Thursday, November 21, 2013

BCHC Newsletter | November 2013


Applications Open November 26
Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grants - Round Two

Applications for the second round of Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grants for local governments open on November 26.

Sign up for notifications, grant guidelines and an invitation to a webinar for grant applicants on PlanH.

New BCHC Report: 

Health Authority Perceptions & Capacity for Action: Health Impacts of Climate Change in BC

In partnership with BC Ministry of Environment’s Climate Action Secretariat and the
 BC Ministry of Health, BCHC conducted a survey in 2013 of how BC health authorities perceive and integrate the health effects of climate change in their work.

This new report documents the research and explores how health authorities:
  • perceive the health effects of climate change in BC and across different health authority regions;
  • respond to climate change in their work; and 
  •  build capacity and collaborate with other partners to address climate change within the health sector.
As the impacts of climate change in BC become more severe, the role of the public health sector to proactively address human health effects will only become more urgent.

Download this publication to learn more.


Another Year, Another Ride!
A City of Victoria Youth Council Dispatch 

By Kluane Buser-Rivet, Youth Council Coordinator

Another year begins of holding space for community change-making by two dozen passionate and creative youth! The City of Victoria Youth Council has kicked off another stellar year with our

Orientation Retreat and first Executive meeting. As the Coordinator of the Council, I have the distinct pleasure of joining our members on the road of empowerment, awakening and action they ride each year.

Youth Council members begin their experiential education on consensus-based decision-making and team building at our Orientation Retreat. There, amongst other activities, we chatted with City Councilor Lisa Helps, mapped our upcoming year, and made a list of our preferred meeting snacks. The latter is more important than it may seem. After all, last year’s best-attended meeting was the one where we made grilled cheese sandwiches!

This year, we have an exceptional retention rate of over 50% returning members from last year, a great boon for all new members who have their wealth of experience and skills to draw on as they orient themselves in our Council. New and returning members worked together to develop some personal and collective goals for the year. Personal goals included meeting new people, completing projects that make them feel fulfilled, and staying creative! Collective goals included helping a variety of people, creating open environments for people of all abilities and building community partnerships.

With a strong variety of backgrounds within the Council, all goals are attainable! This year, we have the pleasure of having a diverse membership including a young mother, an exchange student from China, environmental activists, francophones, artists, students and a young Tibetan, all between the ages of 14 and 24!

So, what is ahead? We’ll see, we haven’t made it around the bend of project selection just yet! Sneak preview: I have heard rumors of focusing on youth employment, youth involvement in City Council, community art projects, and environmental action. One thing is certain: We’ll be travelling far!

"If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together."
N'gambai African Proverb
Join us for the ride:
Website: cvyc.net


Kerri Klein: BCHC Program Manager and Community Builder

Kerri Klein has been working to build healthy communities in BC for over a decade. As BCHC’s Provincial Facilitator since 2006, and Program Manager since 2001, Kerri has played a leadership role in community development projects across BC that generate innovative approaches to social change.

Kerri worked alongside our program partners with the Healthy Families BC Communities strategy at the Ministry of Health to design and implement the PlanH program, which supports local government engagement and partnerships across sectors for creating healthier communities.

We chatted about the PlanH program with Kerri just a few short weeks before she departs on maternity leave.

BCHC: PlanH emphasizes local government collaboration across with multiple sectors. Why is this important?

KK: Today, many of the issues that affect the health and well-being of communities are increasingly complex. Issues such as poverty, inequity, chronic disease, and environmental sustainability not only transcend the scope of one sector—such as local governments—but also compel us to collectively seek new solutions together. It seems that solutions to these big problems are more comprehensive and impactful if they are co-owned and co-created by multiple sectors coming together, rather than one sector acting alone.

PlanH supports local governments to engage with the leadership that exists in other sectors in the community to develop a shared understanding of the root causes of problems and create a common agenda for change. This often means there is a focus on the process of learning together, building relationships, and clarifying ways of measuring success.

BCHC: The program itself involves collaboration. How do partnerships work in the delivery of PlanH?

KK: PlanH is a partnership between the provincial Healthy Families BC initiative and BC Healthy Communities Society and involves collaboration with all the health authorities, the Union of BC Municipalities, and non-profit organizations such as the BC Healthy Living Alliance. The vision of PlanH emerged from conversations and consultations between several sectors across BC, all articulating the need for more shared learning, dialogue and engagement between the health, local government and non-profit sector. PlanH works towards this vision of shared leadership for healthier communities.

BCHC: How does our understanding of the social determinants of health affect our participation in PlanH?

KK: For nearly three decades, we have known that what determines our health is much more a result of the conditions in which we live and factors such as early care and learning, income, education, the built environment and social networks than it is about our health care system.

Today, there is a growing acknowledgement that a more ‘upstream’ approach to health is required. But, too often ‘going upstream’—addressing the social and environmental factors that affect our health—is faced with obstacles which are all too familiar: e.g. addressing root causes is complex, requires time and necessitates collaboration beyond the ‘usual suspects’.

I think what BC Healthy Communities is trying to do is acknowledge that developing ‘upstream’ solutions requires a kind of thinking and working together that is unique from ‘business as usual’.

We are trying to support and nurture spaces where sectors and stakeholders can get outside of their silos, learn to see problems from new perspectives, and collectively experiment with fresh ways of thinking and working together. I see a lot of potential for this type of collective impact!

BCHC: We’ll sure miss Kerri while she’s away next year. We wish her and her family all the best!


Health in All Policies Conference Focus on Intersectoral Collaboration

By Sukhdeep Jassar,
Public Health Workforce Development Officer, PHABC

The Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) hosted a Regional Conference with the Pan American Health Organization on Health in All Policies on November 4 and 5, 2013 in Vancouver.  Health in All Policies is an approach that is a contemporary development of the ‘Building Healthy Public Policy’ action area of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.

The key foundation for Health in All Policies work is the insight, developed by health promotion and population health, that most of the activities that contribute to the health of societies and communities are generated outside of the health care system itself. Taking action on this insight requires developing a broad, integrated, intersectoral approach to human development in order to achieve equitable and sustainable health for all people.

With this in mind, representatives from government sectors such as Warren O’Briain and Leanne Boyd, and municipal politicians such as Gordon Hogg, joined public health practitioners working in academia, policy and in the field such as Trevor Hancock, Mary Collins, and Jodi Mucha for a two-day discussion on developing stronger intersectoral collaboration and moving health into all policies. The conversations were thought provoking and timely.

With well-planned, intersectoral collaboration, we may develop healthier populations and healthier populations are more productive and happy.  The way forward, will be determined by our adaptability, flexibility and respectful communication skills as public health professionals when working with other sectors, in order to ensure that better health is considered a necessary outcome in their planning.

Access presentations from the conference here.


Building Sustainable Communities Conference

Join BCHC and Interior Health for a session exploring opportunities, challenges, and practical tools for collaborating across a diversity of sectors and organizations with the common goal of building healthier communities. Drawing on examples from around the province, panelists will share stories and emerging learning about collaboration between local governments, the health sector, and community-based organizations, and how these efforts are contributing to community health and well-being. Participants will explore and learn about best practices for multi-sector collaboration, and how local policy, planning, and leadership can support healthier people and places.

Conference ~ BCHC Session at Building Sustainable Communities Conference
Where: Kelowna
When: Thursday, November 28, 1:30-4:30

The Building Sustainable Communities Conference runs November 25-28.

Northern BC Citizen Series Webinars

We're partnering with Northern Health to host our fourth year of ‘Citizens Series’ webinars. These two-hour sessions invite dialogue from northern communities on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people, recognizing that community and civic involvement is a cornerstone to healthy people and populations.

Each session panel will include strong northern-based voices, as well provincial or national leaders in the topic area. All you need is access to a phone and computer with an internet connection. This is a opportunity to gather colleagues and interested advocates, and access this learning webinar at a very low cost – free! Please contact us for more information or to register. 

Webinar ~ A Drop In The Bucket: Storytelling For Health And Place In The North
When: January 30, 2014  1:30-3:30 pm

Webinar ~ Too Much of a Good Thing? Social Impacts of Rapid Industrial Growth in Rural Communities
When: April 24, 2014  1:30-3:30 pm

Webinar ~ Social Retrofit: Equipping Our Communities to Support Aging in Place
When: June 12, 2014  1:30-3:30 pm


Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, 

Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. In the tradition of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, Nudge is straightforward, informative, and entertaining—a must-read for anyone interested in our individual and collective well-being.

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