Victoria Health Co-op: Stop the presses!

Victoria Health Co-op

By Vanessa Hammond

Upcoming events:

·         Artist Chris Paul Fund-raiser for the Victoria Health Co-op/Creating Community Wellness Society Feb 3 & 6

·         Visit us at the Health Centre, 547 Michigan St, during Window Wanderland Feb 24 – 25

·         Book you appointment NOW for the Members’ Wellness Clinic Feb 25

·         Confirm that you will attend the Victoria Health Co-op Annual General Meeting March 10th

A Win-Win step forward

In the December Beacon we invited you to hear about plans for the Victoria Health Co-op including its medical services in the James Bay Project building. We invited members of the Co-op to vote on a very interesting proposal.

You came! You listened. You asked many insightful and interesting questions. The motion put to the member-owners was “That the Victoria Health Co-op accept the proposal made to us by Dr Troy McLeod and that the Board finalize negotiations for him to purchase the Co-op Health Centre.” The result was 58 in favour of the motion. This included 27 proxy votes. There was one vote against the motion and one abstention. This was a clear decision to accept the proposal. We are pleased to let you know that the purchase was finalized on January 2nd.

What does this mean for the Victoria Health Co-op? What does it mean for the James Bay Community and the patients at the Health Centre, now the Whiteye Community Health Centre?

It means that we have achieved a Win-Win situation from which we all benefit.

This is certainly a “Win” for the Co-op in that we will no longer be subsidizing the facilities and services (Medical Office Assistants - MOAs, cleaners, IT, supplies, insurance etc) used by the doctors in the Health Centre. Since 2010 this had been a significant drain on the finances and energy of the Co-op, a major distraction from the work for which we established the Co-op in 2008, and a serious financial commitment by the Board, other member-owners and generous James Bay residents. We are extremely proud that despite the struggle we managed to maintain the services for up to 7,400 patients. But now we can happily refocus on our Wellness and Community Outreach work. We are grateful that we will have on-going access to space at 547 Michigan St to support these core activities such as the Members’ Wellness Clinic on February 25, new Hans Kai initiatives and the very exciting gift and fund-raising initiative. Curious about this? It is a wonderful piece of art, highly expressive of the aims of the Victoria Health Co-op. Be part of the launch Feb 3 or 6.

It is a “Win” for the MOAs and doctors, as their workplace will be maintained. We are grateful for their patience during this transition period, and their unfailing commitment to the patients.

It is a “Win” for the James Bay community and the patients who will be transferred from the patient roster of the Co-op Health Centre to the Whiteye Community Health Centre, and will probably see little change initially but an increase in scope and services in the future as Dr McLeod will add this clinic to the group he already owns in Duncan and Langford. We extend our very best wishes to Troy and the Whiteye Community Health Centre so that it will be a “Win” for him, his colleagues, the patients, and the community.

It is also a community “Win” as we are already moving towards excellent co-operation in terms of wellness education. Our community outreach focus for 2018 will be “Supporting YOUR path to wellness.”

Reminder: Please join us for the Victoria Health Co-op’s Annual General Meeting March 10th at James Bay New Horizons to SEE our fund-raising initiative. The member-owners of the Co-op will vote on a number of new initiatives. If you are not a member, and wish to vote, please join the Co-op ($50 lifetime membership) before the end of February.

Our February Person of the Month is Beverley Norman, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique with a lively practice in Victoria since 2005.

"Many endure muscle pain and persistent tension that makes moving about in the world uncomfortable and painful. The ability to change these patterns—to move with ease and grace—is accessible within ourselves and what the Technique addresses.

Alexander Technique teaches us self-care. It starts with how our bodies are designed to move and helps identify habits of movement that interfere with our perfect design. We learn how to use a built-in feedback system to see and to change those old, old patterns.

For instance, a widespread habit of many is to use our larger, energy-hungry-waste-producing muscles to “hold us up”—to support our skeleton in standing and walking, etc. Alexander Technique teaches us how to reallocate that work: to use the smaller, underlying muscles whose job it is to support the skeleton in effortless, upright posture, thus freeing up the larger muscles that had been “seconded” inappropriately. As muscles are used more appropriately, chronically held tension slowly unravels and discomfort with it.

The tools are simple and accessible but not necessarily easy! Habits of a lifetime prove a worthy “opponent” and take time, patience, and the fine art of being present in the body, noticing what we are doing and directing how we want movement to happen.

And, the Alexander Technique works preventively: don’t wait until pain sets in…"

Beverley is a member of the Health Co-op and contributes monthly at the Co-op’s Wellness Clinics. She is a strong advocate for taking charge of our individual health. She can be reached at 250-415-5630; and at "

Past “Persons of the Months” have been:

Alexis Henning, Medical Herbalist.

Nicole Costello, reflexologist, 778-433-3119, or 250-858-8307.

Rae Bilash, (250) 380-8733, improves movement and mobility while releasing muscular tension in your body.

Lindsay Hounslow – Registered Herbal Therapist at or 250-891-5467.

If you have ideas or questions about the Victoria Health Co-op please contact VHC Chair, Vanessa Hammond or 250-415.9272. the Senior's Home

Recipe: Soup's On!