strong commitment to children and youth in Vernon. As such, one of their greatest successes has been the implementation of a Children’s Charter for the City of Vernon, which was a year long process of meetings, focus groups, community forums and a final celebratory signing of the charter by many community leaders at a huge family-friendly community event in beautiful Polson Park.

Stay tuned for more details about the event, and in the meantime if you have any questions, please contact: Lynne Reside at coordinator@noecdcoalition.ca


Community Capacity-Building and Social Connectedness
Esquimalt Resilient Streets Kick-off!

How many of us know our neighbours? If things got difficult, would our neighbours be there to help each other out? What makes some streets and neighbourhoods have a sense of vibrancy and community where people feel connected?

This week, residents of the Township of Esquimalt came together to explore these questions with their neighbours as part of the Resilient Streets Esquimalt Kick-Off. Resilient Streets is part of the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods project which BCHC is collaborating on with lead project partners Transition Victoria and the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria.

At the kick-off, participants explored how we can make our communities stronger and more resilient by strengthening the connections and relationships between neighbours on a street, or between neighbours in an apartment or condominium building. Together they shared ideas for strategies and projects to build more “resilient streets” where people:
  • Know each other and have strong connections
  • Share resources and other items to be more locally-reliant
  • Create opportunities for neighbours to interact and gather
  • Are able to cooperate and share leadership between neighbours in street or block issues and activities.

Couldn’t make it to the event, but interested in learning more? Visit the Building Resilient Neighbourhood website here 
or access the Resilient Streets Toolkit here.

For more questions please contact Stacy Barter at stacy@bchealthycommunities.ca


North Okanagan Early Years Coordinator and Council Member
Lynn Reside
By Jodi Mucha

The North Okanagan Early Years Council (NOEYC) was started in Vernon in 2003 as part of the Success by 6 and Children First Initiatives in the province of BC. The NOEYC initiative focuses on supporting communities to understand the importance of the early years through public awareness and research. They identify local issues and plan strategically to work towards collaboration between local municipalities, school districts, Interior Health, non-governmental organizations, businesses, faith groups, and aboriginal and newcomer groups.

The NOEYC encompasses the communities of Vernon, Lumby, Lavington, Cherryville, Coldstream, Armstrong, Falkland and Spallumcheen, as well as, the Okanagan Indian Band. As members of the North Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap Early Years Network, each member participates in a network of early years initiatives in the larger interior region and provincial networks. These networks help the NOEYC to plan, focus and collaborate on many initiatives that promote healthy communities for families with children from conception to age six.
An important part of the initiative is coordination.

As the Early Years Community 
Development Coordinator, Lynne’s role is to ensure that there is an inclusive community table, that action is taken to meet the goals of the strategic plan, and to initiate and share research to raise public awareness in all sectors about the importance of the early years for healthy, thriving children, as well as, healthy and vibrant communities. 

Lynne’s background is in Early Childhood Education and she has worked for many years as a preschool teacher and then as Executive Director of a large not-for-profit multi-age child care society in Vernon. She was also the co-chair of the North Okanagan Early Years Council for five years and then became the Early Years Coordinator in 2007. In 2010, Lynne took on the role of Regional Success by 6 Manager for the United Way and Regional Children First (MCFD) Coordinator.

Currently, Lynne sits on the Provincial Advisory of the Early Years Community Developers Institute, the provincial board of the Early Childhood Educators of BC, the Board of the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan and is also very excited to be the Chair of the Cities Fit for Children Steering Committee for the 2015 Cities Fit for Children Summit in Vernon.


Thinkpiece Feature
Partnering for Change: Building new relationships for the health and well-being of northern First Nations people and communities 

In light of the newly created First Nations Health Authority and as part of our ongoing provocative Citizens Series Webinars (hosted by BCHC and Northern Health) we recently hosted the webinar “Partnering for Change:Building new relationships for the health and well-being of northern FirstNations people and communities”.  This webinar in particular provided the opportunity for speakers from Northern Health, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), and the Northern First Nations Health Partnership Committee to share their perspectives on the partnership work undertaken in northern BC to improve the health and well-being of First Nations people and communities. 

This month we are featuring the Thinkpiece created for the webinar “Partnering for Change: Building new relationships for the health and well-being of northern First Nations people and communities” and written by Hilary McGregor from Northern Health.  The Thinkpiece addresses the importance of First Nations Health collaboration and the changes happening in the north. 

To read the Thinkpiece click here

The webinar recording and a range of informative materials and resources on this topic are available on our BCHC website and can be found here.


Northern Health Citizen Series
Where: Online and at various host sites across BC
Cost: Free 

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT)
The Best is Yet to Be: Engaging Seniors' Wisdom and Voices in Building Healthy Age-friendly Communities.
Register Here

THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT) NEW DATE!
It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Leveraging the Canada Winter Games for Healthy Active Communities in the Long Run.
Register Here

    For questions or to register, please contact Angela Bello at angela@bchealthycommunities.ca

    To watch the recording from previous webinars, go to the Citizen Series Project page on the BCHC website and follow the links to each past event.


    Recommended by Jodi Mucha
    Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now
    By Margaret J. Wheatley and Deborah Frieze

    In this era of increasingly complex problems and shrinking resources, can we find meaningful and enduring solutions to the challenges we face today as individuals, communities and nations?

    Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze invite you on a learning journey to seven communities around the world to meet people who have walked out of limiting beliefs and assumptions and walked on to create healthy and resilient communities. These Walk Outs who Walk On use their ingenuity and caring to figure out how to work with what they have to create what they need.

    Source: Amazon

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    BCHC Newsletter | January 2015

    Cities Fit For Children in Vernon

    We are very pleased to announce that the City of Vernon has been selected to be the host municipality for the 2015 Cities Fit for Children Summit.

    Cities Fit for Children is a biennial conference that brings together municipal leaders with child development professionals, parents, and community champions to promote and increase collaboration towards creating local environments where children, youth and  families thrive.

    BCHC’s Cities Fit for Children’s Provincial Advisory Group will support Vernon’s local organizing committee to ensure continuity for the initiative and to provide support, resources and sponsorships for the 2015 event. Stay tuned for more details.

    For more information, please visit the BCHC website or contact: jodi@bchealthycommunities.ca

    Apply Now! Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) Grant

    Local governments and First Nations that own or manage venues where liquor is served can access support and funding (up to $7000) to develop a Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP). This is a useful tool to reduce the health and financial costs caused by alcohol. A MAP provides clear guidelines for alcohol use in facilities owned and managed by local government .

    The $7000 grant is being offered on a first-come first-served basis by BC Healthy Communities, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health. As part of the grant, you will also receive:

    • Workshop and facilitation support,
    • Workbook and toolkit,
    • Monthly telephone support,
    • Access to example MAPs,
    • Overview of legal issues.
    Contact River Chandler at 250-952-1236, River.Chandler@gov.bc.ca, or check out the BC Healthy Communities website to find out more.

    City of Victoria Youth Council Gearing Up to Take Action
    By Sarah Graham

    In October 2014, twenty-five youth came together at the City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) retreat to discuss strategies for working together effectively and to decide on the focus areas for new youth projects. The CVYC members decided to pursue three new projects in 2015: a second Employability Fair, Peer-to-Peer Workshops, and a project with a focus on combating Mental Health stigma.

    These priorities arose from past CVYC meetings. In November, the CVYC had heard from Volunteer Victoria’s Youth Vital Signs and Bipolar Babe about important issues that youth are facing today. The Youth Vital Signs Report highlighted concerns about the cost of living, employment and mental illness, while Bipolar Babe’s Andrea Paquette spoke to the importance of support systems for youth that are dealing with mental health issues.

    Aside from planning new initiatives, the CVYC has completed three projects since September 2014. Prior to the civic elections, the CVYC partnered with Youth for Community and Inclusion (YCI) to host a Q&A with Victoria’s Mayoral Candidates: Lisa Helps, Stephen Andrew, Dean Fortin and Ida Chong; over 50 youth attended. Furthermore, a partnership with the Saanich Youth Council led to a social media campaign to promote the civic elections. And lastly, three dedicated members have been working tirelessly to recruit mentors and youth for the Art Mentorship Program (AMP). In late January 2015, professional artists will be paired with youth for a two-month visual art’s mentorship, culminating with a gallery opening.

    To stay updated about the CVYC, visit www.cvyc.ca.

    Jill Zacharias: Supporting Social Sustainability
    By Michelle Sandsmark

    If you have had the privilege of meeting Jill Zacharias, you will know that she is incredibly devoted to her community development and social sustainability work in Revelstoke. Jill’s uncanny ability to engage, inspire and actualize plans is admirable, and her special touch can be traced throughout numerous community initiatives.

    Driven by a passion to make a difference in her community, Jill became involved in various volunteer positions after moving to Revelstoke in 1992. This work allowed her to engage with issues directly impacting Revelstoke, which motivated her to complete post-graduate work at Simon Fraser University with a diploma in Sustainable Community Development.

    She now holds the position as Revelstoke’s Social Development Coordinator where she has cultivated powerful grassroots collaboration. While she is quick to praise her peers from the City of Revelstoke, the community’s various committees, and numerous leaders in the social services sector for all their incredible work and dedication to the community, she also deserves to be recognized as a loyal and humble contributor to the complex and multifaceted work that is social development. Jill is the ultimate connector-of-the-dots as she is often found rallying together various organizations and sectors to tackle the most complex issues, including developing and implementing a Poverty Reduction Strategy.

    “For poverty reduction to be successful it needs to be comprehensive in nature [and] everybody needs to be involved, because social issues are complex;
    there is no silver bullet.”

    She is extremely committed to the work that the City and multiple community partners have been able to achieve in addressing the needs of community members. Among many other projects, she has helped the City to: obtain four Age-Friendly Grants, complete research for a strategy to address substance use, and to develop a structural foundation to support and engage youth. Her most recent moment of satisfaction stems from engaging the business sector with the City’s Living Wage Initiative. This engagement process has resulted in strong commitment and leadership from two businesses in becoming Living Wage certified.

    To Jill, social sustainability is the underlying foundation to a healthy and prosperous community. Focusing attention on improving local social supports allows residents to thrive in a way that, in turn, supports the local economy and environment. As she continues to pursue the vision of a healthier, stronger Revelstoke, she has helped to catapult the City forward as a leader in social sustainability.


    The True North: Uncovering the Complex Roots of Rural and Remote Living
    By Michelle Sandsmark

    Northern BC’s wild landscape is incredible; the vast terrain astounds the senses with a calming presence of peace and inspiration. Northern BC is an oasis of wildlife, free from the hustle and bustle of the southern urban regions. While this can be seen as a retreat from the big city lifestyle, there are also numerous challenges that residents face when it comes to addressing personal health and community well-being.

    While health services are essential to tend to our ailments, research has shown that preventative, upstream approaches are more effective than reactive, downstream approaches in addressing health and well-being. It is known that BC’s northern residents have greater challenges and barriers to good health than any other region in BC. At the same time, these challenges are giving Northern Health an opportunity to demonstrate how to address the root causes to have a positive influence on social, economic and environmental outcomes in Northern BC. 

    Source: Statistics Canada (2013) 1, 2, 3, 4


    BC’s Great North is faced with many diverse challenges: the boom-bust cycle of various industries; difficulty retaining young adults as they see other opportunities in urban areas; limited access to provincial health and social services, supports and resources; a lack of culturally appropriate assistance; and a need to establish strong local food systems. These are only a few obstacles to overcome in order to achieve better outcomes in the northern rural and remote locations.

    While the North is rife with barriers to good health, numerous actions have been taken and innovative community-based solutions are being developed. The following are just a few examples of initiatives taking place in BC’s northern communities:

    • Finalized in April 2014, the Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Plan was developed by the Northern First Nations Health Partnership Committee (a partnership among Northern Health, the Northern Regional Health Caucus, and the First Nations Health Authority). With over one third of BC’s registered First Nations represented in the north, it became imperative that a plan  be developed to ensure culturally responsive services, mutual respect and inclusive participation in all processes, and strong support for collaborative, community-driven, Nation-based programs.   
    • Many northern communities are faced with the challenge of youth out-migration and an aging baby boomer population. Recognizing this challenge, the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Rural Network have supported bright solutions through Project ComeBack. Through the pilot program, five communities received funding, including the City of Williams Lake, Village of Chase, Smithers District Chamber of Commerce, Regional District of Mount Waddington, and the Village of Kaslo. Over two years, youth and young adults were engaged in a process to find out how to retain young adults in these rural and remote communities.
    • The Greater Terrace Agricultural Area Plan was created to address the decline in agricultural production, increase economic activity, and improve food security in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and the expanding area. Research was undertaken to consult and engage residents within the Greater Terrace region in the development of the Plan, which resulted in a thorough set of recommendations to improve local food production.
    Northern BC’s rural and remote communities face some difficult circumstances, but are creating unique strategies to tackle the key priorities related to residents’ health and well-being. New multi-sectoral partnerships are forging while old ones are being strengthened, creative solutions are arising, and northern communities have banded together to bring positive change.

    Want to learn more?
    We are celebrating our fifth year of FREE Citizen Series Webinars, which focuses specifically on the learning needs of northern, rural and remote communities. Register now to reserve your spot in the webinar and join the discussion!

    Northern BC Citizen Series Webinars

    1. THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PST)
      Risky Business: Why Communities, Government and Industry Need To Work Together To Support a Healthier Approach to Resource Development. Register Here.
    2. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015 (10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST)
      Partnering for Change: Building New Relationships for the Health and Well-being of Northern First Nations People and Communities. Register Here.
    3. THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PST)
      The Best is Yet to Be: Engaging Seniors' Wisdom and Voices in Building Healthy Age-friendly Communities. Register Here.
    4. THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PST)
      It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Leveraging the Canada Winter Games for Healthy Active Communities in the Long Run. Register Here.
    Recommended by Michelle Sandsmark
    Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills, and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Businesses, and People
    By Paul Born


    Communities around the world are entering a new era of community building. Whether improving economic conditions and reducing poverty, re-energizing citizens and social programs, reducing crime, or revitalizing a troubled neighborhood, they are engaging people from all sectors as never before to work together as equals to improve their quality of life.

    Full of informative and inspiring examples of collaboration, Community Conversations captures the essence of creating such conversations and offers ten practical techniques to host conversations in your community.

    Source: Amazon

    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    BCHC Newsletter | November 2014

    Funding Opportunity
    New Round of Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) Grants

    Every year in BC, alcohol causes more than 20,000 hospital visits. The Centre of Addictions Research in BC estimates that over 2,000 deaths are alcohol related. In addition to the cost to our communities, the financial burden caused by alcohol related harm is estimated to be over $2 billion per year. Studies estimate that enforcement and health care costs exceed the revenue generated.

    A Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) helps support healthy communities by providing clear guidelines for alcohol use in municipal settings, and contributing to a culture of moderation in the community. BC Healthy Communities, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, is offering up to $7,000 in grant funds to assist local governments to develop a MAP.

    Next Steps:
    • Find out if a MAP is right for your community by reading the Local Government Guide to Creating a MAP and contacting Krissi Spinoza at BC Healthy Communities 250-952-9177.
    • Talk to elected members and stakeholder organizations to find out if they would support the development of a MAP.
    • Apply for up to $7,000 to help fund the development of the MAP by completing the MAP application form.
    For more information please contact Krissi Spinoza, BCHC Healthy Communities Program Coordinator, at hccoordinator@bchealthycommunities.ca or 250-952-9177.

    Citizens Series V Coming Your Way!

    Great news for Northern residents! BC Healthy Communities and the Northern Health Authority have committed to deliver another year of FREE webinar series on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people. BCHC and NH are continuing their partnership to build on the momentum created through Citizen Series I-IV delivered in 2010-2014.
    The intention of each session will be to involve local citizens, health authorities and local government participants along with guest speakers to share best practices, success stories, and challenges from the local/regional perspective.

    Citizen Series V will consist of 4 webinars focused on a specific topic. We’ve listed all 4 webinar topics and the confirmed dates below in ‘Events’; make sure to mark the dates in your calendar. Can't wait? Check out the past webinars on our website here.

    For questions or to pre-register, please contact Angela Bello at angela@bchealthycommunities.ca

    Virtual Food Connections: Food Security in Rural and Remote Communities
    A Recap of a Day-Long Provincial Webinar on Food Security
    By Angela Bello

    To open the one-day web conference on November 19, 2014, Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health Medical Health Officer, shared how food security “exists when all citizens obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance and equal access for everyone.”

    The diversity of presentations and comments shared during the Virtual Food Connections webinar suggest that this looks very different depending on the local community context. For some, it conjures the image of a beach that could one day be restored for clam digs, for another, a good Farm to School program, and another, the conservation and proper management of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

    As Jessie Hemphill, Councillor for Port Hardy, made clear in her presentation, individuals and communities may have their own needs and priorities, but we all need to work together to reach our goals of what food security means to us.

    What became clear throughout the day, in hearing from academic, First Nations, local government, and community perspectives, are the countless connections involved in food security work. To begin with, we have connections between people and the land and water surrounding us; producers and consumers; infrastructure for storing, shipping and distributing food; citizen ties to government and policy makers over food-friendly policies that support access, production, and rights to food gathering; and, we also have ties to each other to ensure that we all have access to healthy and nutritious food. The dimensions, considerations, and level of complexity is immense and almost indigestible! 

    So why did over a hundred participants tune in to a day-long webinar on food security with peers in rural and remote communities across the province? Because they believe that their collective action will impact the way we all think about food; how we need to understand the food system, whom it benefits, whom it leaves hungry, how it impacts our ecosystems, and how it needs to adapt as the climate changes. 

    By the end of the day, it was easy to see that rural and remote communities have an abundance of assets when it comes to building food security, from wild food sources to agricultural land, individual skills and passion, and the local know-how required to coordinate efforts. Food brings us together, and when we share food, we share resources, responsibility, and the potential to create relationships that produce incredible results.

    The Virtual Food Connections Web Conference was presented by Island Health, in partnership with BCHC through the PlanH Program. To view resources, presentations and the recording, please click here.

    A Woman of True Strength
    Marnie Essery
    By Michelle Sandsmark

    When I first met Marnie Essery I was overcome by her positive, tenacious energy. With a larger than life smile, and an infectious passion that radiates through the room, she is a woman who symbolizes strength despite the physical challenges she has encountered.
    At three years old, Marnie was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. The doctors said she would never walk and specialists advised Marnie’s parents to institutionalize her instead of enrolling her in public school. Her parents refused, instead choosing to support Marnie in every way possible to allow her to grow up in an environment that taught her to build resilience and to never give up.

    “I had a teacher in grade three who was really significant to me in my life. He actually challenged me and he said ‘What do you want to do?’ So I turned to him and I said, ‘Well, I’d like to walk across the adventure playground on the tightrope.’” She never played with the kids at recess nor did she take part in Physical Education; however, instead of turning Marnie down and telling her this was impossible, her teacher did everything he could to help her achieve this goal.

    Marnie described the moment as life changing. She was set up from an early age to push boundaries and to help generations of people with similar physical disabilities to pursue their goals no matter what barriers stood in the way.

    During her school-age years, Marnie was actively involved in promoting accessibility and inclusion. She supported numerous United Way campaigns, spoke as a representative of the Red Cross Youth, and was President for the DisAbled Women’s Network BC for five years. While attending post-secondary school she joined the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities and advocated for inclusivity and accessibility. She also began chairing the Intermunicipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues (IACDI) in the 1980’s, and has more recently worked on IACDI’s User-Friendly Trails initiative.

    This is only a snapshot of her community involvement as her accomplishments are innumerable. “I really like helping people. I’m in pain pretty much all the time, so I’d rather not focus on the pain. I’d rather do something that’s going to make a difference, and if I do make a difference it means a lot to me.” Marnie’s determination to improve the quality of life for people with physical disabilities is undeniable as she continues to be an inspiration to the City of Victoria and anybody who has the opportunity to hear her story. 

    Comprehensive School Health
    By Christina McLean

    Lack of physical activity and the rise in obesity of Canadian youth has become a public health concern; similar to the rise in adult obesity, the prevalence of adolescent obesity has tripled over the last 25 years [1]. According to Canada’s 2012 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Canada has received a failing grade for the sixth year in a row, as research has shown that 79% of Canadian youth are not active enough for optimal growth and development [2, 3]. Because of the role they play in delivering health and physical education, schools have the ability to influence knowledge and attitudes towards health habits, as well as, to make a contribution to daily physical activity [4].

    From 2012 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card
    on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
    Students develop health habits through what they learn and the health choices they can make in their school environment; if properly established, the health habits acquired during their school years may lead to lifelong healthy behaviours [5]. The motivation for students to change their physical activity habits requires a comprehensive approach that involves parents and community, and also includes supportive policies, programs and environments [5]. Research has revealed that schools with a comprehensive school health program have positive effects on fostering healthy lifestyle habits in their students [5]. The Comprehensive School Health (CSH) approach addresses school policy, the physical environment, health promotion for staff, connections with family and community, extra-curricular activities, and curriculum-based activities [1].  

    Action Schools! BC (AS! BC) is a CSH initiative intended to foster a culture of physical activity through education, school, and community supports [6]. This provincial program promotes healthy living in elementary and middle schools across British Columbia [6]. AS! BC promotes inclusive and diverse physical activity and healthy eating opportunities throughout the school [7]. The AS! BC framework for action focuses on six Action Zones (the school environment, physical education, classroom action, family and community, extra-curricular, and school spirit), and integrates the efforts of teachers, administrators, families and community practitioners to provide more opportunities for youth to make healthy choices [7]. Along with AS! BC, the Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH BC) is working to promote, support and facilitate the creation of healthy schools in BC [8]. DASH is a not-for-profit society committed to positively influencing the health and learning capacity of students in BC by creating the conditions for schools to be optimal places for health and learning [8]. DASH engages schools around the province on various healthy schools initiatives; International Walk to School week and the After School Sport and Arts Initiative are two examples [9]. DASH BC is also responsible for the provincial coordination of Healthy Schools BC (HSBC); HSBC is a key component of the Healthy Families BC prevention strategy, which strengthens health-education partnerships and supports implementation of healthy schools initiatives using a CSH approach [9].

    A healthy community includes a variety of settings including workplaces, schools and communities, and requires collaborative partnerships across a range of multi-sectoral organizations. Action Schools! BC and DASH BC provide examples of how promoting healthy environments and policy, and creating collaborative partnerships between key stakeholders such as school staff, families, and the community, can provide more opportunities for Canadian youth to enhance their health.  

    [1] Gibbons, S. & Naylor, P.J. (2007). Whole school obesity prevention models: Considerations
    for secondary schools. Physical and Health Education Journal, 72(4), 8-13.
    [2] Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012). Is active play extinct? The Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Retrieved December 15, 2013 from http://dvqdas9jty7g6.cloudfront.net/reportcards2012/AHKC%202012%20-%20Report%20Card%20Short%20Form%20-%20FINAL.pdf
    [3] Public Health Agency of Canada (2010). Physical Activity. Retrieved November 30, 2013 from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pa-ap/index-eng.php
    [4] Naylor, P.J., & McKay, H. (2009) Prevention in the first place: Schools a setting for action on physical inactivity. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(1), 10-13. 
    [5] Veugelers, P.J., & Schwartz, M.E. (2010). Comprehensive school health in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101(Suppl 2), S5-8.
    [6] Action Schools! BC. (2006). Action Schools! BC Homepage. Retrieved from http://www.actionschoolsbc.ca/
    [7] Action Schools! BC. (2006). Framework for Action - Six Action Zones. Retrieved from http://www.actionschoolsbc.ca/model/framework-action
    [8] DASH BC. (2013). About Us: Our Story. Retrieved from http://dashbc.ca/about/our-story/
    [9] DASH BC. (2013). What We Do: Programs and Initiatives. Retrieved from http://dashbc.ca/what-we-do/programs-initiatives/

    Northern Health Citizen Series
    Where: Online
    When: Four Webinars in 2015
    Cost: Free

    1. Risky Business: Why Communities, Government and Industry Need To Work Together To Support a Healthier Approach to Resource Development – Thursday, January 22, 2015 (1:30-3:30pm)
    2. Partnering for Change: Building New Relationships for the Health and Wellbeing of Northern First Nations People and Communities – Date TBC
    3. The Best is Yet to Be: Engaging Seniors' Wisdom and Voices in Building Healthy Age-friendly Communities – Thursday, April 16, 2015 (1:30-3:30pm)
    4. It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Leveraging the Canada Winter Games for Healthy Active Communities in the Long Run – Thursday, June 4, 2014 (1:30-3:30pm)
    For questions or to pre-register, please contact Angela Bello at angela@bchealthycommunities.ca

    2014 PHABC Conference Shared Prosperity for Health and Well-Being: A Collaborative Dialogue between Business and Public Health
    Where: Shereton Airport Hotel 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC
    When: The BCHC team is presenting on a few of our many projects and initiatives that we help to deliver to British Columbians, such as MAP, Citizen Series, the PlanH Program, and Climate Change and Health.
    • Developing climate change and health narratives for multi-sectoral and collaborative action  Thursday, December 4, 2014 (10:45am - 12:00pm in Cedarbridge 4) 
    • Health policy and climate change in British Columbia: Who’s responsible for building adaptive capacity? Thursday, December 4, 2014 (2:45pm - 3:00pm in Minoru B) 
    • Harnessing the Power of Online Engagement & Dialogue: Citizen Series Webinars as a Tool for Supporting Stakeholders in Addressing Resource Development and Health in Northern BC. Thursday, December 4, 2014 (3:10pm - 3:25pm in Westminster 2) 
    • Liquor Policy: Learning Together. Thursday, December 4, 2014 (3:35pm - 3:50pm in Minoru A) 
    Please note that times and locations may change without our knowledge. Please check the schedule provided at the event or on the PHABC website.

    Cost: check here for registration fees.

    Look for our BCHC team members at the conference – we would love to talk with you!

    Recommended by Krissi Spinoza
    The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair
    By Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea

    In our complex world, it is becoming increasingly important to create spaces in which people can work together to develop great ideas and build on successes. For anyone who wants to deepen their thinking and understanding about participatory processes, The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair provides a fantastic guide to the principles and practices of hosting conversations that have the potential to transform individuals and groups. Christine Baldwin and Ann Linnea provide detailed instructions and illuminating stories to introduce and show the power of using circle methodology in a variety of settings. Written in easily digestible chapters, the book guides the reader through getting started using circle methodology, as well as, exploring the importance of story, the role of conflict and supports for healing.