Welcome to HealthyWestShore
The Saunders Family Foundation is passionate about community health and wellness and has launched this web platform to continue to engage and expand important conversations about the changes we need to make as a community in response to growing challenges in our public healthcare system.
News & Updates
It was a very busy summer ...
It was a busy summer, with interest and enthusiasm growing for our work on the Community Healthcare Support (CHS) Network Pilot Project and finally further news for the WestShore Elder Care Advocacy Network (WECAN).
The primary focus has been on gaining traction for the pilot project, where we continue to receive stories and valuable input from throughout the healthcare space, all serving to reinforce the fact that our integrated community approach appears to be resonating with people at the pointy end of primary care. We all agree that it’s time to take action to move us from siloes to synergies as we work together to remedy the “Crisis Call In” across our healthcare system.
Part of the outreach has included conversations with the various elected officials who have contacted our team since the release of our CHSN Pilot Project Proposal, including from Central Saanich. And on September 7, 2022, Dave Saunders and Mark Holland briefly appeared before a meeting of Central Saanich Council, which voted unanimously to bring the Official Community Plan-related elements of the Community Healthcare Support Network forward as their council continues work to complete the review of their Official Community Plan.
Interest and support for this work is coming from the broader community as well, from private citizens to business leaders and Chambers of Commerce, all eager to advance a grassroots plan of action that puts more of the public back in public health.
Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to seize this moment of change with us. It’s time to embrace positive change and move beyond politics and fully into authentic leadership. The world is changing, and so must we. It’s time for community and collaboration, and that is what this work is all about. Please read on.
Collaborating for Shared Success: Community Healthcare Support (CHS) Network Pilot Project
Throughout August, the Saunders Family Foundation/HealthyWestShore team worked closely with the Westshore Primary Care Society, Thrive Social Services, and M’akola Housing Society to brief Premier John Horgan and Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean on further details of the feasibility study we see unfolding in general partnership with the South Island Primary Care Network (PCN). That briefing was followed-up by another meeting on September 28th with senior representatives of the Ministry of Health, where Dave Saunders, together with planner Mark Holland and Scott Bradford (Thrive Social Services), provided a fuller overview of our plan to help interested BC communities transition toward a new Community-led Health Centre model for primary care. The meeting went well, and we are looking forward to taking the next steps.
Collaborating to Raise Public Awareness of Health and Social Planning Issues During the Fall Election
The Saunders Family Foundation also teamed up with The Village Initiative in August to develop a Public Engagement Campaign to Get Out the Vote and ask local candidates to demonstrate their commitment to health and social planning in their municipalities ahead of the October election. See who’s signed the pledge.
Continuing to Advocate for Long-term and Hospice Care Facilities on the West Shore
News was finally received last week on the Long-term Care Facility proposed for Colwood’s Royal Bay. The Capital Region Hospital District (CRHD) approved provisional funding in the amount of $3,806,100 for 2023 (about 1.8% of the project’s total estimated price tag of $205 million (in 2021 dollars). The CRHD is expected to eventually provide 30% of the project’s total funding or about $67,108,200, but they are not the primary funder or approver. Island Health requires BC Government funding (usually 70%) and approval before the project can proceed to next steps, including receiving public input on the design and final program of services to be provided at the facility. But we do know from Island Health that the Royal Bay facility must be used for long-term care beds and associated infrastructure, whether that will exclusively focus on dementia care evidently has yet to be determined.
Of growing concern despite the outcome of the Royal Bay project, is the fact that by the time the facility is built, our community will still be playing catch-up, like what we saw with the construction of Royal Bay Secondary, where an addition was required almost immediately. Since this is a very real possibility, the Saunders Family Foundation has again contracted with Westbridge Group Valuation Partner to provide an updated demographic analysis of the West Shore’s demand for long-term and hospice care capacity. Westbridge is the leading provider of appraisal and consulting services to the seniors housing and health care industry in Western Canada. In 2019, the Saunders Family Foundation funded the Service-Enriched Seniors Housing Report, which demonstrated the growing need for facilities to serve the wellness needs of our community’s seniors, including accessible hospice beds for the people of the West Shore. When the updated report is available, it will be shared and discussed again with the WestShore Elder Care Advocacy Network (WECAN). We hope this new information will be available prior to the October municipal election.
Exploring Opportunities for Collaborative Partnership
A meeting was also held in August with the Western Communities Seniors Low Cost Housing Society (owner/operator of Langford’s Alexander Mackie Lodge), to explore ways of working together as non-profit facilities struggle to continue to support seniors as the cost of living becomes an increasingly serious concern. Further discussions are planned.
Community Healthcare Support Network Pilot Project
The Saunders Family Foundation is seeking the support of the Province of British Columbia in recognizing the important role local governments and organizations do and can play in supporting our struggling healthcare system, and their endorsement of the concept and creation of Community Healthcare Support Networks (CHS Networks) in BC communities.
A Community Healthcare Support Network is a grassroots Game Plan to equip communities with Tools and Playbooks for taking local action to support, attract, and retain family doctors, nurses, and other healthcare and emergency response personnel.
WestShore Elder Care Advocacy Network (WECAN)
The purpose of the WestShore Elder Care Advocacy Network (WECAN) is to promote effective communication, engagement, and collaboration between various levels of government (Indigenous, municipal, regional, and provincial) and the community as it advocates for the development of long-term and hospice care facilities and an integrated systems approach to the provision/availability of elder care support services for West Shore residents.
This independent community panel includes representation from the Beecher Bay First Nation (Scia’new), Colwood and Langford City Councils, public and private organizations, as well as community leaders from a variety of sectors.
Lead Community Project Partners
About the Saunders Family Foundation
The Saunders Family Foundation was established in 2010 in response to a high demand for support from several local individuals and community organizations. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the success of our fundraisers, dozens of local sports, music, arts and charitable organizations have benefitted.
Every penny raised goes toward supporting local organizations and charities.
The Saunders Family Foundation is a non-profit organization run by volunteers.
Our Board of Directors
Dave Saunders, President
Bob and Norma Saunders
Indigenous Territorial Acknowledgement
The Saunders Family Foundation recognizes and acknowledges the Traditional Territories across southern Vancouver Island where they work to support healthy and vibrant communities.