A second public forum to gauge community feedback on the Comox Valley’s upcoming Community Health Network (CHN) will be held next week.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.
The first public forum was held Nov. 16, 2017. The meeting was intended to determine community interest in developing a Valley-based CHN.
CHNs are Island Health initiatives that seek to address various health issues and social challenges through better community engagement. They bring together people from wide-ranging backgrounds, roles and perspectives to address issues that impact health and well-being in their communities.
Networks develop actions to address key factors — social determinants of health — that drive community health outcomes. These can include economic status, social support, culture, and lifestyles.
CHNs currently exist in many communities on Vancouver Island and the Comox Valley will be one of the last regions to establish one. There are currently such networks operating in the Cowichan Valley, Strathcona Regional District, Sooke, Parksville/Qualicum, and the Alberni Valley.
The establishment of a CHN in the Comox Valley has been in the works since January 2017.
Jack Stevens is a retired teacher, former principal and a pioneer of the community school movement in the Comox Valley. He said a CHN offers the Valley the best option for addressing health down the road ahead.
“The only way we are going to solve challenges to our community is to work together in ‘common unity’ to plan and implement new approaches which have the full support of all our citizens,” he said.
Since November, a planning committee and a Governance Task Group have been working on developing a vision, purpose, values, guiding principles and a structure for the CHN. This work will be presented on March 14 and then participants will work together to identify and prioritize initial actions of the network.
Those interested in attending the forum can register at bit.ly/2FtpfHN
For more information on the Valley’s upcoming CHN, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/cvchealthnetwork.