Training and Leadership: 2019-20

The Year in Review


Physically distanced team meeting: Marc, Stacy, Monte, Janet.

PAN’s Training and Leadership department offers in-person training events, virtual knowledge sharing and capacity building events; and a wealth of continuously updated resources via our website.  As in years past, we have presented a range of in-person events. However, with the emergence of COVID-19, we had to reshape the events of our department. Although several events were cancelled due to public health directives, our department was quick to adapt to the changed reality and we were able to start offering programming online within days of the provincial shutdown. We look forward to returning to in-person events, but for the foreseeable future we will continue providing training and leadership events online for the safety and security of PAN members.


Hepatitis C Leadership Project

The Hepatitis C Leadership Project is a peer-driven initiative to strengthen the leadership skills, health equity, and voices of people with lived experience of hepatitis C in BC. This will be achieved through a peer-led pilot leadership training; and by expanding PAN’s communication and advocacy on hepatitis C. The meaningful engagement of people with lived experience of hepatitis C is woven throughout the project to align with the community principle of ‘nothing about us without us’.

This year focused on the formation and development of the project’s advisory committee, an important process to capture valuable community input. Coordinated by Monte Strong, the advisory committee expressed the need for a leadership model based on personal, peer, and community empowerment. In March, the advisory committee was able to conduct its monthly meeting in person. This was a special opportunity for the committee to gather for peer connection and team-building. Strategic planning concepts such as roles, leadership modelling, and voices of lived experience were explored. The meeting was immediately followed by PAN’s Stories of Lived Experience event. This provided an opportunity for learning, sharing, and community-building for peers from around BC.

In addition to focusing on advisory committee activities, the project coordinator was involved in various relationship building activities. The coordinator participated in advocacy tables such as the Collective Impact Network and Action Hepatitis Canada as well as formed a collective advocacy work group. Community engagement conversations included Pacific Hepatitis C Network, community-based organizations, people with lived experience of hepatitis C, CATIE, and researchers.

We are grateful for project support from the Vancouver Foundation, and would like to acknowledge and thank the advisory committee members whose voices of lived experience inform the project: Alicia Koback, Emma Currie, Jessica Lamb, David Williams, Daryl Luster, and previous contributions from Terry Marion and Phyllis Sauve.

If you are interested in learning more, a Hepatitis C Leadership Project webinar held in June is available for viewing.


Positive Leadership Development Institute

The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) provides training for people living with HIV in BC. Since the launch of the program in 2009, more than 240 people have completed Core Leadership Training. PLDI features three main modules: Core Leadership Training; Bored? Get on Board! (board governance training); and Communication Skills Training.  We also offer the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health First Aid Training when financial and human resources are available.

Due to COVID-19 we were only able to provide one Core Leadership Training (November 2019) and a Governance Skills Training (February 2020). With COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the PLDI training team adapted and redirected resources to focus on PLDI graduates, leading virtual PLDI Leadership Check-in(s) and activities. We’ve hosted eight virtual events, including one specifically for women, an interprovincial PLDI Jamboree with leaders in Ontario, and a PLDI Indigenous peer-led film screening.

PAN is grateful to be part of a 5 year PHAC-CAF funded Community Alliance with the Ontario AIDS Network and COCQ- SIDA (Quebec). Together we are adapting to the concepts of e-learning, and developing 4 new online trainings, an online Governance training, a Personal and Collective Engagement (PACE) pilot training and a PLDI-IDLP web portal.

We would like to acknowledge the remarkable PLDI training team: K. Webster, Berta, Monte Strong, John Dub, Val Nicholson, and Dakota Descoteaux.


Capacity Building Events and Virtual Learning

Traditionally PAN hosts its annual fall conference, PLHIV Forum and AGM, but in October 2019 we opted to move to a virtual format and hosted an online keynote address with Dr. Christy Sutherland, Medical Director of PHS Community Services. She spoke about a safer drug supply and decriminalization. The keynote was followed by the AGM.

The 5th Educators’ Forum: Promoting Effective STBBI, HIV, Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction Education with Indigenous Peoples of BC took place March 3 and 4, 2020 on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish people, and specifically the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations.  Session content included discussions on the complex relationship of health, systemic and individual inequities; as well as using arts and culture to enhance education, health and wellness. Please visit the event resource page.  Special thanks to event partners: First Nations Health Authority, CATIE, ANKORS, Positive Living North, AVI Health and Community Services, Vancouver Coastal Health, Yúusnewas/YouthCO and the BCCDC.

This year was our most active ever with PAN’s KnowledgeConnect and PAN Presents events. We offered 24 virtual capacity-building and knowledge sharing events. Presentations included: Hep C in Focus (3 parts); Harm Reduction and Healing in Indigenous Communities (Andrea Medley); Outside In: An Initiative to Reach gbMSM at All Levels of ‘Outness’ (Kiarmin Lari, HIM; Darren Ho, CBRC); Q and A session about Safe Supply with Guy Felicella.  Please check out the Webinar Archive for all recorded sessions.

The training and leadership team were also active members on the planning and hosting team for the Stories of Lived Experience (SoLE) event, a gathering of people with lived experience of HIV and/or lived experience of hepatitis C, held on the unceded traditional territory of the Semiahmoo, Katzie Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations in Surrey.

The Human Rights Education Project (HREP), a time-limited collaborative project (completed June 30) with human rights lawyer Joanna Gislason, and funded by the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions/ Overdose Emergency Response Centre, worked directly with Community Action Teams (CATs) around BC and focused on workshops that highlighted a human-rights based approach to the opioid crisis.

The province’s commitment to a human rights-based approach to the overdose crisis also provided an opportunity for PAN to develop a comprehensive toolkit on the right to health and the right of all British Columbians to be free from the harmful effects of discrimination. The Human Rights Education Toolkit is a valuable resource, with information collected from people who use drugs (PWUD) in BC (as articulated by Pivot Legal Society in the Project Inclusion report), national and international sources. Stay tuned for upcoming webinars on the toolkit.

Special thanks to the core members of the Leadership and Capacity Building Team: Janet Madsen, Marc Seguin and Monte Strong. Thank you as well to Joni Reed and Mark Lacroix (HREP).  Thanks also go to  our members, community partners and allies for your wisdom, enthusiasm and support. Our work was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada Community Action Fund, The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, the First Nations Health Authority, CATIE and the Vancouver Foundation.

For more information on Training and Leadership programs and events, contact Stacy Leblanc, Director of Director of Capacity Building Initiatives, [email protected].


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Photo of Brackendale by James Wheeler on Unsplash