April 1, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A wellness action plan will be developed for the Acadian Peninsula, Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert announced today.
The plan is an outcome of the regional wellness forum held on March 28 in Caraquet. Nathalie Boivin, who presented research and a community profile of the Acadian Peninsula, will also be responsible for preparing a report on the desired outcomes and next steps.
"The forum provided an important opportunity to work together to determine areas of importance and priorities in improving wellness in the peninsula," said Albert. "The health of our children, youth, families and seniors depends on us uniting strengths and resources to work together to improve the state of health of peninsula residents. Together, we can create a culture of wellness for the Acadian Peninsula."
Participants also held discussions on the upcoming creation of a regional wellness network as part of a provincial wellness initiative. Wellness networks are made up of people from various backgrounds who address an issue of concern about wellness in their own community or region. These groups strive to improve wellness for everyone in their communities, especially the most vulnerable. Wellness networks allow a community to examine and address its specific wellness needs, and to set goals based on regional realities.
"The Acadian Peninsula wellness forum will pave the way for community engagement around key priority wellness issues identified by the participants," said Albert. "The participants, through open dialogue and involvement during the forum, demonstrated the importance of working together to overcome the wellness crisis in their region. The success of the forum is a tribute to the commitment and partnership of provincial, regional and community champions, which marks the beginning of a comprehensive peninsula wellness journey."
The forum was a pilot project that stemmed from recommendations of the Acadian Peninsula Dialogue on Health in 2007. About 150 participants representing various wellness-related sectors met to share their knowledge and experience. The agenda included presentations, kiosks, activities, news, celebrations of best practices, music and discussions.
The forum was designed to define the capacity, commitment and strengths relating to wellness that exist in the peninsula, and co-ordinate efforts to continue wellness development there.
MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle McFarlane, communications, Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.