Understanding the key determinants of health is pivotal in supporting health people and healthy communities.

Community Health Conference Announced September 30th, 2021

Mount Waddington Health Network Announces Regional Community Health Conference September 2021

A forum for community to connect in learning, sharing and positive collective action


Mount Waddington, B.C. June 21, 2021 – Mount Waddington Health Network (MWHN) announced today a Regional Health Conference slated for September 30th, 2021. The conference will host speakers, presentations, and small workshops on the key determinants of health in the region, exploring topics such as Primary Health Services, Food Security, Culture & Inclusion, Senior’s and Elders Care, Child & Youth needs, Housing, and Addiction and Recovery Services.


The conference is centered around the strategic areas of focus by the partners and communities involved in the MWHN, and is meant to highlight the work that has been done over the past 2 years by health professionals, volunteer communities, local Government and First Nations. The aim is to bring community back into the conversation in a meaningful way after the relative isolation and disconnect caused by COVID19.


“Across the region and across the Province we are in a tremendous time of change. Working to understanding cultural, social and economic change is part of the basis for this conference.” says MWHN coordinator Angela Smith. “The issues we see in our respective communities are not ours alone, they are present in varying degrees in every community throughout B.C., and there is a lot of good work being done and information out there – but technology and the pace of life often make is hard for us to keep track, prioritize, and ‘see the forest for the trees’ so to speak. This is a powerful opportunity to reconnect, learn about progress that is being made, and share ideas from all perspectives and all angles.”


There are hundreds of committed people across the Mount Waddington region and Kwakwaka’wakw Territories who have been working towards gathering critical data to advocate for improved services, and strategies for implementing new, innovative services that work for the most vulnerable people in our communities. Examples of collective action in this realm are present in each North Island Community, and within the MWHN there are regional collective strategies being drafted or in various stages of implementation.


“In Port Hardy, for instance, we have a group of committed people who have implemented cutting edge programs in Addiction and Recovery Services with positive and inspiring results. This includes new Gwa̱dzi Managed Alcohol Program, where we see collective community action supporting innovative and meaningful long-term solutions.” said Pat Corbett-Labatt, co-chair of the MWHN and a councillor with the District of Port Hardy. “We are in an age of acknowledging many historic and systemic problems at once. Communicating and sharing information is key in creating a healthier and more peaceful community. This conference is an open-door opportunity for people concerned about health and wellness in the community to learn, listen and share ideas. There has been incredible work being done – and we are just at the start of this journey.”


Collective action and communication is key in making communities healthier. “By taking personal responsibility and participating in open, frank conversation about social and health issues, we all stand to improve the health status of all residents, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, seniors and youth, the working public to the most vulnerable. The conference is arranged in a place where perspective-taking is part of the make-up. Everyone has a voice and opportunity to learn.”


For more information, visit the MWHN website, or contact the MWHN Coordintor Angela Smith



About the Conference:

  • Event Schedule Released, Event Website Launched: August 1, 2021

  • Registration Opens: August 15, 2021

  • Early-bird Registration Draw: September 15, 2021

  • Registration Closes: September 25, 2021

  • Maximum # of Participants due to COVID/Physical Distancing: 150

  • Number of Vendor Tables: 15

  • Non-Profit Vendor Tables: Free

  • For-Profit or Sponsored Vendor Tables: Starting at $50.00


About the Mount Waddington Heath Network


The Mount Waddington Health Network is a growing group of over 200 invested, caring people and organizations who work together to strategize ways to make people and communities healthier. Primary network focus is advocating for enhanced or modified programs and services, influencing public policy, and collaborating on grass-roots initiatives that will benefit all North Island area residents. Looking “up-stream" at initiatives that help keep people from becoming sick in the first place, in good health, and out of acute care is key on our collective action. The network performs work through a lens of cultural safety and humility, and are open to growth, conversations, and new learnings.


At the MWHN Table of Partners there are Local Government Leaders, First Nations, Health Authorities, Non-Profits organizations, community members and those with lived experience. Collective action is organized through committees; MWHN committees are divided topically for optimization and focus. Each committee has a chair who takes a lead position in the committee and reports the activity of the committee to the Table of Partners monthly.


The committees and Table of Partners decide on the regional priority actions of the various committees by discussion and reaching a majority consensus. Priority action items are set in our every two-year strategic planning process, and operational implementation is determined by:


•NEED - Degree of need demonstrated in communities, and the consequence of inaction

•MAXIMUM IMPACT - Ability to gather partners, share a vision, and impact as many people in as many communities as possible

•OPPORTUNITIES & TIMING - Will of Government and funders to financially partner and support any given initiative (if required)

•TIME REQUIREMENTS – Partner, volunteer & network time & resources

•TIMELINE - Short-, medium- and long-term goals that may be associated with any proposed collective action

•PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS – Committees’ ability, based on all aspects of job, to complete task and have a positive outcome


Current and Completed Projects

Rural Housing and Homelessness Service Needs Estimation - Complete August 2021 (At-Risk of Homelessness and Homeless Estimate, a first for Rural BC)

Seniors and Elder Housing Questionnaire & Community Response Network Planning – Complete August 2021

Foundry Port Hardy – Successful Partnership in Application 2019/2020

Food Atlas – Update Complete October 2020

Mount Waddington Addiction and Recovery Services Plan Update – Complete July 30, 2020

Regional Housing Needs Assessment – Complete December 2020

Mount Waddington Housing Strategy – Strategy Complete 2019, Currently 50% implemented

Volunteer Transportation Network Supporter – Ongoing Support


Pending Projects, 2021:

Mount Waddington Housing Coalition

Community Asset Mapping Project

Regional Poverty Reduction Strategy

Regional “Staying Well” Guide