First and foremost, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to acknowledge and thank you for the work that you, PAN members, do across the province serving populations that society tends at best to forget, and at worst, stigmatize and exclude. Inspiringly, PAN and our member organizations continue to mobilize on key issues pertaining to HIV (such as criminalization of non-disclosure) and hepatitis C (most notably getting folks connected to care), as well as responding to a tragic and ongoing overdose crisis. We see, and work to address, the negative impacts of stigma for people who use drugs, and for people living with HIV and hepatitis C. Our advocacy efforts will continue to push for changes to systems, regulations and policies so that they better reflect human-rights and an evidence-based approaches.
In the last year, the Board has been working on two major areas: implementing the Governance changes passed by membership at the last AGM; and creating a new Strategic Plan (2019-2024) to guide our work over the coming years.
Implementing Governance Changes at PAN
As you will remember, last year our membership passed a series of bylaws to ensure that our governance structures more fully reflect the mission that has driven the work of PAN since 2013:
“We lead an inspired, strong, and effective community-based response to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and related communicable diseases and conditions.”
Our long-standing priority as a board has been to make sure that PAN’s governance structures evolved to address hepatitis C. We also felt it was critical for member organizations and projects that serve Indigenous populations and communities to have a designated voice, consistent with Truth and Reconciliation principles. As we looked at changes to board composition and membership, there were many discussions and opportunities for input along the way. The board worked diligently to address concerns and make certain that we continue to honour our legacy of HIV activism and leadership. It was truly gratifying to see the new bylaws pass unanimously and to see all the support in the room for these changes. Over the past year, we have been working to recruit board candidates that have lived experience of hepatitis C, and we have also done targeted recruitment to fill the FNHA/Indigenous representative seat. We are very pleased as a board, to be bringing some strong applicants forward at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
We also commit as a board to continuing with our ongoing work to ensure that GIPA/MEPA; the Hepatitis C Manifesto; Nothing About Us, Without Us; along with Truth and Reconciliation principles, are reflected at all levels of PAN.
PAN’s New Strategic Plan
This spring, the Board completed the process of developing a new Strategic Plan to carry PAN into the next five years. This process was supported by input from the PAN staff, along with a review of data and feedback contained within our annual Members and Stakeholders surveys (completed by people living with HIV, people with lived experience of hepatitis C, Executive Directors, staff members – and other key participants including funders and policy makers).
We are very proud of the new Strategic Plan, which builds on our previous plan. Some key differences are a substantially revised Values and Approaches; as well as a new strategic direction that acknowledges the important role that PAN plays advocating on social justice issues.
We are happy to release the Strategic Plan 2019-2024, where you can see the details on the following directions:
- Strengthen knowledge-driven planning, decision-making, and implementation among PAN’s members and allies to respond to complex issues relating to HIV, hepatitis C and the social determinants of health;
- Strengthen our governance;
- Ensure our sustainability; and
- Provide a collective voice to respond to ongoing and emerging health and social justice issues.
Appreciation and Acknowledgements
Underpinning much of the work at PAN are the staff. As a board we want to thank them for the capacity-building events, the research and evaluation supports, the leadership training, and the many other resources and tools on offer to member organizations and allies. The staff of PAN do an excellent job staying flexible, and responding to the challenges and opportunities arising in our sector. They are a dedicated and talented bunch! Once again, we want to acknowledge PAN’s executive director, J. Evin Jones for her energy, devotion and leadership. We would also like to thank Stacy Leblanc and Janice Duddy – who along with Evin, and with the support of a very capable team, have very much helped to make PAN the successful organization that it is today.
I would also like to thank all the current directors for their commitment and contributions this year. They are:
- Fraser Health – Kindra Breau (Secretary)
- Northern Health – Kyla Turner
- Vancouver Coastal – Kim Stacey
- PHSA – Patrick McDougall
PLHIV and/or PWLE of hep C seats:
- Antonio Marante (Treasurer)
- Karen McConnell (appointed March 2019)
… and a huge, deeply felt THANK YOU to the following directors, whose terms are ending:
- Jesse Brown (Dec 2010-Oct 2014; Oct 2015 – Oct 2019): PAN Board Member and Co-Chair – thank you Jesse, for all of your care and strategic thinking, and for so many years of volunteer commitment – it has been my great pleasure to be co-chair with you, for many years!
- Patience Magagula (Oct 2015-2019): PAN Board Member – thank you Patience, for the invaluable perspectives and great heart you brought to the table.
For more information about the work of the Board, contact Katrina Jensen (PAN Board co-chair)
Image: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash