Rural Site Visits project updates – May 2020

Rural Site Visitors engaging rural healthcare stakeholders in their communities and their rural contexts

COVID-19 Update 

With the ongoing COVID-19 issues, all Rural Site Visits project trips have been postponed and the Rural Site Visits team are closely monitoring developments. The situation will be reviewed to see if it is reasonable to start planning for August. We would like to ensure all parties are comfortable with our visits before we start reaching out again. 

If you have questions please feel free to contact Krystal Wong at or 604-738-8222 or Dr. Stu Johnston at 250-689-0199. 

Program Update 

As the Rural Site Visits team moves into the second half of the project, we’ll be visiting several remote and First Nations communities. We are developing an Indigenous engagement plan to help increase our knowledge and strengthen our relationships for our visits. This will be achieved through additional cultural safety training and resources for the team, sharing information with Indigenous partners (i.e. First Nations Health Authorities) to reduce engagement burnout, revising the meeting guide to support inquiry of Indigenous context of care, allowing more time for meeting with Indigenous communities, and collating resources for Indigenous communities. 

We have completed 106 RSA community visits and held 359 meetings! The updated spreadsheet of completed communities can be found here as well as the community map found here.

Site Visits and Innovations Website 

A new area of focus for the project team is the construction of a Rural Site Visits website which will integrate an online collection of local innovations that were identified through the Rural Site Visits project. This online resource will enable rural communities to directly connect to each other so they can access and benefit from exploring a large pool of existing solutions and ideas that have already been created, discussed, and/or implemented. This resource is anticipated to launch in summer 2020. 


Another positive outcome of the information that we have collected through the Rural Site Visits project is the recent announcement by Premier Horgan regarding the improved transportation for rural areas of BC. The Rural Site Visits project provided useful feedback from front line providers and community members to the JSC and others to support these changes. Thanks to all of you for providing such important perspectives. 


Dr. Dave Snadden, Krystal Wong, Erika Belanger, and Dr. Stu Johnston have started work on the first research paper from the Rural Site Visits project. This will provide an overview of the project, its process and implementation, and some results that are common to all of the rural communities. Subsequent research papers will look more closely at the major themes that have been identified in rural BC. They are also working with Dr. Jude Kornelsen and her research team to create an analysis of access to maternity services for Indigenous members to help inform the RSON program. 

Team Development 

We welcome Bree Loeffler to the Rural Site Visits team. Bree is the Administrative Assistant in RCCbc’s Northern Node in Prince George. Her other work that she supports include the Dean’s Advisory Council and the REAP/RCCbc Evaluation Sub-Committee. She will be supporting the coordination of Rural Site Visit trips and attending them with Rural Site Visitors. If you would like to learn more about the Rural Site Visits project, you may read the Community Feedback Reports sent back to participating communities which highlights top themes of conversations during the site visits, project updates and shared community innovations. Please feel free to contact Krystal Wong at or 604-738-8222.