About the Foundation

About the Foundation

Credit: Emmett Sparling

We are a charitable organization dedicated to improving access to health care for Bowen Island residents and visitors.

People live on Bowen because of the lifestyle we can enjoy here. At the same time, our limited on-island and difficult to access off-island healthcare services put each of us at an extreme inconvenience and some risk.

In typical Bowen Island fashion, the community has banded together to address the real and growing concern of insufficient access to and levels of care close to home. A group formed several years ago and the vision for the Bowen Island Community Health Centre was born.

In 2015, the group conducted a community-wide survey that identified a clear and urgent need on Bowen. The survey confirmed that Bowen Island residents have difficulty with access to health care services. Many services taken for granted on the mainland — even something as common as stitches for a wound — are not available to most on the island, and access to services currently necessitates a ferry trip. For those who are ill or elderly or may not have a vehicle, this trip is difficult and often causes patients to delay care.

In 2018, the group, now known as the Bowen Island Health Centre Foundation, gained charitable status, and the same year launched a capital campaign to build the Bowen Island Community Health Centre. In 2021 the Foundation received funding from the Ministry of Health to build a new health centre.

The health centre will be owned and operated by the Foundation, which represents the Bowen community at large. Operational funding will come primarily from the provincial Ministry of Health — a close-to-home example of our provincial tax dollars at work. It is governed by the Foundation board, a group of community residents that will work collaboratively with the community and health centre staff to identify and respond to new community needs, ensuring the community enjoys the benefits for generations to come.