Friday, 20 October 2017

West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Pays It Forward: In Memory of Chrissy

TEETH Pays it Forward, In Memory of Chrissy

In remembrance of Christine Archibald, The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic (TEETH) acknowledged the Archibald family’s challenge ‘to honour Chrissy’s life through acts of volunteerism.’ TEETH held a donation dental day in Nelson on Saturday September 23, 2017.  TEETH began operations in June 2014 and is a registered Society under the BC Societies Act. Community residents with a net family income of less than $30,000 adjusted and 3-month residency are eligible for dental services. The clinic offers 40% off dental costs found in the BC Dental Fee Guide. All government dental insurance plans are accepted at par.

During regular running clinics, staff working at TEETH are paid and most have permanent positions at other offices, so they usually work at TEETH on their days off. However, on Saturday September 23rd TEETH staff volunteered, their clinical expertise to provide optimal dental services to TEETH clients and offered dental services free or by donation.  #Chrissysentme. Thanks to an exceptional dental team consisting of 2 dentists, 2 registered dental hygienists, 2 certified dental assistants, 1 receptionist 2 support staff and the donated use of Dr. Osepchuck’s office. A total of 23 TEETH clients were provided with dental services and $756.00 was donated towards helping future clients that do not have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their dental treatment.

Christine Archibald, who grew up in Castlegar was a victim of a terrorist attack in London England on June 3, 2017. Her death has inspired countless acts of kindness by people around the world. ‘Please honour Chrissy by making her community a better place.’ ‘Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter.’ (Archibald family)

For more information on TEETH please contact: or 250-352-6560 (TEETH info Hot Line).

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Fond Farewell and an Update on AGM 2017

Life is a funny thing... Marion and I have been working together on the blog, in a couple of different iterations, for a few years now and it seems I just could not readily post the last blog that Marion scripted for us.

After much delay, and a definite bit of sadness for her partner-in-crime, here is Marion's final (until some day in the future I hope) bit of all things Community First Health Co-op:

           We started this blog a couple of years ago to keep people informed on the activities of the Community First Health Co-op and we hope it is picked up by someone else, but for us, we are on our year off from the Board – our mandate allows two 3 year terms and then you must take a break (though rumour has it Eric will continue to go to meetings, but Marion will only be involved in the health fair)

         Our AGM was held on Tuesday, June 13 with 25 people in attendance. The speaker for the evening was Rick Turner with the BC Health Coalition, the body that has intervenor status in the trial between
Rick Turner
Dr. Brian Day of the Cambie Health clinic and the B.C. Government.  The case at hand is the discovery of over billing of $500,000 in a one-month period, for procedures that are done at pubic hospitals on a fee schedule. He is fighting the finding by stating that the government has violated his constitutional rights to charge what he wants for procedures that are done privately.

       His contention is that is B.C. were to have a 2 tier system, then the wait lists would be shorter in the public system, but in reality that is not what happens as private clinics also take doctors and nurses from the public system.

Rick Turner and Pegasis McGauley, Chair
This is a fight for Medicare and our health system- it will go to the Supreme court and then the impact will be for all of Canada.

After a refreshment break, and thank you Sarah Popoff for the wonderful home baked treats, the AGM, chaired by Pegasis McGauley began. 

A thank you to the outgoing Board members-  Pegasis, Eric, Erin, and Marion and the election of the new board members – Jacqueline Carr, Mia Gardiner, Doug Stoddart, Lynn Goodison, Sarah Popoff and Deb Zeeben.  

Each of the Board members gave a report on what they had focused on during the last year and some of the plans for the upcoming year. 

  The Wellness Centre at 518 Lake Street is busy and almost full at this time, with limited space available, financially we are in good shape, the Health Fair was a success with plans for a broadened community based day on April 7,2018 which is World Health Day, our PR committee updated the website,  and have used social media effectively to enhance our profile in the region, the TEETH low cost dental has expanded and served over 550
Barry Nelson of TEETH
clients, and now includes a mobile dental hygienist clinic, and the Lake Street Housing committee is busy exploring possibilities.

 The statutory meeting after the AGM will be held on Friday, June 16, 2017 and then the new board will take on the positions for the upcoming year.   We wish them the best of luck on their continuing journey for integrated health.

 Live, love and laugh – and enjoy the summer, if it really ever gets here.

Eric and Marion 

PS - and what a summer it was full of heat, smoke and more heat and more smoke.  Today's cool, clear air is a treasure for all of us.

Thanks again, Marion, and if you ever get an unnerving urge to send a line or two for our blog... don't hesitate.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

How Our Community Explored Mental Wellness and Happiness

What a great weekend of exploring mental wellness and happiness. The 3rd annual Passport to Wellness Health fair is a wrap. With two firsts, a focus on one aspect of wellness and a Friday night session, the health fair was a success.

On Friday night, an audience of 70, listened to three different perspectives on mental health. Gordon Denelaws, who is from Trail and a mental health trainer, focused on the work place and the male work environment. The Crew Talk program enables people in the work place to unpack their mental health issues in a safe and caring environment.

The Street Outreach team of Ryall, Bernadette and Jeremy shared the statistics and the difference they are making on the streets of Nelson. It was interesting to learn that most of the people they deal with have been in Nelson for 5-10 years, that they have been able to get 12 people into rehabilitation facilities and that the 20-30 age group is the ones most dealt with.

They are supplying harm reduction supplies, food and vitamins, bus passes and feminine hygiene products and socks.  They do intervention with the shop owners as needed and continue to spend time listening to those who need their help.

Dr. Keri Flesaker, a psychologist and HOPE researcher, returned to her
home town to open a practise and to delve into helping people through positive psychology. She gave some practical strategies to help: find a group or activity you like so you have social interaction in your life, take out the person in your life that is causing you grief, as though they were a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, and then consider life with out them – is it better or is getting back in tune with them better for you, and be AWED. Write about a time that you were in AWE of something and use that to believe in hope and resilience and positivity in your life. 

Glacier Harmonies, a women’s barbershop choir, sang some uplifting songs for us and led into the panel, ably moderated by Deb Zeeben.  It was a great balance in presenters and questions and we all left, inspired to be supportive in any way for a mental wellness environment in home, work and play.

Saturday dawned sunny, as it does on our Health Fair day, but with a later start and a focus on Mental Well Being we had the most attendees ever and certainly the most ever for the first session.

In the 10:30 sessions, Sonya Franke gave people a guide to practise Mindfulness and participants would love to have her present another time.  Karen Leman, our first ever IHA representative, gave a perspective on what is available, how to access community mental health resources and the real struggle to keep up with the demand.  Mental Health through Massage by Sherri Bouliane gave the participants a chance for not only a very personalized and informative session, but she also offered mini massages later in the day.

At 12:00   Tara Emery, a relational somatic therapist and social worker, helped people understand practical treatments and to set goals to inspire change, treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and insomnia.  “I liked that she gave very practical suggestions that can actually be incorporated into a person’s daily life.”   Lonnie Facchina, wore hat number 5 – she is a CFHC Board member, MS Resource Facilitator, CFHC Health committee member, ran the MS information table and did a presentation on Resilience: Addressing the Challenges of MS and other Chronic Conditions. Lee Reid did a powerful session on Growing Home: Your Personal Journey with Aging - “the experience of aging and a sense of community”, “I look forward to reading her book – her talk and presentation worked well.”

The 1:30 session was jam packed with four sessions happening.  For the parents in the audience, Parenting Kids in Anxious times given by Dr. Christy Bryceland and Liz Amaral was “very engaging and full of great ideas on how to help support your child.”     Dr. Jim Wiedrick, the lead ER Physician at KLH, opened some eyes as he told the audience dealing in the front line with mental health issues and the fentanyl crisis in Nelson. “He asked us what we expected the outcomes to be and then he gave them in a very honest and direct manner, it was a great balance of knowledge and wisdom.” 

 Laura Barkwell encouraged her audience, who were there to learn what Anxiety was and how to manage it, “that to be positive and to acknowledge the thoughts.  Meditation coach, Sarah Sherk. Guided participants through a relaxation and meditation exercise to discover first hand, how this brings one peace of mind.

Mia Gardinier facilitated the final session, a community conversation on how to be involved and what we can do for our own mental wellness and for that of our community.  We will be continuing this conversation in the weeks to come, as we all work to ensure that mental wellness and happiness is a possibility in every person’s life. 

Thanks so much for attending this excellent community event!

Marion and Eric

Friday, 31 March 2017

Doug Stoddart, on behalf of The Community First Health Co-op, receives the Professional Services Excellence Award from Chamber Director Karen Bennett (Photo courtesy The Nelson Daily)

Community First Health Co-op was pleased to be honoured last night by Nelson's Chamber of Commerce with the Professional Services Excellence award. Doug Stoddart, Board Member, accepted the award before the 100 plus business members who attended the Chamber's Annual General Meeting.

Doug acknowledged the hundreds of individuals who have provided "social capital" to Community First Health Co-op over the past 15 years.  Social capital is generated by individuals pooling their resources and energies for the benefit of communities. Without social capital Community First Health Co-op would never have got off the ground, let alone have an asset like the Wellness Center at 518 Lake Street, Nelson. 

Great news and great recognition of the excellent service the Health Co-op provides to our community.

Eric and Marion

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Passport to Wellness Health Fair: What's Happening on Saturday, April 8th in Nelson

Hop to IT!

Session Descriptions and Scheduling  
 Saturday, April 8th, 2017


Flourishing through Mindfulness- Sonya Franke, Certified Mindfulness Educator

Join Sonya Franke, certified mindfulness educator to learn simple yet effective techniques to increase present moment awareness, helping to cultivate healthy habits of heart, mind and body.  Scientists are calling mindfulness, “Brain Hygiene”.  Mindfulness offers us a way to meet our present moment experience in an accepting, open, compassionate way, developing greater inner patience, resilience, calm and happiness over time.  Learn how to practice in formal and informal ways
Mental Health through Massage – Sherri Bouliane  RMT

Sherri Bouliane will be presenting on how massage can help with a variety of mental health  issues such as stress, anxiety, insomnia , PTSD, trauma and body awareness.

Karen Leman – Services to support mental health in our community and the health care system- IHA

Join Karen Leman as she helps us understand what the role of the IHA is in the mental health of our community and what resources are available for us.  She will be able to answer questions and direct people to appropriate resources.


Inspiring Change in self: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Relational Somatic Therapy for Chronic Pain and Mood Problems – Tara Emery RSW/RST

Join Tara Emery as she explains these practical treatments and how they can be used to set goals, inspire change, treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and insomnia. Tare is a Relational Somatic Therapist and Social Worker who has been with the RISEBC Wellness Centre for 2 years.

Resilience: Addressing the Challenges of MS ( and other Chronic conditions) , Lonnie Facchina Ms Resource Facilitator for Northern and Interior Regions

This session aims to educate and equip those affected by a chronic health condition with inspiring examples and resources to help put positive thinking to work in their own lives.

Growing Home: Your Personal Journey with Aging, Lee Reid Retired Clinical Counsellor-Specialized in Addictions, Founder of SEEDS & Author

Lee offers a 45- minute slideshow, talk and Q and A for group sharing that illustrates the values and skills rural seniors bring to healthy and creative aging.  The audience will travel into the homes and lives of seniors around the West Kootenay in a personal and intimate way.  The presentation is intended to both inspire, and to challenge, social perceptions of aging.  It is not a problem-solving venue


Parenting Kids in Anxious Times- Christy Bryceland, PhD and Liz Amaral, Family/Parenting Support- Nelson Community Services

Christy will talk about how to recognize childhood anxiety and offer strategies to support anxious children.  Liz will talk about the pillars of parenting especially needed in these anxious times. 

Emergency Room Perspective on Mental Health:  Dr. Wiedrick- MD CCFP (EM) ER Physician Lead and GP Anesthetist at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson 

Dr. Wiedrick will share his perspective and provide time for group chat and discussion.

 Anxiety: What is it and how to manage it. Laura Barkwell- Registered Clinical Counsellor:

   In this session explore with Laura Barkwell, explore what anxiety is, how it presents, and how is can affect individuals. Tools and strategies will be discussed. In this session feel free to listen share stories and strategies to make this a useful, and productive session.  

Heartfulness Meditation and Peace of Mind- Sarah Sherk, Meditation Coach

Participants will be guided through a relaxation and meditation exercise to discover first hand, how this brings one into the peace of the heart.  Discover how to leave your thought behind and create a quiet space within.  In no particular posture, and in silence, you can learn to do this anywhere and at anytime.  


Community conversation inspiring action for Mental Well-being and Happiness in our communities.

Facilitated by Mia Gardiner

The “Bite” truck will be on site. Child care is available.

Come spend the day for your Mental Health and Happiness.

See you Friday and Saturday... will be a great two days for our community.

Marion and Eric

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Busy Times as We Look Forward to Spring!

Busy times down here at the Community First Co-op.   Like all of you, we too have had enough snow on the ground down here, it can all be up on the hill now, where is belongs.  We had to cancel a meeting when people could not actually get out of their homes to attend, so was nice to arrive and walk on pavement that was cleared.

 The Kalein Hospice Society is offering a Day Hospice program for people with life ending diagnoses. The program will begin on Thursday, March 23 and run for 8 weeks from 10-4 each Thursday.  Participants need to be mobile or in a wheelchair but can be moved by 1 person, and they cannot be suffering from dementia. The program will include peer support, workshops, massage, quiet rooms for rest if needed and a nutritious lunch.

The Kalein centre in Rosemont will host the sessions and with the help of a grant, has been upgraded for wheelchair ease and kitchen renovations.  
If you or someone you know if interested, please call 250-352-2337, as a pre-screening is required to be part of this program, 

We applaud the Kalein Society and the Nelson and District Hospice Society for their collaborative effort to make this initiative available in the community.

Welcome to Maggie Hailey, a counsellor, who has moved her practise to the Main Floor clinic.  Maggie works in our building with Nelson Community Services on a part -time basis and has a private practise. She is now one of 5 partners in the clinic.

We are very excited to be offering a Friday evening session for our 3rd annual Passport to Wellness Health Fair. 

With a focus on Mental Wellness and Health for the Fair, we have 3 speakers lined up for our Friday, April 7, 2017 session in the Osprey Room at the Best Western Plus Hotel on Baker Street.  Gord Menelaws, Nancy  Bowie, and Tyler Exner will address issues of mental health in our area and the resources available to help.  

After they speak a panel will be held where questions generated by the audience will be answered. Join us at 7pm on Friday, April 7 for this informative session.  


Eric and Marion

Monday, 16 January 2017

First Board Meeting of 2017: Lots Happening!

It is cold outside these days but a warming trend is on theway!! Some of the Board were talking about how they do not recall such a long stretch of cold weather.  We do enjoy the sun and blue skies and white mountain tops, though we do say, looking out your window, is definitely preferred by many.

 Our first Board meeting for 2017 was a busy one and we met a new person to our community who has now volunteered to be on our Health Fair Committee and will allow her name to stand for becoming a Board member!!

 Jacqueline Carr, the Executive Director and Patient Navigator for Rise Above Pain Society gave the board a great presentation on a new society that will work with Rise BC Wellness Centre and Dr. Joel Kalia and staff, to support those living with chronic pain. 

The program being offered in Nelson and area is a 3-pronged approach -  Chronic Pain workshops- Self Management – Movement/Support classes. The 8-week program will begin on February 8,2017 for 10 participants, as a pilot project. There are spaces available for 2 more participants. You must commit to 2 hours a week, and some homework to be involved. There is no cost to the program and it will run out the Rise BC Wellness Centre at the Community First Health Co-op.  The workshops will focus on the emotional, physical, and science of living with chronic pain.  Jacqueline reminded us the 22,000 people in the Southern Interior live with chronic pain. 

The Lake Street Housing Committee is holding a Community Planning Meeting at CFHC, February 17,2017 from 4:00- 5:00 pm in the Resource Room.  The meeting is to hear about the plans for the units and commercial space.  We know from the plans that there are 42 units of space available. This is a project that has been in the works for many years and we are excited that we may be able to move forward.

We would like to Welcome T.O.P. S. as a corporate member of CFHC and a partner in the building.  Check them out  TOPS and How It Works

First Community Health Co-op 
(TOPS BC 1705)
518 Lake St  Room 204
Nelson,  BC  V1L 4C6  Canada
Mondays:  5:45/6:30 PM

 We encourage groups that take care of their health and support others to do the same.

The first two Health Fairs have been amazing!

So, do not forget to mark April 8, 2017 as a date to take part in our 3rd Passport to Wellness Health Fair, with a focus on Mental Health.

From all of us, be careful out there, we have heard of several people with broken hips and legs and arms from an ice related fall. 

Our fellow blogger Erin is taking a break, so we wish her the best and we sign off for January 2017

Eric and Marion