Our Care Team

Doctor holding a stethoscope.

Our Care Team

Credit: Unsplash

Meet our care team

Dr. Matt Blackwood BSc (Biochemistry), MD, CCFP, FCFP
BICHC Medical Director

Dr. Blackwood graduated from UBC in 1973 and trained for 18 months in New Zealand before doing locums in Australia and Canada, finally establishing a comprehensive family practice in Mission, BC in 1976.

During that time, Matt developed an interest in ADHD across the lifespan and was a member of the local child and youth mental health care team. He moved to Bowen Island in 2016 where he joined the Rural Locum Program for BC and was able to practice in small communities around the province — in addition to becoming “Dr. Tuesday” on Bowen Island.

His experience in different models of care have made Dr. Blackwood very excited about the service being developed on Bowen Island with a wonderful group of healthcare professionals providing collaborative team-based care in an outstanding, purpose-built facility. He will serve as the Bowen Island Community Health Centre’s inaugural Medical Director, and has been instrumental in designing the care approach and recruitment of health care professionals to the BICHC.

Matt’s personal interests are enjoying the nature of Bowen, walking the dogs with his wife, Peggy. He also enjoys gardening and travel, and says his ping-pong and pickleball skills have improved immensely since residing on Bowen. Matt’s professional interests involve teaching where his focus has been in the areas of ADHD across the lifespan and MSK including back pain and chronic pain. 

Dr. Susanne Schloegl, MD, MCFPC

Dr. Schloegl was born, raised, and educated in Toronto. Upon finishing Family Medicine residency, she moved to Cambridge, Ontario to join a group of Family Physicians who were early adopters of team-based care in the community. In 2004, she was able to fulfill a long-time dream when she moved with her family to the West Coast, where her two daughters enjoyed attending Island Pacific School. After two years of practicing on the North Shore, she longed to spend more time in this warm and welcoming community, so opened a solo practice on Bowen Island.

She has been looking forward to helping make this team-based Community Health Centre a reality for many years and has been an instrumental resource in making the Bowen Island Community Health Centre a reality. In her free time Dr. Schloegl loves living among the mountains and the sea and can often be found on (or in) the ocean.

Laura FitzGerald Family Nurse Practitioner, MN-NP (F)

Laura is very excited to soon be part of the expanding primary care team on Bowen Island at the Bowen Island Community Health Center.

She graduated in 2016 from the University of British Columbia with her Masters in Nursing and family nurse practitioner designation. Laura moved to Bowen Island one year ago with her husband Stefan and toddler, Hannah and is very happy to call Bowen Island home.

Laura has a passion for health equity and preventative care. For the past seven years she has worked in full scope primary care as a family nurse practitioner, working within rural and urban indigenous primary care clinics. She has worked extensively within Secwepcemc Nations and was based at Tk’emlups First Nation primary care clinic for her first two years of practice, providing outreach clinics to three outlying reserve based primary care clinics within the Secwepcemc territory (Thompson-Nicola region). She then transitioned to work in Vancouver at Lu’ma Medical, a clinic focused on providing culturally safe primary care for indigenous peoples. There she worked within a team of family doctors and nurse practitioners, providing primary care within a team-based model.

As a nurse practitioner she functions as an autonomous primary care provider. Her training follows a biomedical model. She is able to arrange lab work, imaging and diagnostic tests as appropriate to the clinical situation, prescribe medications, send referrals to specialist physicians as needed and performs common primary care in office medical procedures. She believes in acknowledging and understanding a patient’s context and how it may be affecting their health and wellness. She has a strong background in chronic disease management, mental health and pediatrics.

Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner she worked as a registered nurse at Lions Gate Hospital for one year in acute medicine and subsequently worked for eight years at BC Children’s Hospital on the nurse resource team working within the ER, ICU and inpatient units. She believes in offering and encouraging age appropriate health screenings and vaccinations across the age span for optimal health outcomes, utilizing a preventative approach to health and wellness. 

She enjoys getting out in nature with her family, playing tennis and exploring cooking new cuisines. She was honoured to be a part of Theatre on the Isles production, ‘A Winter’s Tale’ earlier this year in two minor roles.

Dr Lindsay Downey M.D., C.C.F.P.

Dr Downey is a Family Physician originally from Ontario where she worked at the Georgetown Medical Associates for more than 14 years. Drawn by the vibrant and warm community and beautiful setting, Dr. Downey and her family have moved to Bowen Island and she is excited to open a practice and join the community. 

Dr Downey completed an undergraduate degree in Microbiology at the University of Guelph, a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario and a specialization in Family Medicine at McMaster University. 

Dr Downey has a passion for comprehensive primary care and feels that excellent medical care starts with a trusting, longitudinal relationship between patients and their Family Doctor. Dr Downey practices evidence-based medicine and enjoys collaborating with her patients and other healthcare providers to find strategies and solutions that work for the patient, as a whole person. 

Her family practice has included a mix of preventative and routine care, prenatal care and obstetrics, acute and inpatient hospital care, chronic disease prevention and management, child and adolescent health, end of life care and a mix of teaching resident physicians as an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University. Prior to joining us she was co-lead of the Georgetown Medical Associates clinic and provided obstetrical and newborn care at the Brampton Civic Hospital in Brampton, Ontario and inpatient care at Georgetown Hospital in Georgetown, Ontario. 

Dr Downey has moved here with her partner Jordan and three school-aged children: Norah, James and David. Dr Downey is an avid soccer player, enjoys skiing, hiking, gardening, reading and is learning to play piano. Dr Downey has recently volunteered with the David Suzuki Butterflyway Project and as a soccer coach in her community and plans to get involved on Bowen as well.

Colleen O’Neil
Community Health Worker

Colleen O’Neil will join the Bowen Island Community Health Centre as the Community Health Worker. Most recently she worked as a health navigator at the Caring Circle Resource Centre, a society she co-founded in 2014 along with Diane Marshall.

In this new role, the work of Caring Circle will be continued and expanded through the Bowen Island Health Centre. Colleen will provide support for Islanders in accessing health and social services as she has done over the past nine years, but now as part of an integrated primary health care team at the BICHC.

Colleen graduated is trained as a Registered Nurse and has worked in many areas of medicine including obstetrics, emergency, surgical, operating room, pediatrics and geriatrics. From 1994 until 2006, she worked as a Palliative Care Nurse at LGH, VGH and in the Bowen Community. Colleen retired from active nursing in 2006.

Since moving to Bowen in 1988, Colleen has been a volunteer for many organizations including Family Place, BICS, IPS, Snug Cove House, Seniors Keeping Young Society, Theatre on the Isle, local municipality committees, and political advocacy work.

When not working in the health sector, Colleen spends much of her leisure time playing and promoting the game of golf. She and her husband Peter raised their two children, Jake and Kathleen Moir, on Bowen.

Dr. Stephanie Shorter, MD, CCFP

Dr. Shorter grew up in Oakville, Ontario. She did her undergraduate training at Queen’s University where she met her now husband, Bryn, who grew up on Bowen Island. After following her to Ottawa University for Medical School, and back to Queen’s University for her Family Medicine residency, Bryn finally convinced Dr. Shorter to move to the West Coast. After living two years in North Vancouver, they moved to Bowen Island in 2020.

Dr. Shorter began working as a Family Physician at Docs on the Bay at the end of 2018. She loved working there but had always dreamed of ultimately becoming a part of the health care team on Bowen Island. While she is sad to say goodbye to her practice and colleagues at Docs on the Bay, she is looking forward to joining the team at the Bowen CHC in January 2024.

Dr. Shorter’s passion for Family Medicine lies in the ability to build longitudinal relationships with her patients. She values the importance of working with her patients to achieve their best health by allowing and encouraging them to be active members in their care. Within Family Medicine, Dr. Shorter has special interests in mental health and Dermoscopy for skin cancer screening. 

Outside the office, Dr. Shorter enjoys spending time with her husband, two-year-old son Alec, and three-legged greyhound, Ziggy. She loves exploring the outdoors through hiking and downhill skiing. Since moving to Bowen Island, she has developed a passion for gardening and has become connected to the amazing gardening community on Bowen. When not outside, she enjoys crocheting and hopes to one day be a part of the BICS Holiday market.