Healthier You Northern Health winter2016 web

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Healthier You Winter


HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Learn about Northern Health

community grants in action.

grant writing


Page 29

Bike safety in Queen Charlotte hudson’s Hope table tennis Smoke-free bylaw in Quesnel

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Terrace therapist,

ing my job when start from my lt fe I le rtab dge and comfo my knowle !” welcomed g to apply ysiotherapist could w in o h tt ge ve e ve li e h lo b P I t a o l. a n a it re ld ry a “I cou rial Hosp almost eve ills Memo practice in y here at M m in n o educati


“Mills Memorial Hospital is a great facility with staff that works closely together to collaborate and help patients get the best care possible. I really enjoy working in a smaller hospital because you get to know the staff well and it makes it easy to work as an effective team. We have a great outpatient physiotherapy clinic attached to the hospital and I have the opportunity to work with inpatients and outpatients. As a new grad I could not ask for a more diverse caseload. Being a part of the Northern Health team has been an amazing experience, especially as a new grad. I feel extremely supported by my coworkers and the community as a whole.”

Northern Health Recruitment: Toll Free: 1-877-905-1155 •

the northern way of caring





Volume 5, Issue 4

“A gateway to many opportunities for Elders”




With the support of an IMAGINE Community Grant, the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation has created a program to get Elders moving, eating healthy, and socializing.

Shedding light on community bike safety �����������������������������������������������������������Page 6

Safe active transportation and physical activity get a boost from an IMAGINE grant in Queen Charlotte.

“The door is open for you to learn” ����������������������������������������������������������� Page 10

Can grants help to build cultural understanding, trust, and respect?

Food Secure Kids ����������������������������������������� Page 12 A unique program in the northeast has students tasting the rainbow and understanding the story behind their food. A passion for the paddle ���������������������� Page 16

Table tennis in Hudson’s Hope.

Life is full of choices.

{regular features} 4 CEO welcome


GRANTS FAQ Get to know the different grant programs that promote health in your community.


Children First ������������������������������������������������ Page 19 A passion for children and families.

Coming together on the shores of Babine Lake ������������������������������������������������ Page 24

A small northern community shows us how to support seniors to age in place.

Creating a tobacco-free community ������������������������������������������������������� Page 27

A Northern Health grant program supports a local government committee in Quesnel to spread the word about a new bylaw.

Grant writing 101 ��������������������������������������� Page 29 Tips to ensure that your grant application stands out above the rest.

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winter 2016

Healthier You



Healthy people in healthy communities

Healthier You Volume 5, Issue 4 – Winter 2016

The first strategic priority described in Northern Health’s 2016-2021 strategic plan is: “Healthy People in Healthy Communities.”

Cathy Ulrich President and Chief Executive Officer, Northern Health

As we take a tour of different Northern Health grant programs and unique grant-funded projects in this issue of Healthier You, I hope that we’ll get you thinking about what this might mean in your community.

In addition to seeing innovative projects, community partnerships, and healthy outcomes, when I think of Northern Health’s grants, I also see our commitment to a culture of quality improvement in action. Northern Heath’s Population Health team has been improving the IMAGINE grant program and website. We now offer more support for all applicants (successful and unsuccessful), links to other grant opportunities, easier to use forms, and more than one grant cycle per year. Where can you find Healthier You?

• Doctors’ offices • Walk-in clinics • Pharmacies • Other community settings

Likewise, the Aboriginal Health team continues to provide valuable seed money to many small projects, as well as granting longer term funding to established organizations – all of which are intended to improve the health and well-being of northern First Nations and Aboriginal peoples.

More than anything, I hope that this issue serves as inspiration for you to connect with some of the many wonderful organizations promoting health in your community and to look at creative ways to address the health needs where you and your loved ones live, work, learn, and play in northern B.C. How can you promote health and prevent disease and injury in your community? I encourage you to look for Northern Health grant-supported work in your community, find ways to participate in this health promoting work, and seek opportunities to apply for our upcoming grants. If you have any questions about the grants or stories in this issue of Healthier You, please contact our health promotions team at

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winter 2016

Published by:

the northern way of caring


Copyright ©2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles permitted with credit.

Northern Health

Contributors / Healthier You is produced by the Northern Health health promotions team with contributions from Northern Health staff and partner organizations, in partnership with Glacier Media.

Glacier Media Group

Sales & Marketing Kevin Dergez Director of Special Projects Keshav Sharma Manager Specialty Publications

Advertising Sales Prince George Citizen

Creative Director / Eric Pinfold | cover photo: Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary School (2015 IMAGINE grant recipient).

All web links are case sensitive. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Northern Health does not endorse products or services. Any errors, omissions or opinions found in this magazine should not be attributed to the publisher. The authors, the publisher and the collaborating organizations will not assume any responsibility for commercial loss due to business decisions made based on the information contained in this magazine. Speak with your doctor before acting on any health information contained in this magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without crediting Northern Health and Glacier Media. Printed in Canada. Please recycle.

e FREE Drop-In access to the Sport Centre. MORE THAN JUST

Swim and Gym

during Multi-Recreation Month Broaden your fitness training opportunities for the months of November 2016 and May 2017. Cross-train aquatics and dry land fitness. During the months of November 2016 and May 2017 active members of the Northern Sport Centre will have FREE Drop-In access to the Four Seasons Leisure Pool and the PG Aquatic Centre; active members of the Four Seasons and Aquatic Centre will have FREE Drop-In access to the Northern Sport Centre. MORE THAN JUST

Swim and Gym during Multi-Recreation Month Broaden your fitness training opportunities for the months of



Why is supporting community grants important to you?

Shedding light on

Kelsey Yarmish (Regional Director, Population Health Programs, Northern Health) • My programs partner on / fund: IMAGINE Community Grants, Partnering for Healthier Communities Grants As a health director, I am inspired by our northern community partners. We know that health happens in community, and that a passion for wellness exists all across the north. I most often see the expression of this passion through local innovation and an enthusiasm for healthy people in healthy communities - where all of us live, work, learn, and play. We are honoured to support this innovation and to support healthy northern communities! Northern Health’s Regional Population Health Programs are home to the IMAGINE granting program. I believe that IMAGINE serves community.

community bike safety An IMAGINE grant funds a new shed and workspace in Queen Charlotte to support safe biking. Shelley Termuende

Northern Development Initiative Trust, Local Government Management Intern, Village of Queen Charlotte


he Bike Repair and Safety Program began as an initiative to create a central and permanent space where bike safety and alternative transportation could be promoted to the Queen Charlotte community. With that focus in mind, the Village of Queen Charlotte decided to create a bike shed and outdoor work area at the Queen Charlotte Youth Centre, which is adjacent to BMX and skate park facilities. At the shed, Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych can store their equipment and more easily host repair and maintenance events. Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych is a bike repair and maintenance organization that promotes safe, outdoor physical activity and sustainability through island-wide bike recycling and repair initiatives.

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Tires, bikes, and tools fill custom-built shelves inside the completed bike shed at the Queen Charlotte Youth Centre.

What worked?

Debra Uliana, Chief Financial Officer, Village of Queen Charlotte “It was a fairly straightforward project. The actual construction of the shed was done in-house by Village of Queen Charlotte public works staff and the Village was able to purchase needed supplies on-island so there was not a long wait time. The administration on the IMAGINE grant was fairly streamlined. Once you get your grant application, then it flows from that. I found that the reporting requirements were quite reasonable with this grant.”

Through the Bike Safety and Repair Program, the RCMP, Village of Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii Observer, and local health and wellness professionals actively promote the use of helmets with youth at the BMX park and skate park by gifting helmets as well as knee and elbow pads at community events. Bike RePsych and Village of Queen Charlotte staff provide youth with helmets whenever they are using community facilities thanks to additional donations made by Bike Re-Psych and local health professionals. Bike Re-Psych also hosts a weekly drop-in bike safety and repair night for community members of all ages and continues to use the infrastructure created through the Bike Safety and Repair Program.

The Queen Charlotte Youth Centre before (right) and after (left) the completion of the bike shed.

Lori Wiedeman, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Queen Charlotte, advocated for Bike Re-Psych’s programming, stating, “We are a very small community and so without a group like this, there isn’t really a store or a business that could provide this kind of free service. It is something that is building up the skill sets of people in the community to do this kind of work for themselves. Without this program and groups like Bike RePsych, I don’t think we would have as strong of a biking community as we do.”

Any advice for other communities applying for grants?

Lori Wiedeman, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Queen Charlotte “I think in the case of the event that was part of the grant, the problem was having enough time to co-ordinate it, so it goes back to the importance of preplanning in the initial stages of your grant application. There are lots of things up in the air when you are doing grant applications, so you need to be as proactive as you can, think about all the things that are going to impact your project, and get them down on paper so you can manage them effectively.”

Since the implementation of the Bike Safety and Repair Program, the Village of Queen Charlotte has seen increased usage of helmets, safety equipment, and properly maintained bikes at the BMX park and skate park. The infrastructure improvements made possible by the IMAGINE grant funding have provided a safe and interactive learning environment where knowledge about safe practices and proper equipment use can be easily shared.

did you know? Cycling is a leading cause of concussion hospitalizations for children and youth. Learn more about concussions from B.C.’s free online resource ( and download Parachute Canada’s Concussion Ed app from Future initiatives Bike Re-Psych continues to highlight ways to reduce injury and improve active and sustainable transportation on Haida Gwaii. They recently completed a survey on bicycling in the Village of Queen Charlotte and this initiative has opened the doors to possible partnerships for developing an island-wide trail network for all of Haida Gwaii.

winter 2016

Healthier You



Health happens in community: Grants in action IMAGINE Community Grants What is it? Grants (max. $5,000) for innovative grassroots community projects that promote staying healthy and prevent injury and disease. How can you get involved? Identify a need in your community, connect with a local organization, and apply! Community organizations, schools or PACs, First Nations groups, not-for-profits, and more are eligible to apply. Next deadline: October 31, 2016. Learn more: (case sensitive)

Where the




From indoor trainers to studded bike tires and bike safety lights, we can keep you riding year round!

Partnering for Healthier Communities (P4HC) What is it? Grants support new and existing P4HC committees. Committees are partnerships between local governments, Northern Health, and other sectors that work together to identify local risk factors and develop local projects. How can you get involved? Contact your local government to see what your P4HC committee is up to and how you can engage! No P4HC committee? Encourage your local government to connect with Northern Health’s grant team. Learn more: (case sensitive)

Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs)

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What is it? AHICs include health representatives from Indigenous communities and organizations, Northern Health, and the First Nations Health Authority. These collaborative committees receive funding for initiatives that share learning, build relationships, and promote cultural safety and cultural humility in health care. How can you get involved? Bring issues, ideas, solutions, and opportunities to your local committee’s attention. Learn from the cultural resources they’ve created. Learn more: (case sensitive)

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healthycommunities Northern Health funds and is involved in different grant programs for different groups and goals. Here’s what you need to know for this issue of Healthier You! Aboriginal Health Initiative Program What is it? Longer term funding for Aboriginal organizations that provide health and social services. How can you get involved? Connect with local Aboriginal organizations where you live! Funds are granted to these organizations to support and sustain existing, impactful initiatives. Learn more: (case sensitive)

What is it? Ministry of Children and Family Development funded program to promote and bring awareness around the importance of the early years. Provides coordination and support to community service providers working with children, youth, and families. Grants for programs targeting ages 0-18. How can you get involved? Funding may look a little different depending on where you live as service delivery and planning priorities differ by community. Connect with early childhood leaders or find your local steering committee to learn about funding opportunities. Learn more:

Northern Indigenous Community Wellness Funding Awards What is it? Funding (max. $5,000) that supports community-based projects with a focus on holistic health and wellness in Indigenous communities. Projects should focus on cultural safety, primary care, mental wellness and substance use, or community wellness activities.

CNC is proud to offer many Health Science program options. Please contact our Recruitment office at 250-561-5855 for more information.


Children First

Do you have a passion for caring for others?

How can you get involved? Identify a need, connect with an eligible applicant, and apply for funding! First Nation Bands, Health Centres, and Indigenous community organizations can apply. Learn more: (case sensitive)

winter 2016

Healthier You



“The door is open for you to learn” Aboriginal Health grants help to create a culture of change. Vince Terstappen, Health Promotions, Northern Health

Can grants help to build cultural understanding, trust, and respect? The answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” from Northern Health’s Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs). Beginning in 2014, AHICs received funding support to develop local cultural resources. They were guided by a deceptively simple question: “If I were a new health care provider in your community, what would you want me to know?” The different ways AHICs answered this question highlight the important role these collaborative groups have in our communities. Take, for example, the beautiful videos created by two committees in the northwest. These videos explore the cultural roles of the family, the diversity of health and wellness practices among Nations, the present day impacts of residential school experiences, and more. The videos – like local resources created by other AHICs – are a gift from First Nations to support our learning journeys.

Find a summary of local cultural resources created by AHICs at:

more information What are Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs)? AHICs are action-oriented groups that work together on local initiatives that support the well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people and communities. There are eight committees across northern B.C. Committee members include local representatives from Indigenous communities and organizations, Northern Health, First Nations Health Authority, and other sectors. The committees provide opportunities to develop stronger connections, build cultural understanding, and address local health priorities. Learn more at

Begin or continue your learning journey with three videos at NorthernHealthBC/videos: C ultural

practices around birth

C ultural

practices around illness and death

H onouring

our journey

As Kitkatla Councillor Timothy Innes said, “The door is open for you to learn. Learn how our culture is and what it entails … and who we are, then (you) can work with us more comfortably … you’re not intruding.”

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winter 2016

left: Young drummer at the launch of an AHIC video in Kitselas.

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Food Secure kids Connecting students with the foods they eat. Why is supporting community grants important to you?


Barbara Hennessy (Regional Manager, Cardiac & Stroke Care, Northern Health) & Ciro Panessa (Regional Director, Chronic Diseases Program, Northern Health) • My programs partner on / fund: IMAGINE Community Grants, HIV/HCV community contracts ( A fundamental aim of any health system is to prevent disease and reduce ill health so that people remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Northern British Columbians have higher rates of chronic diseases than their southern counterparts. The leading causes of chronic disease burden in the north are: cancer (18%), cardiovascular disease (17%), mental disorders (7%), and chronic respiratory diseases (7%). Many premature deaths which result from cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and other chronic diseases could be prevented by better addressing risk factors such as high blood pressure, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol. Also, tackling modifiable inequities builds resiliency and reduces illness and the risk of premature death, with the potential for large health gains for northern B.C. Supporting the IMAGINE grants allows Cardiac Care and the Regional Chronic Diseases Program to engage and collaborate with local communities in supporting grassroots initiatives that will bring public awareness and focus on building resiliency and reducing risk factors.


Karen Mason-Bennett, Program Coordinator Northern Environmental Action Team


icture the expression on the face of a student who just harvested their first homegrown veggies from a garden.

Do you imagine the shock that everything they learned about actually worked? And amazement that a tiny seed grew this big, bright, orange carrot? And, most of all, do you see wonder as they realize that it tastes better than anything they get from the store, despite the dirt? For many of us, these were fundamental moments that occurred at home with our parents or grandparents. For many young people today, however, the focus on food is fading fast.

Thankfully, the buzz around food security has been increasing. For anyone who lives in a northern community, this is good news as voices warning of the weaknesses in our food system have fallen largely on deaf ears over the years. Food security, simply put, is the ability to access affordable food within your community. Someone can be equally food insecure if they cannot afford food or if they live in a remote area and have difficulties reaching a store. Many people relate food insecurity to poverty and this is often a strong factor, but the further north you travel, the more complex the story becomes. continued on next page

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To unravel this story, the Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT) set out to develop an education program to strengthen the connection students have with the food they consume daily. The Food Secure Kids program is the result. Students participating in the program learn about food security through a variety of lenses. They each get to plant seedlings in their classrooms and learn hands-on about the processes for growing various food items. Through special guests and local experts, they explore the world of pollination and the importance not only of bees but of all pollinators to the health of their food system, including wasps, moths, butterflies, and even bats and birds. As students care for their plants, they investigate where their food typically comes from and what they are eating on a regular basis. Primary students are challenged to eat a rainbow of colours throughout the program. They get the opportunity to taste foods of all colours, including kiwi, cabbage, and dragon fruit. NEAT also explains to the students how far these food items travel to reach their plates. Students in grades 4-6 begin keeping food journals and evaluating the nutritional impacts of their food choices using Canada’s Food Guide. Connecting the Food Secure Kids curriculum to the provincial curriculum allows us to present a strong and integrated program for students of all ages. Food Secure Kids explores math, reading, writing, science, and art through food. In addition to academics, each participating class gets the opportunity to develop a garden space that will not only host their seedlings throughout the summer, but provide food to their community. Some of the student beds have grown lettuce, broccoli, kale, carrots, cucumbers, and more. These items are often available to those in the surrounding community to harvest during the summer. Recently, we’ve added a food bank component, where specific beds within the school gardens grow fresh food for local food banks, completing the connection. Food security is an international right, one due to each person in our country and community. Food Secure Kids aims to provide experiences that will fuel a lifetime of food appreciation as we try to level the playing field. Support from funding organizations like Northern Health’s IMAGINE grants is integral to the success of this program. After all, growing organic children is our best achievement yet!

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Healthier You



Featured Indigenous Language CULTURAL WELL-BEING IS FOUNDATIONAL TO HEALTHY WELL-BEING. Did you know... • Aboriginal peoples include three distinct populations: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. • 30 per cent of the Aboriginal people in B.C. live within the Northern Health region. • Of the 300,000 people served by Northern Health, over 17 per cent are Aboriginal. • In the northwest, over 30 per cent of the population is Aboriginal. Celebrating culture, language, and traditional activities are key to healthy communities. Incorporating culture and language into activities and relationships leads to healthier, more resilient communities. In northern B.C., there are many diverse Aboriginal peoples, territories, languages, and cultures. This issue, we’re highlighting an Indigenous language - Dakelh (Carrier), Lheidli dialect.

To learn more about Indigenous languages and to hear recordings of words, phrases, stories, and songs, visit: • • First Peoples’ Language Map of B.C. • • Inuktitut Tusaalanga

Dakelh (Carrier), Lheidli dialect hadih hello nanyoost’en si

goodbye, see you again (to one person)

nanahoost’en si

goodbye, see you again (to more than one person)

‘andooh no a’ah OK, alright PHOTO CREDIT:

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a passion

for the paddle

Table tennis in Hudson’s Hope

A group of table tennis enthusiasts use an IMAGINE grant to open their game play to all! Andrea Palmer

Health Promotions, Northern Health


yler Schwartz is the president of the Hudson’s Hope Table Tennis Group, although Tyler himself will be the first to admit that it’s a grand title for a relatively informal group of table tennis enthusiasts. What makes this group unique is how they worked together to formalize their group through an IMAGINE grant and a partnership with a local school; this process allowed them to include the whole community in their game play. I recently had the chance to chat with Tyler about his group and how they came together. In his introduction to me, he started off by stating, “We’re just a group of folks in town who have a passion for table tennis.” And that’s all they need to be to make a difference!

What was your experience like in applying for an IMAGINE grant? It was pretty straightforward - we just happened to have the need right around the same time as the grant window was open. This really was a joint application between our table tennis group and the Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary School. That’s where all of our table tennis tables are. Why table tennis? There’s a good-sized group of people in town who play table tennis, but it’s hard for us all to play together. We thought it would be fantastic if there were a central place in town where we could have a handful of tables that would be available for us to play and also be available for community use (and school use, as it turned out). We wanted to get out of just playing at one person’s house where 2-4 people, maximum, could play at any one time. We really wanted to bring the group together to have 10, 12, 15, or even 20 people all playing at the same time! continued on next page

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What has the response been like? After receiving the grant, we had received all of the equipment late in the spring and were up and running shortly after that, but because the school closes in the summer months, we were unable to play in July and August. Right now, we are just kicking off the fall season. We participated in the community fall sign-up and had a few new folks in town who wanted to join – so we’ll be starting up with even more people than last season! Why do you love table tennis? It’s a sport that I started playing when I was a kid growing up, and I seemed to have a knack for it. It’s fun – and a lot more athletic than you think it might be! You mentioned that new people have signed up to join the group this fall – who seems to be interested? The high school students have access to the tables as a part of their lunchtime activities, during gym class, or outside of school hours. The other group is mostly adults from the community. Children under 16 are welcome as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian during the evening time slots. There is a wide diversity of adults who play – it spans those from their early 20s up to those who are about 70 years old, and from all walks of life. Have you had anyone come out yet who’s a firsttime player? One older gentleman who comes out said that he hadn’t played since he was in the army, more than 30 years ago. He’s come out and joined out group. I’ve lived in the community for 15 years and had never met him before – now I know his name, where he lives, and we now play a bit of ping-pong together! One of the neat things about Hudson’s Hope is that every night of the week there’s at least one sport going on. They alternate because, unlike bigger cities, there’s not a lot of infrastructure to host activities. We’re adding a table tennis night to those selections. There’s a good mix of sports available to our community and we’re glad to be able to add table tennis to this offering.

With the support of an IMAGINE grant, table tennis is a new, accessible community recreation opportunity in Hudson’s Hope.

Any final words you’d like to share about this grant? I appreciated that we didn’t need to be registered as a non-profit. It made it easier for us to apply to get just a little bit of money to buy these tables. We don’t have directors and society rules and AGMs – we’re an informal group and yet we still perform a level of due diligence on the financial side. We partnered with the school, and that lent credence to our project and application. I’d like to send a shout-out of encouragement to passionate individuals or organizations that have ideas, or are taking on initiatives that help support healthy activities, to apply. I would encourage them to apply. One final question… is it okay to say ‘ping-pong’? Of course! I think the proper name is in fact table tennis – but we call it pong all the time. I don’t sense folks around here are that pretentious!

more information What made this project stand out to the reviewers? For Northern Health’s integrated community granting lead Mandy Levesque, three elements jumped out: T his

represented a new recreational opportunity for the community.

T here

was a strong partnership with the local school, including a great letter of support from the principal.

T he

project was accessible - designed as a drop-in activity offered at no charge to any community members interested in participating.

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Children First:


prince george 16


A passion for children and families


Children First promotes and brings awareness to the importance of the early years. What does this program look like where you live? Sandra Sasaki

Children First Manager, Northern Health

Children First, also referred to as Make Children First, provides co-ordination and support to community service providers working with children and youth up to age 18 and their families. It operates a little differently in different communities across B.C. and often operates within community agencies. I have the privilege of working with four amazing communities within Northern Health. Each community is unique but all four communities share a passion for the children and families living there. To give you a taste of the projects supported by Children First, here are just a few words from coordinators and participants in projects that benefited from Children First funding:

more information If you work or live in these communities and are interested in being part of a community table to improve children and families’ lives, contact Sandra Sasaki at or 250-565-2596. Work with children or youth in Prince George? Send Sandra your group’s website and she’ll add it to the list of services on the Children, Youth, and Family Network website at

mackenzie & area

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Robson & Canoe Valleys

McLeod Lake Indian Band long house

YMCA Camp Kanannaq

Dental Funding Program

McBride & District Public Library change table

“The long house will be used as a storytelling place where Elders and children can gather together. It has already started to bring a sense of ‘coming back to our roots.’ It is the sweetest little long house and everyone is super excited about starting to use it.”

According to one young camper (one of over 500 children and youth taking part, including over 60 with special needs): “I have met many new friends at camp … I did many things like playing games and going swimming. I also learned many things such as how to shoot a bow and arrow.”

“It was a nice surprise to see a program out there for single moms [like me] with no dental plan. It is important to have healthy teeth so the bacteria that cause cavities won’t be transferred to my child.”

“You may say that this is an odd item to fund with grant money! However small, it can make an impact on families being able to have a safe, clean place to change a baby. It makes a site welcoming and encourages families with small children to attend venues such as the library to access books for their young ones.”

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Healthier You



A gateway to many opportunities for


“ The Nadleh Whut’en First Nation gets Elders moving. Vince Terstappen

Health Promotions, Northern Health


he number of people aged 65 or older is growing faster in northern B.C. than it is elsewhere in the province. A key part of Northern Health’s Healthy Aging in the North: Action Plan is to support healthy aging in the community. Older adults enjoy living independently in the community and want to stay there! To make this happen, they need a variety of opportunities to stay active and involved in community life. Near Fort Fraser, the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation provides a model to do just that! With the support of an IMAGINE grant, the Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder event series has gotten Elders moving, eating healthy, connected, and socializing. With some donated space, local expertise, and equipment purchased with an IMAGINE grant, the program is a great example of how one idea – getting Elders moving at a monthly gathering – can blossom and create so many additional benefits!

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Why is supporting community grants important to you? Margo Greenwood (Vice President, Aboriginal Health, Northern Health) • My programs partner on / fund: Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHIC), Aboriginal Health Initiative Program (AHIP), Community Wellness Funding Awards, IMAGINE Community Grants Our team supports Indigenous community-led initiatives and projects focused on health and wellness. Supporting these initiatives is a significant component of our annual work and also actively evaluated. Our community granting is guided by a philosophy that recognizes Indigenous rights to self-determination and facilitates community voices and decision-making. We believe that a variety of funding streams better supports and reflects the diversity of northern Indigenous communities and organizations. As such, partnerships within and outside of Northern Health are a key aspect of our granting programs. We also seek opportunities to access additional funding for Indigenous communities and at the same time encourage communities and organizations to leverage our grants for further funding.

What became clear early on is that the program was about more than just getting Elders moving (its original goal). According to Lisa Ketlo with the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, “This event has accomplished many things: healthy eating, socializing, physical activities, [assessing] health concerns or issues, [and] monitoring wellness of Elders and community members.” Physical activity For the physical activity component of the project, the event had Elders and community members out walking, using a 3-wheel bike, or using the chair gym. [We] made members realize no matter how old we are, if we don’t use it, we lose it!” According to Ketlo, the program encouraged connections across generations, too, as it “opens the doors for many younger generations to get physically active and take care of their bodies inside and out.” The 3-wheel bike, for example, helped youth test their balance and made some local office workers realize they didn’t do enough physical activity! The Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder event now regularly sees up to 16 participants ranging in age from 19-81. Social connections In addition to the physical activity benefits, Ketlo reflected on the impact related to social connectedness, a key piece of healthy aging. “I was shocked with some members who attended Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder. Some of these Elders never leave their home and now look forward to attending the event. I also see them at more community events and socializing with others,” said Ketlo. “Elders get to be involved with community events and not isolated at home. We had one Elder [who had been] isolated and depressed at home. Since she began attending Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder, she has been going out to more community events and going out to shop for herself!”

The Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder event series has gotten Elders moving, eating healthy, connected, and socializing.

continued on page 22

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Healthier You


“We are able to visit with Elders and members with health issues, the nurse is able to monitor members with any health concerns or catch any signs of health issues arising. To have a community nurse on site really helps her to build trust with Elders. They are more willing to do blood pressure, sugar testing, [and discuss] any issues they have developed and what medication they are taking and how important it is to take medication. We achieved goals [we weren’t] able to achieve before, like getting blood pressure, blood sugar, and pulse [measurements] on a regular basis.” Lessons for others Ketlo believes that Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder can be re-created by others. For Nadleh Whut’en, the IMAGINE grant provided funds for various pieces of equipment to support safe and healthy physical activity: runners, umbrellas (for shade in the summer), 3-wheel bikes, chair gym equipment, weights, snowshoes, ice grippers, high-visibility vests, and more! Ketlo has a few suggestions for other communities looking to initiate a similar program: F eed

guests and visitors! By providing healthy snacks and drinks, more community members were encouraged to take part and the event was able to teach Elders and all participants about the importance of healthy eating and drinking.

 I nvolve

A 3-wheel bike proved fun for Elders and youth alike!

local experts. Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder benefited from the expertise of a physical therapist able to suggest appropriate exercises and resources for Elders.

M eet

Health care services Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder is not just about connecting Elders with one another and with youth in the community. The program also let Elders connect directly with health care professionals in a non-medical setting, which was huge! “This event has opened many doors for the community members, front-line workers, and nurses,” said Ketlo. “The members involved with the event are able to socialize with community members and front-line workers – to have someone to talk to and not be judged. When trust comes into play, then Elders will open and share any health, financial, or abuse issues – or just to admit they are unable to do tasks they once were able to achieve and ask for help.”

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people where they’re at. Many Elders at the community event were much more open to getting a checkup from the local nurse than they would be at the Health Centre.

Ketlo sums up the impact of the IMAGINE grant, the Push, Pull, or Drag an Elder program, and healthy aging work in this way: “This grant is a gateway to many opportunities for Elders and community members through physical activities.” What kind of gateway to healthy living can you create in your community?

more information This article was originally published on the Northern Health Matters blog. Find more IMAGINE grant stories on the blog at imagine-grants.

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Coming together on the shores of Babine Lake

Two IMAGINE grants support residents of beautiful Granisle to age in place. Vince Terstappen

Health Promotions, Northern Health


cross Canada, research has shown that over 90% of older adults live independently in the community and wish to remain there. In smaller northern communities, however, supporting older residents to age in place can be a challenge. With the help of IMAGINE Community Grants in 2014 and 2015, the Village of Granisle, a beautiful community of 300 people on the shores of Babine Lake, has responded to this challenge! Granisle was named an Age-Friendly Community in 2014 and ever since, “for every project we do, our first thought is: how can this be inclusive and accessible,” said Lisa Rees, office assistant with the Village of Granisle. “Our IMAGINE-funded projects flow out of this designation.” continued on page 26

24 Healthier You

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So, what did they do? “We’ve got two projects under the same healthy living umbrella,” said Rees. The first of those projects is a monthly healthy eating luncheon for seniors; the second, an exercise program for seniors. Don’t be fooled by the “for seniors” label, though, because these projects don’t turn anybody away! “Our luncheons became a huge social thing,” said Rees. “Granisle has a population of 300 and we had upwards of 75 people attending our lunch events!” The project promotes health not just through healthy eating, but also through social connections! With an IMAGINE grant paying for the healthy food, the luncheons were designed with accessibility, learning, fun, and community in mind: A ttendees

got a free, hot meal. Extra food was delivered to vulnerable local residents unable to leave their homes.

D ifferent

groups hosted the luncheons in different locations. The local Lions Club, local Council, Seniors Association, and local school all hosted luncheons. The event at the school was held together with an open house, showing that the school could be a community gathering space.

B efore

a summer park luncheon, attendees were invited to join a walk along a local trail and rubberized path.

L ocal

health nurses joined the luncheons and offered participants health information and the chance to complete some routine health tests.

A long

with their meals, attendees got to see nutrition tips from registered dietitians on their tables.

“It was more than just healthy eating,” said Rees. “People would sit and linger over coffee, we had local students helping with the cooking when the school hosted a luncheon, and programs like Better At Home did presentations.” The second Granisle project tackles another important risk factor: sedentary behaviour.

key,” said Kaehn. “The clinic and women’s group are involved in our exercise program and there are many clubs and groups involved in the luncheons. In a small community, it takes a lot of hands to get things to fruition and the village has really come together around health and aging.” When probed for her last thoughts about the community and its healthy living projects, Lisa Rees encouraged everyone to check it out for themselves: “Come out to Granisle! It’s well worth a stop – it’s a beautiful place to visit and to be!”

more information Learn along with residents of Granisle! Here are just a couple of the healthy eating tips from their monthly community luncheons: W hat

small change can you make today? Consider water instead of pop to drink, or turkey instead of beef in your chili.

D evelop

your “Sodium Sense.” Flavour foods with herbs and spices instead of salt. An herb like thyme is tasty with chicken, veal, salads, and vegetables!

Three grant writing tips from Emily Kaehn (Village of Granisle):

“We want to help community members in Granisle to stay active,” said Emily Kaehn, economic development/ administrative coordinator with the Village of Granisle. “With our new IMAGINE funds, we’re buying exercise gear – walking poles, ice grippers, snowshoes, yoga equipment, exercise bands, and more – to stock a local equipment library. Preventing injury and keeping older adults active is key to aging in place.”

“ The

Looking ahead, the Village of Granisle is looking for funding to continue the monthly luncheons and is hoping to expand the exercise gear program into broader recreation programming. “Partnerships are

 “ Forward

26 Healthier You

winter 2016

IMAGINE grant process was very straightforward. Program staff were very supportive. If you are thinking of applying and have an idea, call them first!”

“ Lots

of municipalities have grant writers. They are a great resource. Start your application process there.” grant opportunities far and wide. Everyone has the community’s best interest at heart and sharing information ultimately helps everyone out.”


Creating a


community Quesnel adds a smoke-free bylaw to their healthy community portfolio!

Rhya Hartley (City of Quesnel), Quesnel Healthier Community Committee, Nancy Viney, (Tobacco Reduction, Northern Health)


he City of Quesnel promotes a healthy environment for all to enjoy. In November 2015, Quesnel City Council adopted Bylaw No. 1767 “A Bylaw to Regulate Smoking in City of Quesnel Public Spaces,� which prohibits smoking in some specific community spaces as well as designated playgrounds and playing fields where children may be at play. Quesnel joined 59 other municipalities in B.C. who have a bylaw limiting where you can use tobacco in outdoor spaces. Although many municipalities have implemented smoking regulations, Quesnel and Dawson Creek are leaders in the north. continued on page 28

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Healthier You


more information Want to read the full bylaw? Read it at

Why a bylaw to regulate smoking? Quesnel supports healthy community initiatives for its residents! Through integrated processes like parks planning, active transportation planning, the recently adopted Living Wage Policy, and our active rebranding project, the City of Quesnel is positioning itself as a balanced, healthy community in which to live, work, and play. The new smoke-free bylaw and the work supported by the Partnering for Healthier Communities grant fits into this approach. Exposure to second-hand smoke from burning tobacco products causes disease and premature death among non-smokers. Children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke as they breathe faster and are exposed to even more smoke. The new bylaw reduces the harmful effects of tobacco smoke for the residents and visitors of Quesnel.

Supportive smoke-free environments help people who have quit using tobacco to remain steadfast and also encourage tobacco users to quit. Education today on the harmful effects of smoking and second-hand smoke is key to ensuring our children don’t start smoking and helps to make everyone aware of our environment. The bylaw also helps reduce the amount of litter from butts and discarded cigarette packaging. Cigarette filters litter the ground and do not biodegrade. During the hot, dry summer months, smoke-free bylaws can also reduce the risk of fire from discarded matches and tobacco products. As with any new initiative, there has been some push back and enforcement issues. To date, bylaw staff in Quesnel have addressed this with education and they will be transitioning to ticketing. The City of Quesnel partnered with Northern Health and many other community stakeholders to form the Quesnel Healthier Community Committee in 2012. In 2016, this committee received a Partnering for Healthier Communities grant from Northern Health for their “Creating a Tobacco-Free Community” initiative. The committee resolved to use the grant funding for education and to purchase and install signage in strategic public areas. The committee decided that a sign that portrayed those most at risk from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke would move the focus to social conscience. Does your local government have a Healthier Community Committee? How can your local government work with partners towards your community’s healthy living goals?

more information

The new smoke-free bylaw was promoted through the City’s Bylaw of the Month campaign.

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winter 2016

Have questions about smoke- and vape-free outdoor public places? Download a Q&A from the Canadian Cancer Society at


Writing a grant application - Anyone can do it! Tips to ensure your grant application stands out above the rest! Mandy Levesque, Integrated Community Granting, Northern Health

For many people, even the thought of writing a grant proposal or application is intimidating. Rest assured that by keeping a few key tips in mind, anyone can do it!

Most grant programs get more applications than there are funds available. Whether you are applying for one of Northern Health’s grants or are looking into a different grant program, follow these tips to ensure that your application stands out above the rest!







Confirm your timelines Many grant programs have multiple cycles per year as well as deadlines for project completion and evaluation. Does your project start date fit within this timeline or should you wait for a future cycle?



Describe and connect project goals and activities • Be

very specific about what you want to achieve in your community through your project. What is the ultimate goal(s)? What will success look like? • You should be able to directly connect your planned activities to these goals.



Know your project plan Read the application beforehand and ensure that you are able to answer all questions and sections fully. Your enthusiasm for your project should come through.

Know your audience Who will be able to participate in this project and the activities? Northern Health grants are keen to support projects that reduce health inequities and help those who are disadvantaged or vulnerable to improve their access to supports and resources for better health.

List key project partners • Strong

partnerships = strong projects! Working with other groups builds capacity and can be a great opportunity to learn from one another. Partnerships also help to ensure sustainability. Having more people involved can help to grow the project and increases its chance of lasting. • When listing partners, you should be able to explain their roles and responsibilities in the project. continued on next page

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Healthier You







Explain the benefit to community Applications should describe why a project is needed in your community. What sets your project apart from others in the community?



Have a clear budget • Remember

to include all of the costs that will be associated with your project activities. Ensure that the total cost of the project is explained, specify the amount being requested from the grant, and identify where any other sources of funding will be coming from. • Confirming fundraising efforts or that other sources of funding have been explored shows community engagement and motivation for the project to succeed. Don’t forget to identify in-kind or free supports. • Ensure that the funding you are requesting fits the grant criteria. For example, if wages aren’t eligible for coverage under the grant criteria, don’t request them in your application.

Describe the future plans to keep the project going We want to support projects that are thinking about sustainability from the beginning and we are less likely to support a one-time event or activity. Provide details on how the project will continue to grow in your community. Use IMAGINE grant funding as the seed to get you started!



Get letters of support from partners and community members • Letters

of support from project partners, additional funders, or people who will benefit from the project in the community are a great help! They show engagement and investment. • One or two letters are enough, but they should be specific to the project.



Choose an exciting project name Choose a name for your project that will grab people’s attention – whether that’s the person reading the application or someone who wants to learn more about your project in the community. Be unique but keep it simple!

more information The IMAGINE grants webpage ( has lots of grant resources to help you find funding for your project!

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Learn from others Get inspired and get a sense of what a grantor is looking for! We recently released a map of previously funded IMAGINE projects ( – check it out!

did you know? IMAGINE grants are funded through partnerships across various programs and sectors in Northern Health. Aboriginal Health, Cardiac & Cerebrovascular Services, Population Health, and Primary & Community Care all come together to support these grants!

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