Healthy Aging CORE

Collaborative Online Resources and Education 

The knowledge hub for Community Based Seniors’ Services organizations and allied agencies and individuals in British Columbia

There is a wide variety of useful and relevant resources available to individuals and organizations focused on healthy aging.

These include checklists, toolkits, reports, studies, videos, and other materials on the seven core program areas, as well as resources on topics such as ageism, caregiving, research, organizational and sector development, and many other subjects.

The resources included on CORE have been vetted to ensure they are relevant, current, and reflective of best practice.

Are you an older British Columbian looking for information or assistance? Visit

Webinar: Community-Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) 101

Healthy Aging by United Way
Webinar: “Risk to Resilience” – Re-framing the Fundamentals of Nutrition

Speak My Language

Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice
Ageism Amplifies Cost and Prevalence of Health Conditions

To access the site, click on: HEALTHY AGING CORE

BC Primary Health Care Research Network

BC Primary Health Care Research Network: Home to the BC arm of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (BC-CPCSSN)

The BC Primary Health Care Research Network (BC-PHCRN) is one of 11 Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) networks in Canadian provinces/territories, designed to support evidence-informed transformation of the delivery of primary and integrated health care.

The goal of the BC-PHCRN is to encourage, facilitate, and support collaborations between government, health authorities, health professionals, patients and researchers. The BC-PHCRN aims to seek out, develop, and facilitate adoption of health care innovations to improve BC’s health care delivery system.

The BC-PHCRN is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Read more at BC Primary Health Care Research Network

Follow us on Twitter @BC_PHCRN or email us at

Entrepreneurial Activities of Rural Coalitions in Advancing Access to Healthcare 2017

Entrepreneurial Activities of Rural Coalitions in Advancing Access to Healthcare.  

Well-known health and health care disparities exist in rural communities in Canada [12]. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension along with lower life expectancy are known to be higher in rural than urban areas [3]. Despite their greater health care needs, rural residents often have less health care access [2]. Rural health service delivery is challenging due to diseconomies of scale, the small client base, and the remoteness from specialist services in smaller and less densely populated areas [4].

Considerable evidence has advanced the role of citizen-led coalitions (CLC) in supporting the health and social needs of rural citizens.

There has been little research focusing on the experiences and strategies of coalitions, with their limited resources and status, in targeting health inequities in their rural communities.

The aim of this study was to understand the entrepreneurial strategies and experiences of rural coalitions to effect change in the delivery of health services for their older adult populations. 

Two over-riding themes emerged: entrepreneurial strategies and societal recognition. CLCs engaged in numerous entrepreneurial strategies that enabled actions and outcomes in meeting their health care needs.

These strategies included: securing quick wins, leveraging existing resources, and joining forces with stakeholder groups/individuals.

However, despite these strategies and successes, coalitions expressed frustration with not being seen and not being heard by decision-makers.

This pointed to a key structural barrier to coalition successes — a broader societal and institutional problem of failing to recognize not only the health needs of rural citizens, but also the legitimacy of the community coalitions to represent and act on those needs.

Despite the potential for coalitions to mobilize and effect change in addressing the inequities of rural health service access for older adults, broader barriers to their recognition, may undermine their entrepreneurial strategies and success.

International Journal for Equity in Health, 18, Article number: 119.
Rush, K.L., Chiasson, M., Butterfield, M., Straka, S., Buckley, B.J. (2019). 
Note: It was at this meeting that a suggestion was made to have the participants form a network, which eventually became the BC Rural Health Network

To read the full study, click on: Entrepreneurial Activities of Rural Coalitions in Advancing Access to Healthcare.  

Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

The SRPC is the national voice of Canadian rural physicians. Founded in 1992, the SRPC’s mission is championing rural generalist medical care through education, collaboration, advocacy and research. 

On behalf of its members and the Canadian public, SRPC performs a wide variety of functions, such as developing and advocating health delivery mechanisms, supporting rural doctors and communities in crisis, promoting and delivering continuing rural medical education, encouraging and facilitating research into rural health issues, and fostering communication among rural physicians and other groups with an interest in rural health care.

The SRPC is a voluntary professional organization with over 1,900 members representing rural physicians spanning the country.

Our Vision
Excellent health care close to home for all rural Canadians.

Our Mission
Championing rural generalist medical care through education,
collaboration, advocacy and research. 

Select Standing Committee on Health – Looking Forward – 2017 Report

Strategies for ensuring the sustainability and improving the quality of B.C.’s health care system.

British Columbia’s rural population is dispersed over a vast and varied geography – a significant challenge when it comes to the delivery of health care services. Access to quality health care services in rural, remote and isolated communities was a recurring theme during the Committee’s inquiry. Presenters shared that many communities are under-resourced for a number of services, and that a significant increase in the provision of resources and services is required to meet the unique needs of individual communities and to ensure positive health outcomes. How British Columbians physically access health care services, and affordable and accessible transportation and transit, are other key challenges.

Improving access also means that existing service delivery models should be regularly examined for cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Presenters brought forward numerous examples of innovative models for delivering health care in rural communities, which could be customized according to each community’s unique needs. Existing funding and compensation models must also be updated to align with any changes or innovations in service delivery.

Issues with access also extend to how British Columbians physically get to health care services.Organizations such as the Nelson Area Society for Health described the patchwork of transit services that currently exist and the inconsistency across neighbouring communities. Others mentioned the significant distances some residents have to travel in order to access health care in larger centres, which can be a significant barrier in the winter and cost prohibitive if individuals have to take time off work or pay for an overnight stay. The barriers are all the more acute for seniors and persons with disabilities.

As Ed Staples of the B.C. Health Coalition and Support Our Health Care Society noted in his presentation to the Committee, “For people living in rural communities, access to health care services requires access to transportation. As our population ages, this requirement means a greater dependency on transportation provided by others. Public transportation service is limited, and for many elderly residents needing specialist care, an all-day trip to a regional hospital is a daunting proposition, not to mention the out-of-pocket costs that may be a significant hardship for some seniors.” Targeted investment in these areas could reduce burdens on the health care system.

Many submissions advocated encouraging rural British Columbians to pursue careers in the health care field, and that distribution of medical education across the province might be a way to encourage entry into this field.
Proponents pointed to research which demonstrates that individuals who are from rural, remote and isolated communities and are trained in the health care field are much more likely to return to their communities.

The Committee heard about a number of initiatives undertaken by educational institutions and regional health authorities to expose young people living in rural B.C. to the health care field. One example was a health care travelling road show in the north organized by the University of Northern British Columbia and University of British Columbia Northern Medical Program.
As Dr. Sean Maurice described to the Committee, the road show consists of a team of health care students from a range of fields (medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, midwifery, dentistry and others) travelling to communities to deliver short presentations and host small group interactive sessions about their respective professions. Not only does this program expose youth in the communities to the health care field as a potential career choice, it also provides the health care students with exposure to rural environments. Tours of local facilities and informal get- togethers with local leaders are also part of the experience.


The Rural Road Map

People in rural areas have a higher burden of illness, reduced life expectancy, and are often older, poorer, and sicker than urban populations. Poor health impacts quality of life as well as economic potential. When rural communities are healthy, they can fully contribute to Canada’s economy. When they do better, Canada does better.

College of Family Physicians, Society of Rural Physicians in Canada, CIHI and others

Progress Made in the Rural Road Map

The Rural Road Map Implementation Committee (RRMIC) has made significant progress raising awareness across Canada about the need for improved access to rural health care close to home, as highlighted in the attached update.

Emerging collaborative efforts have been made with the RRMIC and organizations such as:

– HealthCareCAN, Accreditation Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI): mobilize discussions about access to rural patient transfers

– Indigenous health physician leaders with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), CFPC, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College), and Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC): develop a framework for medical education of Indigenous health

The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC): explore ways to reduce barriers to licensure for physicians to practice in rural communities where needed.
While we have made major strides, much work still needs to be done by not only the RRMIC but by leaders, health care providers, and administrators of health care institutions and rural communities who work and live with, and provide care for, rural and Indigenous populations.


or: 2020 RRMIC Stakeholder Communique Summer Update EN

Rural Road Map Implementation Committee Update Summer 2019

Rural Evidence Review (UBC ) aims to identify highest-priority health needs in rural BC communities

Written by Alex Nguyen
Feb. 5, 2019  

Many residents in rural communities have to travel to other communities for general and specialized care, but this process has its own challenges, such as how to ensure reliable transportation. 

As BC continues to face gaps within its rural healthcare system, UBC researchers are working to amplify rural communities’ perspectives in high-level planning processes.

Since starting a year ago, the group of researchers working on the Rural Evidence Review (RER) project has been surveying rural residents from across the province on their experiences and priorities accessing healthcare. Newspapers from communities ranging from Revelstoke to Fort Nelson have been calling for participation from their local residents.

For RER Co-Director Dr. Jude Kornelsen, it’s this grassroots approach that differentiates the project from the numerous studies that have already been done about rural healthcare.

According to Kornelsen, previous systemic reviews have seen large influence from health authorities while the team now wants to engage mainly with on-the-ground stakeholders. She added that most studies she has seen also tend to come from an urban focus, losing some nuances about rural populations — which include numerous Indigenous communities — along the way.

“Rural is not just small urban,” said Kornelsen.

As the co-director of the UBC department of family practice’s Centre for Rural Health Research, she has researched rural healthcare needs extensively.

“And you can’t really group them together. ‘If you’ve seen one rural community, you’ve seen one rural community’ is something that we often say,” she added.

Edward Staples — a lead of the BC Rural Health Network (BCRHN), which provides support for RER’s research — agreed with Kornelsen. In fact, he said this is represented in BCHRN’s structure itself, which brings together 16 autonomous organizations working in 14 different communities.

Structural gaps
But they both identified similar issues when asked about structural problems that have been plaguing rural communities in BC: shortages of practitioners and inadequate transportation.

As of January 23 [2019], RER has received around 500 survey responses, with most of them coming from communities within the Northern Health and Interior Health Authorities. While the team is just starting the first round of analysis, Kornelsen predicts that the concern is going to be “first and foremost about access to [practitioners] across the board.”

To learn more, click on: UBC Rural Evidence Review aims to identify highest-priority health needs in rural BC communities