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Vancouver Island Partnership Accord offers integrated, culturally competent and effective First Nations health plan

May 15, 2012

Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – The Vancouver Island Regional Health Caucus of the First Nations Health Council and Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) have announced signing of the Vancouver Island Partnership Accord, signifying the strength of the working relationship in support of health improvements for Island First Nations and all Island residents. The signing took place on the evening of May 14, 2012 in a cultural ceremony during the fifth annual provincial Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey forum.

“This is a very important moment for Vancouver Island First Nations partnering with VIHA to provide improved health outcomes for our people,” said Cliff Atleo of the Vancouver Island Regional Health Caucus. “The steps we are collectively taking as First Nations and non-First Nations together are creating new relationships, partnerships, health services, and a shift to prevention and wellness from dealing with sickness only. When we work together we find that we can overcome any adversity and are all stronger.”This agreement paves the way for the creation of a more integrated, culturally appropriate, safe, and effective health system. Building on the pillar of reciprocal accountability, the Accord commits the parties to work together to achieve shared decision making and increase the influence of First Nations in decisions relating to health services delivered within the Vancouver Island Region. It also sets out a mutual commitment to improve the well-being of all First Nations people living in the Vancouver Island region regardless of Nationhood, status, and location.

“VIHA is committed to providing health services that are more integrated and that meet the unique cultural and geographical needs of all Aboriginal people,” said Howard Waldner, VIHA President and CEO. “We are proud to be a part of this partnership and we look forward to working with the First Nations Health Council and the interim First Nations Health Authority to improve the health status of First Nations people, as well as all residents of Vancouver Island.”

New joint activities between the Vancouver Island Caucus and VIHA under the Accord will include the development of measurable success indicators to accurately gauge progress and a review of VIHA’s Aboriginal Health Plan and First Nations Community Health and Wellness Plans to achieve better coordination.

“This Partnership Accord is another positive step in Vancouver Island First Nations taking a hold of and creating a more effective health system,” said Shana Manson, Vancouver Island Regional Health Caucus Representative. “Our growing partnership with VIHA will lead to great changes in the quality and level of health care delivered to our First Nations communities but also to all Island residents improving the quality of life across the board – Lahalawuts’aat.”

The Accord builds on several key documents and agreements to date, including the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan, Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, Consensus Paper 2011: British Columbia First Nations Perspectives on a New Health Governance Arrangement, British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance, and VIHA’s 2012 Aboriginal Health Plan.

“Improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people is one of VIHA’s strategic priorities,” said Don Hubbard, VIHA Board Chair. “The signing of the Partnership Accord strengthens the ongoing relationship between VIHA, the Vancouver Island Regional Health Caucus, and interim First Nation Health Authority and increases partnership and collaboration related to health services for First Nations people living in communities across Vancouver Island.”

The Vancouver Island Health Authority provides health services to over 750,000 people across an area of approximately 56,000 square kilometres, including Vancouver Island, the Gulf and Discovery Islands and part of the mainland adjacent to northern Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver Island Regional Health Caucus of the First Nations Health Council is composed and representative of Vancouver Island First Nations and serves as the regional planning and engagement forum for First Nations health in the region through the interim First Nations Health Authority.

A high resolution photo is available upon request.

Background Documents:

The Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan (2006)

The Tripartite First Nations Health Plan (2007)

The Consensus Paper: British Columbia First Nations Perspectives on a new Health Governance Arrangement (2011)

British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance (2011)

The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Aboriginal Health Plan (2012)

Connect with us:

First Nations Health Authority: www.fnhc.ca

Vancouver Island Health Authority: www.viha.ca

Media Contacts:

Trevor Kehoe
Communications
First Nations Health Authority
604-831-4898
[email protected]

Valerie Wilson
VIHA Communications
250-739-6303
[email protected]