Executive Directors’ Messages
We continue to live in interesting times and, although the intended irony is there, it has been a blessing for us to see our team and partners be able to respond as opposed to react.
At the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), we continue to build on our relationships to improve the health of rural people and communities. Some of our work has been on pause or slowed down, but as you will see in this report, nothing has stopped. In fact, in some areas, things have accelerated faster than we might ever have thought possible. Innovation and nimbleness within the system has been a creative unintended consequence of this time.
Vancouver Node Retreat 2021
Our team has grown and one thing we have not been able to do is get out and connect with the rural communities we serve. This is an especially invaluable piece of working with the RCCbc for our new team members and we look forward to more of that in the coming year. In addition, a foundation to our work that continually needs nurturing is our connection to our grassroots practitioners and communities and we continue to look to other ways to grow this through all facets of our work. The heart of this is our over 30 physicians actively practicing in rural communities who are leading alongside our amazing staff “doing the doing” you see reflected in this report. This is shaped by our partners across the Partnership Pentagram Plus (including policymakers, citizens and community, health administrators, academia, linked sectors, and rural health providers) and our wise colleagues who have now “retired” from rural practice and are still passionate about, and actively contributing to, improving the health of rural people and communities.
None of what we do would happen without the support of the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues. Over the last year, we continue to appreciate the wisdom of those that built this collaborative structure, and the integrity and grace in those that populate it now. As we evolve, we have been adapting our structure and processes to keep functioning as a network with as few degrees of separation between our team members. How we can be a better receptor site for the other nodes in the wider health network in British Columbia has led us to become a not-for-profit. This will allow deeper partnership in things, like access to data, to better tell the whole rural story, and more formal agreements with other entities in areas of common interest.
It is all about relationships and valuing each other as human beings. It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to lead this team in serving our rural communities in British Columbia. Here is hoping next year will involve a little less Zooming and a little more greeting.
Dr. Ray Markham
Executive Director, Medicine, RCCbc
Executive Director, Operations, RCCbc