Shelly Crack has been a registered dietitian with Northern Health for 12 years. She focused the first half of her career on providing community dietitian services to a variety of first nation communities in Northern British Columbia. Living and working on Haida Gwaii, an island off the coast of BC with an abundance of local and traditional food, has taught Shelly the importance of people’s connection to their land and food. Shelly believes that serving traditional food from the land and sea in hospitals supports all forms of wellbeing including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.
Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre
The Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Center, operated by Northern Health (NH), is situated on the beautiful land of Haida Gwaii, BC. The majority of the population served by this facility are of the Haida First Nation. This rural facility has 8 acute care beds and 8 long term care beds. The foodservice department currently operates using scratch cooking/outsourced products for patients and residents. Northern Health’s mission statement is “through the efforts of dedicated staff and physicians, in partnership with communities and organizations, we provide exceptional health services for Northerners.” Focusing on offering more traditional Haida food in the hospital aligns with the mission of NH.
The HGHHC hopes to, through a community engagement process, incorporate a number of traditional recipes and foods including wild salmon, halibut, seafood and wild berries. We hope to have at least 10 standardized local recipes incorporated into the current hospital menu within two years. With each local and traditional food that is included there will be a beneficial effect on the community environmentally, economically, culturally and for general wellbeing.