2018-19 in Review: Training and Leadership

PAN provides a continually evolving array of leadership and capacity building offerings including in-person training events, webinars and resources accessible via our website.  2018-19 was another active year for the leadership and capacity building department.

Positive Leadership Development Institute

The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) provides training for people living with HIV in BC and September of 2019 marked our 10th anniversary for the program. Since the launch of the program more than 200 people have completed the Core Leadership Training in BC. PLDI features three main modules: Core Leadership Training, Bored? Get on Board! (board governance training) and Communication Skills Training.  We have also started to offer the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health First Aid Training to our roster of trainings. Learn more about the modules.

This year we provided two Core Leadership Training events (November 2018 and June 2019); Communication Skills Training (February 2019), and Mental Health First Aid (June 2019). This year we also welcomed Marc Seguin as program Manager after the departure of Jaydee Cossar. Having Marc take on the Manager lead at PLDI brings us full circle: Marc was one of the original trainers in the program, and helped lay the foundation for what the program has become today.

We are now in the third year of a five-year community alliance partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network and COCQ-SIDA (Quebec) which provides the opportunity for ongoing inter-provincial communication, capacity building and knowledge sharing.  We would like to acknowledge the OAN and COCQ-SIDA for their ongoing partnership.

We would also like to acknowledge the amazing PLDI training team: Kath Webster, Dakota Descoteaux, Val Nicholson, John Dub, Roberta V and Monte Strong.


Conference and Training Events

The 2018 Fall Conference, PLHIV Forum and AGM was held in Kelowna, the traditional territories of the Syilx (Okanagan) people, on October 30th and 31st.   Highlights of the event included a keynote by Richard Elliott, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, a thought-provoking panel featuring Women with Lived HIV and hepatitis C experience, and a closing keynote presentation by Dr. Shannon McDonald, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the First Nations Health Authority.

Following the evaluation findings of the 2018 Fall conference, we developed a new webinar series, PAN Presents, which connects PAN member organizations with provincial Health Authority representatives, provincial and federal funding organizations, and representatives from governmental ministries. These webinars are regionally focused to support better engagement between PAN members and their Health Authority liaisons. Another decision based on the 2018 Fall conference evaluation will be a day-long event for people with lived experience of HIV and hepatitis C.

The 4th Annual Educators’ Forum: Promoting Effective STBBI, HIV, Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction Education with Indigenous Peoples of BC (a partnership with First Nations Health Authority) took place February 12 and 13, 2019 on the on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish people, and specifically the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. Highlights included: A keynote address by Haida Medicine Woman Skiljaday (Merle Williams); a stimulating panel session on Harm Reduction for Alcohol; a breakout workshop on Decolonizing Gender, and a keynote plenary by Len Pierre discussing First People’s Principles of Learning.  Special thanks to our partners the First Nations Health Authority, CATIE, Vancouver Coastal Health, Yúusnewas/YouthCO and the BCCDC.

We had a busy year with regional trainings and visited three different communities in 2018-19: Nelson, Surrey and Abbottsford.  The Interior regional training in Nelson, hosted in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa, Syilx and Sinixt First Nations, focused on exploring health equity and featured presentations and discussion by Harlan Pruden, from Chee Mamuk at the BCCDC, on Two-Spirit Reconciliation: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, and Dr. Sana Shahram and her team who led the group through a series of dialogue based sessions on examples of how health inequity influences health services. Special thanks to Jessica Bridgeman and Jennifer Driscoll at Interior Health for letting us ride on your coattails.

The regional training events held in Fraser, one day events held in Surrey and Abbottsford, featured all day sessions with Vikki Reynolds and focused on supporting those working on the frontlines of the overdose crisis in addition to their complex work in HIV and hepatitis C. Vikki brought her years of experience and introduced the strength of sustainability: how our collective work sustains us, nourishes our hope, invites us to honour the resistance and strength we witness in the people we work alongside, and allows us to work in line with our ethics.


Online Learning Live and On-Demand

PAN continues to explore the world of online learning and knowledge sharing through our KnowledgeConnect Webinar Series and this past year we offered 10 different webinars on a wide range of topics (e.g. Cultural Safety and Humility; Using Collective Impact to Strengthen Services for Women; A Human Rights Approach to HIV, Hepatitis C and Overdose Prevention).  All sessions are recorded and can be watched on-demand by visiting the website. As a complement to the KnowledgeConnect Webinar Series stay tuned for the launch of our new podcast in 2020.

I would also like to highlight PAN’s website and in particular the resources section and the News and Views section of our website. Resources are continually being added to the site to provide members with practical and usable information. Two new sections added this past year that I would like to draw your attention to are: Creating Cultures of Wellness and Peer Worker Support and Compensation. And I’m not sure I need to say much about the PAN Weekly Enews because I think the quality of the Enews speaks for itself (thanks Janet!).  But if you’re not a subscriber or you haven’t checked it out in a while, please check it out, it’ll be worth your time. Sign up at the bottom of any page on the site.


New Directions

PAN is excited to be working on two new program areas, the Hepatitis C Leadership Project and the Human Rights Education Project.

The Hepatitis C Leadership Project is a pilot project dedicated to the creation of a leadership development program to strengthen the capacity of PWLE of hepatitis C.  The project aims to empower PWLE of hepatitis C with additional skills and knowledge – similar to PAN’s Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) program – supporting them to realize their leadership potential to contribute to relevant and measurable change in their communities.  The project is in the planning and development stage and we will be starting the process of member engagement by the time you read this.

The Human Right Education Project centres on the right to health and is a collaboration with noted human rights lawyer Joanna Gislason.  Using data from Pivot Legal Society’s Project Inclusion report, national and international sources, it takes a rights-based approach to the opioid crisis response and will work directly with Community Action Teams (CATs) around the province. Workshops and an online toolkit of resources are currently in the final stages of development.

Special thanks to the members of the Leadership & Capacity Building Team: Janet Madsen, Marc Seguin, Joni Reed, Mark Lacroix, Monte Strong, Kira Haug (exited), and Jaydee Cossar (exited). Thank you as well to our members, community partners and allies for your ongoing support, wisdom and enthusiasm. This work is supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada Community Action Fund, The Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, the First Nations Health Authority and the Vancouver Foundation.


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


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Image: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash