Silos becoming Systems at Castlegar workshop

Silos to Systems: Castlegar Workshop Summary

On February 28, 2014, folks in the West Kootenay/Boundary Region participated in the “From Silos to Systems: Building Partnerships for Healthy Communities” workshop. Hosted by Interior Health (IH), and co-facilitated by BC Healthy Communities on behalf of PlanH, this workshop brought together representatives from the regional district and local governments, community not-for-profit organizations, Interior Health, and other health-sector partners. Forty-two participants gathered to further their understanding of the collaborative effort necessary to support the range of factors keeping people healthy in their community. They discussed a holistic approach to solving complex issues, as well as, how to create and sustain effective relationships across sectors.

“All of our communities have a stake in the health of our population, and all of us have the opportunity to work together on creating the conditions for health. It was acknowledged that none of our organizations can create ‘healthy communities’ by working in isolation because the issues involved – including access to housing, employment, health care, early childhood development, and education – are so complex.” ~ Kerri Wall, East & West Kootenay Community Health Facilitator

Interior Health is committed to collaborating and partnering with local governments to build healthier communities, and expressed how health begins where we live, learn, work and play. Participants gained insight into how the Interior Health Healthy Communities Initiative emphasizes why it is important “to work at the population health level to create healthy community environments and policies to reduce risk factors for chronic disease and obesity.” One theme throughout the workshop was how actual health (defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity) is an individual and collective responsibility.

Participants shared their insights and experiences with enthusiasm and courage during topic tables and community groupings focused on these tough issues. It was acknowledged that although these conversations might be difficult they are indeed crucial.

Read this great article on collective impact by the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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