Island Health grants funding to SRD for health risk mitigation programs

The Strathcona Regional District has accepted funding offered by Island Health for programs aimed at mitigating health risk factors

The Strathcona Regional District has accepted funding offered by Island Health for programs aimed at mitigating health risk factors.

Under the agreement, the regional district is expected to receive a $69,066 grant as part of a new Community Wellness Granting Program established by the health authority.

Victoria Smith, the regional district’s special projects and sustainability manager, said Island Health is offering the grants to address the health, well-being and social development of Island communities.

Smith said the grant is to be used for “developing population level interventions that address modifiable risk factors as well as frail seniors, mental health and substance use.”

Toni O’Keeffe, vice-president of communications for Island Health, wrote in a letter to the regional district that the health authority intends to move forward with the Community Wellness Granting Program in September or October but in the interim is hoping the grants awarded to regional districts will help address “five modifiable risk factors – unhealthy weight/obesity; physical inactivity; unhealthy eating; tobacco use; and harmful alcohol use.”

The board has chosen to put the money in a reserve account to be used for suitable projects through the Strathcona Community Health Network once a coordinator is in place and the network is off and running.

The health network is a partnership between several stakeholders including the regional district, Island Health, First Nations and the City of Campbell River, working to address the underlying determinants of health in this region.