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COMMUNITY WELLNESS IMPACT STORIES Celebrating Awareness, Action & Change

GRAND BAY–WESTFIELD We CARE We ACT We CHANGE

HEPAC CSAAP


This publication was created by Barbara Ramsay of BMR Consulting Ltd. and Terry Kelly, as one component of an evaluation conducted on the Provincial Wellness Network initiative. All rights reserved. All photographs by Terry Kelly unless noted.

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COMMUNITY WELLNESS

I M PA C T S T O R I E S Celebrating Awareness, Action & Change

TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 Our Town 7 Our Story 9 We Care 13 We Act 21 We Change 24 A Journey that Inspires

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Dalhousie

Campbellton

Chaleur Bay/ Baie des Chaleurs

Charlo

Miscou I.

Belledune

Kedgwick

Caraquet

Saint Quentin

Bathurst

Shippagan

Saint-Isidore

Tracadie-Sheila

Edmundston

Neguac Saint-Léonard

Miramichi

Grand Falls/ Grand-Sault Plaster Rock

Baie-SainteAnne

Perth-Andover Blackville

Richibucto

Florenceville

Bouctouche

n rla be um rth No

Doaktown Boiestown

d

Hartland

Woodstock

Millville Nackawic

St r.

Shediac Moncton

Minto

Fredericton

Chipman Riverview

Grand L.

Oromocto

Sackville

Sussex

McAdam

Alma Hampton Quispamsis Rothesay Saint John

St. Stephen

Saint Martins

St. George St. Andrews

Blacks Harbour

Bay of Fundy

Deer Island Campobello Island Grand Manan Island

WE CARE, WE ACT, WE CHANGE A Community Wellness Impact Story Partners in Prevention in motion Team Current Members (April 2012) Joanne Barry (Chair) Maureen Boone Carol Ann Boudreau Gary Clark Beverley Day Kelly Goddard Karen Leger

Verna Livingston   Cindy Price Sylvie Poulin Karen Stevens Linda Thompson Pauline Wilson

Past Members Earle Burrows Charlene McNulty Colleen Dunwoody Mary Reeves Lynn Gulliver Judy Sheaves Susan Logan Rose Taylor Gary Mittelholtz Ron Wilson 4

HEPAC CSAAP

Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick Coalition pour une saine alimentation et l’activité physique au Nouveau-Brunswick


Grand Bay-Westfield New Brunswick, Canada

OUR TOWN

GRAND BAY-WESTFIELD IS A RURAL NEW BRUNSWICK TOWN that may be relatively small in size and population, but it’s a town on a mission when it comes to wellness. With a big community heart, dedicated wellness champions and an inspired natural setting, it’s no wonder the health and wellbeing of this community are being transformed by a wellness movement. The following pages tell the Grand Bay-Westfield Community Wellness Impact Story. It’s a story of wellness ownership, evidence, action and change. You’ll appreciate the way residents of Grand Bay-Westfield care about each other, the many ways they act to improve personal and community wellness, and the changes that are taking place in wellness conditions and environments. It’s important to know that a committed community wellness team was already doing great work in

Grand Bay-Westfield when opportunity came knocking. When the Partners in Prevention committee first heard in 2009 that the Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick (HEPAC) was providing support to wellness networks and communities to advance their efforts to positively impact the wellness of New Brunswickers, they quickly acted. Partners in Prevention in motion became one of eight original Wellness Demonstration Sites of HEPAC’s Provincial Wellness Network. This meant networking and professional development opportunities, access to community wellness profiles and access to resources, tools and support. Wellness energies, partnerships and strategies were renewed. ■

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Grand Bay-Westfield

OUR STORY

IT’S NO SURPRISE TO MOST THAT NEW BRUNSWICK RATES OF physical activity and healthy eating are among the lowest in the country. While rates in Grand Bay–Westfield are no exception, a committed group of community partners are determined to change the health and wellness landscape of their rural New Brunswick community. Equipped with community specific health and wellness data provided by HEPAC, Partners in Prevention in motion embraced their profile and shared it eagerly with residents, wellness stakeholders, municipal and provincial leaders. The result? The community sat up and listened. Even better, commitment to action became urgent with Partners in Prevention in motion providing valuable expertise, leadership and passion. The following Community Wellness Impact Story is a story of wellness awareness, action and change. Three chapters are featured in Grand Bay-Westfield’s story.

We Care highlights the vision and perseverance of the Partners in Prevention in motion committee who have been moving and shaking the wellness landscape in Grand Bay-Westfield since 2008. We Act is all about community participation and action, with two stories featured. Hear how members of a walking club overcame personal and logistical barriers to find a unique solution for their wellness needs, and get to know a special community couple who embrace their roles as health champions and commit to wellness on every possible level. We Change features Grand Bay-Westfield’s accomplished and vibrant Mayor who believes that the health of her community is being transformed because the right wellness people and the right wellness infrastructure are paving the way. ■

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Joanne Barry, Gary Clark and their Partners in Prevention in motion team are community leaders with a wellness vision and they’re not stopping anytime soon.

CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY Commitment to evidence. Solutions through partnerships.

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Joanne Barry & Gary Clark Chair and committee member, Partners in Prevention in motion

Awareness

WE CARE

LEADERSHIP THAT NEVER QUITS. ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT happens when community members not only embrace and understand the evidence, but care enough to involve their community in a movement of change? Consider the vision and perseverance of the Partners in Prevention in motion committee. Chaired by local resident and community development nurse, Joanne Barry, this group of determined community partners have been moving and shaking the wellness landscape in Grand Bay-Westfield since 2008. Engaging partners with a common vision and commitment to action can be a daunting task for some communities, but not Grand Bay-Westfield. “I thought the committee was going to be a short term effort where you hold initial meetings and you do a few things and then people move onto their next interest. But when you look at our committee now, many of the same people that were there four years ago are

still at the table today. We even have new partners and that, in itself, is hard to beat,” committee member Gary Clark is quick to point out. While the Partners in Prevention in motion team were mobilizing and moving wellness activities forward in the community, the Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick (HEPAC) was expanding its mandate to provide support to wellness networks committed to community action. The timing was perfect! “As we were growing, HEPAC was growing too so the timing was wonderful. We are where we are today because we grew with HEPAC. You can’t make community change happen alone,” chair Joanne Barry emphasizes. »

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» With strong leadership and committed partners as the cornerstone, Partners in Prevention in motion moved onto the foundation by embracing the Grand Bay-Westfield Community Wellness Profile provided by HEPAC. Finally, a clear picture of community wellness emerged. Accessing community data on healthy eating, physical activity, mental fitness, smoke-free living, chronic health conditions and demographics was critical. With community-specific wellness data in hand, these determined leaders shared the profile broadly and boldly, involved their community in meaningful dialogue and created a strategy based on evidence and a collective commitment to change. Now that’s a display of data that moves! Chair Joanne Barry shares this view. “For Partners in Prevention in motion, the Community Wellness Profiles gave us much needed support and a framework to follow for moving forward. We had a committee, we had structure and we had volunteers but the profile gave us the information to say ‘I think we’re on the right track’. The profiles helped us choose inactive adults as our target population so we could move forward confident in the evidence and our solutions.” Supported by partnerships, confident in the evidence, committed to their actions, the Partners in Prevention in motion team are steadily paving the way to a revitalized community wellness movement and sharing the credit every inch of the way. “It doesn’t matter who gets the credit for the progress we’re making because we all live in a HEALTHIER COMMUNITY and that’s what matters most,” team members are often heard saying. ■

“I thought the committee was going to be a short term effort where you hold initial meetings and you do a few things and then people move onto their next interest. But when you look at our committee now, many of the same people that were there four years ago are still at the table today. We even have new partners and that, in itself, is hard to beat.” Gary Clark, Partners in Prevention in motion Committee Member

“As we were growing, HEPAC was growing too so the timing was wonderful. We are where we are today because we grew with HEPAC. You can’t make community change happen alone.” Joanne Barry, Chair of Partners in Prevention in motion

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“For the Partners in Prevention in motion, the Community Wellness Profiles gave us much needed support and a framework to follow for moving forward. We had a committee, we had structure and we had volunteers but the profile gave us the information to say I think we’re on the right track. The profiles helped us choose inactive adults as our target population so we could move forward confident in the evidence and our solutions.” Joanne Barry, Chair of Partners in Prevention in motion

Photo: Maureen Boone

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COMMUNITY WELLNESS ROLE MODELS & CHAMPIONS Achieving their best and inviting Grand Bay-Westfield to join them

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Earle & Gina Burrows and their Son, Reid Wellness Role Models & Champions

Participation

WE ACT

ASK MOST RESIDENTS WHO THE WELLNESS ROLE MODELS are in Grand Bay-Westfield and inspiring stories about Earle and Gina Burrows will follow. During any given week you’ll no doubt see Earle and Gina (and very often their two sons, Harrison and Reid) running at the local track, cycling along the bike lanes or swimming at the river. Being active and leading by example is who they are and what they do. Gina is a nurse and Earle is a physiotherapist who owns and operates Human Performance Centre, a local treatment clinic and fitness facility. Achieve Your Best is the mission that guides Earle’s business, a mission that isn’t taken lightly by him or his team. “Achieving your best is a very personal thing and we encourage everyone to move their own wellness baseline up a notch. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace and strive to achieve their personal best.” Earle and Gina’s commitment to physical activity and personal wellbeing

is lifelong. It’s what drove them to each other, to their chosen professions and to their community of Grand Bay-Westfield. Supporting the Partners in Prevention in motion team is priority. They understand that every community needs wellness role models. A world class athlete herself, Gina admits, “We realize we’re role models in our community and that works for us. When I was pregnant with my sons, I ran the whole pregnancy. My neighbor would say that if I could run up the hill pregnant, surely she could get out and go for a walk. I think if you make the commitment and get out in the community and be active and get those feel good endorphins going through you every day or two, you’ll want to lead an active lifestyle. I plan to be active well into my 90’s!” »

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» Being active is what this couple does socially as well. When socializing with friends or family, chances are a ski outing, a walk along the trails or a cycle along the dedicated bike lanes is planned. “We don’t have cable, we don’t go to movies. When we get together with friends we make sure activity is a big part of the connection,” Earle is quick to point out. Earle and Gina’s personal commitment to healthy active living goes far beyond personal bests and business strategies. This committed couple are proud to be physically and mentally fit and are excited they are inspiring others to achieve their best as well. “Being community health role models is very important to us because really we’re just ordinary people and others see what we’ve done and achieved and now they see that our kids are healthy, active and fit too,” Earle claims. Gina echoes, “We know we’re making a difference. Twenty years ago we were considered the odd couple and now we don’t seem so extreme”! ■

“We know we’re making a difference. Twenty years ago we were considered the odd couple and now we don’t seem so extreme!” Gina Burrows, Nurse & Wellness Role Model, Grand Bay-Westfield

“Achieving your best is a very personal thing and we encourage everyone to move their own wellness baseline up a notch. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace and strive to achieve their personal best.” Earle Burrows, Physiotherapist & Wellness Role Model, Grand Bay-Westfield

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“We realize we’re role models in our community and that works for us. When I was pregnant with my sons, I ran the whole pregnancy. My neighbor would say that if I could run up the hill pregnant, surely she could get out and go for a walk. I think if you make the commitment and get out in the community and be active and get those feel good endorphins going through you every day or two, you’ll want to lead an active lifestyle. I plan to be active well into my 90’s!” Gina Burrows, Nurse & Wellness Role Model, Grand Bay-Westfield

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EMBRACING PHYSICAL, MENTAL & SPIRITUAL FITNESS Creating unique community solutions. Choosing personal paths to wellness. These inspired walkers are strutting their stuff and improving their health along the way.

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Hearts in Motion Walking Club Karen Leger, Member & Walking Leader

Participation

WE ACT

A WALKING CLUB THAT TRANSFORMS. WHEN KAREN LEGER realized that daily walking was the single best prescription she could take for her health challenges, there was no hesitation. True to form, Karen acted.

Thanks to people like Judy Sheaves, the Hearts in motion Walking Club was already a wellness force in Grand Bay-Westfield and Karen quickly stepped in and up. Finding a winter walking venue was a priority for this community of energetic walkers who were anxious to experience the benefits of walking all year long. Consider their unique solution! Stop by the Church of the Resurrection several mornings of the week and you’ll find a lively group of walkers strutting their stuff pew by pew, with Karen leading the way! With music in the background and laughter in the foreground, these walkers get far more than physical health benefits. “We’re all here for the same reason,” Karen remarks. “We’re all doing our part to be as physically, emotionally and spiritually

healthy as possible. We’re doing all we can to be our best and we’re supporting each other along the way.” With full support from the church’s Assistant Curate and community partners like Partners in Prevention in motion, this walking group has transformed their personal wellness landscape. Spirited conversation, laughter and hugs are common among this community of walkers. You’ll see a mother-daughter duo, married couples, a father-daughter pair and neighborhood friends all stepping lively three days a week, twelve months of the year. “I’ve had several bouts with cancer and this walking club gives me a focus during the week and the support I need all year round. I’m a completely different person when I’m walking with this group,” one participant shares. »

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» And talk about mental fitness! These residents of Grand Bay-Westfield personify mental fitness by choosing their own wellness paths (autonomy), recognizing their personal strengths and abilities (competence) and surrounding each other with community support and connection (relatedness). One participant proudly claims, “When I first started, I could barely walk. I had to hold onto the pews for support. Now I’m strutting my stuff with the rest of this group who are now like family to me.” The Hearts in motion Walking Club truly has heart. All walkers are welcome and all walkers are inspired. Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, heart attacks, cancer, bereavement, depression. Nothing stops this lively group from their weekly dose of wellness, pew by pew, soaking up the physical, social and spiritual benefits along the way. ■ “I’ve had several bouts with cancer and this walking club gives me a focus during the week and the support I need. I’m a completely different person when I’m walking with this group.”

“When I first started, I could barely walk. I had to hold onto the pews for support. Now I’m strutting my stuff with the rest of this group who are like family to me.”

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“We’re all here for the same reason,” Karen remarks. “We’re all doing our part to be as physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible.“

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Photo: Maureen Boone

COMMITTING TO WELLNESS VISION & INFRASTRUCTURE Mayor Losier and Town Council understand the return on the town’s wellness invesment is a healthy and vibrant Grand Bay-Westfield.

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Grace Losier Mayor of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB

Environments

WE CHANGE HOW CAN I HELP? MAYOR LOSIER LEADS IN MANY WAYS. In Grand Bay-Westfield the commitment to healthy active living is not only supported at the top. It’s championed at the top. Ask Mayor Losier (“call me Grace”) what she does when she’s not managing town affairs and the list is a long one. This lifelong resident of Grand Bay-Westfield walks, cycles, hikes, cross country skis, fishes and hunts! Being Mayor of this rural New Brunswick town has kept Grace busy and inspired since 1998, but she’s always found time for healthy active living. “Being active isn’t a stretch for me. I love all things active!” this municipal leader emphasizes. Mayor Losier’s commitment to wellness isn’t entirely personal though. Her vision for a healthy and vibrant Grand Bay-Westfield is unwavering and something she’s proud to champion along with her Town Council

team and staff. With the right wellness people and the right wellness infrastructure, Mayor Losier believes the health of the community can be transformed. Quick to share credit where credit is due, Mayor Losier applauds the work of the town’s recreation director, Gary Clark, and the Partners in Prevention in motion committee. “We think it’s ideal that the town’s recreation mandate is aligned so closely with the work of Partners in Prevention in motion. We want to provide all the support we can to the committee so they can do the important work of coordinating and promoting healthy active living here in Grand Bay-Westfield.” »

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» Time and time again, Mayor Losier has seen how wellness infrastructure has been a catalyst for change. Ask this Mayor about wellness infrastructure and she lights up describing the many venues and natural environments where residents of Grand Bay-Westfield can be healthy, active and socially connected. Check out the town’s trail system, dedicated bike lanes, river access, Human Performance Centre, community track or the River Valley Community Centre. It’s clear Mayor Losier appreciates the link between infrastructure and community change. “If we don’t invest in healthy community infrastructure, how can we have a healthy community? Recreation infrastructure and healthy communities go hand in hand”, Mayor Losier claims. “It was amazing how we built the trail and suddenly people in this community came out of their homes and were on the streets all the time.” Residents of this rural town are self reliant and industrious when it comes to wellness infrastructure. IF WE BUILD IT, WE WILL PARTICIPATE is the obvious approach this community takes and it’s clearly working. Ask Mayor Losier what she is most proud of when it comes to Grand Bay-Westfield and she is quick to say, “Without a doubt, it’s the people. It’s about community taking care of community.” ■

If we don’t invest in healthy community infrastructure, how can we have a healthy community? Wellness infrastructure and healthy communities go hand in hand. We built the trail and suddenly people in this community came out of their homes and were on the streets all the time.

“What am I most proud of as Mayor of Grand Bay-Westfield? Without a doubt, it’s the people. It’s about community taking care of community.”

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Photo: Maureen Boone

“We think it’s ideal that the town’s recreation mandate is aligned so closely with the work of Partners in Prevention in motion. We want to provide all the support we can to the committee so they can do the important work of coordinating and promoting healthy active living here in Grand Bay-Westfield.“

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COMMUNITY WELLNESS IMPACT: A Journey that Inspires WE CARE, WE ACT, WE CHANGE The Grand Bay-Westfield Community Wellness Impact Story is a story of community wellness awareness, action and change. What links the story are three community change processes that have been cultivated by the Partners in Prevention in motion committee, with valuable support from their community partners and HEPAC. Also revealed are the community levers of change - the people, partners and practices that are driving this community’s wellness journey. The wellness experience in Grand Bay-Westfield serves to highlight that communities in all regions of New Brunswick, along with support from organizations like HEPAC, have the capacity to create a culture of wellbeing in their communities. Consider the opportunity! AWARENESS All New Brunswick communities have residents and partners who care about the health and wellbeing of their community, who have access to wellness evidence, and who can mobilize a team of caring community partners. ACTION All New Brunswick communities have strengths and assets to address community wellness needs in a strategic and collaborative way, to engage wellness champions and partners in a movement of change and to build community wellness capacity. CHANGE All New Brunswick communities have opportunities to develop sustained partnerships with local, regional and provincial wellness stakeholders and to influence the conditions and environments that contribute to community health and wellbeing. HEPAC’s vision of all New Brunswickers leading a healthy lifestyle relies on community Wellness Networks like Partners in Prevention in motion to lead and inspire this wellness movement that cares, acts and changes.


“It doesn’t matter who gets the credit for the progress we’re making because we still all live in a healthier community.” Partners in Prevention in motion committee members

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Grand Bay-Westfield Wellness Story