Our Community & University Partners
Below is a list of organizations in British Columbia that offer educational services, outreach, advocacy, patient and health service resources, clinical placements and informational services. We are constantly updating our list of community partners. If you do not see your organization below and have worked with us in the past, please visit our contact page and let us know.
AIDS Vancouver exists to alleviate individual and collective vulnerability to HIV and AIDS through support, public education and community based research. When people affected by HIV/AIDS experience difficulties in accessing services or have a financial, transportation, medical, food, housing or other problem or emergency, quality services are available from AIDS Vancouver including: Case Management Services; Financial Assistance Fund; Grocery and Nutrition Support; Outreach Care Teams Support; and Confidential Helpline Support. We also provide support and leadership to numerous other local AIDS Service Organizations (ASO’s), through project management, administrative assistance and coalition partnerships.
The ALS Society of BC is dedicated to providing direct support to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients, along with their families and caregivers, to ensure the best quality of life possible while living with ALS. Through assisting research, we are committed to ALS.
The Arthritis Society is Canada’s principal charitable organization dedicated to searching for the underlying causes and subsequent cures for arthritis, and to promoting the best possible care and treatment for all Canadians who live with this chronic disease. With help from dedicated volunteers and donors, we fund life-changing arthritis research and provide support through our programs and services to enable people to live well with arthritis
The BC Bereavement Helpline is the largest non-profit bereavement support network in BC offering immediate telephone support to the bereaved and their caregivers of BC and offering referral to appropriate community-based bereavement support where and when available. Since its inception in 1986, the Helpline has answered over 30,000 calls and has developed a Resource Directory of over 300 bereavement resources in the Province.
The BC Cancer Agency Prevention Programs helps to increase public awareness that more than 50% of cancers can be prevented. There are five main preventable risk factors that can be impacted by making healthy lifestyle choices. In addition to the education and promotion of cancer prevention, staff located throughout BC also assist to educate and promote Screening in an effort to increase cervical and mammography screening rates.
The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is dedicated to improving the health of British Columbians with HIV through the development, ongoing monitoring and dissemination of comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related diseases. The Centre is a key provincial resource, serving all health authorities, regions and citizens of B.C. The Centre places the disease under the microscope, provides care and treatment to those infected, educates doctors and healthcare professionals throughout the province, and promotes evidence-based social policy that helps protect people from acquiring the virus.
For over 30 years, the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. BCCPD’s mission is to support people, regardless of their disability, to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in society. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.
The BC Epilepsy Society is a non-profit charitable organization providing education, advocacy, and support for those affected by epilepsy. It offers educational events, resource library, support groups, hospital outreach, a newsletter and website. It provides seizure awareness training, funds children to attend accessible camps, awards post-seconpary scholarships, and distributes information materials in various languages.
The mission of the BC Lung Association is to lead provincial and international lung health initiatives, prevent lung disease, help people manage lung disease and promote lung health. We work together with the Canadian Lung Association office as well as the other provincial Lung Associations to help the one in five Canadians who have breathing problems. Originally known as the Anti-Tuberculosis Society, the scope of the association has broadened to include asthma, COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), lung cancer, sleep apnea and tuberculosis. A non-profit and volunteer-based health charity, The BC Lung Association depends on donations from the public to support lung health research, education, prevention and advocacy.
The Lupus Society’s mission is to support advances in research and treatments; to create public awareness; to provide education and support to people affected by lupus. We are committed to sponsoring research and providing hope for those affected by lupus. The Lupus Society is incorporated province-wide, with members residing across the country and internationally, as far away as Singapore and Hong Kong. An extensive volunteer network of 8 support groups and 33 provincial contacts, we provide a wide variety of services which link the Lupus Society to thousands of people touched by lupus.
The British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society exists to enable persons living with AIDS and HIV disease to empower themselves through mutual support and collective action. From our personal struggles and challenges come our courage and strength.
BC Transplant’s (BCT) mission statement is with compassion, collaboration and innovation, we will save lives and offer hope through organ donation, transplantation and research. Established in 1986, BCT directs, delivers or contracts for all organ transplant services across BC. BC Transplant believes that the health-restoring benefits of organ transplant services should be available to those individuals who meet the suitability and eligibility criteria for transplantation in British Columbia. It is funded principally through the BC Ministry of Health Services, and is an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. BC Transplant Foundation is an officially recognized charitable organization.
The BCNF was established in 1984 to respond to the needs of individuals with NF and their families. The organization exists today because of one individual – Paul Ralfs. Paul Ralfs’ determination and belief that individuals with NF need not go through their journey alone, drove him to found The BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation. The BCNF continues its work today through the efforts of a Board of Directors, part-time staff and volunteers to educate the public about NF, support NF research, and support the newly diagnosed and their families.
CAFA West represents CAFA in western Canada, promoting membership and directing funds to research, in hopes of discovering a cure or treatment for a variety of types of ataxia. We work to raise awareness about ataxia and clarify information about the types of ataxias. Where possible, we also hope to do advocacy work on behalf of individuals with ataxia, and/or advocate for ataxians in general in the community and within the health care system.
The Association supports those diagnosed with Celiac Disease and assorted disorders such as Gluten Intolerance with assistance with the life long gluten free diet which is the only “medicine” for the condition to put it into remission. The Chapter publishes newsletters, holds member events and participates in awareness events to get doctors to recognize the symptoms of Celiac Disease and to encourage restaurants to have gluten free dining options.
The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a national, not-for-profit health agency that raises funds and awareness to fight cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians. We work with patients, families, physicians and other caring Canadians with the common goal of finding a cure of effective control for CF
The Canadian Diabetes Association’s mission is to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We are delivering on our mission by: providing people with diabetes and health care professionals with education and services; advocating on behalf of people with diabetes; supporting research; and translating research into practical applications.
The mission for the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD) is to prevent and reduce pain, pain-related suffering and disability by creating and sharing evidence-based resources and information. The CIRPD has 5 main goals: 1) to improve the quality of health services and health care treatments available for chronic pain; 2) to empower patients, families, employers and others to make informed decisions about prevention, reduction and management of pain, pain-related suffering and disability; 3) to provide credible, evidence-based resources; 4) to keep our members updated on relevant research; 5) to increase communication among researchers, health professionals and policy makers.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a registered non-profit, voluntary organization that promotes mental health and recovery from mental illness through education, advocacy, research and service. Services include rehabilitation, community support, recreation, and information services. The CMHA vision is mentally healthy people in a healthy society.
Mucopolysaccharide (MPS) diseases are rare, progressive, devastating multi-systemic disorders caused by genetically inherited enzyme deficiencies. The Canadian Society for Mucopolysaccharide and Related Diseases Inc. (The Canadian MPS Society) is committed to providing support to affected individuals and their families, educating medical professionals and the general public about MPS, and raising funds for research.
CNIB is the primary source of support, information and most importantly, hope, for all Canadians affected by vision loss. We are recognized experts in vision health and have been making a profound difference in the lives of Canadians since 1918. At CNIB it is well understood that there are ways to enjoy a good quality of life for any of us experiencing vision loss, and important preventive steps we can all take to maintain vision health.
Founded in 2008, the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) delivers programs and services to children and families living with autism spectrum disorder in British Columbia. Our programs are inclusive, accessible and welcoming to people of all abilities. Our goal is to enhance the quality of lives for those living with autism by providing access to innovative year-round programs designed to meet the unique behavioural, emotional and physical needs of people on the spectrum.
The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC is an independent, non-profit Association that operates as the Knowledge Centre for cerebral palsy (CP) in BC. We provide advocacy and support to British Columbians affected by CP through information and referral services, an extensive resource library, a bursary program, public education material, workshops, and presentations.
Active since 1976 and incorporated as a non-for-profit society in 1992, Educacentre College is the only French language college in British Columbia. It has gained distinction as a leader in minority language education in Western Canada, and in distance education. The mission of the college is to develop a comprehensive educational environment that enables individuals to interact, influence and affect their lives in a constantly changing labour market. Educacentre College has 3 campuses in B.C.: Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George, in addition to a virtual campus for online access. It has an average annual student enrollment of 1500 and 120 full and part time staff. Student services and resources include: academic and vocational guidance, employment counselling, immigrant services, language laboratory, health laboratory, resources centres, and a computer laboratory.
COSCO is a non profit organization that works to educate and advocate for seniors across the province. We have over 100,000 members affiliated to our organization. We look at all aspects of seniors’ lives and advocate for healthcare (including home care and Pharmacare), housing, transportation, income (particularly pensions) and communications. We also have an extensive set of workshops on issues specific to seniors. They are delivered free to groups across the province.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) was founded in 1974 by a group of parents whose children were diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). From that small but dedicated group, CCFC has grown to become a world leader in IBD research funding. To achieve our goal of finding the cure, CCFC is committed, first and foremost, to raising funds for research into IBD. We also believe it is important to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by educating people with IBD, their families, health professionals and the general public about these diseases.
The Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) provides over 50 community-based programs and services for children, youths, and adults. The DDA not only strives to enable people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential, but also is one of the largest daycare providers in the Lower Mainland.
Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society (FVACFSS)-Xyolhemeylh provides culturally appropriate and holistic services through prevention, community development and child welfare programs to Aboriginal children, youth and their families residing on and off reserve throughout the Fraser Valley. For more information call tool free: 1.800.663.9393
The Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Healthy Living Program provides health promotion and prevention education programs targeted to adults living in Vancouver who are at risk of chronic diseases. The Healthy Living Program (HLP) also provides assistance with planning community-based health screening events. The HLP partners with community-based agencies to promote healthy behaviour changes, in particular around healthy eating, active living and living tobacco free. The HLP team includes nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based organization, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, and reducing their impact through the advancement of research, promotion of health living, and advocacy. The foundation raises funds to support research and health promotion programs by providing information on heart disease and stroke, in general, based on the best science available.
The Huntington Society of Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization which raises funds to deliver individual and group counselling service to support individuals and families living with Huntington disease (HD) and to fund medical research to delay or stop the progression of the disease. The Society also works with health and social services professionals to enable them to better serve people living with HD. The BC Chapter financially supports both the Centre for Huntington Disease, and the BC Huntington Disease Resource Centre.
Indian Residential School Survivor Society assists First Peoples in British Columbia to recognize and be holistically empowered from the primary and generational effects of residential schools by supporting research, promoting awareness, establishing partnerships and advocating for justice and healing.
G.V. Counselling and Education Society for Families is the first nonprofit society offering clinical counselling and support group for everyone and the Iranian / Farsi-speaking community. Our mission is to educate and empower everyone in overcoming challenges stemming from immigration in order to integrate and participate in the Canadian society. We are serving our community in Greater Vancouver with help of bilingual individual and group therapy in addition to group based psycho-educational programs.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS’s mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding.
The Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDA) provides self-help support groups, education and information to people living with a mood disorder or other mental illness, and for their family and friends. Free monthly education evenings for the community are offered with professionals and experts on mental health speaking. The Lowdown, a speakers’ bureau of young adults with lived experience of mental illness, addresses stigma by sharing their personal accounts.
MOSAIC Settlement Services is a government-funded program that assists Permanent Resident newcomers. Bilingual staff provide culturally-sensitive services in a variety of languages. We assist with newcomers’ questions in a one-on-one setting and can also make referrals to relevant programs/services. Some topics that we can assist with include: healthcare system in BC (MSP), family programs, multicultural victim services, English conversation/ELSA programs, employment programs, BC education system, rental assistance, basic information on the law. In addition, we also have group activities such as support groups, seniors’ activities and workshops on a variety of topics, including health, financial literacy, etc.
The mission of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada is to be a leader in finding a cure for MS and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life. Our two major programs provide hope for the future through the support of MS research into the cause, treatment and cure of the disease and hope for today through our many services that assist people with MS and their families.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s dedicated volunteers and staff across the country raise funds and work hard to support the independence and full participation of Canadians with neuromuscular disorders, fund research to find a cure and improve the quality of life of people with neuromuscular disorders, assist our clients to participate in the decisions that affect them and collaborate with others for social change.
The mission of the MEFM Society of BC is to 1) educate, inform and increase awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FM) by offering information, support and advocacy to members, individuals and families; 2) provide information and education to physicians, other medical professionals, and the community at large to increase public awareness and improve diagnosis and treatment for people living with ME and FM; 3) promote ongoing research to encourage early, accurate diagnosis and effective, multi-disciplinary treatments for ME and FM; and 4) liaise with other individuals, groups and organizations dealing with similar illnesses.
The Neil Squire Society is a national non-profit organization that uses technology, knowledge, and passion to empower Canadians with physical disabilities. We assist our participants in gaining computer access and skills, pursuing further education, and obtaining long-term attachment to the workforce.
The North Shore Disability Resource Centre (NSDRC) provides programs and services based on the belief that all people are important to their community. We work to ensure that people with disabilities, along with their families and friends, can participate actively as members of the community. We are committed to working toward a community which is free of physical, financial and attitudinal barriers.
Ovarian Cancer Canada is a registered Canadian charitable organization whose mission is to overcome ovarian cancer, providing leadership by: Supporting women living with the disease and their families; Raising awareness in the general public and with health care professionals; Funding research to develop early detection techniques, improved treatment and, ultimately, a cure.
Established in 1969, Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) is a not for profit charitable organization that exists to address the personal and social consequences of Parkinson’s disease through education, community outreach, scientific research, advocacy and public awareness.
Patients as Partners’ guiding principle is that patients are partners in health care: collaborating with health care professionals to improve their own health as individuals, and having a voice in how health care is delivered in B.C. The principle driving Patients as Partners is “nothing about me without me”. This principle embodies the belief that patients are partners in their own health care—in system change discussions or speaking with their health care providers—and stands at the centre of Patients as Partners work. The Patient Voices Network is made up of BC patients, students, health care providers, caregivers, family members and others who wish to use their experiences for positive change to health care in BC. Patient voices Network is a Ministry of Health, Patients as Partners initiative administered by ImpactBC.
PeerNetBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and resources to peer groups and peer-led initiatives across BC. People are healthier when they’re connected to each other and their communities. Through workshops, resources and collaborative projects, PeerNetBC works to help people connect and work together, supporting the development of healthy, self-determining communities across BC.
The Physical Activity Line (PAL) is a not-for-profit, innovative, free and interactive online and tele-health resource staffed by qualified exercise professionals. We educate, motivate, prescribe evidence-based exercise recommendations, and refer individuals to appropriate health facilities and other health professionals. Our mission is to improve the health of millions of Canadians through physical activity guidance tailored to their needs and lifestyles.
Positive Women’s Network provides education, support and resources for women living with HIV and for health and social service providers. As the only HIV organization west of Toronto exclusively serving women, we also provide community development and educational support across the country. We provide support and advocacy, HIV education, and community connections online, over the phone and in-person.
BC The Prostate Cancer Foundation BC is a non-profit organization under the Society Act devoted to promoting Prostate Cancer health and awareness, assisting support groups, supporting research dedicated to improve treatment, and finding a cure for Prostate Cancer.
QMUNITY is BC’s queer resource centre – the hub for the lesbian, gay, trans*, bi and queer community program, training and advocacy. We envision a world where all queer people are included and free from discrimination. Our team of skilled professionals deliver many vital social services and programs including: Gab Youth (for queer, questioning and ally youth 25 years of age and under), Generations (for the aging and elder members of our community), Education/Outreach, Volunteer Services, Anti-Violence resources, Coming Out and Social Support Groups, Free Counselling, Meeting Spaces and our ‘Out on the Shelves’ Library. We look forward to your feedback and involvement in QMUNITY whether you are looking to give or receive support, services, connection, friendship, socialize and/or be an ally.
REACH is a community health centre that has been located on the east side of Vancouver since 1969. Since its inception, REACH has endeavoured to meet the medical, dental, and cultural needs of the community with an emphasis on prevention and the development of programs which reflect the ongoing needs of the ever changing composition of the community. REACH strives to reflect the philosophy of community health centres which promotes a team approach in a non-profit setting with all staff, including dentists and physicians, on salary.
The Vancouver-based Recovery Narrative Project is a peer-led writing circle for mental health consumers who wish to share their stories of strength and recovery. By sharing our stories about recovery in living with a mental illness, we hope to inform and/or inspire others.
RésoSanté Colombie-Britannique supports the development, integration, and sustainability of French-language health services throughout BC. RésoSanté proposes, develops and supports the implementation of strategies; promotes French-language health services; ensures the sharing of information; promotes awareness and involvement of the francophone population; and proposes and facilitates research on French-language health services in BC.
Since 1975 Richmond Addiction Services Society (RASS) has been providing a wide range of services to residents of Richmond. A registered non-profit, charitable society, RASS’ objective is to provide community based services and programs for the treatment and prevention of addictions and to provide a full range of assessment and counselling services to the community being impacted by substance use/misuse and addictive behaviors. RASS provides counselling for youth and families and the older adult population in Richmond, as well as facilitating prevention programs in the community. Services are confidential and free.
RCFC has been in operation since 1995, but has grown substantially since that time with programs such as Recreation, Peer Support and most recently the Peer Companion program. It is an organization that encourages the participation of people who have experience in the mental health system and we are supportive of members who wish to move along the continuum from volunteer to paid staff.
Kate Booth House is a transition house for women and their children fleeing domestic abuse. Our Children’s Program offers teacher on-site from K to Grade 12, Children who Witness Violence Program and more. Our Women’s Support Program offers supportive counseling, advocacy, community resources and more.
The Scleroderma Association of BC promotes patient outreach, support and education; works to create public awareness and understanding of scleroderma, and encourages and supports research into this chronic autoimmune disease.
Special Olympics BC (SOBC) provides high-quality sports programs and competitions to meet the needs and interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities, enriching lives, and celebrating personal achievement through positive sport experiences. The participation in sport provides opportunities for athletes to develop social skills, cultivate friendships, strive for and achieve goals, and increase their self-esteem – enabling athletes to win in sport, and in life.
The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of BC is a nonprofit organization that is part of a national network providing service and information for persons with Spina Bifida and/or their families. We provide funding assistance for medical and adapted recreation equipment, computers, driver training and driver assessments, travel to clinic and bowel and bladder supplies. We have a bursary program for post secondary students . We support families by funding educational conferences and family camps.
Since 1957, Spinal Cord Injury BC (formerly known as the BC Paraplegic Association or BCPA) has worked to help people with spinal cord injuries or related physical disabilities adapt, adjust and thrive in their communities. There are more than 12,000 British Columbians living with a permanent spinal cord injury that affects every aspect of their lives, and it is estimated that another 500 people are injured each year. Spinal Cord Injury BC helps people with spinal cord injuries achieve goals, regain independence and move forward with their lives—improving the quality of life of all British Columbians. Our focus is on empowering people through our two core services, Peer Support and Information Services.
The Stroke Recovery Association of BC (SRABC) is a non-profit, incorporated, province-wide organization for stroke survivors. SRABC is the largest provincial association devoted to stroke recovery in Canada. Through our regional Stroke Recovery Branches, we are committed to assisting stroke survivors and their caregivers throughout the province to improve their overall quality of life. Our vision is that every stroke survivor in BC has respect, inclusion, and support in their home community.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Chinese Help Lines is a volunteer based telephone service which offers emotional support, information referral and crisis intervention in both Mandarin and Cantonese to Chinese Canadian Community living in Lower Mainland Vancouver. We are partly funded by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, and we are a member of Crisis Line Association of B.C. Mandarin Line: 604-270-8222; Cantonese Line: 604-270-8233.
The mission of the Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative is to provide practical access to affordable and holistic health care services that are appropriate in culture and language for those who are without access to health security. Membership is open to people who have experienced barriers to accessing health care due to language and/or culture. Each member is entitled to equal say on how the co-op runs and what services are offered. Members may run for the board of directors, which is elected each year at the annual general meeting. Services and programs are offered based on the needs and interests of the membership. All services are facilitated by cross cultural health brokers, who are bilingual, bicultural workers from the community they serve.
Urban Native Youth Association’s (UNYA) mandate is to provide meaningful opportunities for Native youth (Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Status, Non-Status) in the urban setting. Our goal is to be a safe place for Native youth to come and find out about programs and services at UNYA and in the broader community. As of 2008, we offer twenty-one programs including education & training, personal support, live-in programs, and sports & recreation. Our work also includes community development, training, research, educational materials, and advocacy. Our main goal is to provide opportunities that can help Native youth to reach their full potential and personal goals.
West Coast Assistance Teams is a registered charity that provides highly trained and loving dogs to disabled people in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. We are a small community-based, human service organization that makes a huge difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
Established in 1956, the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) has provided quality programs and services in Audiology, Employment Counselling, Sign Language Interpreting and Communication Devices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. Our client base continues to grow every year with word of mouth referrals, because of the thousands of satisfied clients we have provided services to.
YouthCO’s vision is to foster inclusive communities where youth empower youth to make informed decisions about their own well-being and work to put an end to the stigma surrounding HIV and Hep C. We provide peer support services to youth (15-29) living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C and we have a peer education team, which delivers workshops in a variety of different youth settings on HIV, Hepatitis C, sexual health, and harm reduction.