Join the Conversation about Supporting Local Governments in Building Healthy Communities

Oct 23rd, 2012 related to PlanH (2011 - Current)

Are you a local government staff member or an elected official who is interested in contributing to the health of citizens in your community? Are you willing to participate in a conversation with other local government representatives about tools, resources, and opportunities that can best support you to learn and share strategies for building healthier communities ?

You are invited to participate in an informal local government advisory group on the development of learning and capacity building opportunities to address health and well-being in communities. 

As part of the provincial Healthy Families BC initiative, this advisory group is a way to get the conversation started about what kinds of supports can assist B.C. local governments in improving health and well-being in their communities and how a provincial capacity building program can meet these needs.

What is this about?

In partnership with regional Health Authorities, UBCM and the government of British Columbia, The BC Healthy Communities Society is developing a set of tools to support local governments to learn, develop partnerships, and take actions that will increase the health and well-being of B.C. citizens and communities.  These tools will build on existing programs and supports already being delivered by health authorities and other agencies across the province. 

The feedback from this advisory group will help shape the implementation of Healthy Families BC Communities capacity building initiative, including learning tools, resources and networking/learning opportunities for local governments and communities.


>  In 2011 the Province of BC announced the Healthy Families BC—Communities strategy that aims to increase the health of British Columbians where they live, work, learn and play. 

> Province-wide consultations with local governments occurred between February and May 2012 to obtain feedback on the HFBC Communities initiative and how local governments may help make communities more health-promoting for citizens of all ages. (Summary reports for each region can be found here.)

> One of the outcomes of the consultations was an identified need for more support and opportunities for local governments to learn, share resources, and partner with health authorities to build healthy communities. This advisory group will help inform what types of tools, resources and learning opportunities would be most useful to local governments.

Why local governments?

Local governments play a significant role in shaping the everyday places where people live, travel, work and play. Through partnerships, policy and planning local governments influence housing, transportation, access to recreation and cultural services and environmental quality in communities. Working with other levels of government, citizens and non-government organizations, local governments can be a major leader to create a healthy community environment that, in turn, will improve the health and well-being of its citizens.

What is involved in the Advisory Group?

Participating in the advisory group involves:

  • Completing an brief online survey in November 2012;
  • Participating in one 1.5 hour focus group via conference call with other local governments (facilitated by BC Healthy Communities) in November 2012 (date to be determined based on your availability);
  • Brief communication with BCHC through a follow up email / phone calls as required.

What will we discuss?

The purpose of the advisory group is to better understand:

  • How health is already being addressed by local governments 
  • What are the greatest local government (elected officials and staff) learning needs around health and health authority collaboration?
  • What types of capacity building mechanisms would support you?  (E.g. online or in-person training, multi-sector dialogues, funding programs, resources and tools, etc.)
  • How could a provincial network best support you? 
    • Are you interested in learning from other BC communities?
    • How would you like to exchange knowledge between communities?

Ideally, we are looking for representation of both elected officials and staff from each health authority region in the province for a total of 10-12 participants representing a mix of rural, urban and mid-sized communities. We will be hosting two separate focus group calls—one for elected officials and one for staff.

To join the advisory group (or if you have questions), please contact Kerri Klein from The BC Healthy Communities Society by Friday, November 2, 2012.


Bookmark and Share