Tuesday, 1 December 2015

November 30th Board Update: #voteforTEETH, Resource Centre, Home Care Outreach


We are so excited that after 2 weeks of voting. TEETH is in first place in the Pacific Blue Cross completion to win $50.000. We want to thank everyone who is voting and sharing the video so that we can continue to provide low cost dental in the Kootenay and Boundary area.  The final day for voting is December 6, 2015.

 Have you visited the Resource Centre at Community First Health Co-op at 518 Lake Street?  We now have 20 health related organizations that provide information kiosks or hold their meeting there.

OverEaters Anonymous meets on Wednesdays at Noon and T.O.P.S meets on Monday at 5:30 pm.

The Alzheimer Society hosts regular sessions on a variety of dates and the Breast Cancer Survivor group also meets in our Resource Room.

The Resource Centre is staffed from Monday to Friday 1-4 with volunteers.   Lonnie Facchina is our Volunteer Coordinator and if you would like to volunteer please contact her
Lonnie.facchina@mssociety.ca  or 250-505-3997

We were pleased to announce that the Seniors Co-ordinating Society has been awarded a Columbia Basin Trust donation to be able to hire a person to co-ordinate the Home Care outreach. This will go a long way to ensuring that Home Care continues to be provided in our community.

And do not forget to save April 16, 2016 for our Passport to Wellness 2 Health Fair.  

Thanks for stopping by... and don't forget to Vote for TEETH.

Marion, Erin and Eric

Monday, 23 November 2015

VOTE for TEETH: Your Local Low Cost Dental Clinic Needs Your Help!

Dr. Osepchook and his dental staff


The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic opened in June of 2014 providing service to the West Kootenay/Boundary region.

The need for better dental health, for those with low incomes, has been a driving force for us to develop a way to bring access to dental care to our communities.  Through the success of the WK Community TEETH Clinic there is a way to access local care. In TEETH’s first year the clinic served 192 people with many having multiple appointments.

Hickman and Honsinger Families
As you likely well know dental health is essential for good health, nutrition, self-esteem, and job opportunities.

Through the dedicated work of the board of TEETH and the grantors to this organization, the clinic exists.

Today you have an opportunity to help the clinic. TEETH has been shortlisted for the Pacific Blue Cross 75th Anniversary contest, Share the Care, where the winner receives $50,000. When you vote for TEETH you will help us win the grand prize. We know, with your help, we can win this prize and open more clinics in our region and say YES to more people.

Vote for our video and share the vote with your friends:

  and help us say YES to helping more people access the dental care they need. 

The Board:  Barry, Mara, Debby, Eric and Pegasis

Thursday, 12 November 2015

HEALTH ALERT: Cold and Flu Season. How to Take Care of Yourself

The Community First Health Co-operative, in Nelson, B.C., has asked its health practitioners to provide us some guidance on how to take care of ourselves during this year's cold and flu season.

Here is our first instalment provided by Shauna Robertson, R. TCM.P, Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist of Nelson's Acupuncture and Natural Health Clinic.

Cold and flu season is upon us once again and it is important that we keep our bodies at optimum health in order to have the ability to ward off these viruses.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we view the cold and flu virus as an invasion of external pathogenic wind. This pathogenic wind is able to break through our bodies defenses (immune system) if our system becomes weakened.

Ways in which we can keep our immune systems strong are by eating nutritionally, getting enough sleep, exercising daily and avoiding stress. Dressing according to the weather is also very important. So in the fall this may mean layering clothes because it is colder in the morning and evening but may be very warm in the afternoons.

If however, you do succumb to the cold or flu TCM has a full arsenal of tools to help bring relief. Acupuncture and herbs are very effective at warding off the cold and flu viruses as well as treating the symptoms and allowing you make a speedy recovery.

For more information on Acupuncture and TCM and the cold/flu you can visit my website at http://www.anhc.ca/health-well-news/

There is some really excellent information on Shauna's website including  great healthful recipes, as well as information on Seasonal Affective Disorder and so much more.  Take a moment and check it out by connecting through this link.

Welcome to Nelson BC Acupuncture & Natural Health Clinic:

Acupuncture & Natural Health Clinic of Shauna Robertson, R.TCM.P, Registered Acupuncturist & Herbalist.

We Are Located at 101-518 Lake St. in Beautiful Nelson, BC.

Contact us at:  


Holistic Healthcare, Sports Acupuncture, Allergies, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Autoimmune Disease, Back Pain, Cancer Care, Carpal Tunnel, Colds & Flu, Depression, Diabetes, Fertility, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Hypertension, IBS, Insomnia, Menopause, Multiple Sclerosis, Neck Pain, Pain, PMS, Pregnancy, Smoking Cessation Acupuncture & Stress and much more.

Make sure you check in for updates on taking care of yourself during our annual cold and flu season.

Erin, Marion and Eric

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Affordable Housing, Low Cost Dental and Added Support for the Alzheimer Society at the November Health Co-op Board Meeting

Wow, how did November arrive so quickly?  With -2 and scraping windows it seems that the long fall is heading early into winter. 

Community First Health Co-op held their monthly Board meeting with most of us present and here are some highlights.

The Lake Street Housing Committee met earlier this month  with Nelson Council member Michael Dailly to begin a discussion around housing options and needs within the region. We would like to thank him for his time and we had a great talk about some of the initiatives in Nelson and some of the unmet needs, such as housing for the working poor. We also had a chance to brainstorm some ideas around Land Trusts and lease-holds and will continue our work in that area.

TEETH our low cost Dental initiative is booming. We had over 300 visits in the past year and it continues to grow in services offered. It has been short listed for a financial award and we are just awaiting information on the voting procedure.  Once we know it check out our blog and website and facebook pages so you can learn how to vote so that we can win the award and the financial prize to enhance our work in this much needed area.

Thanks to Julia Leffelaar of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for volunteering to not only provide workshops, but to also volunteer to be in the resource center for one Friday each month to provide support to our community.  Julie will be available, in the resource centre on theses dates:  Dec 11, January 8, Feb 12 and March 11. We are still looking for volunteers for 3 Friday afternoons a month.

We also want to welcome a new member to our partners in the building Elephant Mountain Counselling.  Here is the link:

Take care and get out and enjoy the brisk fall air!!

Eric, Marion and Erin

Friday, 30 October 2015

Health Co-op Board Meeting: Highlights from October 13, 2015

Highlights of Our Board Meeting:

  • Pacific Blue Cross Foundation announces TEETH Clinic as one of five finalists in their 75th Anniversary social media competition for $50,000.  

5 finalists

West Kootenay TEETH clinic – Nelson, BC
  Charlford House Society for Women – Vancouver, BC
  Canim Lake Band – Tsq'escenemc People, 100 Mile House, BC
  StreetoHome – Vancouver, BC
Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre) 

Videos will be posted to a web or social media page hosted by Pacific Blue Cross, where the public can vote on their favourite interview / story.  Make sure you vote for your local, West Kootenay Low Cost Dental Clinic 
  • Community Health Resource Centre meeting room is being well used by caring community health organizations and September sees the expansion of community use.
  • Our website blog will have a new feature shortly.   Health practitioners, partners in the Wellness Centre, will be sharing their expertise in a variety of areas such as dealing with seasonal colds and flu, pain management, etc.  If you have any ideas on what you would like us to cover - drop a line through the comments section.

That is it from your local Health Co-op.  Let us know what you think - comments are most welcome.

Marion, Erin and Eric

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Alzheimer Society of B.C. - Understanding Behaviour & Communication. A Workshop, for Caregivers, on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 in Nelson

What is dementia?

Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. A person with dementia may also experience changes in mood or behaviour.

Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse as more brain cells become damaged and eventually die.

Dementia is not a specific disease. Many diseases can cause dementia, the most common being Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia (due to strokes). Some of the other causes of dementia include Lewy Body disease, head trauma, fronto-temporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. These conditions can have similar and overlapping symptoms.

Some treatable conditions can produce symptoms similar to dementia, for example, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders, or mental illness. It is therefore important to arrange for a full medical assessment as early as possible.

Getting a timely diagnosis can help you access information, resources and support through the Alzheimer Society, benefit from treatment, and plan ahead.

Marion and I have both attended some of Julie's workshops and have found them very interesting and educational.  If you have a chance to attend - please take advantage of Julie's expertise.

Eric and Marion

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, wants to Hear from Seniors Living in the Nelson Area on October 6th, 2015

You are invited to a
Town Hall Meeting with B.C.'s Seniors Advocate

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
TIME: 2:00-4:00 PM

Best Western Baker Street Inn

Osprey Room, 
153 Baker Street, 
Nelson, B.C.

The Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, wants to hear from seniors and their family members who live in Nelson and area. You are invited to meet the Advocate and let her know what is working and not working for seniors in Nelson.

The Advocate will discuss her role, seniors’ concerns heard in B.C., home care issues, access to seniors services and housing. The audience is encouraged to participate in questions and discussion.


Monday, 14 September 2015

Community First Health Co-op and The Living is Easy...

September – and the living is easy!

We are happy to see the sun out and our summer continue for a few more weeks, we can only hope.

The students are back at school and CFHC board is back at work – well we are always doing work, but our official board meetings have begun.
We continue our work in collaboration with others and are so pleased to see the growth of some of our initiatives – TEETH – the West Kootenay Low Cost Dental is a true success story.

We have 3 dentists who volunteer their time to staff the clinic. Over the course of time we have had 16 dental assistants, 7 dental hygienists and 9 receptionists work at the clinic. A big shout out to Dana who has done so much work for this, off the side of her desk.

 In July there as 1 clinic, in August 3 and we are hoping to do 3-4 each month. We have managed to work with 51 patients over the summer.    The Denture project with Dr. Haack from Trail has begun, and though it is still expensive we have been able to help support some clients getting appointment and in one case, some new dentures.

On Oct 1, 2015 in the Nelson Community Complex a Seniors Day will be happening and the TEETH table will be there to give out information or help clients with signing up for low cost dental.

On August 25th we had the distinct pleasure to join in the discussion with President Paul Zysman and John Restakis- ED for Inspiration in Action.

Ed and John sharing their vision

Inspiration in Action is seeking understanding and insights to support co-operative community economic development internationally. 

It gave all of us, that work with Community First Health Co-op, in differing capacities, to reflect on its history, operations, projects, and viability... there was some great energy here and a good reminder why we are all involved with the health co-op.

Proposed Lake Street Housing Project,  presentation by John Restakis on  the possible role a Community Land Trust might play in its realization. John used his work with The Vancouver CLT co-op housing project as an example.

The meeting with Ed and John was definitely re-energizing for our Lake Street Housing Project for affordable housing in our community.

A new initiative we are exploring is the Hans Kai Project in conjunction with other groups within Nelson. Hans Kai was developed in Japan to help people focus on increasing their health knowledge and their ability to monitor their own basic health indicators in a peer-supported environment with the aim of  achieving and maintaining optimal wellness.

It was brought to Canada by Nor ‘ West Co-op in Winnipeg and Robert Cliché Co-op in Quebec.

Stay tuned for more information as we are hoping to bring the Hans Kai trainers here in January.

And hold Saturday April 16th from 10-4 for our 2nd PASSPORT TO WELLNESS FAIR”

Enjoy the remaining days of summer. Get out and walk or bike or kayak – for winter will be upon us soon. 

Don't you just love this time of year!

Marion and Eric

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Community First Health Co-op Annual Statutory Meeting - June 2015

The CFHC Statutory meeting was held on June 12. 2105 with the full board in attendance. 

Karen and Erin
We welcomed our two new board members Erin Morrison and Karen Hornby.  Erin is a health coach and Karen is a nurse, so both bring a fresh perspective to our board. We are excited for all the possibilities of tapping into their energy and expertise.

It was fun as we told them about the adventures and misadventures of trying things on the board and gave them fair warning, that if you have a great idea and want to fly with it, go for it, but you will be heading the initiative and the rest will be there for backup.

We are very happy to report that we are financially solvent and in good shape.  We have managed to rent out most of our space and we have a continual rental of the Stoddart Room for long term course or workshops.  Thanks to Lynn for managing this for us.

We are making an application for The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program for some work on our HVAC system. We are hoping to be successful as with all buildings, heat and ventilation and air conditioning always seem to be in need of updating. This is only for infrastructure and so fingers crossed we get this one.  UPDATE:  We just received the great news that we will be receiving $50,000 to support this important initiative.

Our next meeting, unless something comes up , will be on Tuesday September 8 at 2;30 pm.

Have a great summer and as they say, we will catch you on the flip side!

Eric and Marion 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Community First Health Co-op Annual General Meeting and the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice

Health Co-op Chair Debby Zeeben reminds us what an amazing year of accomplishments we have to celebrate

The Community First Health Coop AGM was held on June 9, 2015 with a good number of members in attendance, After a welcome by Deb Zeeben,, where she gave us highlights for the year, the West Kootenay TEETH Low cost dental clinic is up and running Apple Tree Maternity is a collaboration of doctors, midwives and doulas to support families from pre pregnancy to post, and the Passport for Wellness Health Fair, she introduced our guest speakers for the evening.  Julius Halaschek-Wiener, Dr. Trevor Janz and Grace Nakano representing the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice.  

The Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice has 100% of family physicians in the area developing a vision for sustaining health communities with health care providers in the region.

Debby introducing our speakers

Julius spoke about working together with practitioners, IHA and Ministry of Health and local community doctors to look at the best ways to provide care for the community. The Division is 5 years old and operated on consensus and true collaboration, a place where the right people are needed to work together.

He also spoke on the GP for Me initiative to recruit and retain family doctors so that everyone can have a doctor.  It also involves improving practice efficiency of practices, optimizing Integrated Primary Community Care, team-based care and a GP for Me Hotline.

Currently there are 4 residents in Trail and 2 in Nelson who are interested in rural medicine and in coming to work in our communities.  There will be a community-supported initiative to put together a team to work on recruitment of physicians to our area. There are currently 2 doctors in the Nelson area taking new patients, but they are becoming full quite quickly.

IPCC ( Integrated Primary Community Care) would include a nurse, dietitian, social worker along with the doctor.  Team-based care would see a social worker embedded in each medical clinic. Currently there is a social worker at the Nelson Medical Clinic under the direction of Dr. Lee McKay.   They are looking at the sustainability of this pilot project. The GP for Me Hotline is given out at emergency if the patient does not have a family doctor or through Mental Health, and when they call the number, a  person will try to hook them up with a physician in their area.  

These are exciting initiatives as BC looks to envision a new way to work with primary care.

The next speaker was Dr. Trevor Janz, who has been an ER doctor in Nelson for over 25 years and is also responsible for the elderly frail in care homes in the area.  He is interested in improving the quality of care for “frail” seniors.   His work in the area of polypharmacy was both fascinating and substantiated in making a difference. He explained that polypharmacy is "when the total negative effect of medications is more than the positive effect on the illness”.

The statistics that he gave on the use of anti psychotic drugs was mind boggling. In Canada if you are 65 and older and living in your own home, then 26% will be on 10 or more medications and 15% will be on 15 or more medications.  However, if you are in a long-term care facility, then 61% will be on 10 or more medications and 21% will be on 15 or more.

Before the work on reducing the medication began in the Kootenay area it was found that 65% of patients in Castlegar, 53% in Trail and 16% in Nelson in long term care homes were using 10 or more medications.  Currently that number has now been reduced to 12% in Castlegar, 22% in Trail and 9% in Nelson. 

This is an initiative that is across BC and Share Care, where practitioners are conferencing once a month, up to 75 of them, both nurses and doctors, and working on using many experts to make a difference.

It is more difficult he admits, to dealing with seniors in their own homes and in assisted living facilities, but they are chipping away at it.

Grace Nakano is a Nurse Practitioner based with Mental health in Nelson and Trail who support the most vulnerable people with mental health issues on the streets, in shelters and at food banks.
A nurse practitioner will have extended training after nursing and is able to write prescriptions, refer patients to specialists, order x-rays and perform extended nursing duties.

She works with high risk clients and meets them at the Salvation army, Food cupboard, Our Daily Bread or on the streets or shelters. She is also at LV Rogers high school once a week to meet with students who have mental health challenges that are referred by the school counselors.

There was excitement in the air after the presentations as people were optimistic about a new level of care for all.

Julius shared with us the Strategic Initiatives for 2014-15 including their Core Principles

The AGM was very brief, and with a quorum present all was approved. 

 A big thank you was extended to our 3 board members who have filled their terms or have retired from the board, Sharon Browning, Sarah Popoff and Joan Reichardt

A welcome extended to our two new Board members:  Karen Hornby, who is a nurse and Erin Morrison who is a health coach. We look forward to a good year for CFHC.



We have one more meeting before September and so we wish you all the great summer and, although we may do one or two more blogs, we too will take some time to relax and recharge.

Marion and Eric

Monday, 8 June 2015

AGM is June 9th! A Great Success at the first Passport to Wellness Fair and another exciting year is upon us. Please Join Us Tuesday Night.

Can you believe that it is so darn hot in early June?  With the sun out and flowers in bloom, it is outside time with bikes, walks and gardens.  We are happy to be able to enjoy all the loveliness that is the Nelson area and get back on our journey to wellness.

We had a most successful first time Passport to Wellness Health Fair on April 18, Thanks to the organizers, presenters and participants for supporting this endeavour.  From the feedback that was given, we have decided to host our 2nd Passport to Wellness Fair next year on April 16 from 10-4 pm at 518 Lake St.

The CFHC Board would like to thank the committee for all the work they did to make this such a great event.  So here is a big thanks to Lonnie, Leona, Carolyn, Erin, Michael, Lynn, Marion and Sarah.

Last Year's AGM - Health Co-op Chairperson speaking with attendees in 2014

 The AGM is coming up on Tuesday, June 9 in the Stoddart Room of CFHC.  

We are pleased to have as our presenters a panel of physicians who are part of the Division of Family Practice and they will be talking and answering questions on  the “ Team Approach to Medicine” that is going to be the new way of health services in B.C.  

  Registration for AGM is 6:30, the presentation is at 7 pm and after a snack break the AGM will commence at 8:15. Members and the public are welcome to attend. 

Marion and Eric are looking forward to seeing you there...

Monday, 11 May 2015

Well... Our First Ever Passport to Wellness Health Fair was a Success!

We had over 100 people come to the sessions and visit the kiosks and the feedback was positive.  A hard working committee put this together so thanks to Carolyn Zabawa, Leona Dimock, Lynn Adams, Erin Morrison, Lonnie Facchina, Michael Jessen and Sarah Popoff for all the work, Marion was the chair and kept everything humming along.

 We had some excellent sessions offered on such a variety of topics from E Cigarettes – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to Neuro Development for 0-1 year olds, Arthritis Essentials, Cancer 101, Physical Literacy,  Thyroid and Hormones, Eating for your Blood type,  I ate my Way to Good health and Chronic Pain Management.

Kevin McKenzie and he did the session on 0-1 year old and neuro development 

The presenters went above and beyond in the time they gave to their sessions.

In the lobby and throughout the building we had tables representing B.C. Arthritis Association, BC Cancer Society, Ms Society, Nelson Hospice, Nelson Friends of the Family,  Kutenai Art Therapy,  Nelson District Credit Union, Nelson and District Community Centre,  West Kootenay TEETH, Community First Health Coop, Holistic health , Kootenay Medical Aesthetics, Climate Change Lobby and B C Lung Association.

Michael Jessen lung association and E Cigarettes 

We also thank our partners who were open that day, Natural health and Acupuncture, Community First Medical, Community Chiropractic, Apple tree Maternity, Nelson Community Services and Nelson Credit Union,

The sponsors who helped us out were the Nelson Star, Hume Hotel, Safeway, Kootenay Coop, Kootenay Coop Radio, EZY Rock, Oso Negro, Halls Printing and Community First Health Coop.

Erin Morrison - health coach and Dr Kristen at one of the kiosks 

Kim Palfeneir on Physical Literacy 

Lonnie Facchina and Colleen Driscoll - MS and Nelson Hospice 

The energy in the building was amazing and people came for the whole day or part of a day and were very appreciative of the fair and had lots of good ideas for next year. Oh are we doing one next year?

Apparently, if you build it they will come so we will continue connecting with our community and providing education in the health field for all ages.
Door prizes draw with Leona an Lonnie and Erin 

Get out and begin your journey with your Passport to Wellness,

Cheers and signing off

Eric and Marion  


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Latest from Our Community First Health Co-op Board February 2015 Meeting

Highlights of Meeting

The Community First Health Co-op (CFHC) has recently received two interesting proposals for building our network relationships from activity on our revitalized website. The website, along with our brand-new Blog, has provided an opportunity for people around the world to see the community-focused work that our Co-op does to support healthy living for our residents.

Here are two recent proposals that sprung for our internet presence:

The B.C. Women’s Foundation in Vancouver is offering a free program in Nelson called Osteofit for Seniors and CFHC has accepted the invitation to host the training.

The Alberta Co-operative Association has contacted CFHC asking for help to prepare their presentation to the Alberta Minister of Health on the CFHC model for communities in Alberta.  They have taken information from our website and Deb, the board chair, sent organization charts and other items.

The British Columbia (B.C.) Dental Association has invited a representative from the low-cost dental clinic, along with Mara Sand of Interior Health, to their symposium in Vancouver that focuses on non-profit dental clinics.  Interior Health has provided financial support for Mara to attend while the Dental Society provided travel reimbursement for the West Kootenay TEETH Clinic Society rep to attend.

Keep in touch and drop us a comment...

Eric and Marion

Sunday, 8 February 2015

We are back at it after a great Christmas break and we wish all of you a happy and healthy 2015.  It was nice to have the whole board at the meeting as we are a bunch of ‘sun seekers‘ it would seem, and so are off to a variety of warm places during the winter months.

The TEETH clinic, or low-cost dental, continues to be a very busy and popular initiative and is available for low-income families twice a month. The big news is that they have been able to get the support of Ocean Ceramics and can now access crowns at 60% off the regular cost. This is going to make it possible for more people to get the work done they need. 

The Practice of Family Physicians and our local advocate Dr.Lee McKay hosted a breakfast meeting on January 21, 2015 at 7 am at the Hume Hotel to talk to us about this initiative and to help us connect resource groups in our community with physicians for more support, especially for prevention and the management of chronic illnesses.  We are so fortunate to have the ability to continue our work on integrating health services in the Nelson area.

And the BIGGEST news is the “Passport to Wellness Health Fair” being organized for April 18, 2015, from 10-2 at the Community First Health Co-op Wellness and Education Centre (CFHC) at 518 Lake Street.  The Fair is a collaboration of the Resource Centre members, the Partners, and the Board and will contain both manned information kiosks and interactive sessions in the Stoddart room. We have had one meeting and will be at it again on January 21,2015.  Stay tuned for more information but mark April 18,2015, on your calendar.  This will be a Celebration for CFHC and the work we continue to do on wellness and integrated health.

We are hoping that snow comes for the ski hills so people can get out and exercise and enjoy, but, please, not all at one time like our last big dump of the white stuff.


Eric and Marion