Public Health Association of BC Public Health Association of BC

Sandra Edelman – Director-at-Large

Sandra EdelmanShe has worked on the North Shore with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for 13 years in a variety of community roles with the exception of a year or two as Director of Risk Management and Client Relations. All of her positions have included public and population health portfolios.  Most recently she has been appointed the manager of all public health (early years, child and youth, speech, audiology, nursing support services) on the North Shore, along with a population health team focusing on core public health programs (such as food security, injury prevention, healthy communities), a chronic disease services team (diabetes education centre, COPD education) and some primary care services (the new HealthConnection Clinic, a Squamish Nation clinic, community nurse practitioners).

Over the years she has created new services to support vulnerable populations including the Squamish Nation primary care clinic,the HealthConnections Clinic for unattached, marginalized and complex clients, memorandums of agreement to provide public health nursing for Tsleil-Waututh Nation.  In addition, the North Shore is one of the few locations which used new public health funding 5 years ago to establish an active living coordinator for vulnerable adults which has resulted in a variety of programming supports for the NS Homeless Soccer League, a public/private partnership to assist new immigrant women to explore activities on the North Shore and become socially connected, and partnerships with the Recreation Commissions to establish a new ‘Move More on the Shore’ program for the disadvantaged. Food Security programs have also been a part of her portfolio and currently the NS has obtained all municipalities’ and First Nations’ signatures for the new Food Charter.  Public health – early years has been examining local EDI results and identifying new services for those neighborhoods identified as most vulnerable the child and youth public health team is aligning strategically for the first time with mental health services to better support their client population.

She has also chaired the NS Homeless Task Force for the last 5 or so years, taking over the role that Dr. Brian O’Connor established.  This work has resulted in a variety of new health services being provided on an outreach basis to the homeless, those at food banks, the lookout shelter, Salvation Army, etc.  The Task Force also advocates for employment opportunities and affordable housing on the North Shore.

Prior to working for VCH, she was an instructor at Northern Lights College, teaching social science university transfer courses.  She also was the chair of the North Peace Community Resources Society, one of the largest non-profits in Fort St. John.  She was involved in private consulting as well and worked with the local Medical Health Officer to produce a report on bring health services closer to home.  Before moving to Fort St. John, she was the first Director of Maintenance Enforcement for the province of British Columbia having designed and implemented this province-wide program while working with the Ministry of Attorny General.  She has also been a researcher in the federal department of corrections and with the provincial Attorny General’s ministry.

Academically, she trained as a sociologist with an undergraduate degree from SFU and a masters from UBC –always emphasizing how poverty and our economic and political systems create conditions for poor health, status and criminal behaviors.