New Projects Funded by the Provincial Health Services Authority’s Innovation Fund

On April 17, 2019, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) released a funding opportunity dedicated to exploring innovative solutions with demonstrable impact to HIV and hepatitis C in British Columbia. PHSA was particularly interested in supporting projects that aligned with the Collective Impact Network’s priorities, including:

  • Increase involvement of People with Lived Experience (PWLE)
  • Increase geographic equity by supporting program and service all across the province, particularly in rural/remote areas
  • Increase program equity and services for HIV and HCV
  • Reduce stigma

The total amount available through this funding was $100,000 and could be awarded to one or a combination of community-based organizations. Applicants were asked to outline why the project was innovative, how it aligned with the CIN priorities, how it meaningfully engaged people with lived experience and how it involved collaboration with other organizations. Proposals were scored by Collective Impact Network (CIN) members and scores were reviewed by an evaluation committee comprised of a person with lived experience, PHSA and representatives from Pacific AIDS Network (PAN).

PHSA is pleased to announce the two projects that were successful for this funding and present a short-description of each project. If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Lauren Allan ([email protected]). In their words, these projects are:

Indigenous Health Promotion Lead – Community Based Research Centre

Community Based Research Centre (CBRC) is very thankful to have received funding from the Provincial Health Services Authority’s Innovation Fund this year to implement in our organization the position of Indigenous and Two Spirit Health Promotion Lead.

We know that Indigenous people and gay, bi and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) are two communities who experience high rates of trauma and violence, which results in health inequities ranging from high rates of HIV and suicide to insecure housing and low incomes. Currently the HIV response has two distinct ‘streams’ of programming and funding when it comes to Indigenous and gbMSM prevention; however, CBRC believes it is crucial to focus on the intersection of gbMSM Indigenous men and/or Two Spirit people.

To lead our continued efforts towards better health programming and community-based research for Indigenous and Two Spirit people, CBRC aims to increase Indigenous participation in all of CBRC’s programs by building on existing networks in BC. The Indigenous and Two Spirit Health Promotion Lead  will work with other Two Spirit educators to build cultural competency in our partner agencies and across the sector. As well, this leader will work with partner organizations and front-line organizations across BC to increase healthcare providers’ awareness of Two Spirit barriers to healthcare and increase access and uptake of HIV and HCV testing, and prevention tools (with a focus on PrEP) for Indigenous Two Spirit gbMSM.

Together, we continue to build a better world for Two Spirit, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

Deliberative Dialogue: Developing Evidence-Based Stigma Reduction Interventions – Pacific AIDS Network

The purpose of this Pacific AIDS Network project is to initiate a second phase of the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index focusing on stigma reduction interventions. It takes a collaborative approach as it is a multi-partner project, supported by multiple funders and stakeholders, and driven by community feedback and response. It will also engage with the leadership and expertise of the PHSA’s Collective Impact Network (CIN) Stigma Working Group.

This project will start with a literature review in September/October 2019 examining efficacious/ successful interventions aimed at reducing stigma, including looking at target audiences and the contexts in which these interventions occurred. This literature review moves the discussion beyond a sole focus on HIV stigma, to examine interventions aimed at reducing stigma surrounding intersections of identity, such as stigma surrounding people who use drugs, stigma aimed at gay, bisexual, and other MSM, stigma related to race and ethnicity, as well as other social determinants of health.

The project will then move into engaging community in a Stigma Reduction Deliberative Dialogue – an all-day meeting to be held in the Fall 2019 to discuss the approach of intersectionality, present the findings from the literature review on interventions, and work to prioritize future interventions.

By March 2020, knowledge translation products and activities on the findings from the literature review and Deliberative Dialogue outcomes will be developed and published for use by all stakeholders. PAN also intends to use the outcomes from the Deliberative Dialogue as a foundation to apply for additional funding to test an agreed upon stigma reduction intervention in BC.

As part of the wider project, PAN and Afro-Canadian Positive Network of BC (ACP-Net) will work in partnership to: undertake a search of stigma reduction interventions and best practices for African, Caribbean & Black (ACB) new immigrant communities in the literature; create an ACB report and summary documents from the literature review; reserve three seats for ACB community members at PAN’s Deliberative Dialogue; and develop an evidence-based intervention plan for stigma reduction in ACB communities, and a plan for engaging decision-makers and funders to discuss implementation.