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New health co-ordinator in place for South Shore

Elisabeth Bailey is the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) new co-ordinator for some community health boards along the South Shore.
Elisabeth Bailey is the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) new co-ordinator for some community health boards along the South Shore. - Contributed

Elisabeth Bailey is the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) new co-ordinator for community health boards in Queens and Shelburne counties, and on an interim basis, for Lunenburg County as well.

Bailey started the position in late August.

“What I most love is the focus is on the social determinants of health,” said Bailey in a press release. “That sounds more complicated than it is — really, it just means all the factors that support the quality of life for a community, which lead to better health outcomes. We have the interesting and challenging job of creating and promoting wellness, including access to recreation, safe and affordable housing, and forging opportunities for connection and inclusion. These are fundamental things people need to be healthy and to fulfill their potential.”

Community Health Boards (CHB) consult with communities on relevant issues to create community health plans. These legislatively mandated, volunteer-based health boards play a very important role in forming recommendations to the NSHA. They also help build healthier communities by promoting and supporting action on initiatives that make a difference for the health and wellness of residents.

“Right now, I’m especially focused on supporting the boards in recruiting new members to do this work,” Bailey said. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in community health. Volunteers who care about their local community are essential to fulfilling our role of improving and promoting health and wellness for everyone in our communities. The more of these volunteers we have, the more powerful our reach in shaping the future of a healthy Nova Scotia.”

She’s also busy helping the CHB promote wellness funds. Wellness funds are annual grants available to non-profit community groups and organizations, as well as schools and municipalities who have projects that address the social determinants of health. Grants up to $3,000 are available for new and innovative projects or enhancements, to existing programs. The current deadline for applications is Monday, Oct.15.

Examples of successful wellness grant projects in the past include a series of learning sessions at the Bridgewater Community Gardens, teaching basic and advanced gardening skills to all interested community members; A school breakfast program at Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay; An optimal aging workshop series through Canadian Mental Health Association in Lunenburg; An affordable meal planning workshop series in Queens County through the Native Council; A series of youth health and support evenings at Our House Youth Wellness Centre in Shelburne; Travel assistance for seniors and low-income individuals through Sou’West Nova Transit Association; A recreation and leisure program for seniors at Queens Manor and an income barrier-free youth theatre group in Liverpool.

Anyone interested in learning more, applying for wellness funds or applying to join a local community health board, can visit www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca for more details or to contact Bailey, call 902-350-0478 or email elisabeth.bailey@nshealth.ca

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