Author Archive for: juliamccaig

Bowen’s Health Service Needs

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colleen working

Colleen O’Neil at her desk in the Caring Circle Resource Centre

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: May 24, 2013 10:00 AM

Bowen Island had the highest ranking for the percentage of residents who feel a strong sense of community belonging, according to a recent North Shore Community Wellness Survey. The survey was conducted from November 23 to December 21 last year with the aim to support the North Shore Congress Child and Family Friendly Community Charter but Colleen O’Neil, coordinator of the Bowen Island’s Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, says that it doesn’t tell the whole story.

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Open House and Other Upcoming Events

Categories: Caring Circle Health Resource CentreTags: , , , , Author:
Resource Centre workstations

Resource Centre coordinator and volunteer workstations

Stay tuned as we plan our first Open House and invite the community to see what we have created in the Cove. We will also be participating in the First Credit Union’s “Theatre Under the Stars” in the summer and hope to be a presence at Bowfest. There is also a group of musicians who are planning to host a fund raising concert for Caring Circle in the late summer/early Fall.

Caring Circle Resource Centre in Need of Printed Material and Volunteers

Categories: Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Health Navigator/Coordinator, Self Manage Health, VolunteersTags: , , , , , , Author:

Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: April 11, 2013 2:00 PM


Caring Circle is asking for printed materials as well as volunteers. Photo Joanne Raymont

Since the Caring Circle Health Resource Centre opened on February 20, 80 people have visited our volunteer health navigator/coordinator, Colleen O’Neil. Her role is one of helping people find the support they need as our health system is becoming increasingly complicated and the onus is being newly placed on patients to self manage their health. This is theoretically good but without someone to guide them, people often feel lost trying to negotiate the system. The resulting frustration adds to the stress of having compromised health. Having health navigators is a fairly new role in health care but is being increasingly adopted. Read more →

For Bowen’s Health

Categories: Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: , , , , , , Author:

Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: March 07, 2013 2:00 PM


Diane Marshall and Colleen O’Neil hold up the new
Bowen Island Health Resource Guide

This week, the Bowen Island Health Resource Guide will arrive in postal boxes all across the island. The Caring Circle Health Advisory Committee hopes that the publication will become a resource for seeking health care information and recommends that islanders keep it in a prominent place. The advisory committee consists of approximately 14 people who are either health professionals or committed to a healthy Bowen. In addition to the mail-drop, the guide will be distributed to health-related businesses on Bowen. Read more →

Caring Circle Office Opens

Categories: Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: , Author:
Colleen and Lynda sitting

Colleen O’Neil shares an idea with volunteer Lynda Wallace

Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: February 14, 2013 3:00 PM

On Wednesday, February 20, Caring Circle will be opening a health resource centre beside the Village Baker at 997 Dorman Road.

We are pleased to announce that volunteer Colleen O’Neil will be there, acting as a health navigator/co-ordinator. She is available to explore any questions you might have about how to obtain health care support for yourself or your family and also get feedback from community members about health care concerns specific to Bowen. If this centre is to thrive, it needs to be a community effort. We would like the community to gather resource material to have available at the centre. Please contact Colleen if you have a specific field of interest or expertise that she can utilize for our local needs.

Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Making Bowen More Age-Friendly

Categories: Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:
age friendly grant award

Mayor Jack Adelaar, MLA Joan McIntyre, minister for the State of Seniors Ralph Sultan, Colleen O’Neil of the Caring Circle and Shelley Shannon of the Bowen Island Community Recreation hold up the cheque for the age-friendly community grant.
Joanne Raymont

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published: January 17, 2013 8:00 PM

A grant of $19,993 has been awarded to the Bowen Island Municipality with the aim to help create programs or tools that address the needs of older residents. At Seniors Keeping Young (SKY) last Monday, January 14, the discussion revolved around the concerns of senior Bowen residents. In attendance were the minister of the State for Seniors Ralph Sultan and West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Joan McIntyre who dropped by at Bowen Court to share the news about the grant and hear from the 25 islanders who had gathered.

“Bowen Island was one of 27 winners of the grant for age-friendly communities,” Sultan said. “Only a third of all applicants received the award and it aims to make Bowen Island an even more age-friendly place to live.” Sultan explained that the grant covers a sum of just $7 shy of $20,000 and the announcement was greeted with applause.
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Creating a Safety Net for Health Challenges

Categories: Assisted Housing Options for Seniors, Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Community Care Support, Home SupportTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Diane Marshall

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: December 14, 2012 10:00 AM

Many island residents choose to live on Bowen because they value the quality of life. But in times of accidents or failing health, they may re-evaluate their choice. Diane Marshall believes that we need to build a safety net, especially for the times when our health is compromised, and that is why she has mobilized a group of people who are passionate about health services. Together, they founded the Caring Circle.

“The health safety net is simply not there on Bowen,” Marshall said. “We based that assumption on the Seniors’ Needs Assessment that was done by Abbeyfield in 2007 and identified that 39 people left Bowen over the course of four years because they couldn’t get the health care they needed.” And while Marshall doesn’t know how many of those seniors would have chosen to stay, she believes that a better system and more support could give them the option.

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Health Survey Will Inform Priorities and Resource Allocation

Categories: Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Health ConcernsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

VCH LogoBy Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: December 07, 2012 9:00 AM

Until Sunday, December 16, Bowen residents have a chance to participate in a survey that gauges the health and well-being of North Shore residents. While the survey does not exclusively focus on islanders, Dr. Jat Sandhu, regional director of the Public Health Surveillance Unit, believes it is important to get their input. “I can’t emphasize enough that we want to hear local-level voices. The data will give us valuable tools for engaging local governments and organizations.”

The survey can be completed online at and aims to reach residents in the city and district of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Lions Bay and Bowen Island to learn about their community involvement, household and neighbourhood characteristics that may influence individual health and well-being. The survey is conducted by Vancouver Coastal Health and Dr. Sandhu explained that while provincial and national surveys provide health statistics on a larger geographical level, the North Shore Wellness Survey could help to attain more detailed information that could be used to “plug gaps” in local health and wellness services.

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Caring Circle Lends a Hand with Research

Categories: Bowen Island Health Care Resource Guide, Caring Circle Health Resource CentreTags: , , , , , , , Author:

hands holdingBy Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: October 19, 2012 02:00 PM
What do you do when you or a family member gets ill and needs to be cared for in a home on Bowen? In the case of an accident or emergency, there might not be a lot of time to do the research and set up a support system that is needed. Here is where the Caring Circle comes in.

Colleen O’Neil and Diane Marshall have put their heads together and met with a number of community members to compile an impressive list of resources that will make it easier for island residents to cope with a medical emergency.
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