Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice

Poverty Intervention Tool

Introducing the Poverty Intervention Tool

We know that the health impacts of poverty directly effect 15% of B.C. residents. And evidence outlining the profound impact social determinants have on health is well documented, including:
  • Infant mortality: 60% higher in lowest income sector neighbourhoods.
  • Cancer: Higher incidence for lung, oral and cervical for lower income population.
  • Cardiovascular disease: B.C. has a 17% higher rate of circulatory conditions among the lowest income sector than the Canadian average.
  • Diabetes: Lowest income sector has more than double the rate of diabetes, compared to the highest income sector.
  • Mental illness: Depression is 58% higher for people living below the poverty line, than the Canadian average.

Doctors in the Kootenay Boundary have long recognized and been actively working to find ways of supporting patients who struggle with socio-economic challenges. As part of this work, a tool developed in Ontario* came to our attention that helps primary care providers address the impacts of poverty on their patients.

Using Ontario’s Poverty Intervention Tool* as the template, the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice worked with the Centre for Collaboration, Motivation and Innovation, and the Advocacy Centre in Nelson BC to develop both Kootenay Boundary and British Columbia wide versions of the tool.

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.

We are now making the tool publicly available for health practitioners in the Kootenay Boundary and across British Columbia (click the image to download):



Please support this important work by downloading and promoting the Poverty Intervention Tool it as widely as possible to health practitioners you know. To help you, we’ve outlined some great tips for promoting the Poverty Intervention Tool.

The original files (Adobe InDesign) are also available to customize with locally relevant information, to request the files, please contact our Communications Lead Paul at pedney@kbdivision.ca.

* Special thanks to ‘Poverty: A clinical tool for primary care in Ontario’ by Dr. Gary Bloch, MD CCFP, with support from St. Michael’s Hospital Family Medicine Associates, Health Providers Against Poverty and Broden Giambrone, MHSc, Research Assistant.