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 initiative 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.
Partnered with UBC Health to host the Breathe and Weave Summit
Through this funding, the Rural Enhancement for Primary Care initiative was able to partner with UBC Health to host the Breathe and Weave Summit in January 2023. Additionally, it hosted a Rural Perspective portion of this summit to help amplify the input to challenges and ideas specifically impacting rural communities.
The Breathe and Weave: Talking Across Silos to Enable Health System Improvement health summit took place over three sessions, gathering people from diverse roles, sectors, and regions across British Columbia to discuss shared priorities for improving BC’s health system and how working together could be better enabled across the system.
Built relationships and in person connections with rural Divisions
The team continued to support the Network of Rural Divisions who meet regularly to share and discuss issues impacting rural Divisions of Primary Care. This group has regular lunch and learns to hear about topics of interest shared by other health partners and teams. The group was also supported to meet in person at UBC where they focused discussion on models of primary care and the impact of the new Doctors of BC funding model for family physicians providing primary care.
The team met in person with the Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society to learn more about their wonderful primary care initiative, and with the Central Island Division of Family Practice members in Parksville, BC.
Continued to support health system innovation
The Rural, Remote and First Nations Health Partnership table met in Penticton and virtually in the spring of 2022 to continue to model the Partnership Pentagram Plus. They discussed topics such as Real-Time Virtual Support, Team-based Care and Transport initiatives. Through collaborative partnerships and relationship-based dialogue, the initiative continues to move important health system innovation forward.
Plans for the Future
These combined initiatives support building relationships with rural primary care providers and teams and help share out innovation.
This coming year the team plan to continue their work to support the Network of Rural Divisions led by Dr. Josh Greggain and Dr. Karin Kausky.
The Rural, Remote and First Nations Health Partnership will continue to meet and look to strengthen relationships as they support work to operationalize aspects of Rural, Remote, First Nations and Indigenous COVID-19 Response Framework beyond the pandemic phase.
The team hope to host a meso level health partnership gathering in order to continue the conversations that lead to system change impacting rural communities.