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Island Health grants will support community health and wellness programs

Health authority inviting applications from non-profits, local governments and First Nations
Island Health is inviting applications for its community wellness grant program. (News Bulletin file photo)

Island Health is interested in supporting health and wellness initiatives at the community level.

The health authority, in a press release Friday, Feb. 24, invited applications for its community wellness grant program, with up to $800,000 being made available for programs supporting the health and well-being of Island residents.

The focus of the next funding cycle is community resilience, “including connected, diverse, safe, active, and nourished communities,” stated Island Health.

Dr. Réka Gustafson, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, said in the release that community resilience is a timely and important focus area.

“As our communities work to recover from the pandemic, the projects that Island Health funds through this program aim to support communities to re-focus on the social determinants that have broad and long-term effects on health,” she said.

Non-profit organizations, local governments and First Nations can apply for one-time funding to develop new initiatives and programs. Multi-jurisdictional programs are eligible to receive up to $50,000, while smaller programs can receive up to $12,000.

Kathy MacNeil, Island Health’s president and CEO, noted in the release that it’s estimated that 25 per cent of an individual’s health is a result of health-care delivery, while the other 75 per cent depends on external factors such as social determinants of health.

“These grants will help organizations support various regional wellness initiatives and bolster people’s health and well-being in their communities,” she said.

Last year the community wellness grant program funded a “diverse range of projects,” said the health authority, including an Indigenous language immersion course, a seniors connection program, family cooking classes, and a storytelling group for newcomers.

For more information on the grant program and the application process, visit

READ ALSO: Island Health board chair reflects on challenges and accomplishments of the past year

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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