Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is involved with local government – First Nations, municipal, and regional – on many different initiatives, from formal initiatives with elected leaders to front-line collaboration. The opportunities created by the “Healthy Families: BC Communities Initiative” will enhance and strengthen the more informal mechanisms of the past to a more coordinated and integrated strategy.

The VCH approach to healthy communities includes these four areas of collaboration:

Collaborative Priority Setting

VCH is interested in establishing regular and ongoing mechanisms for sharing information and identifying areas for collaboration with local governments. The recent development of partnership MOUs with local governments spell out the shared purpose, mechanisms for collaborative priority setting, and current priorities. VCH is committed to sharing research and health data with local governments to inform this process.

Healthy Public Policy: Making the healthy choice the easy choice

Research consistently verifies the importance to health of eating well, physical fitness, social connectedness, and tobacco cessation. It is not enough to tell people to change their behaviour, unless the environment around them makes the healthy choice the easy choice. VCH is committed to working with local governments in areas such as the built environment, early childhood development, food systems, and addressing health inequities.

Community Capacity-Building

While local governments and health authorities have a significant role in developing supportive environments for creating healthy communities, it is the community itself that drives this change. Individual and collective support of community members helps build their capacity to improve the community and the lives of residents. VCH supports community capacity-building through community service staff and through community grants such as the Community Food Action Initiative, the SMART fund, and the Aboriginal Health Initiative Program.

Shared Services Delivery

VCH shares people, places, and programs with many different local governments in the region – collaborating to better serve the clients and residents of communities. Examples of collaboration range from co-managed or shared facilities such as the West Vancouver Community Health and Recreation Centre, to the homeless shelters in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Where services, clients, or programs overlap, it just makes sense for VCH and local governments to work together.

Contact Vancouver Coastal Health

If you do not know who to contact in your local area, contact the local Medical Health Officer or Claire Gram, Healthy Communities lead at VCH.

Email: Claire.Gram@vch.ca
Phone: 604-675-3800 ex 69613

Links and Resources

VCH Aboriginal Health
http://www.vch.ca/your_health/aboriginal_first_nations/

VCH Local Government partnerships
http://www.vch.ca/your-health/population-health/

VCH  partnership model
http://www.vch.ca/media/VCH-local-government-partnership.pdf

VCH Healthy Built Environments
http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/archive/2015-news/an-environment-built-for-healthy-living

Cool Neighbourhoods are Healthy Neighbourhoods
http://hcbdclasp.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/climate-change-health-vch-2...

Healthy Canada by Design (Coalition Linking Action and Practice for Prevention)
http://hcbd-clasp.com/

PHSA Healthy Built Environments
http://www.phsa.ca/HealthProfessionals/Population-Public-Health/Healthy-Built-Environment/default.htm