The BC Rural Health Network (BCRHN) consists of healthcare advocacy organizations working in cooperation with healthcare policymakers. The purpose of the Network is to promote and support a health services system that improves and sustains the health and well-being of residents of rural communities across British Columbia.
Our goals include the following:
- to share successful strategies in an effort to address rural healthcare concerns
- to advocate for policy changes that provide all rural residents with attachment to a health care practitioner
- to identify areas of research aimed at improving access to healthcare in rural communities and to provide fertile ground for research to take place
- to inform the BC Ministry of Health of rural healthcare concerns
- to recommend solutions for the improvement of services to rural BC residents
- to work in partnership with other provincial organizations to influence policy changes that improve access to healthcare services
- to recognize the healthcare concerns of indigenous communities and include their issues and concerns as part of our work
- to improve access to mental health services
- to promote patient-centred, community-based primary healthcare reform
Membership is open to any organization or individual that supports the purpose and goals of the BCRHN.
Ashcroft – Healthcare and Wellness Coalition (HAWC)
Bella Coola – Moira McIlwain, Individual Member
Castlegar – Castlegar & District Hospital Foundation
Castlegar – City of Castlegar Mayor and Council
Chase – Chase & District Health Services Foundation
East Shore Kootenay Lake – Community Health Society
Fort Nelson – Northern Rockies Seniors Society
Fort St. John – Save Our Northern Seniors (SONS)
Fraser Lake – Autumn Seniors Services Society
Hedley/Vancouver – William Day, Individual Member
Hornby & Denman Islands – Community Healthcare Society
Kaslo and Area D – Health Care Select Committee
Langley – BC Association of Community Response Networks
Nanaimo – Jane Osborne/BC Assoc. of Community Response Networks
Nelson – Age Friendly Community Initiative
Nelson – Community First Health and Education Centre
Nelson – Nelson Area Society for Health (NASH)
New Denver – Slocan Chamber of Commerce Health Committee
New Denver – Mayor and Council/Select Health Committee
New Denver Hospice Society
Pender Islands Health Care Society
Port Alberni – Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Nursing Services
Powell River – Powell River Voices
Princeton – Support Our Health Care (SOHC)
Quadra Island – Quadra Island Health Society
Roberts Creek/Sunshine Coast – Johanna Trimble, Individual Member
Salt Spring Island – Curt Firestone, Individual Member
Salt Spring Island – Salt Spring Community Health Services
Sicamous – Eagle Valley Community Support Society
Sicamous and District– Mayor and Council
Silverton – Mayor and Council
Slocan – Mayor and Council
Sorrento – Sorrento and Area Community Health Centre Society
South Shuswap – Health Services Society
Trail – Society for Protection and Care of Seniors (SCPS)
Valemount – John Grogan, Individual Member
Vancouver – RCCbc liaison Stuart Johnston
Vancouver – UBC/Centre for Rural Health Research/RER – Jude Kornelsen
DEFINITION(S) OF ‘RURAL’
Review of Family Medicine Within Rural and Remote Canada: Education, Practice and Policy
From the BC Province-wide Health Services Categories (2015)
Rural Coordination Centre of BC on the BC Rural Health Network
From the Rural Coordination Centre of BC
October 2018 enewsletter
This grassroots organization may be young (it started up in December 2017) but has much wisdom to share.
The BC Rural Health Network is a collective of small communities working collaboratively to advocate for improved health service delivery in rural BC.
The idea to create this group came after a presentation by the Princeton-based Support Our Health Care (SOHC) group at the BC Health Coalition Conference in 2017. SOHC presented a “how-to” workshop on organizing a Community Consultation on Health Care.
The response to the presentation was overwhelmingly positive, and SOHC found itself being approached afterwards by other organizations who either had similar expertise to lend, or who wanted to draw on the hard-earned wisdom of SOHC and other seasoned rural BC community health care advocacy groups. A few weeks later, the BC Rural Health Network was formed with members from the communities of Ashcroft, Nelson, Sicamous, South Shuswap, Trail, and Princeton taking part.
Although the network is still establishing itself in a formal sense – terms of reference for the organization are in the process of being finalized – it has hit the ground running, organizing meetings with key stakeholders (including the Ministry of Health), connecting with other rural communities and adding to its membership, hosting conversations with rural physicians through the Divisions of Family Practice, and planning next steps.
If your BC rural community is looking for information, support, or ideas about how to improve and sustain health care services, check out the BC Rural Health Network online or on Facebook. We’re all in this together.
Rural Coordination Centre of BC