Lake Country Health Planning Society gets provincial government grant

Community needs assessment will be the focus of $4,000 grant

The Lake Country Health Planning Society has been awarded a $4,000 grant to go towards a Lake Country-specific Community Needs Assessment.

The provincial government announced the grant as part of $375,000 to 49 local government and partner projects through the BC Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund.

The Lake Country Health Planning Society is undergoing some changes and the group has been working towards a community needs assessment for quite a while.

“Our plan is to organize focus groups to assess the health and social needs of Lake Country citizens in addition to hosting an on-line survey,” said Shannon Paul-Jost, Lake Country Health Planning Society president. “The information will help us put together a list of current resources available to residents and then enable us to focus on areas of shortcomings by bringing these to the attention of our elected officials.”

The information gathered from the community needs assessment will assist Lake Country with a number of plans and documents that have a health component including: The Transportation for Tomorrow Plan, Official Community Plan and the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. Lake Country will also be doing a new Parks and Recreation Master Plan in 2015 and the results of the health needs assessment will be useful for that document.

“Having a focused opportunity to work with the public, private and non-profit services in our community will identify commonalities between groups,” said Paul-Jost.  “We are keen to know how each group can use their strengths to support each other to meet the health needs in the community.”

Lake Country’s community and customer services department will be the lead department from the local government side and the access and age-friendly committee will be asked to provide input with respect to accessibility issues in the context of health service delivery.

“The district is excited to partner with Lake Country Health Planning Society to help identify health service gaps and opportunities that are unique to Lake Country,” said Steve Schaffrick, director of community and customer services.

Interior Health will act in an advisory capacity, along with other key participants such as Lake Country Seniors Society, Lake Country Boys and Girls Club, Lake Country Chamber of Commerce, and George Elliot Secondary School Parent Advisory Council. Council members and everyone in the community will be asked to participate in completing the survey.