For Bowen’s Health

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.

The idea grew out of a recommendation by the 2009 Age Friendly Report to council that states: “Accessing reliable information was seen to be a fundamental need frustrated by emotional turmoil and systemic inconsistencies.”

Since May of last year, Colleen O’Neil worked tirelessly on assembling the guide, contacting health practitioners, BC Ferries, health agencies and researching people on Bowen who might be available to help people in their homes. Assisted by Diane Marshall, Colleen developed the guide until it was ready to go to press.

Another suggestion in the report to council was that the guide could be online. To this end, a website at has been created and will continually be updated. It also includes links to many useful health-related websites to enable islanders to have a greater access to current care information.

A third recommendation of the report was for Bowen to have a health navigator/coordinator. To fulfill this recommendation, Caring Circle’s committee opened the Bowen Island Health Resource Centre on February 20. The creation of this facility was made possible by the generous donation of the office space by The Cape on Bowen until the end of June. Located in Village Square, beside The Village Baker, this office space enabled Caring Circle to engage volunteer health navigator/coordinator Colleen O’Neil to answer questions related to the health resource guide, help people negotiate the health system as well as gather information about health concerns. She will be in the office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition to assisting with health related issues and keeping the online guide current, Colleen is developing a resource library, assisting with grant applications, and liaising with experts in the health field. Judging by the enormous enthusiasm of islanders and generous donations of finances, materials and expertise, the idea of addressing Bowen’s health needs seems to be tapping into a deep well of need and they encourage anyone with an interest in helping to contact 604-947-9100 or email

Caring Circle Advisory Committee offers heartfelt thanks to the following islanders: Stephen and David Bellringer for providing insurance, Brian and Julia McCaig for donating computer, technological support and proof-reading guide, Joyce Ganong for time and knowledge in assisting Colleen with grant applications, Mark Megaw, Shari Ulrich and Knick Knack Nook for furniture and supplies, Jeff Sardari for lighting/electrical/drywall expertise, Gustaaf Tasseron for drywall installation, Peter Moir for painting, drywall patching, cleaning, electrical installation and much more.

Colleen O’Neil and Diane Marshall

Caring Circle Advisory Committee