Community Articles
Go to Site Index See "Community Articles" main page
General News · 31st October 2022
A Note From Our President Ed Safarik:
It has been a particularly difficult period for healthcare in BC with the Covid pandemic. As we all know healthcare workers are over worked and stressed. Even without Covid there are many challenges with the shortage of medical staff and lack of support for them. The Cortes Clinic has many challenges, but we are fortunate that we have been able to provide good medical service to the community. I would like to thank all the doctors, nurses, MOAs, all other staff, and the Board for their hard work and perseverance.

Rural Health Care Situation and Cortes
Please see previous Tideline posting

Physician Housing
Housing for our physicians is a concern. The terms of their contract have not kept up with the costs of housing here. Housing availability and affordability on Cortes being a major issue should not surprise anyone. The physicians have stable housing for the next several months, but it is not available 4-5 weeks each summer and we do not know if it will be available in the fall of 2023. Finding summer accommodation for the physicians and locums is difficult and cost prohibitive.

We are starting the search for affordable year-round accommodation for the physician group. Please contact us if you would be willing to rent your house year-round, if you foresee renting out your house but still need it available for a few weeks in the summer, and if you have accommodation available in the summer months. Since, we may not be able to find year-round housing and would like to find affordable accommodation options outside of the vacation rental system for the summer weeks that housing usually is not available.

Seeking Board Member

Due to unforeseen circumstances two of our Board members have had to leave the Board since our last AGM. We are recruiting one new Board member, hopefully to fulfill the role of House and Grounds manager. This is a board oversight position and does not require the board member to physically carry out the day-to-day work. Anyone with an interest in health care and some knowledge of building maintenance would qualify. If you are interested in getting involved in this organization, would like to know more about us or the board position, please contact us.

Comings and Goings
In the last year, faces at the clinic, CCHA, and program staff have changed. Marilyn Fitzmaurice, who has been our phenomenal administrator for many years, has gradually been stepping back from the countless things she does for us but will remain our accounting manager. We are very grateful for all the work she has done with us to make our complex organization run smoothly. Jenny Hartwick had been taking over many of Marilyn’s jobs for the last 2-3 years. Jenny left us in June to concentrate on her other responsibilities of family and business, and Rose Fitcyk has joined us as our administrative assistant. This past year we have also welcomed Katie Barr and Filipe Figuera onto the CCHA board.

Bernice McGowan and Linda Cartland have retired as RNs at the clinic and Bernice from Home Care nursing as well. Isabelle LaPlante is our regular RN, but there will be some rotating faces in the nursing role with Erin, Angel, Brittany and Murrays, and other island nurses that come to do locums here. Bernice has taken over as the coordinator for the Augmented Home Support Program operated by the CCHA which was shepherded so ably by Linda since its beginning.

Mary Lavelle, MOA for clinic, left in the winter for a job at the CO-OP, and was replaced by Kelsey Brill-Funk and Madison Hyndman. Kelsey is now off to school in Vancouver. Thus, our incredibly capable front desk team is now Heidi, Sandy, Bianca and Madison.

Community Support is Essential
The CCHA owns and operates the Cortes Health Centre, along with providing programs to foster health in the community e.g. child and youth programming for a wide range of ages and the Augmented Home Support Program. We receive income from rentals from Island Health, our practitioners, and other people who use our clinic, but we rely on donations and grants to sustain our community programming and some aspects of the Health Centre operation. Our building is almost 18 years old and needs some upgrading and ongoing general maintenance. We would like to install a heat pump system for energy efficiency and to keep patients and staff cool in the summertime.

Although Island Health does provide much in terms of operating supplies for our clinic, they don’t provide capital costs or larger ticket items since we are a community owned clinic. We have been asked by our practitioners to provide a device which would give immediate blood results, and this would be very helpful for decision making in emergency situations. Though it would not replace our routine lab services. The cost of this device is $12,000.

We encourage you to become a new member or renew your membership ($5) in the CCHA, and ask that you consider a tax-deductible donation. We’re happy to accept donations for specific projects or general operations.