Northern Health partners with local governments to support communities to “come together” and take the lead on initiatives that support healthy community development. As a result, powerful and effective projects are currently underway across northern B.C.
One of the greatest assets Northern Health can call on in its mission to support healthy individuals in the north is the ingenuity and passion of the residents. The available pool of talent and experience is a rich asset. Building on the partnerships and the rich assets, Northern Health has supported 20 northern B.C. communities to bring together the movers and shakers to develop healthier communities.
For example, in Houston, B.C., community members developed an “ACT Committee” (ACT stands for Action Changes Things). The community teamed together to focus on what could have been termed “hidden assets.” In identifying and promoting the world class leisure recreation their community has to offer, to both residents and potential visitors, their initiative has social, health and economic benefits.
Another example is Seniart in Quesnel, B.C. This is a program for seniors who might not normally participate in community programs. It will run from September 2014 to January 2015. To spread the word about this program, seniors are encouraged to “be part of the art!” In this example, Northern Health is supporting the local leadership and direction of the Quesnel Healthier Communities Committee.
Research regularly shows that solutions and options developed with the input and direction of those most intimately associated with the issue have the greatest chance of success. The feedback and evaluations of our work suggests that the same is true in northern B.C. Central to this success is Northern Health’s organizational support for northerners to live healthfully in their communities; this is a shared goal, as northerners want to live in healthy communities, also. We know that communities and their champions are the very best resource we have in our progress towards that shared goal.
For more information on Northern Health’s Partnering for Healthier Communities Committees, please visit: www.northernhealth.ca/YourHealth/HealthyLivingCommunities/HealthyCommunitiesToolkit.aspx
What do you do to make your community a healthier place?
About Theresa Healy
Theresa is the regional manager for healthy community development with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about the capacity of individuals, families and communities across northern B.C. to be partners in health and wellness. As part of her own health and wellness plan, she has taken up running and, more recently, weight lifting. She is also a “new-bee” bee-keeper and a devoted new grandmother. Theresa is an avid historian, writer and researcher who also holds an adjunct appointment at UNBC that allows her to pursue her other passionate love - teaching.