Click on the image above to enjoy the Vancouver Island Regional Forum photo gallery. Find the Storify social media summary here.
The Island Healthy Communities Regional Forum in April 2016 was an opportunity for healthy community leaders to celebrate and reflect how far they have come in their collective journey, and to identify key steps for moving forward.
The event was co-hosted by Island Health Authority and BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC) on behalf of the PlanH program. Facilitation for the event was provided by BCHC. This was the third forum in a series of five healthy communities forums taking place in each health authority region.
Over 90 people attended the forum representing local government, First Nations, health professionals, and non-profit sector in Parksville, BC. It was the first time that this constellation of people came together to have shared dialogue and learn about healthy communities initiatives in the region.The goals of the two-day forum were to learn together, gather skills and tools, network, celebrate our successes.
Day 1, April 21st, 2016 – Inspiration and reflection across the region: what impact are we having, and how?
The first day focused on what impact we are having in the Island region and the key factors contributing to success. Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Officer from Island Health, Councillor Rob Hutchins from the Town of Ladysmith, and Jennifer Jones, Health Director from Cowichan Tribes Health Centre helped to set the context for the theme of the day: collaborating for upstream impact.
Dr. Stanwick reflected on the cultural shift around smoking and how upstream approaches with a focus on prevention is required to make a lasting impact when tackling complex issues impacting the region.
Next six local champions shared stories of collaboration and what they have learned over the years in a Community Stories Panel. Key themes for what enables success across stories were:
Multi-sectoral collaboration, support (i.e. funding and capacity building, such as collective impact, to help develop a common agenda to move priorities forward), as well as having the right data to inform the work, long term view with short term goals, and tools and resources for evaluating progress.
In the afternoon, we were thrilled to introduce Al Etmanski as the keynote speaker. Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, author, and founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact.
Etmanski encouraged the delegates to think and act like a movement as movements provide a vehicle for collaboration across sectors and organizations. View his keynote speech in its entirety here.
For more inspiring ideas on community organizing and thinking like a movement, you can read this conversation between BC Healthy Communities Executive Director, Jodi Mucha and Al Etmanski about resilience, noticing patterns and making mistakes.
“Movements are the ultimate inclusive container”— Al Etmanski
Inspired by the keynote speach, participants attended three concurrent breakout sessions to further explore the impact practitioners are currently having in the region.
Day 2, April 22nd, 2016 – Deeper Dive: what are we learning, and how do we grow our impact?
Participants came back eager to take a deeper dive into what were are learning and how to grow our impact on day two. The day started with an overview of key themes from the forum Harvest Team. Reflections from the pervious day included:
- Shift over the past few years to build partnerships with health professionals, local governments and community partners and working across silos; power of working in community
- Recognition of the time and personal connections it’s taken to get us to this point over many years, and how relationships and working within networks have been key to moving our work forward
- Increase in trust, shared language and goals
- Desire to take collaborative efforts to another level, to create culture change and sustain the work through the difficult part of collaboration.
Building on this, there was a Learning Edges Panel where local champions spoke of the challenges and leading in upstream, collaborative work they have been involved with. The remainder of the day was spent in concurrent breakout sessions
It was a full two days, and people left feeling inspired, connected, and encouraged by the stories shared and opportunity to network with colleagues. We look forward to seeing how the seeds planted from our time together are nourished and grow to support the healthy communities initiatives in the Island Region.
Get a social media recap of the event with the Storify summary of tweets here.
Day 1, April 21st
Community Stories Panel Part 1:
Clayoquot Biosphere Sound Vital Signs Data: Josie Osborne, Mayor of Tofino and Chairperson of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
Physical Literacy Initiative: Cindy Lise, Regional Facilitator, Our Cowichan (Communities Health Network)
Fit Nation Partnership between Kwakiutl District Council Health and Island Health: Kimberley Black, RD; Island Health, Aboriginal Health Dietitian, North Island
Community Stories Panel Part 2:
- Healthy Nanaimo: Leslie Keenan, Executive Director; Nanaimo Division of Family Practice
Mt. Waddington Transportation Plan: Alyson Hagan-Johnson, Co-chair, Mount Waddington Health Network
Connectedness and Health: Petra Chambers-Sinclair, Coordinator, Child & Youth Health Network of the Capital Region
What Impact Are We Currently Having in the Region? (Concurrent Breakout Sessions):
A. Food Security & Healthy Food Systems: Working Together to Amplify Impact. Session Lead: Analisa Blake
- Fiona Deveraux, Community Nutritionist, Aboriginal Health
- Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank: Nanaimo’s Community Food Hub
B. What’s Health got to do with the Built Environment? Session Lead: Jade Yehia
- What’s Health got to do with the Built Environment? Jade Yehia, Island Health Regional Built Environment Consultant
C. Physical Activity for Thriving Communities: Exploring our Leverage Points. Session Lead: Jennifer Hopewell
- Physical Activity for Thriving Communities: Exploring our Leverage Points: Jennifer Hopewell, RDN Recreation Programmer
- Healthy Cities: Building a 5210 Community: Nanaimo Division of Family Practice
- Strathcona Regional District and the IHN Connection: Chronic Disease Management and Cardiac Rehab Programs: Debra Wilson, Rehabilitation and Fitness Coordinator
Day 2, April 22nd
Learning Edges Panel:
- Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR): Linda Geggie, Executive Director
- Cowichan’s Regional Airshed Protection Policy: Keith Lawrence, Senior Environmental Analyst, Cowichan Valley Regional District, and Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer, Island Health
- Transportation – Planning to Action: Marcie DeWitt, Network Coordinator, Alberni-Clayoquot Health Network
Deeper Dive One (Concurrent Breakout Sessions):
- Putting WHO Before HOW: Building Personal Capacities for Social Innovation: Al Etmanski
- Organizing for Impact: Tools & Models for Collaboration and Collective Impacts: Erica Crawford, Stacy Barter and Michelle Colussi of BC Healthy Communities
Deeper Dive Two (Concurrent Breakout Sessions):
- Measuring Impact: Tracking, Learning (oh ya – reporting tool): Michelle Colussi of BC Healthy Communities
- Understanding Aboriginal Cultural Safety and Context for Cross Cultural Collaboration: A Call to Action: Harley Eagle, Cultural Safety Faciliatator, Island Health
- Spreading Social Innovation – Thinking and Acting Like a System: Al Etmanski
- Learning Together As We Explore Upstream Approaches to Healthy Aging: Sue McKinnon and Michelle Sandsmark of BC Healthy Communities
- Age-Friendly Communities Approach: Christine Bossi, Sooke Region Communities Health Network
- EPIC (Eldercare Project in Cowichan) Collective Impact: Cindy Lise and Melie De Champlain, Our Cowichan
Click on the images below to see the graphic facilitation summary of each day of the forum.