Over the past year the Alberta Community Council on HIV (ACCH) continued forward with its strategic planning priorities strengthening the systems and operations to increase capacity as a provincial voice, provide benefits to its members, and increase the profile of our collective work.
In working with the ACCH membership, government partners and stakeholders, the ACCH responded to the need for additional funding for Harm Reduction training and supplies, safe consumption sites and to support a harm reduction approach to illicit drug use and help develop a federal exemption application. ACCH also continued marking parthways with our government partners around the provincial funding needs of our membership organizations to address HIV and other related issues.
With the Community- Based Take Home Naloxone program (CBTHN), the ACCH now supports eight of its membership organizations in the delivery of a Take Home Naloxone program. Since this start of this program, the numbers of naloxone kits and reported reversals have consistently increased from month to month and Alberta continues to experience high numbers of overdoses and deaths associated with the illicit use of opioids. Collectively, over 6,200 naloxone kits were distributed last year - an increase from last year of over 4000 naloxone kits distributed. The ACCH will continue to facilitate the valued CBTHN project across Alberta with excepted enhancements to the project commencing in the fall of 2017.
The ACCH was pleased to support the continued development of the Aboriginal Strategy and the work of the Positive Voices Caucus. Community engagement was increased and appropriate strategies continue to be developed with caucuses that brought in disproportionately impacted communities of which individuals were clearly heard and needs assessed. Currently, the primary focus of building strong foundations continues so that each caucus can move upward and outward from a position of strength and readiness.
We are excited about these important pieces to strengthen our collective voice plus the development of communication strategies and policy and procedures frameworks which identifies listening, learning and educating to be a future success of the ACCH. The demonstrations of these acts were highly visible within the ACCH Skills Building Conference where ally relationships with Indigenous Agencies were enhanced and opportunities created for Indigenous people to receive culturally relevant services and access to cultural support in the field of HIV, HCV, STBBI's and Sexual Health.
As the ACCH progresses forward, the visual identities online for all facets have been re-developed and collectively presented to heighten strategic search engine optimization analytics and offer a distinct and transparent plus educational platforms for users, members, stakeholders and the public at large to enhance their needs and how the ACCH can help through a social justice lens supporting community based responses to HIV, Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections, Sexual Health via advocacy, harm reduction, education, skills building training and health promotion.
On behalf of the ACCH Board of Directors, we would like to thank our funders who are partners in supporting in the services of our organization in meeting the needs of our membership, which include Alberta Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
We are very fortunate to have a team of people; including the Board of Directors, the ACCH staff and each member who are dedicated to the mission, vision and values of the ACCH. I would like to thank you all for your ongoing commitment and guidance provided to ensure we are a sound and accountable organization.
- Stacey Bourque, Chair
- Leslie Hill, Vice-Chair
- Jennifer Vanderschaeghe, Treasurer/Secretary
- Shelley Williams, Past Chair
- Lori Phillips, Member at Large
- Floyd Visser, Member at Large