April 17, 2023

Shining a spotlight on rural and remote care

Healthcare in rural, remote and Indigenous communities is under the spotlight with the release of a new film.

The Edge of Care follows the story of community leaders, elders, artists, knowledge keepers, medical trainees and physicians as they work together to deliver equitable healthcare to the most remote and rural communities in British Columbia.

Through stunning visuals and in-depth interviews, the 20-minute film brings viewers into the lives of people who live and work in these communities.

A focus of the film is the impact that Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) peer pathways have had on remote communities and the rural providers that serve them. With RTVS, rural providers have 24/7 access to clinical support at the click of a button.

The film was created by the Educational Technology (EdTech) team from UBC’s Faculty of Medicine in partnership with the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc). It showcases two communities—Bella Bella and Takla—that use RTVS. It features rural physicians, Indigenous community members, leaders, elders, knowledge keepers, artists, medical trainees and RTVS physicians.

The film premiered on this page on YouTube on Wednesday, April 12.

Zachary Rothman, the director of the film, said: “At the end of our long journeys to these remote communities, we found beauty, generosity, kindness and love. As one of our filming subjects said, ‘we always came away with more than we left.’”

Dr. John Pawlovich, RCCbc’s virtual health lead and the UBC chair in rural health, was instrumental in establishing RTVS. He said the story of RTVS was an important one to share.

“Healthcare providers who work in rural, remote and Indigenous communities need and deserve access to kind, non-judgmental and culturally safe support around the clock,” he said. “With the RTVS peer pathways we are committed to a ‘How can I help?’ culture.

“This journey started because we asked ‘How can we enhance the experience of people who live in remote communities like Takla or Bella Bella with their healthcare journey?’ That’s fundamentally what interests me.”

Film trailer: https://youtu.be/5W9VbrQnoaw

The Real Time Virtual Support (RTVS) program is a partnership between the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), HealthLink BC, and UBC Digital EM through funding provided by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC) and the Ministry of Health Primary Care Division.

Rebecca Connop Price
Communications Officer, Rural Coordination Centre of BC
T: (604) 558-7650 (direct)
E: rconnopprice@rccbc.ca


About the Rural Coordination Centre of BC

Led by rural physicians, the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) is a network that improves the health of rural people and communities across British Columbia. We cultivate relationships and networks, facilitate rural health discussion, coordinate rural health projects, create learning opportunities for rural healthcare practitioners, advocate for a healthy rural British Columbia, stimulate rural health research, and develop healthcare leaders. Funded primarily by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, our network partners include healthcare providers, healthcare administrators, community members, policymakers, educators, researchers, and non-profit and business leaders. We serve all 204 communities in British Columbia covered by the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement.