Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice launches Poverty Intervention Tool

May 27, 2014
Doctors in the Kootenay Boundary have a new tool today that will help them support patients with socioeconomic challenges impacting their health.

Entitled the Poverty Intervention Tool, the document explores the profound impact that social determinants, like not being able to meet monthly expenses, have on patient health.

“Take diabetes as an example, which is a big issue across the province,” said Dr Lee MacKay, Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice board chair.

“The lowest income sector in BC has more than double the rate of diabetes compared to the highest income sector. This has a tremendous impact on our communities – an impact I witness daily in my practice.”

And the facts are equally powerful with respect to cancer rates, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight in infants.

The Poverty Intervention Tool guides doctors with a list of questions to help address the impact of poverty on their patients’ health and puts the resources they need to connect patients with the appropriate community supports and services at their fingertips.

The Division of Family Practice worked with a number of community organizations to develop the Poverty Intervention Tool, including Nelson CARES, a community-based social services organization offering affordable housing, advocacy for victims of crime and those living in poverty, and residential and employment services to adults with disabilities.

Jenny Robinson, Executive Director of Nelson CARES said, “We were delighted to collaborate with the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice on this project. Poverty and health are interrelated and it is vital to create tools that bridge the social and health sectors. It is exciting to see physicians taking a leadership role to support people living in poverty.” 

To learn more about the Kootenay Boundary division Poverty Intervention Tool initiative, click here.

Download the press release 

Download the Poverty Intervention Tool