Foundation partners with school district to open health hub in Gold River


GOLD RIVER, BC | Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island has partnered with School District 84 to open a facility that will improve access to healthcare providers for north Island families.

Officially open on Wednesday, September 13, Gold River’s Children’s Health Hub will provide much-needed space for children living in rural and remote communities to meet with a range of care providers, including occupational therapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and audiologists.

“Without space to work from, many specialists simply haven’t been able to meet with children living north of Courtenay or Campbell River unless their families are able to travel south,” says Carrie Tarasoff, resource navigator at the hub. “This hub gives families a place to go that’s much closer to home—and many of the care providers plan to work from this hub on the same days each month to make the most efficient use of each family’s time.”

“Our number one goal is to help families thrive—and creating a physical space for child-focused specialists to work from is the first step in this journey.”

As navigator, Tarasoff will help families in Kyuquot, Zeballos, Tahsis and Gold River build care plans for their children within the complex network of health services available in the Vancouver Island West region.

“There are many services in this region, yet I’ve found that many families aren’t aware they exist,” says Tarasoff. “A circular pattern then develops—people don’t know about a service so that don’t ask for it, and then service providers don’t visit this area because they aren’t asked to.”

“My hope is that the Children’s Health Hub can address this gap.”

Tarasoff’s position is one of eight specialized ‘navigator’ consultant roles that the Foundation is funding this year after learning that the ability to find, understand and access community-based healthcare options was a major support gap for families across the Island.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the value of this hub and our funding support is a testament to our donors’ commitment to rural and remote health services,” says Veronica Carroll, CEO of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

“As Carrie said, this hub is just the beginning of what’s possible for north Island families and, if this model of care is as successful as we believe it will be, there may be potential to modify and implement it in other Island communities.”

While the Foundation is funding the hub’s operations, School District 84 provided and renovated the space at 500 Trumpeter Drive in Gold River in-kind. Starting September 13, the hub will be open Monday to Friday from 10AM to 3PM.