Exemplary Partnerships for Low-threshold Services: The PHS Community Services Society and Vancouver Coastal Health

Some Canadian regional health authorities have fully committed to partnerships with not-for-profit (NFP) organizations for the purpose of promoting healthy public policy. Some are seeking to go further in this direction and others have not yet embarked on this course. This document is part of a series of texts documenting existing partnership practices and analyzing their contributions in terms of public health. The aim is to allow authorities to weigh the benefits of such partnerships for the health of the populations under their responsibility and to determine the conditions for implementing such action.

Specifically, this document describes how the establishment of partnerships between the Vancouver regional health authority and an NFP organization delivering “low-threshold services” made it possible to reach people living with mental illness or substance abuse problems, while at the same time acting on the social and public policy context that, in part, determined their health status.

First, the intervention context and the program of the NFP organization are described. Next, the nature of the partnership between the Vancouver regional authority and the organization is brought into focus. Finally, an analysis of what this partnership makes possible in terms of the population's health is initiated.

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