The following letter to the editor was published in The Golden Star on August 12, 2015.
Dear Golden Community,
The Age Friendly Community Plan (AFCP) process in 2014 sparked serious discussions on Golden's AFCP #1 priority, “Community Support and Health Services.” Several members of the community have expressed publicly and online their frustrations with trying to access care in a timely fashion.
The May 20th, 2015 Age Friendly Community Committee (AFCC) Golden meeting resulted in the creation of the “Access to Care” committee, consisting of residents, physicians and politicians who have studied the problem, outlined broad principles and identified potential solutions.
The problems stem from a number of factors including:
· No agreed upon protocols for transfer of patients with a given condition. Each case has to be negotiated with Patient Transfer Network and receiving centers, therefore causing delays.
· Alberta is refusing to accept local patients, even visiting Alberta residents.
· Patients must frequently travel to Kelowna, Kamloops and even Vancouver.
· There is pressure to transfer patients out of acute care and into their community where locally, services are limited.
The Age Friendly Community Committee feels elderly residents benefit from staying in their community as long as possible. To do so, all of their needs, including access to medical care must be as readily accessible as possible. When responding to the Ministry’s Health Policy Paper on Rural Health Services, Doctors of BC stated they “would advise against a standardized approach to implementation of these types of practices in favour of a flexible, incentivized approach.“ The Committee feels this is particularly relevant to Golden.
In fact, the “Access to Care” committee believes that Golden is an anomaly in BC healthcare for the following reasons:
• Our Regional referral centre, Cranbrook, has limited capacity
• The closest full service care centre, Calgary is in another Province.
• Many Golden residents work or have family in Alberta.
• Golden is frequently isolated due to weather or road closures. During those times, transfers out are frequently not possible.
Some of the solutions considered by the committee include:
• Increased services at the local level within the constraints of what is deliverable. For example, consistent availability of ultrasound and laboratory services.
• Improved local support programs for patients that are required to travel. There are financial needs but one must also consider assistance in navigating access to the many available programs.
• Establish agreed upon referral protocols to the nearest suitable facility to expedite transfers and referrals. This should include access to services in Calgary. Continued health promotion through municipal government activities, education and service clubs.
• Determine what services we should be providing locally based on the needs of the population and what is safe to provide.
These issues affect every citizen of Golden. Achieving solutions will require the efforts of the entire community and all health care providers. We hope and trust that Golden’s residents and organizations will collectively and collaboratively lend their voice to push for improvements to health care access for older adults.
AFCC Golden - Access to Care Committee
Ryan Watmough, Coordinator
Having just returned from Community Foundations of Canada's national conference, my mind has a pile of ideas to evaluate and prioritize.
With guest speakers including City of Calgary's Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Aga Khan Foundation's CEO Khalil Shariff, Commander Chris Hadfield, the Nebraska Community Foundation's Jeff Yost and Fogo Island's Zita Cobb, there was no shortage of inspiration. The challenge is breaking it down into things that 'need' to be done in Golden & Area A.
Mayor Nenshi spoke about "3 Thing for Calgary" as a way of involving citizens in volunteerism and community development. This fits very well with Golden & District Community Foundation's "Take Action" section from Vital Signs 2014.
Maybe that's where I'll start. What 3 things can I do for Golden & Area A right now?
Thing #1: I will push/pull/drive/support/lead/coach/negotiate/influence the relevant and interested local leaders toward the formation of a holistic-thinking and acting Community Team for Golden & Area A. This has a finite term (June) and many moving parts so this requires my utmost attention and priority.
Thing #2: I will share the relevant resources with people in the community so that they can be inspired to make the most of their potential and resources for their community. This will include an annual plan & budget for the Golden & District Community Foundation (GDCF), hosting space for the execution of Golden's Age Friendly Community Plan and sharing of the many relevant resources from the CFC Conference (#CFC2015). This should result in the perception of abundance, over scarcity.
Thing #3: I will be there to support Youth, Sports & Rec groups to come together and share their ideas, challenges and goals in regular meetings as they work toward working together, forming coalitions and hosting events. I can't be Chris Hadfield, but I can inspire others. And you can too!
So, there you have it - my 3 Things for Golden. Individuals can decide to do '3 Things for Golden' quite easily. But can organizations do the same? Yes, and it could have a massive positive impact!
One piece of advice to get there: Discover your 'why?' Why do you want to do things? Not sure what I mean? Check out Simon Sinek's TEDtalk.
What would be your organization's 3 Things for Golden? Start the discussion at your next meeting and see where it goes. Hopefully it gets to the heart of why you formed in the first place and what you need to be focusing on each year forward.
Write your 3 things down today and share them - #3ThingsGolden !
I wonder what could be accomplished if a community focused on 3 things? Hmm…
In cooperation with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and Golden Community Resources Society (GCRS), Golden's Age Friendly Committee is looking for their first Age Friendly Coordinator.
The job posting for the Age Friendly Community Coordinator position is now on the East Kootenay Employment website and in The Golden Star. The deadline to submit a resume and cover letter is 2pm on Friday, April 24.
The Age Friendly Community coordinator will aim to oversee, promote and encourage implementation of the Age Friendly Community Plan (AFCP) in order to create a supportive, welcoming and vibrant environment for older adults. This person will work
collaboratively with the Age Friendly Committee and community.
· Post-secondary education or a minimum of 2-years experience in a related position
· A demonstrated ability in program support, coordination and event management
· Experience working on initiatives and/or collaboratives involving many stakeholders
· Knowledge of needs, issues and services related to older people
· Self- motivated and able to work as part of a team
· Experience with grant writing
· Excellent computer skills (e.g. creating documents and Power Point Presentations, social media)
· Excellent communication, time management and organizational skills
Oversee, promote and encourage implementation of the AFCP
· Organize and facilitate presentations, meetings, and events
· Preapre meeting materials, presentations and reports
· Research events different funding options to sustain the coordinator's position and ensure the goals of the Age Friendly Committee and plan are met
Wage: $25/hour x 15 hours/week
Contract runs from end of April to January 8, 2016 (Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust; Golden Community Resources Society is the employer)
To view the Age Friendly Community Plan, visit the following link: http://www.goldenloom.ca/age-friendly.html.
Please send a cover letter and resume to Monica De at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 24, 2015, 4pm.
First, do you create a Community Team or create the mechanism to support one?
That is the chicken & egg scenario that Golden & Area A faces in Spring 2015.
While there has been interest in developing, aligning and strengthening, the non profit sector in Golden & Area A since 2010, formalizing that sustainable structure has been challenging. To further challenge the sector, there has been minimal political interest in supporting a Community Team. After a presentation by Jill Zacharias, City of Revelstoke's Social Development Coordinator, there was a proposal to allocate some funding from the cancelled Grant in Aid program ($22,500) from the Town of Golden for a similar position. However, this concept was not moved forward during the last Council's term and the current Council has in fact re-allocated $20,000 back to a Grant In Aid program.
By way of a Simon Fraser University (SFU) Community Economic Development (CED) course hosted in Golden in December 2014, there has been considerable interest in the "Constellation Model" concept and applying that to local community groups and projects. There is already an Early Childhood Development Coalition (ECDC), an Age Friendly Community Plan and Committee, and ongoing discussions among Trails, Faith-Based, Education and Sports & Recreation organizations. There is also plans underway for bringing local youth-focused groups together to discuss opportunities, overlap, sharing, results and alignment. All of these activities are leading the community's organizations towards formalized constellations and, ultimately, a Community Team.
However, at the end of the day, and for many reasons outlined in this project, a Community Team needs to be supported - to some extent both financially and politically.
For More Info:
Visit a discussion on alternative models of CED and Community Teams on this site. To participate in a future Community Team Prototyping event, contact Ryan at email@example.com.
Golden Community Resources Society (GCRS) has been awarded funding through Golden & Area A's CBT Community Initiatives & Affected Areas Program (CIP/AAP) to execute Community Team Prototyping with The Banff Centre's expert facilitators.
Project Scope Statement:
Well-briefed local leaders and participants will be led through a customized, collaborative learning program that will help explore, design and test our Community Team's supporting documentation, performance 'norms' and measures.
1. Community Team Terms of Reference
2. Community Team Roles & Responsibilities
3. Community Team Support Requirements
4. Community Team 3 Year Plan
The Community Team will improve community planning, resource allocation and decision-making with respect to public organizations. Good planning needs to come from many networked groups. The hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in funds from-this-community, and for-this-community, can be allocated in a more open, collaborative and meaningful way.
For More Info:
Contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Golden, BC) Calling all local innovators, storytellers and experts! On November 1st, your voice can be heard by the community.
The Local Intelligence Gathering (LIG) is an event highlighting innovative, engaged citizens from across sectors who demonstrate values and actions necessary to build the social, economic, and environmental well being of Kicking Horse Country.
Held on November 1st at the Civic Centre, the event will connect people from across sectors, catalyze greater community engagement, and inspire future collaborative actions. The LIG will provide exposure to the most inspiring people and projects happening in the area, bridge the various sectors, create opportunities for collaboration and enable broad involvement in future initiatives.
“Golden is a very-active community full of both experienced and up-and-coming leaders who are attempting to pull-off some vital community projects,” offered Christina Benty, Mayor of the Town of Golden. “However, up until now, we haven’t been able to pull these leading groups and projects together into something that resembles a coherent conversation.”
LIG-Golden was inspired and modeled after the original Local Intelligence Gathering – Nelson, which was held in 2013. This evening of exciting presentations, panel discussions and practical demonstrations can be compared to TEDx conference events held around the world in much bigger communities.
“The Local Intelligence Gathering will be a great way of pulling the many local and regional initiatives together in a fun and informative way that will appeal to a broad cross-section of the residents – especially those that may not already be engaged in their community, explained Karen Cathcart, Campus Manager at the College of the Rockies. “Also, this 'in our backyard' focus will showcase the many individuals and projects that need our help, understanding and support.”
Speaking in front of a crowd of 5, 30 or 100 friends and strangers can be quite daunting. That’s why LIG-Golden planners have reached out to a local group who can help get prospective presenters ready for their moment in the spotlight. The Golden Voice Toastmasters Club have willing members ready to help coach anyone that wants to participate – from the seasoned presenter (who would appreciate practice before its members) to those whose heart beats faster just by reading this (get your butterflies flying in formation).
There is a tried and true formula for success that can assist anyone in presenting with more confidence. Or just run your ideas by them.
The LIG-Golden event hopes to attract 100 participants and provide the opportunity to hear from 20 local speakers on a wide variety of topics.
Have something to share? Excited about the opportunity, but have some questions? Contact Ryan Watmough at email@example.com by October 3rd to get on the Agenda. For more general information about the LIG project, please see www.goldenloom.ca.
(Golden, BC) Supporters believe in the future of Golden's Community Collaboration. Phase 3 of this collaborative project moved forward with recent and significant support from CBT and the Vancouver Foundation.
Golden Community Resources Society (GCRS) will be continuing Community Collaboration initiative over the next 9 months. More immediately, GCRS will be hosting the November 1st event, Local Intelligence Gathering - Golden. And later this fall, GCRS hopes to offer a Community Team training opportunity to local leaders in Golden.
(Golden, BC) Non profit organization leaders and supporters from Sparwood to Golden flocked to StepUp BC's Community Engagement on March 12, 2014 at The Golden Civic Centre.
StepUp BC is focused on attracting, retaining and developing people in the non profit sector and attendees had a chance to get a sneak peak of some of the new resources available intended to strengthen human resource (HR) support in non profit organizations and the sector.
Local resident, Ryan Watmough, has been volunteering in this important work as a member of the advisory committees since 2011 through Golden Community Resources Society's Community Coordination project. The BC Non Profit Sector Labour Market Partnership project (LMPP), which started as the Government Non Profit Initiative (GNPI) and know known as StepUp BC, is the culmination of 5 years of hard work on the part of non profit leaders and $4.5M in government support. Mr. Watmough's local support and the unique issues found in small, rural BC communities, helped to bring this community engagement event to Golden.
The StepUp BC staff of Heather Hay, Jen Stuart & Denise McLean Ph.D., presented a sampling of the soon-to-be-available HR resources in the morning session. Staff and volunteers then had a chance to talk about the resources and opportunities over a free networking lunch.
The afternoon session was presented by Steve Patty Ph.D., and covered the impact of our people management practices. This practical and entertaining session, called Art & Practice of Evaluating Impact, explored program evaluation methods.
The all-day event provided a solid professional development and networking opportunity for local non profit staff and volunteers and foreshadowed many more exciting things in the works from StepUp BC, including online portal and toll-free non profit organization HR support hotline.
For more information on StepUp BC, please visit the website, stepupbc.ca.
(Golden, BC) Golden has taken a significant step towards supporting seniors.
On March 6, a group of 12 volunteers accepted the call and met to help craft the Town of Golden's Age Friendly Community Plan (AFCP). The Town of Golden (with the administrative support of the College of the Rockies) have secured a 2013 grant from the Seniors' Housing and Support Initiative (SHSI) to complete an Age Friendly Community Plan.
The SHSI was created by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to assist local governments to prepare for an aging population. The Ministry of Health supported the initiative by providing funds to incorporate a focus on age friendly projects.
Age friendly communities are communities where older people can live active, socially engaged lives through polices, services and structures designed to support them. The AFCP will look at existing and desired programs and services so that Golden can:
• Recognize the wide range of capacities and resources among older people
• Anticipate and respond flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences
• Respect decisions and lifestyle choices
• Protect those who are most vulnerable
• Promote inclusion and contribution in all areas of community life
This is an exciting opportunity to participate in community planning which will include 1 hour meeting every 2 weeks until the end of spring, when Golden's Age Friendly Community Plan (AFCP) will be published and implemented. (To learn more about Age Friendly Community Planning, "Finding the Right Fit: Age-Friendly Community Planning" is a great resource from Ontario.)
If you could not make the 1st meeting, but want to participate on the Task Force (or know someone else who does) or would like to receive a Needs Assessment (survey), please contact Ryan Watmough at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.344.8610.
To learn more, please see the resources on the AFCP page on GoldenLoom.ca.
As part of the Community Coordination project, led by Golden Community Resources Society (GCRS), Golden & Area A residents are invited to the upcoming ‘Events Forum.’
As we work toward having a Community Team in place by the end of 2013, this particular meeting asks: “How can we work together to support events that fit the community and ensure that the events, and the groups involved, thrive?
In an effort to bring together Golden's great event ideas and planners, Pat Bavin, a leader in the Columbia Cultural Tourism Association (CCTA) based out of Invermere, will be providing an update to their progress, challenges and future plans on December 4th, 2013 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at The RockWater Grill.
While Mr. Bavin is the keynote speaker, the public is invited to hear from Golden's event planners about their successes, challenges and opportunities for collaboration toward sustainable event management and community development.
For more information about the Community Coordination project, please see http://www.goldenloom.ca/arts-culture--heritage.html.
When: 11:30am - 1:30pm, Wednesday December 4th, 2013.
Where: The RockWater Grill, 9th Ave N, Golden, BC.
Who: Everyone who is interested and involved in culture, events and tourism.
RSVP: To Ryan at email@example.com by November 29th.
The Community Coordination project team appreciates your interest and needs your participation.
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For more information:
Ryan Watmough BSc MBA
Golden Community Resources Society
Here's an excerpt from the CCTA's recent report:
"Canada’s leading advocate for place-based cultural tourism, Steven Thorne, was in the Valley for a very intensive 12 day tour at the end of August. His interviews and site visits gave him a thorough overview of what the Columbia Valley has and what it still needs, and a cautious respect for Pat Bavin’s backroad driving skills. In the coming months Steven will be completing interviews and compiling his insights; he will return to the Valley in January, 2014, to present his final report and strategy to the CCTA Board.
Some of Steven’s initial impressions which he shared with the Board:
We are starting fresh with cultural tourism, without the entrenched cultural ‘turf wars’ he sees in other parts of Canada. This is a great plus.
Our farmer’s markets and visual arts heritage assets are far advanced for an area of our size and population.
The mixed-itinerary travelers who already visit the Valley but don’t know all we have to offer are our near-term target, with improved, coordinated communication and a comprehensive Web information hub a priority task.
There is work to be done in the coming years to foster underdeveloped venues and attractions in the Valley in order to have a cultural tourism package we can take to the broader market.
Steven will present his final strategy and recommendations to [the CCTA] in January, at which time the CCTA will announce [their] future plans.
We are all climbing a learning curve as we seek to understand the needs and desires of this large and diverse group known as the Cultural Traveller. With the help of you, our stakeholders, we will be adding the ‘lure of the local’ into our blueprint as we build a solid foundation for the CCTA’s product development. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Columbia Cultural Tourism Association as we continue to evolve a collaborative vision for Valley tourism." - The CCTA Board of Directors, 2013.
Golden Community Resources Society strives to capture and share knowledge that will help non profits serve their communities more efficiently.