family bonding in the living room

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Medical Health Officers provide leadership for Public Health programs that assess and monitor the health of our communities, and address the social, environmental and structural factors, largely outside the health-care system, that impact population health.

We build collaborative partnerships, address conditions that create health inequities, consider the needs of vulnerable groups, and focus on creating supportive environments for everyone in the VCH region to achieve positive health outcomes.

Expert staff that support this work include public health nurses, environmental health officers, licensing officers, tobacco reduction coordinators, epidemiologists and surveillance analysts, policy analysts, speech-language pathologists, dental staff, harm reduction experts, and many others.

A portrait of Patricia Daly outside on a sunny day.  She is glasses and an animal print blouse

"Public health is both an art and a science. As a science, we rely on the systematic use of data and evidence to identify and address health issues in our population. As an art, Public Health requires creativity, flexibility, and collaboration to develop solutions that meet the unique circumstances of our VCH communities.”

Dr. Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health

Learn more about Public Health services

Taking action to improve health

Get a glimpse into some of the key issues and actions that our teams take to promote health and wellness in the Vancouver Coastal region. While this report only captures a fraction of the work that we undertake, we hope that it provides you with a better understanding of how Public Health supports you and your community in living longer and healthier lives.

Public Health

  • Population Health

    Aims to improve the health of the entire population and to reduce health inequities by working with community partners, municipalities, and other stakeholders through research, planning, public policy and health promotion.

  • Health Protection

    Includes Environmental Health Officers, Drinking Water Officers, and others who deliver programs mandated under the Public Health Act, including investigations of food establishments, swimming pools, water systems and sewage disposal.

  • Prevention Services

    This includes Public Health nurses, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, dental hygienists, dietitians and community health specialists who provide services to promote and protect the health of the population.

  • Regional Substance Use and Priority Populations

    Public Health and substance use programs that include prevention and treatment, with the goal of keeping people and communities healthy by preventing infections, illness, and injury.

Physicians’ and Nurse Practitioners’ Update

The Physicians’ and Nurse Practitioners’ Update is a regular publication by the Office of the Chief Medical Health Officer and contains the latest practice-related information for general practitioners and nurse practitioners across the VCH region.

Visit the Physicians' and Nurse Practitioners' Update page

Medical Health Officers

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Medical Health Officers provide Public Health leadership to promote the health and well-being of our communities.

Get more information on our Medical Health Officers

More about VCH

Who we serve

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is one of five regional health authorities in British Columbia working in partnership with the Ministry of Health to provide high quality, appropriate and timely health services to British Columbians.

Indigenous Health

We are making VCH a safe place for healing, designed to preserve traditional healing practices and ensure cultural needs are addressed in all care plans.