British Columbia is a province that is largely made up of rural and remote communities. Unfortunately, many of these smaller communities are left behind when it comes to accessing healthcare services. This problem is felt heavily by chronic pain sufferers, a group that is not only stigmatized and misunderstood, but also left without access to therapy, doctors, medication, and support. In British Columbia, the wait times to see specialists are very long and are usually located in larger city centers, forcing patients to travel long distances and spend lots of money/time to access the care they deserve.
Although rural and remote communities often lack licensed healthcare providers, they’re not necessarily left completely without support. Social workers, peer support workers, occupational therapists, and more can often be found living in these areas. These dedicated individuals work as their community's healthcare "navigators”. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of access to resources and/or support for these community heroes, and unfortunately, there is a lack of clear communication across the province with regards to pain care and pain management. This leaves healthcare navigators feeling helpless in their efforts to support their community members.
Providence Health Care came to The Alleviators with this problem, hoping there may be an opportunity to address this problem through digital means. The Alleviators are working hard to find a solution that fosters a healthier population in British Columbia, and works on building trust between individuals and the healthcare system.