Archive for category: Health Navigator/Coordinator

Do Bowen Islanders know what we do?

Categories: Activities, Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Health Navigator/CoordinatorAuthor:

We were told recently that although Bowen Islanders are concerned about health and the provision of health care on the island, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know anything about the work of Caring Circle. One suggestion to our board, by a local councilor was to make sure Islanders know more about the work we do.

We always feel that we’re talking to our Bowen Community on a regular basis: on the Forum, on Facebook, in the Undercurrent and on our website.

When you’re living and breathing your work, you sometimes assume others are also paying attention. From our viewpoint, there are many Islanders who are having trouble coordinating the health services they need. Caring Circle is reaching out to them in as many ways as we can, providing support. It’s rewarding work and we are told, at least weekly “I can’t thank you enough. This information has made all the difference.” or “thank goodness you’re here to help”.
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Take Care of the Girls

Categories: Cancer, Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: , Author:

take care of the girlsColleen O’Neil was recently involved in a surprise gathering of ladies at a lingerie store in Vancouver to make a video encouraging women to participate mammography screening. The message is – if you’re a woman 50 or over, have a mammogram every 2 years. Here is the full video, which has aired, in part, on television. See the full video here.

Big Steps Towards Better Health Care on Bowen

Categories: Bowen Island Health Care Resource Guide, Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, Community Care Support, Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: , , Author:

Caring Circle LogoBowen Island Undercurrent
Jan 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM
In the 20 months since its inception, members of the Caring Circle’s Advisory Board have been working vigorously to determine health needs and to facilitate access to health and wellness information on Bowen.

The first initiative was the publication of the Bowen Island Health Resource Guide in March. The idea grew out of a recommendation by the “2009 Age Friendly Report to Council” which stated that Bowen Islanders needed a guide to help them navigate through the complexity of the health system.

In February, Colleen O’Neil, a retired RN, took on the job of health navigator/coordinator to assist people in accessing the health information they require.

Most recently, Caring Circle has been actively participating in the Vancouver Coastal Health’s “My Health, My Community” survey, which is designed to inform the Ministry of Health about gaps in health services.
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Colleen O’Neil Blindsided by Breast Cancer Diagnosis at Age 53

Categories: Cancer, Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: Author:

colleen GolfingColleen O’Neil says she was blindsided by the diagnosis, at the age of 53, of breast cancer.
“There’s no family history, I’ve always been healthy, and I didn’t have any of the risk factors,” said the 61-year-old.

Lots of women discover a lump, she notes. But for many, breast cancer – including ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and the type O’Neil had – only shows up in a mammogram, as what she calls “little grains of sand.”

B.C. has one of the best screening mammography programs in the country. Established in 1988 by the BC Cancer Agency, the 25-year-old Screening Mammography Program of B.C. was the first population-based screening program in Canada for the early detection of breast cancer.

Over the program’s life, the country has seen significant improvements in early detection and, consequently, survival rates of breast cancer.

“We have very good statistics showing that the survival of women with breast cancer has benefited from this program, that survival has in fact gone up, and that there’s been a 25 per cent reduction in breast cancer among women screened in the program,” Dr. Christine Wilson said.

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Caring Circle to Provide Relief

Categories: Health Navigator/CoordinatorAuthor:

letters Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: September 19, 2013 3:00 PM

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your full report on the Caring Circle and their efforts to provide interim support to people in need of medical care or social services. However effective their resource guide and other printed material may be, it is the human element the Caring Circle provides which seems most important. Let us hope they will find the financial resources they need.

I’m a senior Bowen resident who came here in the ‘80s and stayed for 15 odd years. I moved closer to my family for a while, but gladly came back a couple of years ago. This island is my home, yet I now wonder if my return here was wise: increasing age often brings decreased health. Bowen is not providing well for emergencies – or after-care. The Caring Circle is trying to fill an enormous gap. Just this week I learned of three long-time senior Bowen Islanders leaving for the mainland, to be closer to doctors and related facilities. Most of us know of a few more who are considering a move from their Bowen home and life here: all seniors who are weighing the odds of managing on the island.
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Caring Circle Seeks Funding

Categories: Health Navigator/CoordinatorTags: Author:
Caring Circle New Home

Caring Circle’s new home at the cottage behind the library

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: September 13, 2013 2:00 PM
Last week, the Caring Circle Resource Centre’s office moved from Village Square into the heritage cottage next to the library. Since it opened in its previous location in February, about 180 people have visited the premises. At the September 9 council meeting, Colleen O’Neil presented a report on behalf of the Caring Circle and asked council for funding for the position of a health navigator.

“You have on your desk a major application,” O’Neil said. “It includes about 15 pages of statistics about the people who came in and some of the concerns we had to address since February.”

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Diane and Don Marshall named Citizens of the Year

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Don and Diane Marshall are Bowen Island’s Citizens of the Year for 2013


Susanne Martin photo

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published: August 16, 2013 9:00 AM

Community engagement and volunteering are alive and well on Bowen Island, as was evident from the many substantial Citizen of the Year nominations.

The list of submissions included four individuals and two couples. Last week, the Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce announced that Diane and Don Marshall will bear the title of Citizens of the Year for 2013. Susan Pratt, director of the Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce, said that Diane and Don Marshall perfectly fit the criteria for the award that included the completion or successful results of a project, a well-exercised leadership role and remarkable services that were performed recently.

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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.