Welcome Ida Holland-Letz: Student Intern at the Public Health Association of BC

Welcome to the PHABC Team

Ida Holland-Letz

Student Intern



PHABC’s office coordinator, Christina (left), and student intern, Ida (right)



The Public Health Association of BC is pleased to introduce, Ida Holland-Letz, who will be interning for PHABC until the end of January 2018. Ida is a 3rd year student of public health hailing from Germany; born in Cologne and currently living in Bremen, just outside of Hamburg. Her bachelor’s degree will be supplemented by her internship with PHABC and provide her with the opportunity to gain practical knowledge, a greater understanding of public health, and network with public health and health professionals across the province.


Ida Holland-Letz is incredibly interested in public health, especially in the topics of health prevention and promotion. This interest grew after she completed her high school education and traveled to India as a volunteer English teacher for 11 months. Through this volunteer service and her subsequent work in a refugee centre back home in Germany, she gained extensive experience working with disadvantaged people and navigating intercultural and social interactions with care and compassion. Ida Holland-Letz looking forward to using her growing skill set to help fulfill PHABC’s vision of a healthy and accessible British Columbia for all.


Throughout her internship Ida will be given the opportunity to provide support to PHABC in a myriad of ways and will work closely with the executive director, office coordinator, various project managers, contractors and partner organizations across the province. We hope to impart with Ida a keen understanding of all aspects of public health over the next six months.


If you see her at this year’s conference (November 16th & 17th, 2017 at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver) be sure to introduce yourself and welcome her to Canada!

Call for Nominations-2017-2019 Board of Directors

Deadline Extended until September 29, 2017!

The Board of Directors is now accepting nominations for the following Director positions for 2017-2019. There is one Executive position: President (2-year term) and 4 Director-at-large (2-year term) positions available. Being a PHABC Director is an interesting and challenging opportunity, a terrific way to build your professional network, connect with like-minded people and advance the principles of public health in British Columbia.

Directors come from different professions and locations in the province. It is the Board’s hope and intention to have each major geographic area of BC represented on the Board. Directors can expect to put in a minimum 4 to 5 hours of volunteer work per month – more if you are a member of the Executive Committee, or a committee chair. Many of the Board meetings and other committee meetings are conducted by telephone conference call.

A Director may be called upon to undertake a number of functions. Most of these functions are outlined in the Bylaws on the PHABC website. In addition, a Board member may be asked to Chair a committee such as the PEC (Public Engagement Committee), PARC (Policy, Advocacy, Research and Communications Committee), CBC (Capacity Building Committee) or to work on specific projects or issues. A Director may be asked to attend events in their area to represent PHABC. More information can also be found about PHABC on our website. If you are interested in becoming a Director you must be a PHABC member in good standing. In case your membership is expired here is a link to renew your membership. In order to complete your nomination application 2 PHABC members must support your nomination.

Positions currently available on the Board are: President and 4 Director-at-Large positions.

If you are interested in being a Board member, please send the completed form by email to Christina Harding at, she will also be happy to answer any questions you may have. The deadline for applications is September 29th at 5:00 pm. The Elections open and close respectively on October 5th and October 26th @ 5 pm, 2017. Results of the Election are announced at the AGM on November 16th, 2017. After receiving your completed form, a member of the Governance Committee or one of the current Directors will contact you by phone.

Download the form here PHABC_BOD_call_for_nominations_2017

Safe Communities Prevent Violence with Compassion – By Dr. Trevor Hancock

The Public Health Association of British Columbia is a proud partner to POVC (Prevention of Violence Canada) and would like to share their latest blog post, written by Dr. Trevor Hancock. His article highlights world renowned criminologist and violence prevention advocate Irvin Waller’s compassionate community safety approach to violence prevention.


Safe Communities Prevent Violence with Compassion

Dr. Trevor Hancock

21 August 2017


Safety means different things to different people. In Europe, the Safe Communities movement has mainly focused on preventing unintentional injury (so-called ‘accidents’). But in the USA, and to a large degree in Canada, it has focused more on prevention of intentional injury, even though this is much less common than unintentional injury.

There are two main forms of intentional injury; deliberate injury to oneself (suicide and attempted suicide) and deliberate injury of others (homicide and assault); the latter are often what people have in mind when they think about a Safe Community, although homicide and assault are much less common than suicide and attempted suicide.
A 2015 report from the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU) found that between 2010 and 2014 suicide accounted for almost one quarter of all injury deaths in BC, while homicide represented only 2 percent. Similarly, while attempted suicide and self-abuse accounted for 5.5 percent of hospitalisation for injury assault was just 2.7 percent.

The BCIRPU also reported that unintentional injury resulted in more than 1,400 deaths, 30,000 hospitalisations and 435,000 ER visits in 2010, while intentional injury accounted for over 560 deaths (over 500 were from suicide) but only 4,000 hospitalisations and 17,000 ER visits. Nonetheless, the total costs of violence in BC that year was $157 million, including $84 million in health care costs.

But the health impact of violence does not come from just physical assault and injury, it includes mental and emotional harm, and the costs are not just in health care but in emotional trauma and disrupted lives and communities, effects that can last decades, lifetimes, even generations. Violence can take many forms, including bullying, harassment, abuse and neglect, and can occur in many settings and affect many groups, but several categories stand out.

First comes domestic violence, which includes child and elder abuse and neglect as well as spousal/intimate partner violence. Harassment, bullying and sometimes violence is found among young people in schools and among adults in workplaces, while elder abuse and neglect can be seen in care facilities. Finally, there is violence in the community, everything from on-line abuse and harassment to road rage, sexual assault and random or targeted assaults, including racist and Islamophobic violence and abuse.
In all these settings, certain groups are more vulnerable and/or more targeted, including women, children, the elderly, Indigenous people, LGBTQ people and various ethno-racial or religious groups – and clearly, people can be members of several of these groups. But what this tells us is that much violence is deeply rooted in cultural and social values that have to do with power, on the one hand, and fear and hatred on the other. So violence prevention will take significant social and cultural change.

I have always been impressed by the work of Irvin Waller, a criminologist at the University of Ottawa and a world expert on prevention of violence. He is clear that this is much more than simply a matter of law and order, policing and punishment. Just as public health advocates for upstream interventions to keep people healthy rather than downstream interventions to fix them when they are sick, Waller provides the evidence that “reductions in violence against women, street violence and homicides by 50% are all achievable within a five to ten year period by investments in early prevention” – and observes that this is a cheaper approach to reducing crime.

He points to “investments in people such as youth outreach, positive parenting programming, and social interventions in emergency rooms”. And he adds there is evidence that “modifications in school curricula to make achievement in life skills and healthy relationship skills stop violence”. So, he asks, “why not make them as important and measured as writing, reading and arithmetic?”.

This approach – what Waller calls ‘compassionate community safety’ – was epitomised recently by Ted Upshaw, the Public Safety Advisor for Halifax and a former RCMP inspector. In a session on healthy communities at the Canadian Public Health Association conference earlier this year, he discussed the importance of social justice, respect, good quality housing and neighbourhoods, access to parks and other social and community benefits if we are to create safe and healthy communities. It makes sense to me.

© Trevor Hancock, 2017

Shannon Turner, Our Executive Director Was Awarded Honorary Life Membership Award from the Canadian Public Health Association

Shannon Turner, PhD(c) is an exemplar practitioner scholar and has been a stalwart advocate for public health throughout her career. The promotion of health and social good has been foundational to Shannon’s contributions to policy, research and practice. When Shannon began as President of the Public Health Association of British Columbia, there were only 20 members and very little funding. Over the course of her term, she rebuilt the Association and established a foundation for a vibrant and engaged membership. Shannon has also served four separate terms on the board of CPHA and helped to strengthen national networks and public health service and policy throughout Canada. As the national co-chair of Prevention of Violence Canada for over a decade she has worked to build a Canada free of violence with a powerful health promotion engagement strategy for civil society and government.

Shannon’s research efforts on violence prevention, equity and technology are focused on the power of collective voices to promote healthy public policy. Her appetite for seeking collaborative and innovative approaches to advance public health is evident in all her work. She recently co-founded Bridge for Health cooperative, a social enterprise focused on social innovation and equity. Her volunteer efforts for over 30 years, combined with her professional roles as Director of Public Health of a regional health authority in BC and Executive Director of the Public Health Association, demonstrate an unfailing commitment to public health advocacy and service to promoting the health of Canadians.

Volunteer Advisors needed – Vancouver Foundation

Vancouver Foundation

Volunteer Advisors needed!


Purpose of Assignment

Vancouver Foundation values community-informed decision-making. One of Vancouver Foundation’s most visible activities is making grants that support charitable programs. The role of the Volunteer Advisor is to bring community perspective into grantmaking, to help identify pressing issues and trends, to assess proposals and ensure that the most socially innovative projects receive funding, and to add value to the process by providing feedback.

Volunteer Advisors bring relevant expertise from across British Columbia and generously volunteer their time and energy to help shape the work of the Foundation and to ensure that it remains in touch with the communities it serves. For Vancouver’s Mission, Values and Core Beliefs:


Key Tasks

  • As a Volunteer Advisor, you will be called upon to:
  • Review applications for funding and make funding recommendations to staff, committee members and Board
  • Provide professional perspectives regarding trends and issues influencing the Foundation’s work, and provide input into priorities of grantmaking
  • Demonstrate active participation which includes preparation, attendance, punctuality, ensuring confidentiality, respectful conduct, and responsive, timely communication with staff, committee members and Board


Time Commitment

Advisors serve for a two-year term, which can be renewed once for a total of four years, and must participate in application review a minimum of twice per annual funding cycle. Meetings are held by teleconference for first stage application review and in person for second stage review. The in-person meeting is typically held in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to application review, an annual halfday planning meeting and day-long volunteer gathering may also be part of the commitment.


Skill Requirements


  • Considerable experience/knowledge in one or more Fields of Interest
  • An interest and commitment to innovative solutions for complex systemic challenges
  • Ability to analyze, critique and understand emerging issues relevant to the sector
  • Previous committee, board or leadership experience
  • Strong communication skills, tact, and diplomacy
  • Ability to seek to understand a diversity of viewpoints
  • Accountability and adaptability
  • Ability to use web-based software applications
  • Understanding of basic meeting procedures/protocol


Other desired knowledge/experience of:

  • Social innovation; that is, initiatives that change or influence a social system by addressing the root cause(s) that created the complex issue in the first place, or that is holding it in place
  • Vancouver Foundation and/or other community foundations
  • Program/project development, design, implementation
  • Strategic planning and outcome evaluation
  • Grant making and/or grant writing
  • Not-for-profit sector
  • Government policies, processes, and programs
  • Business – development, financial management, communications
  • Other communities (e.g. ethnic, socio-economic, under-represented)



In this position, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Use your strengths and skills to make recommendations to support charitable programs and qualified donees that are working towards social change
  • Learn about the charitable sector and social innovation expressed through applications that you will review and are provided to you by staff
  • Meet new people, network and collaborate with other Volunteer Advisors, staff, and Board
  • Be publicly acknowledged for your contributions

Please be advised that the Foundation’s Act states in 20.2 that, “No salary or reward or profit of any kind may be paid or given to any member of an advisory committee”.


What to expect from Vancouver Foundation

Staff are available as needed for support and guidance to:

  • Orient you to Vancouver Foundation and the granting process to enable you to be knowledgeable, engaged and participatory
  • Correspond with you regarding meeting materials and process
  • Inform you about Vancouver Foundation’s goals, strategy, and direction
  • Provide you with the key information such as: Field of Interest guidelines, Terms of Reference, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest, and policies related to expenses and travel
  • Arrange for communication and travel needs, including conference call support, online grant management system access, bookings and reimbursements as required



Volunteer Advisors provide support to Vancouver Foundation’s grant making teams and are accountable to the Board of Directors through its Grants and Community Initiatives Committee. All funding recommendations are informed by the input of Volunteer Advisors on a project’s merit, its alignment to current funding priorities, and its likelihood of success. Final decisions for funding requests are made by the CEO and/or the Board of Directors. Funding recommendations cannot exceed the amount of budgeted income available at the time of consideration.


The primary staff liaison to Volunteer Advisors is the Manager for the program area most relevant to the volunteer’s experience. Feedback mechanisms are through the Director, Field of Interest, Grants & Community Initiatives.

The CRD Community Map of Greater Victoria

The CRD Community Map was created to help identify where diverse populations live in the region and what their level of access is to important community assets, including affordable transportation modes and community facilities. Local residents may be most interested in community facilities and transportation routes. Planners and service providers may also want to access population data to visualize where different population groups are living in the region and which facilities and community assets are near to them.