PNWBHA at a Glance

The State of Washington (WA) and the Province of British Columbia (BC) have been leading Pacific North West public health collaboration since 2003.  The initial focus of this state and provincial collaboration rested on an annual cross border workshop to address emerging public health threats, including pandemic influenza preparedness and tracking infectious disease across borders.  This successful partnership has strengthened and the workshops have continued to evolve, now being in its eighth year.

In 2004, BC and Alberta (AB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with respect to collaboration on the use of available public health and health services resources during emergencies. A similar MoU was signed between BC and WA State in 2006.

Building on the original collaboration between Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and the Yukon, the creation of the Pacific NorthWest Border Health Alliance (PNWBHA) has provided a framework for further collaborative work, including mutual assistance and interagency and interdisciplinary collaboration in the Pacific North West. The PNWBHA has institutionalized the previously ad hoc cross border working groups to ensure sustainability of the collaborations.

The new alliance is intended to replicate the Pacific North West Economic Region with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana join the original partners Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Washington State and the Yukon. Manitoba and North Dakota have also been invited to join the Alliance.

Mission Statement

Vision

A seamless cross border and cross jurisdictional public health surveillance and emergency response network in the Pacific Northwest.

Mission

To provide a forum for inter-jurisdictional collaboration in the identification and promotion of “best practices” in addressing the capability of Parties to prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of any public health or other emergencies or disasters.

Goals

To provide an organizational structure that provides leadership in the integration of public health preparedness and response initiatives at all levels of government, including Tribal and First Nations, throughout the Pacific Northwest.

To prevent and/or mitigate the potential impact of a catastrophic health event1, such as; a naturally-occurring pandemic; a devastating environmental or geological event; or a terrorist attack with chemical, biological or radiological weapons, through dynamic and open collaboration.

To respond to surge capacity demands on health systems and health resources efficiently and in a cost effective manner when public health emergencies arise in any jurisdiction party to the Pacific NorthWest Border Health Alliance Memorandum of Understanding; and

To assess current and explore future areas of collaboration that could result in efficiencies when providing health services in all Alliance jurisdictions.

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