Tuberculosis Services for First Nations Communities in BC




The Tuberculosis Services for Aboriginal Communities (TBSAC) program was established to prevent and control Tuberculosis (TB) disease in BC First Nations Communities. The program was introduced in 1989 by Health Canada as an enhancement to provincial TB services. Over the years, the program has grown to include specialist nurse consultants and educators with interest and experience working with First Nations communities. Key components of the program include enhanced screening and surveillance, health care worker training and education, as well as community engagement.

The TBSAC program is a key component in the BC Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Prevention, Treatment and Control. Until now, TBSAC has been delivered through an agreement with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) (previously First Nations Inuit Health Branch). Two years after the transfer of health services, the FNHA’s focus is on redesigning and optimizing TB health services along with other communicable disease services, for First Nations communities. By April 1, 2016, the TBSAC Program will be a part of FNHA’s community health and wellness services.

Bringing the TB program to FNHA is a natural next step and provides a valuable opportunity to align TB education, programs and services with other First Nations Communicable Disease Control services internally and with partners, including BCCDC. Importantly, having the TB program at FNHA means there will now be a single FNHA point of contact for nurses and health workers in First Nations communities which will enhance clarity and effectiveness of TB services.

BCCDC will continue to partner with FNHA in TB care by providing physician and specialty services related to TB case management and treatment. Until the transfer is complete, BCCDC will continue to provide the TBSAC services. BCCDC and FNHA are working very closely together to ensure a smooth transition of services. Further communications will be forthcoming as the details of the transfer are finalized.

For more information on Tuberculosis Services for First Nations communities in BC please contact:

Denise (Isa) Wolf, FNHA CDC Nurse Specialist, Tuberculosis
Contact: or 604-693-6810

Shannon Kopp, BCCDC Operations Manager
Contact: or 604-707-5616

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