At a community gathering on November 4, 2009, the Gabriola Health Care Society and the Gabriola Women’s Institute announced their intent to allow the construction of a permanent emergency treatment room and medical facility on the Women's Institute site near the intersection of North Road and South Road.

“The health and welfare of Gabriola's women, children and families has been the focus of the Women's Institute for over sixty years. The emergency treatment room and medical facility is consistent with that focus”, says Jacquie Sutton, current WI President. She also noted that “The schoolhouse currently on the site is a Gabriola landmark and will remain there and will remain in use.”

“Every once in a while you know that you are participating in an historical event. It is a deep honour for the Gabriola Health Care Society to receive such a significant vote of confidence and support”, says Brenda Fowler, GHCS President.

“Our two organizations have begun the due diligence process in the areas of land use regulations, site suitability and organizational arrangements”, reports Ian Brownlie, Chair of the Building Committee.

We are delighted that Margot Kemble, Principal Architect of Architrave is donating her time in creating a site-specific design and building plan.


At our recent Night of Announcements Dinner at the Surf Lodge on November 4, 2009 the year 2010 was proclaimed as The Year of the Clinic. The long-awaited news that the WI property has been offered as a site for a permanent community-owned emergency treatment room and medical facility was a tremendous affirmation of support from our Women’s Institute.

As further local community support, Mike Phillips, President of the Gabriola Lions Club confirmed a further contribution of $10,000 to the Year of the Clinic campaign. The Gabriola Lions has been a major supporter of our Society since its inception in 2006.

Tawny Capon, on behalf of the Gabriola Ambulance Society, made a surprise announcement with the donation of $25,000 for facilities and equipment at the clinic.

Tracie and Will Der, owners of the Medicine Centre, have continued their onggoing support by presenting a cheque for $1,000.

Nancy Nevison, incoming Auxiliary Chair, and our emcee for the evening, made a personal pledge of the proceeds from the sale of a painting by late nineteenth century Irish watercolourist, J.W. Carey.

Judith Graham is making arrangements for the sale of her Citroen Classic French 2CV vehicle and has made a personal pledge to donate the proceeds to the Foundation.


A fundraising campaign is underway with special events being planned for the whole year. But your help is needed now. Please make a pledge to donate, volunteer your time, give a Gift in Kind or host an event of your own. There’s a million ways to give – and a million dollars will make 2010 The Year of the Clinic!


500 x $2,000 = $1,000,000

1,000 x $1,000 = $1,000,000

2,000 x $500 = $1,000,000

3,000 x $333.33 = $1,000,000


A clear and consistent demonstration of significant financial support by our community is an essential component in our applications to granting agencies or other philanthropic organizations. We will leave no stone unturned, but we can’t do it without you.


The Gabriola Health Care Foundation is a Registered Charity. Donations received by it in 2009 are eligible for a tax receipt for the current year. Please mail your cheque to the following address, or, if more convenient, drop off at the pharmacy.

Gabriola Health Care Foundation

P.O. Box 295, Gabriola, BC V0R1X0

The GHCF will be happy to work with you to set up a longer term plan consistent with your financial planning. A number of ideas are set out in the Planned Giving section of our web site at http://ghcs.ca/help.html and in a memorandum that we have prepared on the topic. Please contact any of our directors or Email us at information@ghcs.ca for a copy or for further information.


The Gabriola Health Care Society was formed in November 2006 as a response to a number of ongoing concerns with respect to the provision of community centred quality health care to an ever increasing population. Through numerous meetings with Vancouver Island Health Authority and Ministry of Health officials and independent research, the reasons for our concerns were identified and clarified. It was determined, for example, that “clot buster” drugs could only be available if an urgent treatment facility was established. An urgent treatment facility was also a requirement in order to receive funding from the Medical On-Call Availability Program (MOCAP). An urgent treatment facility cannot, however, stand alone. Treatment rooms for family practice physicians also became a key component of the proposed solutions as outlined in the document “Enhancing Primary Health Care on the Island of Gabriola”. By April 2007 enough funds were raised by the community to develop the interim facility at Twin Beaches with four examination rooms and an equipped trauma care room. The interim facility opened in July 2007.

The interim clinic and emergency treatment room, now two years old, is a busy, well run facility. Ongoing data collection shows that the majority of emergencies are successfully diagnosed and treated locally, and that the number of patients continues to increase. It is, however, clear that with the increased use of the emergency treatment room (indeed there have been examples of multiple simultaneous needs with, in one instance, three patients on site at one time) along with the welcome arrival of a new full-time family practice physician, the current site and situation is inadequate.

We believe that a permanent community owned centrally located, ecologically friendly, seismically-engineered, and technologically advanced medical facility and emergency treatment room will provide a desirable long-term solution to the health care needs of the Gabriola population. It is our belief that, in addition to emergency treatment, such a facility should truly serve the broad range of health related issues such as mental health, substance abuse, home care and, of increasing importance, the preventative programmes required to maintain the well being and good health of Island residents.

Raising the capital to build the medical centre would enable the Society to control the financial costs associated with the centre and to ensure that Gabriola will be an attractive place for physicians to locate and practice medicine. Larger communities can support practices with seven or eight doctors resulting in greatly reduced call out obligations and reduced per physician overhead costs. Gabriola needs to be able to offer an attractive alternative to ensure continuity of medical professionals on the Island.