Healthy Community Development
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Welcome to Healthy Community Development

Who we are

Healthy Community Development is a small program within the Population Health Department at Northern Heath. While we are small, we are mighty because our approach actually helps groups, individuals and communities to do things for themselves. We take this approach for three very important reasons:

  1. Health begins and stays in our communities; in our homes, families, workplaces, schools, recreation facilities and places of worship.
  2. Communities know why the community isn’t as healthy as it could be and what needs to be done to improve health for all.
  3. Communities have many strengths and assets to improve community health locally. We need to listen, to focus our support on those areas of strength instead of just looking at what is wrong.

Healthy Community Development can help individuals, groups and communities by listening to what you think, need and want. We will work with the people, programs, skills and talents you already have in place, adding our skills, tools, resources and networks to support you in making a difference in your community.

What we do

We can offer support in a way that will help you do the work you believe matters. We can help with expanding community capacity; hosting learning events; designing and delivering skill building seminars; facilitating greater coalition and collaboration; fostering networking; funding through small grant calls; and linking to other funding opportunities. If there is something you need we haven't mentioned, check us out anyway. We are always game for a challenge! Check out our resources we offer!  

Why we do what we do

Healthy Community Development is based on the idea that if we can help people stay healthy and out of the health care system it will it save tax payer dollars in a time when money is tight but the health needs and age of our populations are increasing. This will contribute to a more sustainable health care system.  More important than the dollars we could save, though, are the “other” costs associated with ill-health.  People who are sick lose a lot – mobility, independence, income, self-esteem and quality and quantity of life.  Their family and friends worry about them and miss having them actively participating in life's activities and events. The spirit and soul of our families and communities are diminished.

In the North, with our smaller and scattered communities, these social costs have an even greater impact because we are all so closely connected to each other. The early and avoidable death of a valued community member will impact the whole community, because everybody knows each other. We have a connectedness to one another that heightens grief and loss. Because we have smaller populations, the loss of one community member can be the loss of a valuable library of memories, skills and history.

Who we serve

We work with Northern BC residents of all ages, races, occupations and walks of life. In our efforts to reduce health inequities, we pay special attention to:  

  • Youth - Promoting positive youth leadership, engagement, and development.
  • Seniors - Cultivating the quality of life for seniors as they age in place.
  • Age Friendly Communities - Increasing accessibility for all ages within community infrastructures and built environments, including linking with municipal governments to make sure families with young children, those living with special needs or challenging mental or physical health issues are carefully considered in community planning processes. 
  • Widening the Margins - Supporting minorities and marginalized people living with special challenges to find their place in the broader community so their gifts and contributions can be welcomed and recognized.  
  • Working With Groups - Fostering civic engagement and strengthening the capacity of grassroots community groups to positively impact on health outcomes. 

We need you to tell us how we can help

Population Health, the desire to work with healthy people, healthy groups and healthy choices in order to help people stay healthy, is the foundation of our mandate. If you think you have an issue or task that relates to community health and well-being in this up stream way, please do not hesitate to contact us.

     

Testimonials: Proof of the pudding

Excerpt From the Prince George Citizen of January 19, 2010:

With the help of Dr. Theresa Healy, Northern Health's Regional Manager for Healthy Community Development, the PGCOS has been working on board and staff development. Moreover, a committee was formed last year with the aim of helping seniors act on their own behalf and, when they can't, to advocate for them.


"This past year, members of this advocacy committee have been very active in assisting individual seniors in addressing specific situations as well as tackling larger and more general issues of concern to all local seniors," Lola-Dawn Fennell, Prince George Council of Seniors manager said, "This committee is particularly proud of the positive working relationship currently being forged with Northern Health."

     
 
     

The IMAGINE Principles

Imagine a healthy community!

We are guided in our work by seven principles we call the:

IMAGINE Principles:

I

nvest upstream and for the long haul


M

ultiple, strength based strategies


A

ddressing the determinants of health


G

rassroots engagement


I

ntersectoral collaboration


N

urturing healthy public policy


E

vidence based decision making

If we use IMAGINE we can make the dream of healthy Northern communities come true.

Position Statements Addressing Risk Factors