Working Together for Healthier Communities – BCHLA Webinar

Date(s) - October 16, 2014
9:00 am - 10:30 am

When it comes to building healthier communities, collaboration can make all the difference. 

Exciting changes happen when people with different types of expertise and resources come together to solve problems or make improvements at the local level.

On Thursday, October 16th from 9 am to 10:30 am, BCHLA will host a webinar to look at the elements of a successful partnership and a few examples where NGOs working together with local government on projects and policies have led to healthier communities.

Mayor of Esquimalt, Barbara Desjardins together with Nancy Falconer and Stacey Berisavac with the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon will discuss how their collective efforts resulted in rapid policy action to protect youth from a major cancer risk with a youth tanning bed ban.

Britt Swoveland from the BC Lung Association together with Phil Markin, from the City of Castlegar will discuss their shared work to address a major cause of lung disease through the RadonAware project in Castlegar.

Click here to register


Mayor of Esquimalt, Barbara Desjardins is a physiotherapist and the mother of two grown children, Barb is a strong advocate for active and healthy living. Barb was elected to Esquimalt Council in 2005 and was recognized for advocacy of issues – both large and small – within the community. She successfully ran for Mayor in 2008 and was acclaimed again in 2011. In her career as a public servant, Barb is guided by a couple of rules: 1) pay personal attention to issues and 2) be a visible and active participant in your community.

Nancy Falconer is the Provincial Team Lead for Public Issues and Health Promotion with the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon.  She has over 15 years of experience in chronic disease prevention, community capacity building, and advocacy for healthy public policy.  Over the past 10 years she has managed health promotion initiatives for the Society on Vancouver Island, and taken on a leadership role with several provincial initiatives. In 2010 and 2011, Nancy worked alongside the Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Island and a group of passionate high school students in order to achieve the first ever indoor tanning ban for youth under the age of 18 in BC. 

Stacey Berisavac is a seasoned leader in Health Promotion with 15 years’ experience in both government and NGOs.  She is a natural leader providing mentorship, support and leadership to a team of three staff and over 30 volunteers. Stacey is highly effective in community engagement, community development and fostering dialogue amongst communities in order to affect positive change. She has significant experience in advocacy including developing strategies and tactics to persuade and engage stakeholders, decision makers and politicians. Stacey’s work has resulted in public policy change at both municipal and provincial levels.

Britt Swoveland is the Provincial Coordinator for BC Lung Association’s (BCLA) RadonAware program. RadonAware is a branded public education and advocacy program established by BCLA and funded by the Ministry of Health. The program is focused on providing research, information, education and public advocacy on issues related to reducing the public health risk of radon. Prior to working with BCLA, Britt spent time with the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon and its Public Issues Department; advocating for stronger provincial public health policy. Britt has many years’ experience both personally and professionally working on public health issues in partnership with local, regional and provincial governments. In her spare time she enjoys getting involved in her own community – Oak Bay – and is an avid amateur photographer and nature lover.

Phil Markin has worked for the City of Castlegar for 26 years.  Currently, Phil works as the Director of Development Services/Approving Officer, a position he has held since 1992. From 1988 – 1992 he worked as a Building Official.  Prior to his employment with the City of Castlegar, Phil worked in the commercial sector of the construction industry for 15 years.

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