Community Healthcare Playbook

A roadmap for local communities to support their healthcare and emergency personnel

The Canadian healthcare system holds a fundamental position in our national identity, significantly influencing our communities’ well-being and quality of life. However, healthcare and emergency workers are facing many challenges across BC and these challenges are translating into challenges that all communities now face in securing a stable and robust supply of healthcare services.

Traditionally, the healthcare system has been seen as the sole responsibility of the provincial and federal governments, and there has been little to no role identified for local governments and communities. In that context, local communities have often felt disempowered regarding how to address local healthcare supply challenges.

This project empowers local communities to take an active role in retaining and attracting healthcare workers to their community.


The range of initiatives outlined in this playbook includes ways that local governments, businesses and organizations can take effective action to counteract the challenges healthcare workers face including:

• Affordable housing
• Daycare availability and cost
• Pet care availability and cost
• Cost of living generally
• Spread out land uses and time spent commuting
• Cost of transportation and parking and the lack of options to the vehicle especially outside of business hours
• Low availability of education spaces to train workers

• Cost of education and student loans
• Long hours, overtime and burnout
• A lack of a sense of community support
• Clinic space –availability and high lease costs
• Costs of fitting out a clinic
• Cost of staff and administration loads
• Technology limits
• Many others


The Canadian healthcare system is not just a fundamental pillar of our national identity; it plays a crucial role in shaping the quality of life within our communities. However, in British Columbia (BC), the shortage of healthcare and emergency response workers has become a prevailing issue that is believed by many to be threatening the strength and effectiveness of our healthcare system. Extensive dialogue and efforts are now underway to address the pressing concerns that continue to emerge across the province, such as staffing shortages, employee burnout, lack of family doctors, extended wait times for procedures and emergency care, overcrowded hospitals, and an overall sense of crisis. 

While it is traditionally the responsibility of Federal and Provincial Governments to tackle healthcare challenges, a closer examination reveals that many stressors impacting our healthcare and emergency workers can be alleviated at the local level. Our municipalities are facing difficulties in attracting and retaining doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, and other important allied healthcare workers, even as their populations grow. As a result, a collaborative effort is needed—an “all hands on deck” response—to reverse this critical situation. 

To address these challenges, the Saunders Family Foundation has taken the initiative to establish the Community Health Project, specifically aimed at attracting, supporting, and retaining healthcare workers in the West Shore communities of Colwood and Langford. From this initiative, a core group of professionals, including Thrive Society and Westplan Consulting Group, has come together to develop a comprehensive resource called The Playbook. In 2022-2023, the BC Ministry of Health has provided funding to complete this ground-breaking initiative. 

The Playbook is designed to outline a wide range of actions that can be taken by local community organizations, governments, businesses, real estate developers, educational institutions, and others to support the well-being of our local healthcare and emergency personnel. By following the roadmap of action presented in The Playbook, each one of us has the potential to contribute to the resilience of our healthcare system and the well-being of our dedicated healthcare workers.

This document explores the complex issues contributing to our critical healthcare situation and seeks to inspire widespread engagement. Together, we can forge a path toward a stronger, more sustainable healthcare system in both BC and across Canada that empowers and supports those who tirelessly serve on the front lines. 


Funding for this project was generously provided by:

  • The Saunders Family Foundation
  • The BC Ministry of Health

The project was managed by Thrive Society.

This project has had the benefit of contributions and ideas from a very wide range of stakeholders and experts, and we are deeply grateful to them for their contributions, ideas and energy:
(insert list of the participants who have participated so far).

Introductory Letters

Stephen Brown

Stephen Brown

Ministry of Health

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Dave Saunders

Dave Saunders

Saunders Family Foundation

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Scott Bradford

Scott Bradford

Thrive Social Services

THRIVE Social Services is pleased to be a member of this concept team. THRIVE represents this project’s social services sector and the importance of the Social Determinants of Health you may have heard about. We believe in a whole-person approach, which translates into seeing our healthcare workers as people with lives and needs similar to most of us. Attracting and retaining healthcare professionals requires robust community services that meet a broad set of needs. From daycare to child care to community supports such as after-school programs and care for aging adults, our communities need to welcome our new professionals into something they can thrive in. It takes a village!

Mark Holland

Mark Holland


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The Challenge

This section explores the significant challenges that we are facing in the healthcare system with respect to stresses on our healthcare workers, and the connection they have to local governments and organizations

A summary of many of the core challenges that healthcare and emergency personnel face today include:

  • Affordable housing
  • Daycare availability and cost
  • Pet care availability and cost
  • Cost of living generally – many factors
  • Spread out land uses and time spent commuting
  • Cost of transportation and parking and the lack of options to the vehicle especially outside of business hours
  • Low availability of education spaces to train workers
  • Cost of education and student loans
  • Long hours, significant overtime and burnout
  • Challenging workplace morale Frustration with system inertia and the lack of change
  • A lack of time off including maternity leave, and a general work/life balance
  • A lack of a sense of community support
  • Clinic space –availability and high lease costs
  • Costs of fitting out a clinic
  • Cost of staff and administration loads
  • Technology limits

These challenges are interconnected with local governments and organizations and are discussed further below.

High housing costs make it difficult for healthcare workers, especially those with lower incomes, to find affordable accommodation near their workplaces. In addition, if a large portion of their income goes towards housing, healthcare professionals may struggle to meet their other basic needs. While physicians, surgeons and others are paid well in the healthcare system, they cannot perform their roles without the support of dozens of other workers in the system – most of whom are paid average salaries.

The average Canadian house price in 2022 stood at approximately $704,000, and it is higher, up to twice that, in many of Canada’s larger urban areas.

The payment on a mortgage is approximately $500-600/month per $100,000 borrowed, depending on the interest rates. As such, for a $500,000 townhouse or condominium, with a $100,000 downpayment, the family would be paying $2,000-$2,400 a month in mortgage costs, plus utilities, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs – pushing that cost closer to $3,000/month – in after tax income. This means that a condominium or townhouse home will require between $40-$50,000 a year in gross income. This translates into a $25-30/hr salary rate – just to pay for housing.

The average house price in British Columbia in 2022 stood at about $997,000 Canadian dollars.

The cost of buying a home has become so expensive that many people rent for increasingly long periods of time. While renting is a legitimate and respectable form of tenure, we are at a transition point where most cities do not have enough rental housing stock to supply both new renters (young adults, immigrants, others) and to keep a growing percentage of existing renters in rental housing stock.

Historically, many purchased a home in their 30s and freed up the rental stock for the next generation. With the high cost of purchasing a home, many are staying in the existing rental stock for much longer. This has created significant demand for rental units, which has driven up rents rapidly, triggering government rent control legislation in some cases. Incentives and financing are being offered for new-built rental housing, the challenge is that new housing is very expensive. The growing cost of rents then reduces the ability of renters to save a downpayment to purchase a home, further prolonging their rental tenure, and increasing the demand for rental housing.

The reality of paying current rents for homes now requires a significant salary to cover rent, utilities and insurance. With an average rent for a 2 bedroom unit in BC frequently over $2,400 and with utilities and insurance added, it again requires a salary of over $30,000 after taxes to pay for housing.

Rental statistics – May 2023

The majority of large hospitals and major healthcare facilities are in more urbanized areas, where the housing is the most expensive. As such, the cost of housing has become a major stress factor in the lives of healthcare and emergency workers.

Beyond just the cost of a mortgage or rent, additional costs such as insurance, taxes, utilities, repairs and others continue to climb, faster than incomes. As such, the combined costs of all factors in housing continues to remain a major challenge to our healthcare and emergency workers.

Housing is typically less expensive farther from a metro core business area, and as such, many choose to live farther outside the city, and therefore farther away from major healthcare centres. This distance triggers the familiar challenge of long commutes, which leads to many negative factors in terms of stress, fatigue, transportation costs, less time with the family and for healthy living, and many others.

Many cities are increasing the cost of parking to deter automobile use, however this approach requires efficient alternatives to mobility that would connect housing to where healthcare facilities work. The reality is that few cities offer transit systems that will meet the needs of a family whose members work at various healthcare institutions. As such, the cost of transportation is rising significantly.

Working parents need daycare – for children and/or pets. The cost of daycare has become increasingly high, and the supply increasingly scarce.


The average expenses for daycare in British Columbia are covered by parents, as stated in the Child Care Provider Profile Survey of the region. The BC Government notes that the average cost of daycare in the province is approximately $1,000/mo.

The Province is expanding its $10/day daycare program to help address this issue, but the challenges remain in accessing daycare. Low wages, burnout and other factors are challenging many daycare providers and the supply of daycare spaces is a real challenge for many.

This situation is especially challenging for healthcare and emergency workers as they are often on less predictable shift work, many after business hours. Hiring a babysitter or nanny in 2023 costs around $20/hr typically, an amount which seriously erodes the income of a healthcare worker on a night shift.

Many individuals or couples may not have children, but many will have pets. While some pets are more self-sufficient, dogs require supervision over the course of the work-day.

The cost of doggy-daycare varies significantly. Pet-Keen’s price guide in 2023 notes it costs typically $35-51/day for daycare (and similar or slightly more for overnight care) or $700-$1,000/month for business days. This price is close to the cost of child daycare.

General cost of living
The general cost of living continues to rise, especially in a condition of higher inflation rates – increasing the costs of everything related to daily living. The costs of food have risen significantly in recent years in Canada, as well as consumer goods, such as clothing, home and recreational goods, and many others.

Healthcare and emergency workers require significant training to be able to do their job, from one- or two-year certificates, to nearly a decade of post-secondary education to become a doctor, and more to become a specialist. The availability of seats on schools is largely set by provincial funding. The cost of tuition is set by a combination of the educational institution, and Ministry of Education policy.

The funding for educational institutions has not increased at the same rate as demand and as such, students face higher tuition fees every year. In addition, the cost of rent and living for most students has also increased significantly as noted above. This situation both deters individuals from pursing this education, or more commonly, results in significant student loan debt. Many sources suggest that the average student loan debt for a doctor is in the range of $100,000.

The provincial and federal governments offer various programs for student loan debt assistance, but many healthcare workers face significant challenges at the beginning of their career as their debts are high but they only receive entry level salaries.


Working conditions
A key issue that is receiving more attention today is the working conditions that our healthcare and emergency workers face every day. Some of the challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, but there were many problems before the pandemic that have resulted in record levels of burnout and healthcare workers leaving the profession.

The workplace experience for healthcare workers was significantly impacted by the pandemic, with ongoing implications. Over 85% of healthcare workers felt more stressed during and since the pandemic due to increased workloads. Nearly two-thirds of healthcare workers considering leaving their jobs noted that stress was a primary reason.


A recent study in Canada suggested that up to 40 percent of of healthcare workers in 2021-2022 are facing symptoms of burnout, and fifty percent intend to leave the healthcare system altogether.

In later 2021, there were 126,000 vacancies in the healthcare and social assistance sector – nearly double the vacancies two years earlier.

From 2020 to 2021, there was a notable decline in the provision of healthcare services by physicians in Canada, with a 7.9% decrease overall. Family medicine experienced a 7.1% decrease, while specialists saw an 8.9% decline. This decline marked the first time in 20 years that total physician payments experienced a decrease, specifically a 2% decline. The reduction in services can be attributed to the impact of COVID-19-related public health measures. These measures led to a shift in priorities towards addressing COVID-19 needs and a reduction in non-critical care and elective surgeries.

Approximately three quarters of Canadian physicians noted that their workload has increased since the pandemic and that the quality of care has decreased.

Healthcare workers often work extended hours, face significant overtime demands, and are susceptible to burnout due to the demanding nature of their jobs. In 2021, healthcare workers experienced the highest average overtime hours in over a decade. Approximately 21% of employees in health occupations, totalling more than 236,000 individuals, worked overtime. On average, they worked 8.2 hours per week of paid overtime and 5.8 hours per week of unpaid overtime. Among different occupations, paramedics (45%), salaried general practitioners/family physicians (34%), and respiratory therapists (31%) had the highest proportions of workers engaged in overtime hours. These levels of overtime have many long term impacts on the health of workers, and the quality of the time they have for their families and other needs.

Healthcare and emergency workers face many challenges in their workplace in a context of overwork and insufficient resources, that can undermine workplace morale, which creates further stresses. And when the healthcare system’s functionality becomes in any way compromised, negative reactions from the community in response to perceived lower service levels, can further compound the challenges. Nearly half of helathcare workers considering leaving their jobs noted that job satisfaction and mental health and wellbeing was the reason.

Clinic management
The Canadian healthcare system structures most primary care around a business model where physicians are expected to operate their clinics as small businesses, providing services and then invoicing the healthcare system for their time. As such, physicians must take on the costs of office real estate, staff, extensive record keeping and reporting, and other business costs. Most physicians become doctors to provide medical service, not to become medical clinic administrators. Over half of physicians in Canada are not satisfied with the amount of time they have to spend on paperwork. One study suggested that Canadian physicians are spending nearly 50 million hours per year on administrative tasks.

Medical offices compete with all other types of businesses for commercial space in communities, and with increasing real estate costs, this can be a significant challenge. The health and safety requirements as well as required technology can bring significant additional costs to the design and construction of a clinic.

Physicians are not trained as business managers, so the many issues that arise in real estate, human resources, financing, insurance, and many other factors of running a business, become a challenge for a physician to manage – all of which take time away from providing services, or increase business management costs if others are hired to manage the clinic.


This section has outlined some of the challenges faced by healthcare workers, and the growth of these stressors and the impact they are having over time.

For many sectors, such as tourism, we have comprehensive public/private sector strategies. However, for one of the most important in our lives today, healthcare, there is no coordinated strategy for healthcare worker retention and attraction that empowers everyone to take action.

Senior governments have been responding with new resources, new policies and agreements, but the scale of the challenge is significant. Furthermore, many of the stressors in the lives of our healthcare workers are outside the conventional scope of the healthcare system, and as such, we need to explore the issues and opportunities associated with the dimensions of the local community and government that can assist healthcare and emergency workers.

An overview of the Playbook

This document is structured as a “playbook” – or a set of many possible paths of action that an organization can take to address issues and opportunities.
There are a number of key organizations in a community that can take action in support of healthcare workers, including:

  • Local Governments
  • Local Businesses
  • Real Estate Developers
  • Community Organizations
  • Educational institutions


The range of action that local organizations can take to support healthcare workers, generally falls into a typology of types of actions, including:

  • Committing to and creating strategies for action
  • Raising awareness and making connections
  • Research and communication
  • Fundraising
  • Supporting or undertaking specific targeted programs of action and support
  • Others

Each community organization has unique strengths and opportunities to lead action, and the playbook includes a section on each organizational type, outlining options for actions that can be taken, that fit with the unique characteristics of each organizational type.

More importantly, each community will need to chart its own path in addressing the challenges and unique social capital it has to respond to the challenges and opportunities.

The range of actions proposed range from small programs to help a single healthcare worker to much more structural initiatives, such as municipal-managed healthcare delivery. Ultimately, each community can create its own custom strategy and evolve it over time as resources allow.

A key factor in the creation and successful implementation of any multi-party community program is “coordination” – the connecting of groups to opportunities or needs, and the continued coordination of stakeholders and initiatives. Any individual or group in a community can assist in playing a coordinating role, and many are needed.

Together, with the opportunities outlined in this Playbook, BC communities can empower themselves to support, retain and attract healthcare and emergency workers in their communities.

Local governments

The first community organization to address is probably its most important and effective in supporting the local healthcare system and its workers – that of the local government (municipality or regional district).

Local governments operate under provincial laws, such as the Local Government Act and Community Charter, which define their roles and responsibilities. These laws establish the rules and structures that guide how municipalities and regional districts provide services to their communities. The goal is to ensure that these services align with the specific needs and desires of the people they serve. In simpler terms, these laws help local governments make decisions and take actions that benefit their communities in the best possible way.

Local governments provide a range of services, including providing essential services, including water and sewage systems, waste management, road maintenance, public transportation, parks and recreation, and public safety. Additionally, they offer community services like public libraries, community centers, recreational programs, cultural events, and social services.

The second major role local governments play is as the regulatory decision-maker for the community, and enforce a structure of policies, plans, regulations and bylaws. Local governments regulate land use and development through zoning bylaws, development guidelines, and building codes. Local governments create and enforce bylaws and regulations covering noise, parking, business licensing, and other essentials to ensure compliance with local rules and regulations. They have the authority to collect property taxes from residential, commercial, and industrial properties to fund services and infrastructure projects. Local governments also promote economic growth by implementing strategies that attract businesses, support entrepreneurship, and create a favourable business environment.

While the actual scope of local government powers are relatively focused and limited, the implications of all social, environmental and economic issues in the country are felt at the local level, and as such, local governments often have to both be creative in responding to challenges, and to be strong advocates to senior governments to secure attention and resources to address the challenges.

Local governments have jurisdiction over emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) and these system are an integral part of the healthcare system. As such, it is wise for local governments to expand their considerations to include healthcare workers with emergency personnel – as they are interdependent.
The following list of ideas provides a broad range of options for local governments to have a meaningful impact in supporting healthcare and emergency personnel.

Opportunities for local governments to support healthcare workers

Adopt policies to support the healthcare system and its workers

A local government can adopt a range of policies to enshrine a commitment to support the healthcare system and its workers in the community, including a section in its Official Community Plan or as a standalone policy.
o See Appendix for draft OCP policies.

Create a Healthcare Committee

A local government can create a municipal task force or committee on healthcare issues and invite key knowledgeable stakeholders and representatives from many involved groups to work with the local government to develop strategies and programs and coordinate action. This committee can function like other municipal advisory committees and can be a great resource in aiding the local government to determine the best path of action to address local healthcare challenges.


This committee can also be expanded across several jurisdictions who may want to work together, or linked with other local governments’ committees.

  • Example: City of Colwood.
Adopting a formal healthcare worker and system support strategy

Local government can create and adopt an overall strategy to support healthcare and emergency workers. This plan can outline a diverse range of actions designed to assist healthcare workers – and many are outlined in this section.

The benefits of a standalone strategy is that is an opportunity to draw all stakeholders together and outline relevant information and create strategies and plans for action. This strategy can then inform and guide a wide range of local government and community wide efforts. Having a clear strategy is also a strong element when applying for funding grants to assist in implementation.

Research and Monitoring

Local governments can invest in research initiatives to better understand healthcare system challenges and opportunities for the community to respond, as well as monitoring trends over time. These can include:

  • Healthcare Needs Assessments – Undertaking a Healthcare Needs Assessment in some form and documenting needs and missing elements in local healthcare. A formal Needs Assessment will require an experienced consultant to lead the work to ensure the results are seen as credible by governments and granting agencies that the local government may approach for assistance in the future.
  • Identifying challenges – Identification of chronic and new challenges being faced by healthcare workers – and trends over time, including changes in the supply of healthcare and emergency personnel in the community.
  • Interviews – Interviewing healthcare workers and experts to better inform the local government on issues and opportunities.
  • Precedents – Tracking innovative initiatives in other communities. This research can often be done by a student or volunteers at little cost.
  • Others
  • Example: Township of Esquimalt – Healthcare Needs Assessment


Raising Awareness

Local governments can develop and support public awareness campaigns and community outreach programs to help educate the community on challenges faced by healthcare workers, and on opportunities for how the community can support them or organizations providing services.

Convene and coordinate action

Local governments can allocate staff time and resources to help coordinate actions amongst stakeholders to support healthcare workers, including:

  • Healthcare Committee – Create and coordinate a healthcare committee of key stakeholders to meet regularly with municipal leadership and advise on action and issues. This initiative can be formal (as in the Municipal Healthcare Committee noted above), or shorter term (as in a Task Force), or more informal as a group of advisors who provide insights, advice and access to networks.
  • Convening – Coordinating meetings with community, businesses, and other organizations to explore opportunities. Effective action often requires groups to work together, and the first step is to get them into a room together. Calling and hosting a meeting requires very few resources and most will attend if the Mayor or a senior official invites them.
  • Coordination – Helping coordinate various specific support programs. There are many resources available, but someone needs to coordinate them, and city staff can play a key role in the community in harnessing these resources on behalf of the whole community.
  • Resources – Coordinating research into and pursuing grant applications. There are always resources available through granting agencies and city staff can coordinate the work to secure the resources to hire others to lead projects.
  • Information materials – Creating informational materials for education of various parties. Cities have effective communication capacity and can relatively easily create information resources to aid in a wide range of programs.
  • Others
Addressing Housing Costs and Availability

Local governments can play a central role in helping alleviate housing costs and stress for healthcare workers, making it more feasible for them to live, work and stay within the local community including:

  • Attainable and affordable housing – Undertaking a wide range of general action to increase the supply and affordability of housing generally throughout the community, including:
    • Ensuring there are many decades of housing capacity approved in OCP land designations.
    • Pre-setting amenity demand levels and then prezoning as much housing land as possible in order reduce the timelines and political risk in developing housing.
    • Establishing community-wide “missing middle” infill policies that increase housing choice and availability in most neighbourhoods.
    • Others.
  • Hospital area housing – Amending zoning and density regulations and provide incentives to allow for the construction of more affordable housing units, both generally and targeted at healthcare workers, especially near hospitals. This can be partnered with including healthcare targeted housing at the highest densities appropriate adjacent to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
  • Targeting healthcare – Targeting programs that create more affordable housing specifically to housing for healthcare workers (eg: density bonusing, Community Amenity Contributions (CACs), others).
  • Housing agreements – Supporting housing agreements with developers that specifically target benefits to healthcare workers, such as access to below-market rental or ownership opportunities.
  • Fee relief – Waiving a variety of municipal fees for healthcare worker housing developments, to reduce costs of development and make housing more affordable.
  • Priority approvals – Expediting approvals for healthcare worker targeted projects to increase the supply of targeted housing.
  • Needs registry – Working with partners to establish a registry of healthcare workers who need housing or more affordable housing and create protocols for getting this group connected to housing supply, including possibly coordinating a program to connect landlords to healthcare workers who need rental housing.
  • Innovative housing – Instituting innovative affordable home ownership programs that target healthcare workers or assist in supporting healthcare workers in accessing other housing support programs.
  • Housing agency – Developing a housing authority or work with non-profit housing agencies to develop and manage a portfolio of rental housing targeted at healthcare workers, including temporary housing for “locums” who are filling in for existing healthcare workers who are away on leave / vacation.
  • Financial support – Working with partners to provide support or funds to assist in the costs of moving for healthcare workers, especially those being recruited into the community.
Supporting Development of Medical Facilities

Local governments can take a range of actions in the support and expansion of medical facilities, including:

  • Land use regulations – Including medical office and clinic uses in as many OCP land use designations and land use zones as possible, especially wherever office, retail, institutional or light industrial uses are permitted. This increases the number of sites that can support these facilities and increases the probability of their development.
  • Supporting facilities – Encouraging the development of healthcare facilities through measures like:
    • Density bonusing and development agreements that include clinic space as a benefit.
    • Providing tax exemptions and waiving fees for healthcare facility development.
    • Fast tracking projects that include clinic facilities.
    • Others.
  • Matchmaking – Connecting developers who have potential clinic space with organizations who are working to develop clinics.
  • CAC policy – Including various types of clinic support as an acceptable Community Amenity Contribution (CAC).
  • Available space – Making existing or new government facilities available for clinic use, especially in areas that are underserved for various reasons.
Supporting the operation of medical clinics and health centres

Local governments can take a range of actions to support the creation and operation of clinics, including:

  • Institutional support – Supporting the creation of non-profit/charitable organizations to serve as the owners/managers of clinics. Municipalities often have a significant capacity of highly trained staff who can support others who are working to set up charitable organizations to own/manage healthcare facilities.
  • CHCs – Supporting the establishment of Community Health Centres (CHCs), working with organizations already working to secure space and staff to provide these in neighbourhoods. (see: BCACHC )
  • Municipal run clinics – Establishing a municipal healthcare department within the local government to develop, own and operate clinics, with healthcare workers becoming municipal employees / contractors. Municipalities can own and operate clinics just like any other organization and by taking this leadership role, they can increase the probability of providing healthcare services to their community. They can also then use their budgets to offset limitations in the general healthcare system to increase the probability of attracting staff.
  • Tax relief – Reducing taxes on healthcare facility properties, where permitted, to reduce their operating costs and increase the probability of doctors locating their clinics in the community.
  • Fee relief – Reducing fees for municipal services for healthcare facilities to increase their ability to be constructed in a more affordable way.
Community organization partnerships

Local governments can provide a range of support for non-profit organizations that provide special services to local healthcare workers, possibly including:

  • Programs – Partnering with community organizations to deliver various programs with municipal funding or other support.
  • Facilities – Provide operations space within community facilities.
  • Tax relief – Provide tax reductions for facilities.
  • Funding – Provide some funding for programs that support healthcare workers within the constraints of a local government’s ability to give funding to community organizations.
  • In-kind support – Support community or healthcare support groups, including funding, operations support, equipment, management coaching, etc.
Coordinate support programs with local businesses

Local governments can collaborate with local businesses to address challenges and opportunities, possibly including:

  • Discounts – Facilitating partnerships and encouraging companies to provide essential supplies, offer discounts or special services, and contribute resources to benefit personnel.
  • Leadership – Leading various programs and asking businesses to support in various ways.
  • Example: Healthcare worker dollars – “universal” gift certificates that can be used at most shops in their area similar to other “local dollar programs” such as: Downtown Duncan Dollars
  • Parking – Offering parking spaces for healthcare workers at a discounted rate in municipal-owned parking facilities or on streets.
  • Rideshare – Helping coordinate a discounted or free Rideshare system.
Connecting Support with Needs

Local governments can establish mechanisms to connect available support, resources, and services with the specific needs of healthcare workers and emergency personnel. These can include:

  • Connecting needs – Allocating staff resources in city hall or through a community organization to coordinate connecting healthcare workers and initiatives that meet their needs. This can include creating inventories of support available, and presenting or making information available to healthcare unions, primary care associations, or other organizations that are well connected to healthcare workers.
  • Convening – Coordinating various groups who each have capacity to manage some programs to help healthcare workers – such that together a broad range of needs and support is connected. Eg: events at a local hospital to connect workers to the community support systems.
  • Advocacy – Advocating for and lead work to secure funding and policy changes to address the specific challenges in the community.
  • Welcome wagon – Creating and deliver a welcome wagon and needs support navigator to be a resource to healthcare workers moving into the community.

A local government lead or support fundraising efforts to provide additional financial resources to support a broad range of initiatives. Extensive fundraising efforts are common associated with “Hospital Foundations.” A partnership with these or other initiatives can further extend the resources that can be raised to assist healthcare workers.

  • Typical fundraising efforts may include:
    • Donation drives
    • Auctions
    • Gala events
    • Joint fundraising with schools, or community organizations.
    • Matching contributions
    • Contests
    • Others
  • Legacy – Promoting programs to support estate legacy funding in the community to be channeled to healthcare support.
Providing municipal services

Local governments can support a reduction in the cost of living for healthcare workers including:

  • Facilities – Providing discounts to public facilities (recreation, others) for healthcare workers.
  • Transit – Providing discounts to healthcare workers for transit.
  • Parking – Providing discounts to healthcare workers for parking in various areas, including their place of work. Parking costs are a major negative factor in many healthcare workers’ lives.
  • Daycare – Providing priority spaces for healthcare in municipal managed daycare facilities.
  • Various services – Developing any number of services not conventionally undertaken by municipalities and targeting them at healthcare workers (various) to increase their quality of life.

About the Saunders Family Foundation
The Saunders Family Foundation was established in 2010 in response to a high demand for support from several local individuals and community organizations. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the success of our fundraisers, dozens of local sports, music, arts and charitable organizations have benefitted.

Every penny raised goes toward supporting local organizations and charities.
The Saunders Family Foundation is a non-profit organization run by volunteers.

Our Board of Directors
Dave Saunders, President
Bob and Norma Saunders
Edie Foster
Ruth Saunders
Jim Tenhove

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