Rural Site Visits Project Update – November 2018

Iixsatimutilh – “We Are Medicine For Each Other.” Dr. Jeanette Boyd captured this photo of a community white board with positive messages of support written by Bella Coola residents

Over the past two months, RCCbc’s Rural Site Visits team traveled to several BC rural communities to engage with healthcare stakeholders. Participants were given the opportunity to identify the local and/or regional issues of greatest concern, and to show off their latest innovations.

Dawson Creek – Kicking off the fall season of site visits, Dr. Stu Johnston, Dr. Janice Routledge, and RCCbc staff Gemma McEachern met with mayor and council, physicians, nurses, and health administrators. The community is very vested in the sustainability of their health care services, and we appreciated them sharing their stories and passion with us.

Bella Coola – At the end of October, in perfect time to view the changing leaves, Dr. Jeanette Boyd and RCCbc staff Ashley Medwid visited the beautiful community of Bella Coola. They were accompanied by guests, Ms. Terrie Crawford and Dr. Jel Coward from the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice. The community was extremely welcoming and made the small trip a huge success.

Lillooet – After a beautiful drive through Whistler and Pemberton going up and over the Duffy Lake road (with ice and snow), Dr. Stuart Johnston and RCCbc staff Kim Williams arrived in Lillooet to meet with physicians, the hospital administrator, a First Nations representative and the Mayor. This community is unique in that it has the smallest active surgical program in BC under Dr. Nancy Humber, and is also the focus for seven First Nations communities.

The team experienced a warm welcome from all of the Health Care Partners and came away with some great perspectives on the health care issues in Lillooet.

The trip to Quesnel took more time than planned, due to stormy, snowy conditions. Winter travel can be hazardous which is why it’s important to have rural healthcare as close to home as possible.

Quesnel – Dr. Terri Aldred and RCCbc staff Erika Belanger had the pleasure of meeting some local Indigenous elders and received a tour of the Native Friendship Centre. They learned that the elders get together and cook meals for the entire community every month to help feed those that face hunger. These elders do amazing work for the Quesnel community.

View a map of all the BC rural communities we’ve visited and/or are planning to engage with

Visits completed

To date, RCCbc has visited 29 communities and held 105 meetings with the Community Health Partners throughout the province.

What is the Rural Site Visits Project?

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.

To learn more, read this article in BC Rural Update with a full description of this JSC-RCCbc initiative.