Primary care resumes at Lake Cowichan

Primary health care services in Lake Cowichan started taking appointments this week, and folks in the area can meet the members of the new team at the Community Health and Wellness Fair this Saturday.

Lorne Charbonneaux, leader of the Integrated Health Networks on Vancouver Island, was pleased to announce the service.

"We’re certainly optimistic about the future for the team," he said. "It was set up especially for Lake Cowichan. It’s unique. It’s aimed at helping people manage chronic diseases."

Effective self-management can help keep chronic diseases under better control, Charbonneaux said.

"We’re quite excited about the introduction of this new service," he said.

The primary health care team and the community’s new nurse practitioner will be on hand at the Community Health and Wellness Fair.

The fair is hosted by Choose Cowichan Lake and will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Centennial Hall.

The team works in collaboration with other Cowichan Valley family practitioners and nurse practitioners who currently see Cowichan Lake patients. Most of the team is located at the Kaatza Health Centre, while the nurse practitioner is located at the Brookside Medical Centre.

The prolonged, determined effort by Lake residents to deal with their lack of doctors has been rewarded with several successes and this most recent example is just another chance to celebrate.

In 2012, an announcement that one of Lake Cowichan’s two doctors was moving his practice to Duncan acted as a catalyst in the community.

A packed meeting that December showed a panel of doctors and agency representatives that the area was ready to step up and work for a solution.

In 2013, the Cowichan Lake Working Group was formed to develop a model for an integrated health care team.

In addition, the Lakeside Medical Clinic was established in September, set up by Dr. Vincent Rossouw of Beverly Medical Clinic in Duncan.