REACH Action Space
The challenges we face in rural and remote health are unprecedented and growing. We need an immediate and integrated response to enhance the capacity and quality of rural health professional trainees and their experiences.
Through the Rural Education Acceleration and Collaboration in Health (REACH), UBC Health fosters discussion and helps strengthen connections among health partners who have a role in the delivery of
practice education in rural and remote areas of BC.
The REACH Action Framework is a guide for planning and action that can be used to enable a unifying approach to addressing the quality and capacity of rural and remote placements. It is designed to be a flexible and scalable model that may be utilized in any rural or remote area of British Columbia.
The REACH Action Framework aims to deliver fast results at an increased scale. REACH and its cross-sector partners—driven by health professional program demands, UBC Health coordination, and partner commitment—will unify the provincial community’s support for the enhancement of rural and remote learning experiences for health professional students.
Action is driven by four strategic accelerators:
- Plan and innovate
Each acceleration theme has associated quick start actions, which are intended to be starting points. Implemented together, they will strengthen capacity for rural and remote placement opportunities for health professional students and create a network of rural and remote health clinicians, academics, health service administrators, and communities to foster innovation.
In 2021, UBC Health hosted Going Rural: Enhancing Practice Education, a virtual collaborative health education symposium on practice education in rural and remote areas of British Columbia. The symposium focused on the REACH Action Framework and brought together health partners who have a role in facilitating the delivery of practice education in rural and remote areas of BC to discuss the REACH Action Framework development process, contents, and lessons learned as well as identify collaborative opportunities to utilize the framework in order to enhance capacity and quality of rural and remote practice education. For more information, watch the presentation and download the symposium report.
REACH is supported by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training through the Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning Initiative. Program partners include:
- UBC Health
- UBC health professional programs
- School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia
- College of New Caledonia
- Northern Health
- Rural Coordination Centre of BC
REACH is guided by an advisory committee composed of members representing each of the program partners.
The Rural/Remote Health Practice Education Special Interest Group (SIG) supports the development of a community of practice for health partners who have a role in facilitating the delivery of practice education in rural and remote areas of BC. The SIG will:
- Share best practices, stories, and resources related to practice education in rural/remote BC
- Discuss new and emerging challenges and opportunities in rural/remote practice education
- Provide informal opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and partners across the province
If you have a role or interest in addressing the quality and capacity of rural and remote placements, we encourage you to join.
Everyone has a role in solving the rural health crisis and enhancing the quality and capacity of rural and remote health trainee opportunities. By recording and sharing actions, we can review progress, share innovations, use the latest evidence on what works, learn quickly from failure, and adapt to changing realities.
UBC Health will facilitate this collaborative process through the REACH Action Space by sharing initiatives that align with the aims or accelerate the implementation of the REACH Action Framework. Practice education partners are encouraged to register their initiative—undertaken individually or in partnership—as a rural education acceleration action to be included on the REACH Action Space.
Register your rural education acceleration action by emailing UBC Health at email@example.com.
Want to see what change looks like? Browse these initiatives and get inspired!
- Rural Opportunities for Practice Education (ROPE)
Rural and remote communities in BC are rich learning environments for health professional students, and the ROPE website provides students with resources to help them prepare for a placement in a rural/remote community.
- Distributed Health Programs
There are a number of health professional programs that are distributed throughout BC to train students from and for underserved and rural communities.
- Interprofessional Rural Placement Project
An interprofessional health student placement project in northern BC was designed to improve students’ rural and remote placement experience, promote interprofessional collaboration, and provide meaningful interaction with learners from other health disciplines.
- Video Testimonials
Two videos were created to promote rural/remote placements. They feature preceptors and students who talk about their experiences and the benefits of working in rural and remote communities in BC.
- Rural Education Action Plan (REAP)
This initiative supports the training needs of physicians in rural practice, provides undergraduate medical students and postgraduate residents with rural practice experience, and increases rural physician participation in the medical school selection process.
- Rural eMentoring BC (ReMBC)
This is an online mentoring program that connects rural high school students to post-secondary student mentors. UBC students can apply to become mentors. ReMBC hosts a variety of events throughout the year which are free to attend. Participants don't need to be a part of the program to join.
- Healthcare Travelling Roadshow
This roadshow involves a multidisciplinary group of healthcare students from post-secondary institutions around BC who travel to rural communities to showcase career opportunities to high school students.
- CHANGE BC
This is a team-based approach of integrating nutrition and exercise into effective, personalized lifestyle interventions for patients in rural BC. UBC kinesiology and dietetics students are part of this initiative, taking on administrative, scholarly, and healthcare provider roles.
- Ask Me Anything About Going Rural
This online session was for health professional students who were interested in learning more about rural placements. Student panelists shared their stories and highlighted how their rural placement experiences elevated their personal and professional development.
- Rural Reflection
Following the UBC Health Breathe and Weave Summit: Talking Across Silos to Enable Health System Improvement sessions, the RCCbc Rural facilitated a special Rural Reflections session to discuss implications and opportunities for BC rural communities within the context of provincial health system transformation.
Practice education partners are encouraged to register their initiative—undertaken individually or in partnership—as a rural education acceleration action for inclusion on the REACH Action Space. If you have an initiative or action, please email UBC Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rural Coordination Centre of BC
The Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), in conjunction with the Rural Education Action Plan (REAP), seeks to improve the health of rural people and communities of British Columbia by supporting physician and healthcare provider health and practice, growing relationships through collaboration and partnerships, augmenting feedback loops, and enhancing innovation. Learn more about RCCbc and REAP.
- The Network: Towards Unity For Health
The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH) is an international, intersectoral, intergenerational organization that fosters equitable community-oriented health services, education, and research with the goal of improving health locally and globally. TUFH convenes innovative healthcare organizations, universities, community institutions, and thought leaders from all over the world. TUFH hosts Global Policy to Local Action TUFH Symposiums and Workshops on a regular basis. They are are free for TUFH members and low cost for TUFH non-members to attend.
There are a variety of funding opportunities that could support REACH initiatives.