I am a family medicine and public health and preventative medicine doctor. I currently serve as a Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health Authority in British Colombia; and co-chair BC Population Health Network and the Population Health Committee for Health Officers’ Council. Both groups focus on using population health approaches to improve health equity in BC.
I am taking the challenge because poverty creates ill-health in our communities and makes people sick. When it comes to what matters to Canadians, healthcare often tops the list, but there are many factors outside the healthcare system that affect a person’s health. People who cannot afford the basics in life (food, shelter, early childhood supports, etc.) are more likely to encounter challenges accessing healthy options; develop illness; and have worse outcomes from diseases. Both from a family physician perspective (treating patients one at a time), and as a public health doctor looking after the health and well-being of populations, the challenge is an important opportunity to reflect and advocate.