Community Health Boards within the CHA
The Cumberland County community is served by three Community Health Boards comprised of volunteer members from across each area. They are:
- Pugwash and Area Community Health Board
- SOAR – Springhill, Oxford, Amherst and Region Community Health Board
- SPAR – Southampton, Parrsboro, Advocate and Regional Community Health Board
The contact person for all three Community Health Boards is
Community Health Board Coordinator
c/o Public Health Services
18 South Albion Street
Amherst NS B4H 2W3
The Role of the Community Health Boards
Community Health Boards are made up of everyday citizens of all ages and walks of life who serve as the eye, ears and voice of their communities. Community Health Boards:
- Collect and share information on local health needs and services;
- Encourage partnerships and community participation around health initiatives;
- Identify factors that influence health;
- Help educate the public about health and the health care system;
- Develop community health plans which set priorities and advise their health authority on ways to improve health and health services;
- Identify ways to make the communities healthier;
- Participate in the allocation of grants to promote better health.
The CHBs will develop a community health plan through broad community participation and consultation. The plan will include strategies that will address unmet health needs and promote and improve the general health of the community.
We envision a healthy community, responsible for its own health, moving its focus from illness to wellness, with support for prevention and health education. A healthy community ensures that accessible, effective, accountable and affordable primary care is available for all citizens. Residents live together in a safe and healthy environment where they share the responsibility for each other's well being.
To build a healthy, active community that values:
- sensitivity in the delivery of service;
- equality and fairness of service;
- respect and consideration for all people;
- quality of life.
Cumberland County Community Health Boards Combined Projects
The Cumberland County Community Health Plan
Every three years the boards come together to develop their new Community Health Plan.
School Oral Health
SOAR, SPAR and the Pugwash and Area Community Health Boards work together to provide every grade 1 student in the county with an oral health package. The package consists of tooth paste, floss picks, information on proper brushing, MSI coverage and a list of all local dentists including phone numbers. When the packages are distributed, the Public Health Hygienist delivers a presentation on proper oral hygiene to each class. Prior to this year the boards targeted grade 3 students but have changed their focus to grade 1 in order to be in line with the school curriculum.
Working with local dental professionals the CHBs developed the "Just Ask" program. This is a marketing project developed to try to increase the utilization of the oral health MSI coverage for children under 10. The boards have framed posters displayed in all dental offices, at all elementary schools, local daycares and the family resource centre. The posters list all the dentists and their phone numbers and encourage people to ask about fees and coverage prior to the appointment.
Numbers 2 Know
Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are the three most common chronic diseases in Nova Scotia and chronic disease accounts for 60% of our total health care system expenditures. To help educate people about their "numbers" and increase preventative screening, the Cumberland County CHBs started the "Numbers 2 Know" clinics in the fall of 2011.
Everyone is welcome to attend these volunteer-run clinics and there is absolutely no charge for participants.
At the clinic, participants can learn their important numbers including total cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and BMI (body mass index).
Coats for Cumberland
Working with the Empowering Beyond Barriers Society and several other community groups and businesses, the Cumberland CHBs help to provide coats and winter wear in 7 area communities. Hundreds of coats, hats and mittens have been distributed to people in need of all ages.
In an effort to improve patient safety by encouraging people to inform their health care professionals of all medications they are currently taking, the three Cumberland Community Health Boards worked together to develop Medication Cards and Medication Bags. The wallet-sized cards are to be completed by each individual (or their pharmacist) with up-to-date lists of all medications. Similarly, the medication bags are intended for people living with chronic disease and they are encouraged to bring all medications to all medical appointments. Having the proper information at point of care will help decrease medication errors and possibly save lives.