Plans for a new community, team-based health facility in Qualicum Beach took a step closer to becoming a reality when a newly elected board of directors was put in place in September at the annual general meeting of the Qualicum Beach-Parksville Healthcare Foundation.
The society, leading to the establishment of the foundation, was approved last spring, and had its first full board of directors meeting Wednesday, Oct. 4. The foundation is meant to serve as a fundraising and operating arm for the development of the proposed primary care health facility in Qualicum Beach.
“The foundation was established earlier in the year to meet the need for a legal entity to accomplish the aims of the Perfect Storm Group (PSG),” said Kim Burden, interim chair of the society, said in a written release. “The PSG is a region-wide community initiative whose focus has been to assist with retention and recruitment of family physicians to our area.
“At this week’s meeting, the new board heard of discussions that took place last week among physician members of the Oceanside Division of Family Practice regarding proposed models for new collaboration amongst doctors,” said Burden.
Burden also said the board is appreciative of the current work being done by the Oceanside Division of Family Practice to create a model that would attract more doctors to the area.
Locally, elected officials met with Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention to discuss the doctor shortage in the area.
One of the resources the municipalities and the RDN are looking into, Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek said, is for nurse practitioners to have billing numbers so they can work in doctors’ offices to provide services. Westbroek also said 78 per cent of the work doctors do can be performed by nurse practitioners.
The new directors include: Kim Burden from the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce as interim chair; Marc Lapierre, an insurance consultant at Coastal Community Credit Union as vice-president; Jim Bennett, a member of the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach as secretary; Norm Watts, also a member of the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach, as treasurer; Marlys Diamond, a member of the Perfect Storm Group; and Jim Grant, a financial advisor with Raymond James Financial in Qualicum Beach.
— Qualicum Beach-Parksville Healthcare Foundation news release