Current Policy Initiatives
UBCM continues to advocate for improved health care in rural areas. In December 2014, UBCM submitted a report [PDF - 320 KB] to the Select Standing Committee on Health Assembly of BC which has been mandated by the Legislative Assembly of BC to identify potential strategies for maintaining a susttainable health care system. UBCM was invited to comment on how to improve health and health care services in rural British Columbia, particularly around the challenges of recruitment and retention of health care professionals in rural British Columbia; how to create a cost-effective system of primary and community care built around inter-disciplinary teams; best practices for improved end-of-life care; and how to enhance the effectiveness of addiction recovery programs.
Community Poverty Reduction Strategy
UBCM and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) co-launched the Community Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2012. This initiative was piloted in 7 communities- Cranbrook, Kamloops, New Westminster, Port Hardy, Prince George, Stewart and Surrey. A part time Family Consultant was appointed to each community to work collaboratively with community partners to build local teams, with the goals of identifying the key barriers families face, connecting families to the services they need, and creating community plans that innovatively work towards addressing the barriers of families living in poverty.
In September 2015, the Ministry announced that the Strategy would move from a pilot project to an ongoing initiative. Family Consultants will remain in the communities to continue their work with families and the larger community.
A summary of UBCM's Poverty Reduction Efforts and our involvement in the Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Initiatve was released in the Compass on October 28. This article is provided at this time as UBCM concludes our participation in this initiative.
Other documents and reports:
2015 Stakeholder Forum
- Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Stakeholder Forum Summary Report [PDF - 840 KB]
- Combined community presentations [PDF - 4.3 MB]
- Presentation by Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute [PDF - 3.3 MB], keynote speaker & facilitator
In 2014, the provincial government launched the Community Paramedicine Initiative, which uses paramedics in an expanded role in rural and remote areas of the Province. The goal is to shift away from an existing emphasis on pre-hospital emergency care to a model that includes prevention, health promotion and primary health care. It is a strategy deployed in communities that have limited access to health services, and are seeking to improve health outcomes and reduce unnecessary cost to the system overall. Services would include such home visits, blood sugar and blood pressure testing, and seniors care to assist with aging in place. This initiative will create at least 80 net new FTEs to support the implementation of community paramedicine programs in BC. UBCM is a member of the Advisory Committee for this initiative.
Healthy Families BC Communities
UBCM continues to work with the provincial government on the Healthy Families BC Communities Initiative, which was launched in 2011. This initiative is intended to support communities and local governments in prioritizing health actions in areas such as physical activity, healthy eating tobacco reduction, healthy built environments and priority populations/key settings to reduce chronic disease and promote healthy weights. As part of this Strategy, the Ministry of Health is working with the BC Healthy Communities Society to provide resources to local governments through the PlanH website.
Healthy Built Environments
The Healthy Built Environment (HBE) Alliance includes representation from UBCM. The Alliance created a HBE toolkit designed to assist planners, health care professionals and local governments to include health as part of the discussion on land use decisions. The Toolkit is an evidence-based and expert-informed resource on the topic of health and the built environment and is available online.
Policy Documents & Resources
Policy documents and resources relevant to the work of the Healthy Communities Committee.
Please refer to Funding Programs for information on funding programs administered by UBCM in support of community health initiatives.
The Healthy Communities Committee oversees health related policy in the context of local government interests. The Committee's primary focus is on health promotion and disease prevention initiatives and policy directions that assist communities to be proactive in addressing community health problems. The Committee will continue to address a number of health issues including: health care funding, remote and rural healthcare, healthy built environments, and physical activity.
Josh van Loon
Senior Policy Analyst
604 270 8226 ext. 110