iCON is a community engagement initiative that brings together health practitioners and community members to learn and share about chronic disease prevention and management, including diabetes, heart disease, and mental wellness.


iCON has hosted 33 public health events with Chinese- and Punjabi-speaking communities across British Columbia to provide language appropriate health information. Health professionals including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and nutritionists from these communities have provided health education in ways that respect the communities’ different cultures and needs. Over 19,580 people have attended these events live and through a webcast.

iCON is now beginning to partner with First Nations communities in BC to deliver health information in a way that serves the communities and respects Aboriginal values.

The iCON project is built on the belief that relevant health information will:

  • Empower people;
  • Positively affect people’s outlooks on their own health and the health of their community;
  • Improve the ability of patients to participate in their health care;
  • Increase usability of the internet for health improvement by displaying information in a familiar language and context;
  • Use culturally relevant medicine where possible and appropriate
  • Lead to improved health outcomes for patients over time.

The interCultural Online health Network (iCON) is a community-driven health promotion initiative that supports multicultural communities, patients and caregivers across BC to optimize chronic disease prevention and self-management.


  • Promote health and wellness
  • Prevent chronic disease
  • Empower patients with information and skills to manage health
  • Close gap on health disparities
  • Improve patient navigation and health services accessibility
  • Foster culturally sensitive healthcare
  • Build awareness of digital tools to support self-management


    • Collaboration: Working together to support patient-centered care. 
    • Community responsiveness: Programming that is responsive to the needs of communities it serves. 
    • Diversity: Embracing cultural diversity in health care. Fostering cultural sensitivity and open dialogue in health care. 
    • Integrity: Continuous evaluation to ensure improvement and excellence. 
    • Impact: Empowering patients to achieve better health outcomes. 

What we do

  • Collaboration with community health care providers, partners from health authorities, community organizations, education institutions, government, and media to promote best practices in chronic disease prevention and management.
  • Partnership with volunteers, students and health professional trainees to design and deliver community outreach activities, providing learning opportunities related to delivering culturally competent care.

  • Culturally tailored programming in the community’s native language to improve access to chronic disease management education. iCON hosts skills-building workshops and public health forums on a variety of chronic diseases, promoting health and wellness, chronic disease prevention and empowering patients with information and skills to manage their health.
  • Patient education on chronic disease prevention and management with focus on disease awareness and knowledge, prevention and lifestyle modification, risk reduction and treatment options. iCON develops patient resources and information handouts to support patients in their self-management journey and help patients and families navigate the BC health care system.

  • Health information shared through webcasts, a website (iconproject.org) and through media projects such as community televisions and radio programming to reach community members.
  • Health events, information and partner initiatives shared through social media including Facebook and Twitter.

  • Linking patients with web-based health information and digital tools to support chronic disease self-management.
  • Building awareness around and share best practices in using digital tools to support health and wellness goals.

  • Evaluation to track reach and measure program impact on patient activation, behaviour change, health attitudes, as well as knowledge and skills for self-care.
  • Program assessment to ensure community responsiveness, improvement and excellence.
  • Dissemination of program results through knowledge sharing events, publication and participation in conferences.


The interCultural Online health Network (iCON) is a partnership with the Patients as Partners program and is funded by the B.C. Ministry of Health.

Learn more: www.iconproject.org

Contact iCON: Betsy Leimbigler, iCON Program Manager, at betsy.leimbigler@ubc.ca