Let­ters to the Edi­tor

The Victoria Standard - - Commentary -

A sis­ter 'city' for Baddeck

I pro­pose that Baddeck, Nova Sco­tia and Bay­field, Wis­con­sin be­come sis­ter cities. They both have pop­u­la­tions of 600. They are both beau­ti­ful towns on the wa­ter with sail­ing and mari­nas. They are both des­ti­na­tion re­sorts that aren't on the way to any­thing. They both have French her­itage with Aca­di­ans and French fur traders.

Cana­di­ans and Amer­i­cans love each other and would de­fend each other in a heart­beat de­spite saber rat­tling in Wash­ing­ton and Ottawa. It's time to show the love.

Ed­ward Gruhl Bay­field County, Wis­con­sin

An up­date on the Heal­ing Gar­dens

The Hospice So­ci­ety of Vic­to­ria County would like to ex­press their grat­i­tude to Rose Macisaac, Fa­cil­ity Man­ager, Vic­to­ria County Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal, for in­clud­ing us in the con­sul­ta­tion, plan­ning and com­ple­tion of the new park­ing lot. Un­der­stand­ing that the man­date of the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity is to pro­vide qual­ity health care and ac­cess to that care, we ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­forts made to save the Heal­ing Gar­den rather than trans­form it into much-needed park­ing. As a Board, we greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the give - and take ap­proach fa­cil­i­tated by Rose. We also want to ex­press our thanks to the con­struc­tion work­ers who care­fully re­lo­cated shrubs for the gar­den­ers.

There is a ded­i­cated team of gar­den­ers who have cared for the Heal­ing Gar­den over the years. These gar­den­ers have lov­ingly tended the beds, of­ten bring­ing plants from their own gar­dens. The Board ap­pre­ci­ates the pa­tience of all who have a pas­sion for this space.

When the Board re­con­venes in the Fall, the Heal­ing Gar­dens will be one of the many is­sues on our agenda. We are com­mit­ted to con­tin­ued ste­ward­ship of the gar­dens. We feel that time needs to be spent eval­u­at­ing the func­tion­al­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of this space. As we move for­ward, we will con­tinue to lis­ten to those who have a pas­sion for the gar­den and con­tinue in the spirit of co-op­er­a­tion as we seek ap­proval from the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity for any pro­posed changes.

Lavonne Grant Chair, Hospice So­ci­ety of Vic­to­ria County

The value of Com­mu­nity Health Boards

The Com­mu­nity Health Boards (CHBS) of Cen­tral In­ver­ness, North In­ver­ness and Vic­to­ria County, would like to thank those com­mu­nity mem­bers who have re­sponded to our com­mu­nity health sur­veys. Your re­sponses are of great value and we ap­pre­ci­ate you shar­ing your ex­pe­ri­ences and per­spec­tives with us to help in­form the de­vel­op­ment of our com­mu­nity health plan.

CHB’S are ad­vi­sory boards to the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity (NSHA) made up of vol­un­teers from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. As part of that ad­vi­sory role, CHBS have a leg­is­lated re­spon­si­bil­ity to un­dergo a com­mu­nity health plan­ning process ev­ery three years. As part of this process, CHBS work to iden­tify the health needs of their com­mu­ni­ties and de­velop ev­i­dence-in­formed pri­or­i­ties and rec­om­men­da­tions which aim to pro­mote and im­prove the health of the in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

The sur­vey you were asked to com­plete is one part of the pub­lic en­gage­ment com­po­nent the CHBS will un­der­take. The sur­vey is to be fol­lowed by pub­lic en­gage­ment ses­sions through­out our com­mu­ni­ties that will bring res­i­dents to­gether to dis­cuss what health and well­ness means to them and the steps we as com­mu­ni­ties can take to im­prove the health and well­ness of our com­mu­ni­ties. These ses­sions will take place in com­mu­ni­ties through­out each county this com­ing au­tumn. Once the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions are com­plete, the CHBS will de­velop a com­mu­nity health plan com­plete with pri­or­i­ties and rec­om­men­da­tions based on the data and the re­sults from the sur­veys and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tions. The plan will then be shared with NSHA, other gov­ern­ment bod­ies, lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and the com­mu­nity. The goal of this com­pleted process is to ad­vise and sup­port NSHA and other or­ga­ni­za­tions to ad­dress the pri­or­ity ar­eas iden­ti­fied by our com­mu­ni­ties

We re­al­ize that the needs and chal­lenges be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by res­i­dents of our ru­ral NS com­mu­ni­ties are se­ri­ous. CHB’S are com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and de­vel­op­ing part­ner­ships within our com­mu­ni­ties which will ad­dress some of the chal­lenges we face and CHB’S will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate on be­half of the com­mu­ni­ties they serve.

CHBS also un­der­take ini­tia­tives aimed at im­prov­ing health out­comes within our com­mu­ni­ties. For in­stance, Well­ness Funds sup­port projects ad­dress­ing lo­cal com­mu­nity health plan pri­or­i­ties and the so­cial de­ter­mi­nants of health, such as in­come, ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial sup­ports and early child­hood de­vel­op­ment. They are made avail­able to lo­cal not­for-profit com­mu­nity groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions. To learn more, visit www.com­mu­ni­ty­health­boards.ns.ca. Dead­line for grant ap­pli­ca­tions is Oc­to­ber 15.

Our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties need strong voices to iden­tify health pri­or­i­ties and de­velop ac­tion plans to cre­ate healthy com­mu­ni­ties. Com­mu­nity re­la­tion­ships and knowl­edge of health is­sues are im­por­tant qual­i­ties for be­ing a CHB mem­ber. Our three lo­cal CHBS (Cen­tral In­ver­ness, North In­ver­ness and Vic­to­ria County) are in the process of de­vel­op­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive health plan which means this is a great time for new mem­bers to join the CHBS and to help set the di­rec­tion for the next 3-4 years. If this sounds like an op­por­tu­nity that may in­ter­est you, please con­tact our Com­mu­nity Health Board Co­or­di­na­tor, Me­lanie Beaton for more in­for­ma­tion at 902-787-3517 or via email at me­lanie.beaton@nshealth.ca.

Me­lanie Beaton CHB Co­or­di­na­tor Port Hood, NS

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