JSC and RCCbc launch Rural Site Visits Project

This Site Visit team – consisting of Kim Williams, Network Director (left), Gemma McEachern, Site Visit Coordinator (centre), and Dr. Dan Horvat, CQI Lead and rural physician (right) – on the ferry to Cowichan.

By Sarah Kesler, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, RCCbc

Have you heard? RCCbc is coming to a community near you!

The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) has tasked the Rural Coordination Center of BC (RCCbc) with visiting every community that is a beneficiary of the Rural Subsidiary Agreement (RSA) between 2017 and 2020. The objective of these visits is to connect with rural practices to hear what their context of practice is (what are the local innovations, successes and challenges) and feeding this information back to the JSC to better support feedback between rural practitioners, the rural programs, and rural health policy development.

Using an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach, RCCbc sends a team – which includes a rural physician, staff support, and guest observer (optional) – into each community to receive local input and discuss health service delivery. The team meets with local physicians, nurse practitioners, community leaders (mayors), health administrators, and First Nation leadership both individually and as a group. Anonymized notes are taken at the meetings and categorized into common themes. These notes are reflected back to  community participants to ensure accuracy and then circulated to the JSC.  So far we have completed 11 community visits.

A note from Stuart Johnston, RCCbc’s Rural Site Visits Physician Lead:

“Rural practice has some of the most skilled people in health care, creates some of the most interesting innovations – yet not many folks seem to realize this. We want to raise the profile of rural practice and have it understood and valued throughout the province.

“We understand that a successful healthcare practice is not supported just by healthcare providers, but by the community as a whole. The Rural Site Visit Project has now begun in earnest and the initial reception and feedback from the sites has been wonderful. There have been many important issues raised that affect rural health in British Columbia.

“It has been very pleasant to discover the high degree of Generalism that is still being practiced in our province and I have been impressed to see the range of services that physicians are able to provide. Each community is unique of course but everything from obstetrical to palliative care and everything in between is offered! It is very encouraging to see how people are stepping up to the plate in various ways to care for their community.”

To learn more about the Rural Site Visit Project, or to start a conversation about arranging a site visit for your RSA community, contact Sarah Kesler at skesler@rccbc.ca or call 1-877-908-8222.



What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Simply put – Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a collaborative and strengths-based approach to discussing complex issues to bringing about organizational change. It is both a philosophy and a structured process to support organizational change.

From Cooperrider & Whitney, Case Western Reserve University (Ohio):

“Appreciative Inquiry is the systematic discovery of what gives life to human systems when they function at their best.”

“Appreciative Inquiry is a form of transformational inquiry that selectively seeks to locate, highlight and illuminate the life-giving forces of an organization’s existence.”

“It is an organizational development methodology based on the assumption that inquiry into and dialogue about strengths, successes, values, hopes, and dreams in itself is transformational.”