One Village: The Role Of Health Equity
PowHERhouse Media Group is happy to be announcing the amplification of Tara Fitzgerald, Public Health Director with Island Health. She is a health equity advocate on BC’s Vancouver Island.
Tara Fitzgerald resides on the traditional territories of the Ligwiłda’xw people; the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations. Vancouver Island’s Campbell River is where she calls home. She moved here six years ago from Treaty One Territory - Winnipeg Manitoba. Her partner’s grandmother and mother are proud members of the Snuneymuxw Nation of the Coast Salish People and their children self-identify as First Nations. As a family of multi-heritage cultures, they continue to grow into their Indigenous roots in their everyday lives.
Tara is boldly curious, and committed to a health-systems approach that strengthens the well-being of the whole population. She believes we can best support, protect and strengthen our communities by increasing and sustaining the resources dedicated to addressing inequities in health. Tara has worked in community and public health since 2005. Leading programs and organizations in Manitoba and British Columbia, as well as supporting projects in Kenya and Zambia, Tara’s consistent focus ensures programs and services are designed to support those who are structurally vulnerable.
My hope for HER is strong, healthy communities that support babies, families and seniors to live vibrant lives. Key to this vision is a dedicated focus to lifting up the health of our whole population by bringing care to our most structurally vulnerable. Strengthening communities requires consideration of the impacts of gender inequality, income and social status, racial discrimination, scarring from historical and ancestral trauma, and/or living with a physical and/or mental health challenges. Tara is ready to step forward and affect change in this important conversation.
“Health inequities are driven by several factors including social and economic policies, governance structures, societal values and norms. They shape the ways money, power, resources and influence are distributed in society, providing people with more or less control over their health.”
This work calls on all of us. Through a whole-of-society approach we can advance and address the complex public health issues of our times. Particularly pressing in British Columbia is the reality of dual-public health emergencies: the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, originally declared in 2016. Increased capacity is critical for forward movement. When we invest in prevention and health promotion, we are investing in individual and collective resilience and we become better positioned to respond to these two critical issues.
WHAT SHE IS READY FOR
Ethical and strategic leadership has never been more critical to advancing our collective wellness; we are one family within one village. In order to advance community wellness Tara is ready to accelerate strategies for social inclusion, prevention and health promotion, and nimble services that meet individuals needs. She is ready to ensure all children, families, and communities are supported to thrive. She wants to lead innovative programs, bringing care into communities where people need it the most. She works outside the box; and for those in her circle she will always be in their corner.
‘We’re in a place in time where all we see is our differences, but our desire for good health connects us all. We all want to be well. We all deserve to be cared for. Human dignity, safety and resilience are all intertwined and it begins with remembering we are one family.’
"PowHERhouse is grateful to have the opportunity to amplify Public Health Director, Mother, and Health Equity Advocate, Tara Fitzgerald. Tara's commitment to health equity and social justice is the positive action our communities need right now. This current situation of toxic drug deaths colliding with the chaos of a global pandemic has magnified this need. She reminds us that reducing barriers to access and building community resilience involves a much deeper conversation about social justice and human dignity. In times such as these, grounded and ethical leadership has never been more critical if we are to remember we are one family within one village. "
- Charlene SanJenko, PowHERhouse Founder + CEO
If you would like to support Tara’s impact, speak with her about an opportunity, or interview her for your publication or as a guest on your podcast or show, please connect with us HERE and we’ll be in touch with you to forward on her press kit.
Amplify is a recurring government-approved national visibility training program for executive leaders, entrepreneurs and women who are ready to mobilize their message of impact. The PowHERhouse approach to building strong women who lead has been developed over two decades.