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Town to seek input from Local Health Involvement Group


In an effort to see progress on several health related concerns impacting the community, Town of The Pas Mayor Herb Jaques is exploring options to get the Town a better foothold in discussions on those topics.
Jaques has been critical of several health related concerns in the community since being elected in 2018, including the ongoing needle epidemic and the call for a clinic in the community. Both issues have seen little progress despite concerns expressed, both by the Town and local citizens.
Jaques in early December called on the Town to approach the topic in a different way, through a local health improvement group.
According to the provincial website, “Local Health Involvement Groups (LHIGs) are a way for Manitobans to have a say. There are LHIGs in each regional health authority. People who care about health services in their communities can apply to be members. Regions will choose at least ten members to be a part of each LHIG for one to three years; the LHIGs will meet four times per year in person, by phone, or online or by Tele-Health.
The regions' boards will suggest topics for the LHIGs to talk about. The LHIGS can also suggest their own topics for discussion. These topics will look at the big picture of health services in the local area. The LHIGs will share their thoughts with the boards to help them make decisions.”
“There is a local health improvement group that isn’t fully membered up but there are a couple of people in the community who are on it so it does exist,” stated Jaques.
Jaques suggested the Town write a letter to the group, seeking a way for the LHIG and the Town to work together.
“I would like to send a letter from council for two things; asking for a meeting with the senior board of the RHA and for some clarification as to what the local health improvement group is, who they are, what they do, when they meeting, what have they been doing and is there room for council to be active on that group,” said Jaques.
The LHIG isn’t to be confused with the Northern Health Region board, which is also comprised of volunteers but whose scope is for the entire region rather than just community based. The board actually has strong representation with residents of The Pas and OCN comprising the largest share of board positions currently. One of those is Carrie Atkinson, a Town councillor for the Town of The Pas. Atkinson stated there are three members from The Pas and one from OCN on the regional board.
The Town was to have sent a letter to the LHIG, with The Pas Community Development Corporation (TPCDC) offering to assist in supporting the Town if needed.
“We want to make sure we’re all singing the same song is all,” said Andre Murphy, Town councillor and chairperson for TPCDC.

Trent Allen