June 30, 2016 will mark the end of a long magnificent journey for Helen Boyd. She is the founder and creator of the Care-a-Van, a mobile health-care clinic for the Comox Valley.
Boyd’s vision, drive, passion and most importantly, compassion, manifested a service to our outreach community in a way that has never been done before. After her contribution to the first homelessness count in the Valley in 2006, two years of planning and another seven years of operations, the Care-a-Van has served 1,262 clients with needs ranging from infections to mental health issues. Boyd has assembled a team of dedicated volunteer healthcare providers and drivers that work as outreach personnel. The Care-a-Van volunteers work tirelessly on a scheduled route three times weekly in all weather and often over important holiday periods.
When Boyd announced that she had completed her own personal 10-year plan to try and reduce homelessness via the Care-A-Van program, many shared a deep concern about the future of this vital community service.
It was only through careful recruiting and selection that the program’s prayers were answered with incoming co-ordinator, Sabina Acheson.
Acheson brings a wealth of experience and skill set that will ensure the Care-a-Van will continue to provide the same essential services it always has. Acheson is prepared to continue the path of growth and sustainability for the Care-a-Van clients.
Graduating as a registered nurse six years ago, Acheson longed to gain the requisite experience to someday volunteer on the Care-A-Van mobile health vehicle. Last year, Acheson joined the team and quickly gained the respect and understanding of other volunteers.
Her experience as a psychiatric care nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, combined with her five years of half-time work as a community health nurse in a challenging remote community, fit perfectly into the stringent job description required for the co-ordinator. In the remote community of Dzawada’enuxw Nation at Kingcome Inlet, Acheson provided comprehensive physical, mental, and psychosocial health assessments.
A visionary leader like Boyd could never be replaced, however the Comox Bay Care Society Board members and all of the volunteers dedicated to the Care-a-Van are delighted that Acheson will be there to take on the role of Care-a-Van co-ordinator. The future is bright after all.
Boyd presently has a private counselling practice in Comox and looks forward to her next challenge in the realm of social activism.
We wish Boyd every success and can’t thank her enough for the difference she has made in so many lives, – clients and volunteers alike.