Reaching out with the Vancouver Urban Project

Posted November 10th, 2014 by webadmin

(excerpted from our Fall 2014 Iron Filings Newsletter)

By Chantelle Boduel, Community Development Coordinator

BC Highland Games

A family receives valuable information at the BC Highland Games

This summer, the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society launched the Vancouver Urban Project (VUP) – a community outreach initiative aimed at cultivating relationships with local community and cultural groups to raise awareness about hereditary hemochromatosis. Our goal is to develop multiple volunteer chapters in the Greater Vancouver area so that we can improve our efficiency at providing British Columbians with the health information they need about Canada’s most common genetic disorder.

One aspect of the VUP is focused on leading information sessions for individuals and groups interested in learning more about the disorder, the diagnosis process or the treatment options. We are reaching out to local cultural associations who are considered to be in the elevated risk group – people of European and Celtic descent – and are working with them to encourage their constituents to participate.

Another aspect of the project is attending events. Our first outreach event was the BC Highland Games, hosted at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam on June 21st. We spoke to over 100 individuals and enjoyed the sunny weather with our Scottish and Celtic friends. Our second event was the Tsawwassen Sun Festival on August 4th where we were proud to spread the word about hereditary hemochromatosis. We will also be attending the Vancouver Health Show at the Vancouver Convention center on November 8th and 9th, and hope to do more events throughout the year.

The Vancouver Urban Project is a fundamental step towards promoting awareness of hereditary hemochromatosis across Canada. Vancouver, home to our head office, was chosen as the first city in which to launch the project… but we hope to launch similar projects across the country in the coming years.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the new friendships we are creating with Vancouver’s community and cultural groups. We are very grateful to Green Shield Canada; without their support, this project would not have been possible. If your group is interested in attending or hosting an information session, or if you would like more information about starting a volunteer chapter in your area, contact us at or by phone at 1-877-BAD-IRON (1-877-223-4766). Let’s work together to reach out and save lives in the Greater Vancouver Area.