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Health care foundations explore partnership

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The three health care foundations in the Sea to Sky corridor are taking tentative steps toward a partnership, but the extent of the collaboration has yet to be defined.

The health care foundations of Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish have been given just over $8,000 by the Ministry of Community Development, Co-operatives and Volunteers to help fund their partnership efforts.

"We are really just at the very beginning," said Whistler Health Care Foundation treasurer Mitch Rhodes. "We haven’t even had a meeting yet."

Two members from each foundation were due to meet Friday, Feb. 2 to start exploratory talks and to set some parameters for collaboration.

The ministry funding will then be used to host some more extensive workshops.

Rhodes said the most likely areas to combine efforts are at the fund-raising and administrative levels. "These would be the two obvious areas. Perhaps we can find some economies of scale in fund-raising."

Rhodes said a team effort could generate some creative corridor-wide fund-raising concepts and cash could be spent, as seen fit, by each foundation in their respective community.

He noted a partnership also ties in well with the Sea to Sky Community Health Council’s 10-year objective. The health council vision is for a "multi-site health campus" spread across the corridor. The plan is to link the satellite facilities of this "health campus" by co-ordinated planning and integrated service teams, with support from neighbouring health authorities.

The health foundations were among six organizations to receive a share of Involve B.C. funding from the province.

The Whistler Museum and Archives Society will also get cash – almost $4,000 – to train its board members and the boards of partner organizations. The museum wants to acquire skills to help develop and operate a new facility and expand programming. This project will include two board development sessions, four strategic planning sessions and targeted training on issues like fund-raising and volunteer management.

The other groups to receive a share of the $56,000 in provincial funding are the Land Trust Alliance of B.C., the Nanaimo Centre for Coastal Self-Reliance, the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island and the Association of Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators of B.C.

"This new funding is part of our commitment to give B.C.’s voluntary sector the resources it needs to grow and thrive in our communities," said minister of community development, co-operatives and volunteers, Jenny Kwan.

She added that these six projects reflect the government’s commitment to respond to the priorities of today’s families.

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