BC Rural Health Network – February Newsletter

February 12, 2020

For the full newsletter, click on: BCRHN Newsletter – Feb 2020

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Budget gets thumbs up from Seniors Advocate

February 10, 2020

For the record….from February 2018. MSP Premiums are gone.

Hospital Employees’ Union and B.C. Nurses’ Union also voice approval

How to be Trauma Informed in your Practice

February 9, 2020

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In my last post Working Through Loss, I touched on the concept of Trauma Informed Practice (TIP). This topic has got me passionate about sharing the trauma and loss that nurses face shift-to-shift and how this impacts us as human beings. If we as nurses are not aware of trauma and its effects then it could lead to devastating consequences for ourselves and our profession. In rural health it’s imperative that employers acknowledge this fact and incorporate healthy workplace policy to support nurses. If you don’t keep your rural nurses healthy it will affect an entire community’s health.

Prior to becoming a nurse I worked at a rehab centre for women. I was an Executive Assistant, when off for the semester of college, and during classes I was privileged to work in the research department. This job was one of the greatest opportunities of my life, in so many ways. I worked along side an amazing leader who taught me all I know about leadership and capacity building (I will save that for another post).

I would spend countless hours after nursing school locked away in a little office in the skeleton of an old hospital in Vancouver. And through my data entry and analysis a window opened to the trauma that thousands of women face. I inputted data on sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. I typed thousands of horror stories. I collected stats and as the data flowed a picture of a female addict emerged. I remember typing on the computer and I would have tears rolling down my cheeks. I was a silent invisible bystander to these women’s suffering and it changed how I view trauma and life. It made me an advocate, it humbled my struggles in my personal life, and it built upon my empathy. It would be safe to say I learned more in those four walls of that tiny office than I did in all my years prior.

I can see her now, her hair black as night, boobs out and ready for action, make-up on and a stiff upper lip painted blood red. She was a goddess, a beautiful soul that had been raped at the age of five by her one of her mom’s boyfriends. She struggled with relationships, she struggled to get close to people because of the trauma she suffered. This led to many bad relationships with men, she got raped again at 18, she got beat-up, and she became a closed off shell. She hated her life and she hated herself. She would come into the ED drunk and belligerent. She would swear and call us all bitches. She lied, she cheated, and she rebelled. She was one of my favorite people – this mess of a woman was one of the most resilient and authentic humans I have ever met.

Read more »

In hospitals, housekeepers are truly the ‘keepers of the house’

February 9, 2020

Malcolm cleans patient rooms and offices in the large medical center where we both work as pediatric doctors.

After finishing our respective rounds one afternoon, we noticed that Malcolm was deep in conversation with the parents of one of our very sick patients. We met him later in the hall, and the three of us began to talk. After Malcolm told us a bit about the concerns of our patient’s family, he mentioned the ways he often supports and cares for the children being treated on our ward.

“I don’t call myself a housekeeper,” said Malcolm, who has been with the hospital for 10 years. “I am the keeper of the house.”

Malcolm’s description of what he does knocked us back on our heels. It made us realize that we pass dozens of housekeepers in the corridors and elevators every day and — like most other physicians — pay little attention to what they really do and had little appreciation of their contributions to patient care.

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24/7 mental health support on the way for post-secondary students

January 31, 2020

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News Release


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Province has selected Morneau Shepell to develop a free mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students throughout British Columbia.

After a rigorous procurement process, Morneau Shepell was chosen to create and operate a 24/7 mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students at all public and private post-secondary institutions in B.C. The company will provide on-demand, immediate counselling and referral support to almost half a million students in B.C.’s public and private post-secondary institutions.

“Mental health is an issue our government takes seriously,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental heath support services. The stress students feel at university or college can be significant, and can lead to serious isolation and potentially deadly outcomes. I am proud our government is responding to this call to action by creating a place for students to reach out for help 24/7.”

This mental health service will mean for the first time in B.C., every student – whether rural, urban, domestic, international, public, private, full-time or part-time – will have access to 24/7 services to supplement services on campus and in the community. As this provincewide program is a new service, the ministry will take the time to engage with students and post-secondary institutions on the design of the service before launch in spring 2020.

“Many students don’t come forward and ask for the help they need because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This service will meet young people where they are at and provide them immediate access to someone to talk to, without shame or judgement.”

Read more »

December 2019 BCRHN Newsletter

January 15, 2020

Click on the Pdf to access the Newsletter. BCRHN Newsletter – December PdfScreen Shot 2020-01-15 at 12.02.14 PM

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Careful, Canada: What Ireland has learned about two-tier health care

December 16, 2019

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While Canada seems on cusp of embracing two-tier health care, Ireland is struggling to limit it

This column is an opinion by Steve Thomas, director of the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He has been studying the issue of privatization in Canada, is the author of a chapter on Canadian health care in the book ‘Is Two-Tier Health Care the Future?,’ and has collaborated with the University of Toronto and University of Ottawa. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

Be careful what you wish for, Canada.

One way or the other, Canadian courts are about to make some key decisions about the role of private financing and practice in the health care system; the Cambie case in British Columbia is just the latest attempt to overturn fundamental components of publicly funded medicare.

Closing arguments were made last week and the decision in this legal case, which is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, will have ramifications for decades and for millions of people. Read more »


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SOHC Discussion Paper

Developing an Improved and Sustainable Health Care Model for Princeton, B.C
Support Our Health Care has released a discussion paper in order to get feedback from the community, politicians and professionals about the state of local healthcare and what the long term solutions should be.
Download PDF Here