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Our Story

We’re driven by relationships and a passion for rural health equity in British Columbia. Since our inception in 2006, RCCbc has grown into a network of hundreds of people—rural physicians and other healthcare providers, healthcare administrators, community members, policymakers, educators, researchers, and non-profit and business leaders—guided by the principles of cultural safety and humility

Our history

Our journey to improve the health of rural people and communities in British Columbia began in 2006. Four rural doctors and two staff members laid the foundations of our work and unique culture. In our early years, we focused on building relationships to improve rural training opportunities for medical students and residents to bridge gaps in rural healthcare delivery.

 

Almost two decades later and still led by rural doctors, RCCbc has grown into a network of thousands of people—rural doctors and other healthcare providers, healthcare administrators, community members, policymakers, educators, researchers, and non-profit and business leaders.

 

And although our work has grown and evolved, our commitment to building relationships and co-creating rural-based solutions to enhance rural health equity continues. We remain guided by our values of collaboration, humbleness and inclusivity, including a steadfast commitment to Indigenous cultural safety.

 

Funded primarily by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, we serve all rural, remote and Indigenous communities in British Columbia covered by the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement.

What we do

Cultivate relationships and networks

We connect people who are passionate about, or play a role in, enhancing rural health equity in British Columbia—from rural citizens and physicians to municipal and Indigenous leaders to provincial policymakers.

Facilitate rural health discussion

We co-create safe spaces for network partners to engage in frank discussion about rural health challenges, explore common solutions to improve rural health, and align our work as partners.

Coordinate rural health projects

We coordinate innovative projects that expand our network and enhance the ability for rural physicians and other healthcare providers to deliver timely, safe, and effective care to rural patients in British Columbia.

Create learning opportunities for rural healthcare practitioners

We co-develop continuing medical education, continuing professional development, and mentorship opportunities in collaboration with rural family physicians to enhance rural health providers’ skills, scope, and resilience at all stages of their careers.

Advocate for a healthy rural British Columbia

We use our personal and shared experiences, as well as rural health research evidence, to effect changes to provincial policies that improve the health of rural British Columbians.

 

Stimulate rural health research

We provide grants and offer other support to rural physicians and medical students to carry out culturally safe and rurally relevant research that informs policy and improves healthcare practice and delivery.

Develop healthcare leaders

We support and develop people in becoming healthcare leaders in their chosen fields of interest and expertise—whether they work in administrative, medical, research, advocacy, or other positions—so their unique perspectives, skills, and knowledge can be used to the fullest potential to improve rural health.

How we work

The Partnership Pentagram Plus approach to building relationships
Relationships are the cornerstone of our efforts to improve the health of rural people and communities. To identify and spark connections between partners, we use a framework called the Partnership Pentagram Plus. It categorizes six sectors of partners—policymakers, health administrators, health professionals, academics, community members, and linked sectors (non-profit organizations and industries)—and gives everyone voice in addressing health gaps and overlaps.

 

From dreaming to delivery using Appreciative Inquiry

We’re glass half-full kind of people. We build upon the strengths of the systems that support rural healthcare in British Columbia, rather than tear things down and start from scratch. We also create space for all partners to come together and co-create rural-based solutions to improve rural health in British Columbia. 

 

When RCCbc partners come together, we meet as a whole to identify priority areas and build a common cause. We then enable partner groups, such as government policymakers, or non-profit leaders, to figure out what they can do to move the common cause forward. After that, we bring all partners back together to jointly build the solution and its practical application. This “breathe in, breathe out” approach can be repeated several times to allow partners to bring collaborative discussions into and out of their partner groups for further discussion and refinement.

 

Together, we discover, dream, design and deliver rural-based solutions. 

 

We don’t own anything
Some might say that we’re like a start-up of sorts. In part, we work with partners to get innovative rural-based projects off the ground and running smoothly. When they’re ready, these projects are handed off to a partner, such as a health authority, to sustain. We never own these projects for the long run.

 

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