Hope received the 2019 Rural BC Community Award at a ceremony held during the BC Rural Health Conference earlier this spring.
This recognition is part of the annual BC Rural Health Awards program coordinated by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) that recognizes the valuable contributions of health care teams and communities in sustaining rural health care services in British Columbia.
“In this region, it truly takes a community to promote wellness,” said Dr. Josh Greggain, site medical director for Fraser Canyon Hospital.
The determination, collaboration, and innovation of healthcare stakeholders in Hope and the surrounding Fraser Canyon community are particularly inspirational. For example, to address some of its significant health equity issues, local health care providers and community health advocates lobbied Fraser Health for support, and successfully received $500,000 on an ongoing basis to address local health care needs.
After a community consultation that included community organizations, health care providers, First Nations representatives, seniors, young families and youth – stakeholders determined that 80 per cent of the funds would be invested in local organizations to effectively address the coordination of youth, health, and volunteers services and activities, as well as addressing supports for mental health clients, rural transportation, and healthy living promotion.
The remaining funds were used to create a grants program that supports community members and agencies in generating new and innovative one-time projects to address aspects of overall community health. Several Micro Health Grants (up to $10,000 each) and one Macro Health Grant ($25,000) are awarded each year to support community-driven ongoing health care improvements and/or supports.
Projects have included funding playgrounds, train the trainer programs, scholarship funds, access to health services, food security, and intergenerational initiatives.
This year marks the sixth year that RCCbc has recognized BC rural physicians and communities for their contribution and dedication to rural medical practice with the BC Rural Health Awards. Each year, RCCbc recognizes a rural community as well as rural physicians and/or interprofessional teams for their important work in sustaining rural and remote health in British Columbia.
A call for nominations was issued in November 2018 through BC Rural Update, the eNewsletter of the RCCbc. Recipients were selected by a committee consisting of representatives from RCCbc and the University of British Columbia. All award recipients receive a physical award, along with a $2,500 grant to be used for hosting a community celebration or supporting a community resource.
The BC Rural Health Awards are made possible through the generous funding provided by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC). The JSC is a joint collaboration between the BC government and the Doctors of BC that provides policy oversight as well as funding for rural physician programs to increase recruitment and retention of doctors in British Columbia.