Revelstoke health project seeks ways to improve health at community level

Ministry of Health initiative results in Revelstoke project to find ways Revelstoke can act at the community level to improve health

How can Revelstoke

When it comes to preventable health issues, whose responsibility is your own personal health? Whose responsibility is our community’s health? Many might answer the burden rests with the individual to take basic steps like maintaining a healthy diet, getting exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, practicing moderation in lifestyle, health self-education and generally striving for health.

But when we don’t, and we run into chronic, preventable health issues, the responsibility to pay for the consequences falls on the health care system – which we all pay for.

A few years back, the B.C. Ministry of Health set out to better coordinate their efforts to control “upstream” health,   embarking on several initiatives designed to improve health at the community level and, therefore, control the financial burden preventable illnesses place on the health care system.

Locally, the offshoot is the Revelstoke and Area Healthy Community Project, a new report completed by City of Revelstoke Social Development Coordinator Jill Zacharias and the city’s Social Development Committee.

The report’s goal is to find out what the community – Revelstoke – can be doing to positively affect health outcomes.

“The health authorities do health care; they can’t control the places where people live,” Zacharias explained in an interview with the Times Review. “This is really about looking at upstream prevention. For me, what was cool about this was really connecting the dots – saying this is what we’re doing, but connecting it … to the health and well-being of our citizens.”

The 29-page report can only be touched upon briefly here, but we’ve embedded it at the bottom of this story.

It’s a facts-, figures- and statistics-heavy report that inventories all kinds of health-related information, such as available recreation options, food-related information, socio-economic data, mental health statistics, health-related environment information and a catalogue of the “healthy built environment.”

From this inventory, the committee – in consultation with the community – sought out priorities and initiatives for improving community health in Revelstoke.

“It’s really good to connect all these initiatives with moving towards doing more to improve the overall health and well-being not only of individuals and families in the community, but the community as a whole,” Zacharias said.

The report identifies priorities that will have the greatest effect on community health.

“No surprise, poverty reduction has come out on top,” Zacharias said. The report explores many options for dealing with poverty, and one upcoming thrust is to help residents better understand what poverty is in Revelstoke.

It’s about “actively working to increase awareness of the nature of poverty in our community, and really trying to broaden that knowledge and community awareness of what poverty looks like in our community,” Zacharias said.

Mental health and substance abuse issues are identified as other major issues.

The report isn’t a City of Revelstoke document, but it does overlap significantly with city services.

The “healthy built environment” section explores existing recreation infrastructure, making recommendations for improvement.

It also identifies sidewalk maintenance and repair as a key priority to help kids and seniors with improved mobility.

Another section touches on access to recreation opportunities, exploring programs and initiatives like subsidies that will improve access.

This summary only touches on a few points in the report, which will exist as a living document in the years to come.  “It’s really pulling all those pieces together,” Zacharias explained. “Sometimes the process is as exciting as the actual result, because it starts that community conversation.”

The report was created through grant funding, but it doesn’t include any extra funding from the health authority for the initiatives.

Here is the Revelstoke and Area Healthy Community Project report:

 

Revelstoke and Area Healthy Community project by AaPOrlando

Note: A slightly updated version of the Revelstoke and Area Healthy Community Project report PDF was provided to the Times Review and uploaded about five hours after the initial story was published.

Just Posted

Tool and camping gear lending library to open in Revelstoke

Samantha Wex Special to the Review The North Columbia Environmental Society is… Continue reading

Two senior City of Revelstoke staff on paid leave

The City of Revelstoke’s Chief Administrative Officer, Allan Chabot and the city’s… Continue reading

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Most long-weekend rain has already fallen

A mix of sun and cloud is expected for the last two days of the the Victoria Day weekend.

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block in Vernon for start of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Most Read