Northern Health’s IMAGINE Community Grants were recognized by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council as the winner in the Staying Healthy category. Since they started in 2009, IMAGINE has awarded $2.5 million to community organizations, Indigenous organizations, schools, municipalities, and other community partners to support projects which help prevent illness and injury, and reduce health care costs.
Grant applicants identify their communities’ health needs and propose projects which address them. Overall, more than 860 projects have been funded, including:
- The Doig River First Nation bought walking shoes and pedometers to get their Elders moving and walking. More than half the Elders in their community participated in the walking program.
- The Tumbler Ridge Community Garden and Composting Society helped 125 elementary school students and their teachers grow vegetables at the community garden. Students not only grew food for their families, but also got in some physical activity by walking 1.5 km between their school and the garden.
- The Fort Nelson Mental Health & Addictions Services Advisory Committee hosted a two-day event to raise awareness around mental health and health care services available in the Northern Rockies region.
In 2017, 49 communities in the Northern Health region received grants, more than double the total of 24 funded in 2009. In 2016, Northern Health introduced a map showing all the community projects that have received grants, plus details on the projects.
The success of the IMAGINE Community Grants shows that when communities can identify not only their challenges, but potential solutions, they can keep people in their communities healthy. For more information visit IMAGINE Grants.