Island Health’s Victoria Power

Island Health’s Victoria Power

Nursing centre celebrates 20 years

Comox Valley one-of-a-kind centre now two decades old

 

Comox Valley Nursing Centre staff and volunteers reflected on the past and looked to the future during the centre’s 20th anniversary celebration Wednesday.

“We opened our doors in May, 1994 from the result of a group of six nurses here in the Comox Valley, who had the idea to put together a proposal to create a primary health-care centre that serves the residents here in the Comox Valley,” nursing centre manager Chris Bowlby said in an interview.

Some of those original nurses attended the celebration — which fittingly fell in National Nursing Week (May 12-18) — as well as partner agencies and nursing centre clients.

The nursing centre has grown over the years in terms of physical space, clients, community partnerships and programs.

Island Health director of primary health care and chronic disease management Victoria Power pointed out the nursing centre has been unique ever since it first opened its doors.

“This was focused on a nurse-lead primary health-care model where typically primary health-care models are either physician-lead or team-lead, and that’s what made it quite unique,” she recalled, noting there are still aspects of health care outside the scope of nursing practice, hence the centre’s various partnerships, formed over the years with community pharmacists, physiotherapists and family physicians, for example.

“Even though its beginnings were very much nurse-lead, nurse-oriented, what we’re finding as we’re growing through the 20 years is it’s actually becoming more multi-disciplinary team in nature, which is quite lovely.”

Care is offered in a variety of areas like chronic pain and chronic disease management, eating disorders, men’s health, support groups, workshops, street outreach and health education. According to Bowlby, building relationships with the centre’s clients is a focus for staff.

“It really starts with the client and our nurses and their relationship with the client, and helping to support that client in their primary care journey,” she said, which means really getting to know each client and their specific needs, not only at the nursing centre but elsewhere in the medical system.

“We help those clients navigate services, we help those clients maybe build that relationship with the physician, we help the client to use the language that will enable him or her to get access to those services. If we need to, we’ll go to a physician appointment with the client and help to advocate for that client.

“So it’s helping to wrap services around clients, identifying where they’re at, enabling them to get access to what they need to improve health outcomes.”

According to the centre’s database, more than 60 per cent of clients have chronic pain and more than 60 per cent have mental health issues.

Bowlby noted most of the Comox Valley population will never set foot in the nursing centre because it serves people who are marginalized, for whatever reason, from the medical system.

According to Power, Island Health is attempting to take aspects of ‘relational practice’ (building relationships with clients before prescribing) implemented at the nursing centre and incorporate them into home and community care teams, public health teams and primary health-care teams in other communities.

“And, in this community what we’re trying to do is formalize the roles with family physicians, mental health teams and home/community care teams, so that’s our next step … because we still have areas of the population that might fall into cracks, we might have areas of the population where they’re receiving a duplicate of service,” she said. “So, what we’re trying to do is wrap services around each of those patients.”

Power noted Island Health will meet with community partners in June to start the work of formalizing these roles in the Comox Valley.

The centre is located at 615 10th St. in Courtenay, where it moved in 2008.

For more information, visit http://www.viha.ca/comox_valley_nursing_centre/ or call 250-331-8502.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Nineteen people arrested, charges expected in Courtenay house raid

Investigators are continuing to comb through evidence seized

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Concerned citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read