The Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative has a cooperative governance structure because we believe individuals and families should be empowered to make their own decisions about their health care.
Anyone who self-identifies as having language or cultural barriers accessing health care is eligible for a $1, lifetime membership. Members comprise at least 80% of our board of directors.
Cross Cultural Health Brokers are bilingual/bicultural health workers who bridge language and cultural barriers. They work with patients and participants from their communities to access medical services, social services, and health promotion activities while supporting the relationship between patients and family doctors.
Our members, led by the Board of Directors, work together to develop accessible, affordable, appropriate, safe, and secure health services. Our work not only guides newcomers to accessing health care, but works within health care to change the system to meet the unique needs and diverse experiences of newcomers.
Our mission 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*.
*We define health security as having accessible, affordable, appropriate, safe and secure health services.
Our vision is of a health cooperative of empowered, diverse families and individuals who have health security.
UMHC is a registered charity and is supported through project revenues, private donations and grants. UMHC was incorporated in 2010 and was founded with the administrative support of the BC Multicultural Services Society (BCHMSS), an organization dedicated to promoting access to healthcare and health equity for immigrants and refugees. The creation of UMHC was a response to a desire from newcomer communities for empowerment and choice around their healthcare.
Our board of directors can hold one or two year terms and are elected by the membership at our AGM.
At least 80% of the directors must be members themselves, and can be elected for no more than three consecutive terms.