Building intersections for vibrant rural communities (Building Intersections 2018)
Rural communities are both resilient and vulnerable to the complex challenges of accessing and navigating health services. Access to health services, health professional retention and recruitment, and health equity are of persistent concern for rural communities and the health systems that serve them (Smith et al, 2008; Pong et al. 2009; Kullig & Williams 2011; Wanless et al. 2010). Indigenous communities in particular, scattered across the vast rural and remote regions of British Columbia, cope with legacies of colonialism and structural and systemic violence (Kurtz et al., 2008; Czyzewski, 2011). Indigenous rural health research poses urgent and complex equity considerations. For example, research on the risks of violence and HIV among rural Aboriginal women in Canada underscored "the intersecting dynamics of gender, rural living, poverty, racism, and colonialism create risk for Aboriginal women provides a basis for developing policies that aim to strengthen the well-being of women, particularly their economic wellbeing." (Varcoe & Dick, 2008, p. 42).
Building Intersections 2018 is a bi-annual conference that provides a gathering place for inter-professional learning, networking, and partnership building. The conference features leading research and knowledge translation innovations and attracts provincial and national interest across a wide range of disciplines and sectors. The conference tries to create an interactive, participatory, and creative program that sparks partnerships and enables dialogue, learning, networking and exchange. This networking brings together the pentagram partners (researchers, health authorities, administrators, policy and decision makers, and providers) necessary to affect health service transformation (Green-Thompson, McInerney, Woollard, 2017).
The event is led by the Interior Health Research Department in partnership with the Rural Health Services Research Network of BC with further collaboration with Interior Health, other health authorities with a rural-remote geography, academic institutions, community organizations, and professional bodies. This conference will appeal to communities, academics and professionals, municipalities, civil society organizations, patients-as-partners and private organizations interested in cross-sector transdisciplinary intersections for rural health.