VCH and DWV have signed the Healthy Communities Partnership Agreement which outlines how the two organizations will work together toward common health goals.
“A healthy community encompasses every single aspect of the environments in which we live – from the food we consume, to our housing,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy. “This partnership is a positive step and will help support the long term health of residents of this community.”
“Together, Vancouver Coastal Health and the District will engage citizens and develop plans to build a healthier West Vancouver,” said West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan. “A healthy community takes a collective effort and this partnership will help support the health of the community as a whole, both now and in the future.”
“The environments in which people live, work, learn and play all contribute to our health,” says Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, medical health officer at VCH. “Along with the health authorities, local governments play a key role in creating supportive environments and public policies that can help people reduce risk factors related to chronic disease, like smoking, injuries, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and risky use of alcohol.”
Priority projects under the agreement will include:
- Focusing on healthy neighbourhood design, housing, food systems, natural environments and active transportation
- Developing solutions to ensure safe longboarding and skateboarding
- Exploring the development of a municipal alcohol policy
- Continuing to collaborate on supporting child and youth mental health
“This agreement helps Council and District staff expand our ongoing efforts to promote a healthy community in a strategic way in consultation with the health experts at Vancouver Coastal Health,” says District of West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith.
The provincial government launched the Healthy Families BC communities initiative in 2011 to improve the health and well being of British Columbians. The initiative involves building stronger relationships between the health sector and local governments to build healthier communities. Particular emphasis is given to the key areas of physical activity, healthy eating, reducing tobacco use, healthy-built environments, and priority populations. As part of the strategy the provincial government is partnering with local government and health authorities.
Since the launch of the initiative, VCH has also forged agreements with Vancouver, Richmond and the District and City of North Vancouver.
VCH is responsible for the delivery of $3.2 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
Photo: Ambleside Beach, West Vancouver
Photo credit: Sarah Jane Photography
Tiffany Akins, Communications Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health