Faculty Initiatives

Indigenous Commitment

In keeping with VIU's Indigenous commitment, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Human Services has initiated a number of activities.

Following the initiation of an annual event in 2013 at the Snuneymuxw Longhouse; Seasons of Health and Healing, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Human Services (HHS) received funding through the Aboriginal Service Plan in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 to engage an Elder within the Faculty on the Nanaimo Campus. These activities (Seasons & the Elder) are part of an initiative to encourage all programs to "Indigenize" curriculum. Previous work includes efforts of programs such as Child and Youth Care (CYC), Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), and Health Care Assistant (HCA) that developed and delivered specialized programs with Aboriginal content, primarily at the Cowichan Campus and in First Nations communities on Vancouver Island. Previous work also included the development and delivery of three First Nations Health and Wellness courses and a BSN practicum that enabled students to experience a field school in a remote First Nations community (2008). HHS is also home to the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Innovation Chair, funded through an endowment created in 2009. The current Chair, a member of Cowichan First Nation, teaches in the ECEC program. The Aboriginal Service Plan has provided funding over the last three years for the HHS Faculty Elder and to support the Indigenization of VIU's Faculty of Health Sciences and Human Services (HHS) curriculum. Indigenization of the curriculum is an ongoing process which leads to learning outcomes for students that address First Nations and Aboriginal concepts and the use of Aboriginal ways of knowing within the faculty.

The Health Sciences and Human Services Indigenization Interim Report summarizes the conversations of the 2015/2016 academic year on Indigenization of curriculum and identifies the next steps that each program will engage in to move the process forward.

Health Sciences and Human Services Indigenization Activity Evaluation Form

HHS offers several elective courses that incorporate Aboriginal knowledge about health and social issues; cultural safety and cultural competence regarding Aboriginal history and learning; as well as assessment activities that reflect Aboriginal ways of knowing.

  • HHS 263 Elders Teachings I
  • HHS 264 Elders Teachings II
  • HSD 201 First Nations Health and Wellness I
  • HSD 202 First Nations Health and Wellness II

Interprofessional Education

Health Sciences and Human Services formally embarked on integrating interprofessional education (IPE) into curricula in 2008 when a group of faculty and staff began a tradition of focusing on interprofessional roles among different programs and bringing faculty and students together to share this information. The event evolved to include placing students in interprofessional teams and addressing case studies. In 2012 an emphasis was placed upon the social determinants of health to establish common foundations for each of the student groups to problem solve. HHS's simulation coordinator took on a leadership role for the day's activities in 2013 and 2014. In 2014 a presenter and facilitator on IPE attended the event and provided the developmental progress of the University of Victoria and University of British Columbia IPE programs. The HHS IPE initiative has much to celebrate, as evidenced in the commitment faculty have made to setting aside time for an annual IPE day and the continued intentions to develop IPE courses. Examples of success incorporating cross-program initiatives include the development of an IPE simulation day in spring 2016 with BSN, HCA and LPN, dental student class presentations in BSN classes, and dental services and teaching for CYC groups attending the Centre for Community Outreach and Care.

Interprofessional Initiatives reflects on the possibilities for further work and the direction that IPE could take within HHS.

HHS Interprofessional Initiatives Request for Proposals

Faculty Scholarly Activity Fund

The HHS Scholarly Activity Fund was established in 2013 to provide funding for a range of scholarly initiatives by regular faculty (VIUFA and BCGEU). The intent of the fund is to encourage scholarship as defined by Boyer's Model (scholarship of discovery, teaching, application or integration) and to enhance the quality of the student experience and/or community service delivery within the realm of Health Sciences and Human Services delivery. Applications are accepted in October and March of each year.

Grants are not intended to provide for:

  • curriculum development
  • institutional research
  • Graduate degree completion
  • items normally eligible for faculty Professional Development funds (other than travel)

Scholarly Activity Committee Terms of Reference

HHS Scholarly Activity Fund Application

Application Deadline: Midnight on October 15

Student Leadership

Student leadership is strongly encouraged and promoted in several ways within the faculty. All programs have student representation on Faculty and Faculty Council, and many programs include student representation on their program advisory committees. In addition, the student council promotes interprofessional connections for students across programs. The Student Engagement Fund supports students to undertake student organized events with a scholarly or interprofessional focus. This is consistent with the Canadian Association of Health Science Deans (CAHSD) focus on student leadership, and HHS annually sponsors student leaders to attend this conference with the dean.

HHS Student Council