Introducing the Better at Home Provincial Team

September 18th, 2012

United Way of the Lower Mainland has assembled a Provincial Team for the Better at Home project to support the expansion of community-based non-medical home support programs across BC over the next three years.

The Provincial Team and United Way are designing the Better at Home program, ensuring community consultation, developing effective models for program delivery with participating non-profit agencies, supporting the program’s implementation, and conducting evaluations. With support from the United Way and various key provincial stakeholders, the Provincial Team is working to consult with regional experts to select sites which will benefit greatly from a Better at Home program.

We are proud to announce the Better at Home Provincial Team, who have a range of experience to make this project a success.

Better at Home Provincial Project Manager Christien Kaaij is an experienced community developer and has managed various projects in BC and the Netherlands. For example, she developed a homelessness strategy in Powell River, coordinated the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Dialogue initiative in Sechelt, and managed the development of a large-scale residential project for seniors, including non-medical home support services in the Netherlands.

Jody Olsson, Field Coordinator with Better at Home, came to us from Vancouver Coastal Health where she led the partnership between the Vancouver Coast Health Tobacco Reduction department and the Aboriginal Health Strategic Initiatives department. She has experience working as a community developer with seniors, particularly urban Aboriginal Elders, and as well as being responsible for the Mental Health portfolio with the First Nations Health Council.

Our other field coordinator, Eirikka Brandson, has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including five years working with seniors in a nursing home. She worked as the Community Wellness Manager for a local First Nation community, has supported numerous health research projects, and managed a health and sport program in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Grant and Data Coordinator Cheryn Wong comes to us from United Way’s Success By 6 Provincial initiative where she has worked to support a provincial network of community developers. Cheryn will coordinate the granting, ensure quality data and information management, and facilitate learning integration and knowledge mobilization amongst the many people involved in Better at Home. Cheryn is currently involved in a number of community engagement initiatives in Vancouver.

Debbie Sharp handles Program Support and Communications. She has a wealth of experience supporting multi-site projects. Debbie has maintained resource libraries, managed web-based communications, and coordinated communications in local and international programs as far afield as the U.S., Japan and South Africa.

We look forward to working with partners across BC to help seniors remain independent.


Photo credit: Lani Johnson