The Foundation supports strong community health as one of its priorities and in the fall of 2012, we wanted to explore collaboration with community partners. We invited community leaders to a round table discussion to talk health and the idea of working together to create the healthiest community possible for our residents.
We shared our vision of the future: one where Peace Arch area residents are largely healthy and not needing the services of the hospital. However, when health fails, our vision is also to ensure that the community has access to a modern, right-sized, well-equipped and well-staffed hospital designed to meet the needs of our residents. Our aspiration is to live and work in a vibrant community where all residents – young and old – take personal responsibility for their health. Change is possible.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE
In this vision of the future, we affect change “upstream” where more than 80 per cent of illnesses and diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease may be prevented through healthy living. By embracing this change, we not only significantly reduce the “downstream” cost of medical treatment and associated costs such as the loss of productivity and quality of life for individuals, families and society, but also increase the vitality and productivity of our community.
The positive implications of becoming the healthiest community possible are significant. First, it will mean that fewer people will need to visit the hospital. The burden on our health care system will be lighter, family stress will be reduced, productivity in the workplace will increase, and residents of our community will be happier and enjoy a higher general sense of well-being. By developing habits that promote health, even people in need of medical intervention will enjoy expedited recovery and overall enhanced health outcomes.
HEALTHY COMMUNITY grants
The Foundation administers this grant program (previously called Because People Matter) which supports initiatives that enhance health and wellness through activity, education, research and service delivery to those who live in the area of White Rock and South Surrey. Funding is available for initiatives between $1,000 and $125,000 per application. More than $1.8 million has been invested in more than 120 projects since the inception of the Because People Matter Grants program in 1999.