Saturday, 30 June 2018

Community First Co-op Celebrates AGM 2018

Community First Health Co-op celebrated its 17th annual general meeting with an invigorating chair yoga session with our community members.

Marj Haire lead us through a variety of movements and meditations supporting both our bodies and our minds... those of us lucky enough can join Marj at the Community Complex on Tuesday afternoon to further benefit from this method of yoga.

The group were fully engaged as we lead into the administrative part of the meeting.

Tanya Momtazian, Midwife, Apple Tree
Chair, Debby Zeeben, provided an overview of this past year including the funding for a registered nurse to work with Apple Tree Maternity as well as the 10,000 Steps Initiative in partnership with the city of Nelson.

Board Members – Pegasis McGauley introduced Deb Zeeben, Doug Stoddart, Sarah Popoff, and Sharon Browning, who were present, and Mia Gardiner, who was out of town, as continuing volunteer Board members.

Nominees for Directors – Madeline Collins, Pegasis McGauley, and Eric Ramsden were accepted by acclamation as new Board members by the CFHC members in attendance. 

The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society board member, Barry Nelson, provided an update on the activities of the low cost dental clinic.

Thanks so much for dropping by... looking forward to your next visit.

Let us know what you think about what's happening with the CFHC and if you're interested in helping out by volunteering just drop us a line.

Talk with you soon,


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

World Health Day and Nelson Celebrates by Taking It To the Streets!

It has been a long time since we blogged but here we go with our latest – the World Health Day Celebration on April 7,2018.  The CFHC and Nelson Star have sponsored the Passport to Wellness Health fair for the past 3 years but this year, with an idea to focus on fitness and health we decided to “take it to the streets”.

Zumba-ing for 10,000 Steps
About 10 years ago one of our CFHC members came back excited about a walking program called 10,000 steps she found in Darlington, New Zealand. The town had numerous signs with maps on them encouraging people to walk 10,000 steps a day for health. The walks were of varying difficulty and there was even a time posted to meet if you would like to meet other walkers. Well it sometime takes the right time and the right place for things to happen, but this turned out to be the year.

Led by the Chair Deb Zeeben, the health fair committee of Marion Hunter, Cathy Foxcroft, Sarah Popoff and Madeleine Collins invited the City of Nelson, represented by Ginger Lester and Joanna Markin, NDCC with Jodi Voudsen, Vanessa Finnie from SD8 and Dawn Tomlin to meet with us to plan something bigger and to involve more the community.  

Kootenay Martial Arts Team Kicking for 10,000 Steps

The City decided to take on the 10,000 steps and are creating the signs and have paced out the first route. The NDCC came to the table with ideas for the activities on that day for the centre and on their new signs in the arena to add 10,000 to their laps, and IHA volunteered to purchase pedometers for walkers to use available at the Library or through IHA and Cathy Potkins.

Invitations were sent out for others to offer free activities on that day
after the walk and in Nelson fashion, Selkirk College sponsored Zumba, LVR hosted Kidsport with Mini Hockey and Ringette and the Nelson Pickleball club introduced the sport to newcomers to the game.  We had Hot Bambu with yoga, and the Nelson Scottish country dancers down at NDCC along with an Indoor walk led by Cathy Potkin.

 Loonie Toonie day all day at the pool with childminding services included. The Nelson Squash club came on board, as did Kootenay Martial Arts and Jungle Body.

At 10:00 am in the cold and rain, with snow looking imminent, the ribbon was cut by Pat Dooley IHA, Naomi Ross SD8 and Deb Zeeben CFHC, and led by the Nelson Air Cadets, 35 brave souls headed out the inaugural 10,000 step walk.  Along with the walk and other activities over 200 people were involved in the day.

We want to thank everyone that contributed to this event and we hope that once the signs are in place, people will discover that walking 10,000 steps is good for your health and fun to do.  We are hoping to have a route that includes a Heritage tour walk, and the route mapped by Wildflower around the Uphill area.


Wildflower Stepping Out in Their Neighbourhood

Spring is HERE !! And now is the time to try something new and get outside and get moving.

 Signing off

Eric and Marion

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