James Van Hemert from Golder Associates talks to the crowd at Our Cowichan’s recent healthcare session which was looking for public input on the strengths and weaknesses of the Cowichan Lake community.

Cowichan Lake healthcare information session deemed a success

Our Cowichan Communities Health Network meets with Cowichan Lake public

A public input session regarding healthcare in the Cowichan Lake area has been deemed a huge success by the hosts.

The session was put on last Wednesday by Our Cowichan Communities Health Network, at the meeting room in Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, as locals came out to express their views and what needs to be improved on to make the community more healthy.

“What was really wonderful about the sessions was that the participants were able to identify what the real strengths were with regards to healthcare in the Cowichan Lake area,” said Cindy Lise, Our Cowichan’s regional facilitator. “It’s great to see so many wonderful things going on. The people have a vision of a healthy community and what it takes to get there.”

Lise outlined some of the strengths of healthcare as locals see it, as a result of the information gathered at the session.

“One of the strengths is the sense of community and the ability of the Cowichan Lake area to come together as one and create community-based solutions. An example of that would be the work of the Choose Cowichan Lake team in resolving the lack of physicians issue in the area.”

Two new physicians will arrive at Lake Cowichan’s Brookside Medical Clinic this summer.

“Another strength is the multitude of services offered by the Cowichan Lake Community Services staff,” said Lise. “The new library has opened doors and now there is more youth stopping by there and picking up library cards. The area obviously has many natural strengths too including the trails and the water, and all of that builds community and gives people a better chance of being healthy.”

Despite the strengths, there are some challenges too.

“A couple of hotspots that need to be looked at is the lack of child care spaces available to families and the fact that a number of citizens don’t have employment in the area, even though they live there.”

Our Cowichan has recently released a survey for the public to provide further, specific input to individual needs.

“The health survey will be accessible to all communities throughout the Cowichan Valley and it will look beyond what organizations do. It will look at individuals and everything pulled together from the stats will show us how we can build on the strengths that are already there,” said Lise. “It’s just one piece of a bigger, longer term project and our entire report will be out at the end of May, early June.”

The survey can be viewed and filled out at:http://fluidsurveys.com/s/CowichanCommunityHealthSurvey/