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.
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 Wes Regan, Policy & Projects Lead at VCH.
Links and Resources
VCH Aboriginal Health
VCH Local Government partnerships
VCH partnership model
VCH Healthy Built Environments
Cool Neighbourhoods are Healthy Neighbourhoods
Healthy Canada by Design (Coalition Linking Action and Practice for Prevention)
PHSA Healthy Built Environments