Summer 2019 Update – Help Wanted

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If you have been following the updates we share in each issue of the James Bay Beacon, you probably know that we, the Victoria Health Co-op, have funding for a part-time Nurse Practitioner (NP). The NP will provide services 2 days per week at the Cook St Village Activity Centre, and additionally at Our Place and Centennial United Church. To get this project moving as quickly as possible and potentially increase this to a full-time position, we need a complete a few more steps and hope YOU will help. The impact? High level Primary Health Care for you, a friend, or a neighbour.

But you may be asking, “What are Nurse Practitioners and what do they do?” The short answer, quoting from the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals, is that “Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with experience and advanced nursing education at the master’s level. NPs autonomously diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic physical and mental illnesses. As advanced practice nurses, NPs:

  • analyze, synthesize and apply evidence to make decisions about their clients’ health care;
  • provide a comprehensive range of essential health services grounded in professional, ethical and legal standards within a holistic model of care; 
  • work collaboratively with their clients to establish measurable goals, and identify and advocate to close gaps in health outcomes.*

More information can be found at these websites:

Scope of Practice Reference Guide*

Frequently Asked Questions

So, how can you help?

  1.  If you or someone you know needs Primary Health Care, give us your name and contact information and we will invite you to an information session.  We have room for 100 more names to add to our “We Want Primary Health Care” contact list and potential patient roster.
  2. To provide NP services as quickly as possible, and even convert the position into a full-time one, we need to complete some construction to make our community-partner spaces accessible, purchase exam room furniture and equipment (everything from 2 exam tables to 2 fridges, 2 computers, 2 printers, all the exam and diagnostic and treatment equipment), purchase disposable supplies every month, as well as insurance, for which all costs must be funded through other sources. We are working hard to request more funding for full-time NP working hours to help care for more patients.
  3. EVERY contribution helps, and every donation made through the Creating Community Wellness Society, CRA 833835457, is eligible for a charitable donation tax receipt. Donations can be left at the Cook St Village Activity Centre or mailed to Creating Community Wellness Society,  Treasurer, Dylan Bos, c/o 403 1040 Rockland Ave, Victoria, BC. V8V 3H5.
  4. We need community-focused volunteers to help get the Nurse Practitioner program up and running – if you have ideas or resources to contribute, please get in touch with our team. 

Please check our website: and our Facebook and Twitter page for more information about our next Nurse Practitioner info session, likely planning one session each in July and August.  

The Co-op is looking to connect with volunteers to help organize events and fundraising, and to plan and promote wellness programs including Choices for a Health Lifestyle and Hans Kai. We are also trying hard to keep our social media pages up to date.  If you have an interest in communications, please get in touch to help!

We love getting your questions and comments. Email or call or text Vanessa at 250.415.9272 for more information.

Come to a presentation about the Nurse Practitioner program at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre, in the Lounge on July 22nd 10:30 AM-11:30 am  or August 22 6 – 7pm.


May 2019 – Nurse Practitioner Project and Upcoming Events

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On Topic: Your Wellness

Which would you prefer –  to have the best possible physical, mental, emotional and social wellness you can, or wait until you find yourself focusing on illness and injury?  At the Victoria Health Co-op we have, from the start, worked at trying to achieve wellness.  It has been a challenge but we want to let you know about the progress we are making, and ask for your advice.

First the progress.  We are continuing in very encouraging discussions with the Cook St Village Activity Centre (CSVAC) about space.  Our hope is to provide exam rooms for our Nurse Practitioner, treatment rooms for the wide range of Wellness Practitioners, and space at both CSVAC and at Centennial United Church (CUC) for Wellness Programs.  Being a patient of the nurse practitioner is covered through your Medical Services Plan.  Please let us know if you want to be on the list of potential patients.  Services of some of the Wellness Practitioners are covered under some insurance plans, and we will be offering a unique, affordable, results-focused extended service plan to help with all of the wellness services.  

We are continuing to organize Co-op Cafés.  In March Civic Leaders from the municipal, provincial and federal levels told us about their upcoming priorities and co-operatives from the environmental, housing, health, financial, transportation and seniors sectors explained how they responded to such needs.  This led to many energetic and enthusiastic conversations and we will continue this at our final Café event on May 15th. 

Please help us to move our ahead on our plans and activities.  

  1.  Would you like to be on the list of potential patients for the Nurse Practitioner?
  2.  Would you like to come to an explanation of the Scope of Practice of a Nurse Practitioner at CSVAC or CUC?  You can get a good start at
  3.  Would you like to receive treatments from a range of Wellness Practitioners at the CSVAC?  Which of these, and which of our other many practitioners could be of interest? Osteopathy, therapeutic meals, Trager® bodywork, Alexander Technique, Cranio Sacral treatment.  Would you like to come to an information session regarding the services of our Wellness Practitioners? We hope to have a full list on our website in the near future.
  4.  Will you come to the next “Civic Leaders and Co-ops” session to hear about how Civic Leaders and Co-ops work together for the benefit of the community? Join us from 6.30pm – 8pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at the CSVAC?
  5.  We urgently need to raise funds to purchase furniture and equipment for the Exam Rooms and Wellness Treatment Rooms.  You can receive a charitable donation receipt for gifts to the Creating Community Wellness Society. How can we encourage people to donate?  Would you help us with fund-raising?
  6.  Would you like to know more about having complete access to your health record (medical record AND wellness action plan) and about developing your long-term wellness circle plan through the Victoria Health Co-op?

Please share you thoughts with us. We can be reached at or 250.415.9272. Thank you for your participation – we hope the Co-op and our programs will support you at any stage in your wellness journey.

Yours Co-operatively,

Vanessa Hammond, Chair

Victoria Health Co-operative


March 2019 – Post-AGM Updates & Volunteer Support

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On Topic: Next Steps

We thank you for joining us at our 2019 Annual General Meeting last month, on February 23. It is always a pleasure to gather together to celebrate the contribution of not-for-profits, societies, co-ops and those who volunteer their time each year. We are fortunate to live in a country rich in volunteers and a beautiful city in a spectacular province.  And we have much to celebrate in the Victoria Health Co-op, and some questions for you, whether or not you are members.

You have probably already heard, due to our enthusiastic announcements over the past months, that we  have funding for the salary for a Nurse Practitioner who will provide Primary Health Care services at the Cook St Village Activity Centre and for residents of My Place (part of the Our Place family).  We are working to ensure that she will also be able to provide community outreach services at Centennial United Church – check our website and Facebook for updates on our fundraising efforts and project goals. Along with this new initiative, we continue to provide monthly Members Only Wellness Clinic, asking our members to be as generous as possible to support the Health Access Fund through their donations to Creating Community Wellness Society.

We, a very small group of volunteers, need some additional community support to maintain these programs, keep writing funding proposals, lead Choices and Hans Kai outreach programs and run the monthly Wellness Clinics as well as introducing two new community services.  Whether you are a member of the Victoria Health Co-op or a willing volunteer, please consider the following requests if you are available to help, or pass this information on to someone who might be able to help.

The Victoria Health Co-operative is looking for:

  • A grant writer and/or researcher who can help with the 5 – 10 funding applications we write each year to run our programs
  • Financial contributions to the Creating Community Wellness Society to fund the supply of furniture (exam table etc), medical equipment and disposables for the Nurse Practitioner’s office, plus the salary for a Medical Office Assistant in our community partners’ spaces
  • Board Director positions to be filled including a Secretary for either the Victoria Health Co-op or the Creating Community Wellness Society (CCWS), a Treasurer for the CWWS with a good understanding of Canada Revenue Agency, and an enthusiastic Fundraising Coordinator for CCWS

New volunteers would be joining a wonderful group of volunteers, receive good training to develop their skills, and a very warm welcome!  By growing our team of volunteers we can reduce the amount of work for each of us and benefit from shared ideas and skills, and make strong connections in our community.

Wellness and health matter.  Would you help us reach more people in our community?  For more information, please contact Vanessa at or 250 415 9272. Please plan to attend our events, say hello and connect with new people. Our Board members are happy to answer questions and receive new ideas – we welcome discussion in person or over email.

Stay tuned for event postings We are excited to be hosting a Political Panel for our next Co-op Café session on March 30th from 3pm-5pm at James Bay New Horizons. We have invited Murray Rankin, Lisa Helps and other councillors to discuss the contribution of Co-operatives to a healthy community  – please come with YOUR comments about the need for government at all levels to support community owned enterprises. We will wrap up our Co-op Café series in May with our co-host BC Co-op Association and plan more opportunities for Members to meet and connect in person.

Yours Co-operatively,

Vanessa Hammond, Chair

Victoria Health Co-operative


December 2019 – Year-End Wrap Up

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On Topic: Co-op Cafés, Community Building, and Fundraising!

You’re invited: Join us this holiday season and add a few events to your calendar  in 2019 as well! Sending a big thank you to our volunteers, advocates and supporters – we look forward to working together in the New Year!

Year-End – Charitable Opportunities

Do you love paying income tax, or are you happier legally lowering your annual bill? The GOOD NEWS is that when you make a donation to a registered charity, you may be able to reduce the taxes you must pay at the same time as helping worthwhile charities in your community. How does this relate to your local Health Co-op?

As you know, there is a severe shortage of medical services in British Columbia – everything from Family Physicians to hospital beds. The Victoria Health Co-op offers several ways for our member-owners and the wider community to make a contribution to their own health and to the wellness of the community – all while reducing the taxes they must pay next Spring. But first, here are some updates about our work:

Co-op Café Series – Thank You to the City of Victoria and our Co-Hosts!

We are happy to be hosting our Co-op Café series, supported by the City of Victoria, through which we highlight at least one Victoria area co-op each month. We are grateful to each co-host and the City for supporting these events. The World Health Organization describes health as the whole range of physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial well-being. Each of these Co-op Cafés is an opportunity to enhance our individual and community health by focusing on at least one of these Social Determinants of Health – returning to the original aim of the VHC.

Each of the featured co-ops contribute to one of the social determinants of health in our community.  In September, we met at James Bay New Horizons and learned about the new locations and services of Coastal Community Credit Union, a financial co-operative that supports many community-based organizations. In October, our meeting was at CityStudio where we learned about how WIN, the Women in Need Co-op, got started and what new programs and services it is now offering to help women move beyond daily struggles and towards self-sufficiency. On November 21st, also at CityStudio, we focused on Modo, the car share co-op which reduces the total number of vehicles on the roads while giving member-owners an affordable choice of a variety of vehicles for different activities.  

Wellness Practitioners & Monthly Members’ Wellness Clinics

An important aspect of this focus on all aspects of well-being is the “matchmaking” work of the Victoria Health Co-op, which brings together a very wide range of Wellness Practitioners and those of us who can benefit so much from this care. These services can be accessed at the monthly Members’ Wellness Clinics, as well as being arranged directly between the Practitioners and the rest of the members. We are working hard to list all practitioners on the website. Please check for updates on a weekly basis. Reminder: All Wellness Practitioners are invited to bring information to our Co-op Cafes – for our members, these events are a good place to find out about health and wellness services.

Funding for New Services

What else is new? We are delighted that we have secured funding to access the services of a Nurse Practitioner. To ensure that we can use the funds entirely for a Nurse Practitioner salary and related costs, we are writing proposals for funding to cover associated overhead such as rent, Electronic Medical Records, equipment and supplies etc.  We will be very pleased if Victoria Health Co-op members and others in the community contribute to these non-salary costs. For any amount of $10 or more received through the Creating Community Wellness Society (CCWS) by Dec 31st we will be happy to provide a charitable donation receipt you can use to reduce your taxes.

We are also planning to implement several new Hans Kai programs, focusing on various aspects of wellness for targeted small groups.  Again, contributions through CCWS are much appreciated.

Contributing to the Health of our Co-op

We have some very important questions for you:  

If you are a member, you are a member-owner, what ideas and hopes do YOU have for your health co-op, and how can you contribute to make them happen?

If you were an early member of VHC, you will remember that we all committed to contributing at least $20 per year. Of course, some people contribute much more in dollars, ideas, time, and effort. This is satisfying and enjoyable, and we are proud to see that our group of very active volunteers is growing. As member or a volunteer, how would you like to contribute? Talk with us about volunteer opportunities. If you make a financial contribution to the Creating Community Wellness Society before December 31st you can use the tax receipt to reduce your taxes for 2018 (or a tax year in the next five years). We are very happy show our appreciation of major donations by ensuring that you receive one of the beautiful “Our Gift” signed and numbered prints specially designed for the Health Co-op by internationally acclaimed Coast Salish artist Chris Paul.

Upcoming Events

Please join us as we gather together to learn and discuss  – bring your ideas and questions!

  • Co-op Café co-hosted by the Co-op Housing Federation – Wednesday, December 5th – 6:30-8pm at CityStudio (711 Douglas St). How can we work with the Federation to address the shortage of affordable housing in our area? What mutual benefits can be shared?  
  • VHC Board Meeting – Wednesday, December 12th – 6pm at the upstairs meeting room, Bent Mast (512 Simcoe St) followed by a Volunteer Social 7:30 – 9:30pm for ALL volunteers: Board, Practitioners, members – everyone who contributes time or funds to maintaining and growing our Co-op.
  • Co-op Movie Night co-hosted by Coast Capital Credit Union – Wednesday, January 16th – 6:30-9pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). Popcorn will be served!
  • Co-op Café co-hosted with Viridian Energy Co-op – Wednesday, February 6th at 6:30-8pm at CityStudio (711 Douglas St). Check out
  • VHC Annual General Meeting – Saturday, February 23rd – 11am-1pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). More information to come next month!
  • Co-op Café + Political Panel Discussion – Saturday, March 30th – 3pm at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies Street). Bring your questions!  
  • Peninsula Co-op, MEC, Vancity, Real English Victoria Language Co-op, and Stocksy have also been invited to participate in Co-op Cafés in early 2019.

Please contact VHC Chair, Vanessa Hammond at or 250.415.9272 with any questions and check and for details of upcoming events and to share your comments.

The Boards of the Victoria Health Co-op and the Creating Community Wellness Society wish you and your family and friends the happiest and healthiest of holidays and a very bright 2019.

Yours Co-operatively,

Vanessa Hammond, Chair

Victoria Health Co-operative