Want to get involved?
Pictou County Vital Signs is just getting started and we need your help. Would you like to host a Vital Conversation for your geographical or interest community? Contact Jessica at United Way of Pictou County to learn more, 902-755-1754.
What is Pictou County Vital Signs
The Aberdeen Health Foundation and United Way of Pictou County want to ensure they are directing resources where they will have the greatest impact. That’s why they are partnering to bring Vital Signs to the community.
Vital Signs is a research project that measures the vitality of a community by gathering data about significant social and economic trends. The goal is to report on how well a community is faring in key quality of life areas, such as income, health, education, and sense of community belonging.
The first step took place on May 9; the first “Vital Conversation” was hosted to gather public input identifying local priorities. The Pictou County Vital Signs Committee is now hoping to host more Vital Conversation events around Pictou County to include as many voices as possible.
Public input from the Vital Conversations will guide research for an easy to read, “this is where we are” snapshot of Pictou County on key quality of life indicators. The Pictou County Vital Signs committee will collect and analyze data from a wide range of sources, including local municipalities, businesses, and non-profits, as well as provincial and national sources.
“The Aberdeen Health Foundation and the United Way of Pictou County are committed to using evidence from the Pictou County Vital Signs Report to inform their decision making for greatest impact,” says Robyn Eaton of the Health Foundation. “Imagine the opportunities and possibilities if we work together, across sectors, to address identified priorities. Collectively, we can and will have greater positive impact.”
Pictou County Vital Signs Core Team members are: Jessica Smith, Project Co-Lead: Executive Director, Pictou County United Way; Robyn Eaton, Project Co-Lead: Vice Chair, Aberdeen Health Foundation; Nancy MacConnell-Maxner: President, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce; Tamika Borden: African Nova Scotia Support Worker, North Nova Education Centre; Ryan Sommers: Medical Officer of Health for Northern Region, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA); Ashlie Cormier: Consultant for Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, Public Health, (NSHA); Phillipa Pictou: Health Director, Pictou Landing First Nation; Terry Donovan: Chair, Pictou County Council of Seniors.
Since 2006, communities across Canada have leveraged local knowledge through the Vital Signs process to tackle local issues. Close to home, a Vital Signs report for Lunenburg identified that demographic issues within the county were contributing to a labour shortage. A local group, NOW Lunenburg County took this issue on as their focus. They hired a population growth coordinator who embarked on a 36-day, cross-Canada tour with a fun, colourfully decaled trailer that promoted the county’s opportunities and attributes. This well-focused idea was successful in garnering attention and media coverage for the region right across Canada.
Vitals Signs is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada and led locally by the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia (CFNS). An anonymous CFNS private donor will match funds up to $15,000. With the partnership of United Way of Pictou County and Aberdeen Health Foundation, the leveraged total of $30,000 will provide for all necessary expenses, including a researcher, to produce a Vital Signs Report for Pictou County.