Indigenous-led Health Initiatives
Around the world, including here, in British Columbia (BC), Indigenous people continue to experience poorer health than non-Indigenous people across all health indicators. The Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) implements several initiatives to address these health disparities: The Indigenous Physicians Network engages and provides opportunities for connection among Indigenous students, residents, physicians, and health allies across BC; the RCCbc on Inclusion, Social Justice and Equity (RISE) reference group fosters network relationships, supports continued learning and growth, and champions
the application of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action within RCCbc’s work; and the Compassionate Leadership Community of Practice and its training program instills connective, empathic skills in rural health leaders. RCCbc also acknowledges the work of UBC Rural Continuing Professional Development’s (UBC RCPD) Rural CPD Indigenous Patient-Led CPD program, which brings rural Indigenous community members and rural physicians together for Nation-led cultural safety education. (See UBC RCPD’s annual report.)
Making a Difference
In the coming year, the BC Indigenous Physicians Network will plan and hold its 2023 Indigenous Medicine Education Gathering. It will also actively seek funding to enable more participants to attend this important event. And while the Network will continue to focus on Indigenous provider wellness, connection, and mentorship/support, it hopes to expand its membership and program so more people can experience its positive impact.
Meanwhile, RCCbc for Inclusion, Social Justice, and Equity (RISE) will continue to foster network relationships, support continued learning and growth, and champion the application of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action within the RCCbc network. In the coming year, RISE will also aim to increase physician and gender representation, along with medical student and resident involvement.
Finally, the Compassionate Leadership Team will continue holding in-person and virtual retreats. In addition to building and nurturing relationships with health leaders across the RCCbc network, the team will continue to focus on the coordination, administration, and operational expansion of the Compassionate Leadership training program. It has received significant interest in training from groups and individuals from around the province, now on a waitlist.
Dig in Deeper
Dr. Terri Aldred
Dr. Todd Alec
Dr. Robert Woollard
Former Project Coordinator