Wise Practices from May 2020

Part of what makes the Health Director community so vibrant is sharing stories, lessons learned and best practices about health transformation. Topics cover everything from improving operations to community experiences dealing with COVID-19.

Community Distribution – Monetary, Fish, and Seafood

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Toquaht Nation

Toquaht Nation provided a one-time only distribution of $500 to all citizens. The Nation has increased the harvesting and distribution of fish and seafood to citizens, including halibut, clams, roe, kelp, and canned salmon. Toquaht is a small community of only 35 people, with the majority of citizens living away from home in Port Alberni, […]

Care Packages and Nourishing Meals for Elders

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Stz'uminus First Nation Health Centre

The Stz’uminus First Nation Health Centre has remained open, with staff able to work while practicing physical distancing. The Health Centre delivered care packages with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, bleach-based cleaner to sanitize homes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper to all 212 households on-reserve. Stz’uminus Health Centre, school, and daycare staff have […]

Musqueam Health Department Wise Practices

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Musqueam

The Musqueam Health Department worked with Chief and Council to make the decision to close the Administration offices on March 17, 2020. The 130 Musqueam Indian Band staff have been working remotely to support community members. We developed a COVID-19 Working Group/Task Force; including a COVID-19 Musqueam email and phone line for community members to […]

Door-to-Door Testing and First Aid Vehicle

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Ktunaxa Nation

Ktunaxa Nation implemented door-to-door testing, which involves going door-to-door with a portable table, chairs, and PPE staff conducting swab testing.  Modeled on an inner-city outreach program, this testing brought to a rural community is convenient for community members with the office closed and physical distancing guidelines in place. Ktunaxa Nation worked with local college to […]

Meals on Wheels and Home Craft Programs

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Huli'tun Health Society

Huli’tun Health Society has been providing Meals on Wheels to Elders three days a week, upholding food safety and physical distancing protocols. The Elders appreciate the opportunity to connect with staff, even at a distance. Huli’tun Health Society has also launched a home craft program, delivering craft supplies to community members by mail or drop […]

Direct Delivery of Nutritional Foods, Cultural Kits, Easter Baskets and other Wellness Supports

Shared by Lisa Steinson • White Feather Family Centre, Canim Lake Band

To support the health of our community members, meat was distributed to all on-reserve and surrounding members. A monetary amount to cover food costs was sent to distant reserve members. Fish was also distributed to all on-reserve members. Easter baskets were distributed to all the children on-reserve and the surrounding area. Cultural kits are being […]


Shared by Lisa Steinson • T'it'q'et

A wise practice for T’it’q’et First Nation has been to delegate work to the whole Administrative Band Office staff, where appropriate, so they all feel part of the team, i.e. communication, newsletters, notices, planning, logistics, operations, finance, etc. Appointing one staff person to manage those items also helps with quality control. Another wise practice is […]

Sts’ailes Yeqwethet Sayem Scavenger Hunt

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Sts'ailes

This wellness initiative is designed to maintain healthy cultural activity in community while practicing physical/social distancing. It is run by our Sayem (Mental Health) staff who are on a work-from-home arrangement. The program uses Facebook as the primary and only avenue for participation. We used our existing Facebook page to attract students and families both […]

Emergency Preparedness Pandemic Planning

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Namgis First Nation

Over the years, Namgis First Nation built up a community team of volunteers and staff to step up during emergencies. We have written grants for training and supplies through our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). We partner with other jurisdictions and agencies on Vancouver Island to implement our plans in unison, including: local municipality, local health […]

Heiltsuk Condition Signals

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Heiltsuk Health Centre Society

Condition Signals packages were developed to support families and individuals while remaining at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The package contains 5 color coded sheets of paper in a sleeve. Each color represents the specific need or service a family may have and the support they require. Should a family need food, for example, they […]

Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society Community Champions and Traditional Medicines

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Southern Stl'atl'imx Health Society

The Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society has two Community Champions designated for each community to act as a central point of contact for community members reporting symptoms or requesting prescriptions, who will connect them to nursing staff as appropriate. Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society has put together traditional medicine pouches for Elders to support their overall health […]

Improving Access to Nutrition and Hygiene During the Pandemic

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Boothroyd Band

Boothroyd is a semi remote community in the Fraser Canyon. Local stores have limited supplies of meat which is very expensive. The Chief and Council has allotted $200 per household for community members living on- and off-reserve. Our Band purchased $200 Save-On-Foods gift cards per household for members living off-reserve. Community members living on-reserve have […]

Supporting Communities Members At Home and Away From Home Through Phone Calls and Groceries

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Huu-ay-aht First Nation

The Huu-ay-aht Health Department does a weekly phone check-ins with citizens living on-reserve and off-reserve (Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Port Alberni) to ensure they feel supported and cared for during this time. The health staff ask community members about their wellness, any symptoms or need for a virtual health consult, self-care practices, and support with home […]

Adapting Frontline Services During Pandemic Response

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Lil'wat Health & Healing

Lil’wat is doing their best to comply with the evolving messages provided by the BC Provincial Health Officer. This has meant adapting Lil’wat Health & Healing Services to continue providing quality care to our members remotely. Lil’wat Health & Healing staff conduct regular wellness checks with all their clients, and any issues or concerns are […]

Decreased the number of times Home Support Workers enter homes to reduce exposure risks

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Homalco

Home Support Workers worked with the Elders they serve to decrease in-person services to the minimal amount in order to keep both the Elders and Home Support Workers safe. In many cases, Home Support Workers are visiting the home only once per week and doing daily check-in over the phone. Home Support Workers wear masks […]

Remaining Connected in Times of Crisis

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Yale First Nation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yale First Nation offices closed on March 12th indefinitely. All staff are working from home using cell phones and laptops to remain connected with each other and the community. As a nurse, I understand the language being used by our Provincial Health Officer and feel a responsibility to share […]

Keeping Team Connection While Maintaining Safety and Physical Distancing

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Witset First Nation

The Witset health building is maintaining essential services with a small number of staff reporting to work each day. The health team gathers every morning, maintaining physical distancing, to check in over coffee and baked goods. This short time together allows everyone to stay connected to each other, to share how they are managing through […]

Sts’ailes Yeqwethet Aylexw COVID Outdoor Challenge

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Sts'ailes

The Sts’ailes Yeqwethet Aylexw COVID Outdoor Challenge is designed to maintain healthy activity in community while practicing physical/social distancing. It is run by our Aylexw staff who are on a work-from-home arrangement. The program uses Facebook for participation. We used our existing Facebook page to attract community members and non-community members to join.  The challenge […]

Finding Ways to Maintain Wellness during a Pandemic

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Splatsin Health Services

Splatsin Health Services has moved all services remote during this pandemic. The mental health team is providing weekly wellness check-ins for all households to address any questions or ongoing health concerns. In addition to providing phone counseling, the mental health team has been developing a series of videos and posting them to the health centre […]

Rez Mailbox Totes

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Ashcroft

Ashcroft First Nation is implementing the use of clear easy clean “tote boxes” to deliver food (hampers/food drops) to community members living on-reserve. A tote is provided to each household, filled with food and dropped outside each home for homeowner to retrieve. This ensures the necessary physical distancing of the staff and the homeowners. These […]

Scavenger Hunt

Shared by Lisa Steinson • Osoyoos Indian Band

The Osoyoos Indian Band Scavenger Hunt is a wellness initiative designed to maintain healthy cultural activity for Youth and Elders in community while practicing physical / social distancing. It is run by our Youth Worker staff who are on a work-from-home arrangement. The program uses Facebook as the primary avenue for participation. This program promotes […]