bc211 for EPH
I've worked extensively with environmental public health (EPH) professionals to find ways they can support health equity. How to do this is not always easy, and many of the social determinants of health that they witness are outside the EPH scope of practice. I worked with bc211 to help EPH professionals refer clients to important social, financial, mental health, and other community services.
bc211 is a non-profit agency that provides information and referrals to community, government and social services through a website and confidential phone and text services staffed by trained information and referral specialists. 211 services operate across Canada.
After initial consultations, I provided training to bc211 staff to help them better understand EPH roles and scope of practice in British Columbia. They used this information to scan their resources and identify those might likely to respond to issues that arise in EPH. Together, we developed training sessions for EPH staff to educate them about bc211 services and resources. This training included exercises to illustrate how and when bc211 might fill gaps when EPH professionals identified needs that were outside their mandate or scope of practice. We developed scripts and protocols to pilot test with environmental health officers before finalizing referral forms and processes.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides information for health professionals about using bc211 referral services. Training is available for health authority staff and referrals processes are posted online. EPH professionals who are certified public health inspectors are eligible to receive credit for professional development hours as part of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) Continuing Professional Competencies Program.