Provincial healthcare partners collaborate on vision, actions for rural and provincial primary care networks

On January 27 – 29, multiple healthcare stakeholders partners – including those bringing perspectives of provincial policymakers, health administrators, health professionals, academics, and citizens and linked sectors (non-profits, and industry) – met to seek out areas of synergy and alignment for primary and community care integration in rural BC. This dialogue underscored the intention by several organizations working in collaboration to stimulate and promote an innovative and socially accountable health system transformation for rural BC as well as the entirety of the province.

Figure 1. Healthcare partners “hexagram” framework for working collaboratively to transform BC’s health care system

This three day Provincial Healthcare Partners Retreat was collaboratively planned by the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC), the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) and supported by the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCC). Using an appreciative inquiry (AI) approach within the health partners framework (Figure 1), participants came together to explore how to best enable “changes that lead to improved patient and community health outcomes…[through] the ongoing practice of talking together, planning together, and weaving our collective wisdom and insights to co-create a new way forward together.”


There were six overarching purposes for the gathering, which included:

  • engaging in cultural learning about the First Nations’ territories on which the gathering took place;
  • participating in learning and activities to ground participants in the purposes of the planning retreat with a focus on developing meaningful relationships;
  • advancing peer learning about topics relevant to advancing culturally safe and humble health care services, with learning across different mandates and perspectives;
  • engaging in learning about and collectively describing the context in which primary health care re-design and transformation is taking place, with a focus on rural and remote communities;
  • following AI guidelines and identifying strengths from which to co-create visions for short term next actions in the primary health care transformation efforts of health care partners and peer groups; and,
  • participating in knowledge exchange and consensus building in pursuit of practical actions that can be implemented in follow up to the retreat.

Engagement between diverse perspectives was encouraged through the use of Appreciative Inquiry (Describe, Dream, Design, Deliver) within partner and peer discussion groups. This methodology supported stakeholders and partners in reaching consensus around future actions and commitments, framing proposals to contribute to building social accountability within BC’s health system redesign and transformation process.

The actions and commitments issuing from the Health Care Partners are being encapsulated and expressed in a Living Strategic Framework document which was created to facilitate ongoing dialogue and deliberation about the improvements and innovation necessary for BC’s health care system. The framework is “living” in that it is expected to be dynamic, incorporating improvements, learnings and refinements over time, while also maintaining stable and sustainable pathways for responding to needs and opportunities.

The Living Strategic Framework is based on the structured around four pre-established strategic priorities which focused the discussions during the retreat:

  1. co-creatingCo-creating culturally safe and humble primary health care;
  2. designingDesigning, planning for and implementing Team-Based Care;
  3. increasing citizen and community involvement in health care transformation processes; and,
  4. improving access and transitions for patients in rural and remote communities.

To learn more about the the Provincial Healthcare Partners meeting, and/or the specific actions committed to during this gathering, please email RCCbc at for a copy of the meeting summary document. The Living Strategic Framework for will be available for distribution in March 2019.