Rural Equity for Primary and Community Care Networks

Citizens, communities, and providers across rural British Columbia continue to face challenges accessing health care due to geographic and demographic disparities. This rural primary care enhancement proposal supports continued collaboration and meaningful partnerships to support positive patient outcomes, good community health, and committed and supported providers, while contributing to health system transformation within a framework of social accountability. Since 2018, Primary Care Networks (PCN) Rural Equity Funding

has provided funding to 15 Divisions of Family Practice to support the establishment of PCNs. The funding has enabled the Divisions to hold meetings and discuss PCN implementation with physicians and community stakeholders, and create a service plan to submit to the Ministry of Health. It has also enabled the Divisions to enhance relationships and engagement with First Nations, physicians, and communities, and to conduct data analyses and evaluation. 

Our Achievements

C

Provided funding to Divisions to increase community engagement and meaningful partnership

The 15 Divisions of Family Practice that accessed PCN Rural Equity Funding through the Rural Coordination Centre of BC meaningfully engaged with partner groups, their own providers, and First Nations community members. Each noted appreciation for the funding, as well as success in local engagement. Funding recipients said:  

“This funding has been critical in supporting early community conversations, building strong partnership, engaging meaningfully [with] our Indigenous partners, and providing capacity for early draw PCN as we were awaiting [Ministry of Health] PCN change management funding.”   

  “Thank you again for this support during the PCN planning process. We were very successful in engaging widely with physicians and ensuring that our physician leaders were supported to be highly involved.”   

“The results of this evaluation will give us greater insight into how we can support [our communities] to enhance interprofessional collaboration and development of key local relationships including health authorities, First Nations and other community partners which will support our PCN planning.”   

  “This transformational funding is needed to provide funding to the nation representatives to be members of the steering committee… It is more important than ever to have strong relationships with our First Nations partners. This work has started through our [Patient Medical Homes] projects and needs to continue.”   

C

Supported the Network of Rural Divisions

We continued to successfully engage with, and strengthen, the Network of Rural Divisions, a supportive forum for physicians and Divisions’ executive directors to share challenges, successes, and opportunities within the shifting health care landscape. The Network continued to hold numerous virtual meetings over the past year—a practice that began at the start of the pandemic

C

Continued meetings of the Rural and First Nations Health Partnership

The Rural and First Nations Health Partnership table continued to meet biannually to collaboratively build on the relationships established in May 2019. The group supported the development of the Rural, Remote and First Nations Collaborative, which has guided work of the RealTime Virtual Support and Rural Personal Health Record programs.

Making a Difference

The continually shifting primary care landscape in British Columbia increases the need for connection, partnership, and engagement between rural communities and health care providers.  

“It’s vital to give voice to those in rural practice to ensure there’s a receptor site available for those seeking support and connection,” explains Dr. Ruddiman, who co-leads RCCbc’s Rural Equity for Primary and Community Care Networks with Kim Williams. 

In the coming year, the initiative will continue building engagement with rural community partners who have requested support to build community partnership tables, support the continuation of the Network of Rural Divisions, and contribute to a virtual provincial summit tentatively planned for January 2023. 

“We’ll also continue supporting in-person Rural and First Nations Provincial Partners meetings and the work of RCCbc’s Community Action Engagement Plan, which will enhance the connection between RCCbc and rural communities across the province,” says Kim.  

Team Members

Dr. Alan Ruddiman
Dr. Alan Ruddiman
Kim Williams

Kim Williams

Networks Director