Health board planning fall survey

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The annual general meeting of the Yarmouth County Community Health Board took place on Tuesday, March 20, at Burridge Campus. Following the meeting co-chair Anne Schleit (right) discussed the board’s about-to-be-released Helping Tree document with incoming member Debbie Nickerson (left) and a student representative, Katie Goodwin. BELLE HATFIELD PHOTO

by Belle Hatfield



The Yarmouth County Community Health Board is going back to the public. This fall the board will be conducting a community health survey in advance of development of its next community health plan. 

“One of the most important activities of the YCCHB is to ask community members what health issues concern them and what they think, as a community, can be done to improve health,” said the board’s coordinator, Carole Hill-Borjarski.

She told the board’s annual general meeting, held Tuesday, March 20, that the three-year community health plan, which was developed based on the last survey data, was presented to the South West Nova District Health Authority last November. The recommendations are expected to be incorporated into South West Health’s business plan. Among the key priorities identified in the plan is the need to provide awareness and information regarding addiction issues.

In her report, member Rose Purdy spoke about presentations she has done in the last year at the health centre at Acadia First Nations on fetal alcohol syndrome and on drugs and HIV.

In the 2009 public survey, cancer was, perhaps not surprisingly, identified as the largest health issue facing the community. However, one-third of the 910 respondents identified substance abuse as one of the top three health issues and another 23 per cent identified addictions. In its health plan the board is committed to hosting or supporting at least one information and awareness activity in the areas of gambling, drug abuse and alcohol abuse in each of the next three years.

Access to health services continues to be identified as the single most important factor for having a healthy community, with 65 per cent of respondents identifying it as one of the top three factors.

Outgoing board co-chair Mary Thompson told the meeting that the board will soon release a Helping Tree document that will provide an up-to-date information listing of resources in Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne counties.

“This will address one of our board priorities on information sharing,” she said.

As it looks forward to the next round of public surveys, she said the board is reaching out to the other three community health boards in the district in an effort to unify the process for developing health plans across the district, the first step of which could be the development of a single survey for the tri-counties.

In 2011 the board received 23 applications for $13,727 in available wellness project funding. It fully funded nine projects and partially funded eight other projects.




Organizations: Yarmouth County Community Health Board, South West Nova District Health Authority, South West Health Acadia First Nations

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Shelburne

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