An amazing 43 members of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary caught an early ferry to attend the 2019 BCAHA, Lower Mainland AGM.

The event was hosted by The Auxiliary to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, with morning coffee and muffins supplied by VCH.

Karin Olson, CEO, VCH updated the attendees with VCH’s new commitment to “Virtual Healthcare”. Our members were proud to realize that we were already ahead of the curve by funding the tele-health system that allows for distance consultation with specialists, notably around stroke treatment, without requirement of transportation to the city. Symptom monitoring, digital charts, pre-surgery screening, etc are a few examples of other areas that can be well served by these methods. “The Patient will see you Now, The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands, by Erin Topol was recommended reading.

Tim Sader, Director of Communications, BCAHA, gave a presentation on “The Links and Strengths at the Heart of Healthcare” which reflects the role of BCAHA. He encouraged everyone who has not done so to complete the short questionnaire on the BCAHA website by the end of Oct. He showed some of the brief videos completed in the north of the province highlighting the role and satisfaction with auxiliary membership. The theme seemed to emphasis that “Volunteering = Good Citizenship”.

Marilyn Chan, Spiritual Health Practitioner at Delta Hospital gave a presentation on her experiences with MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying). While this was a very sobering topic and still controversial for some, Marilyn increased our awareness as to the history, process and support available. She presented information on eligibility, safeguards and recent challenges. Marilyn’s compassion, and respectful manner provided insight into some of the realities and struggles arising from the implementation of this new legislation. She also shared with us her definition of compassion: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion and anguish. It challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears and means full immersion into the condition of being human.”

A delicious lunch of soup and sandwiches was enjoyed by all. Following lunch, the business part of the meeting, the AGM was held. Carol Murray was installed for one more year as area representative.

The day concluded with a small group exercise on “Thinking Outside the Box” lead by Diane Thornton, Vice-President of BCAHA. Groups were given a theme and 20 minutes to come up with a fund-raising idea, using this theme. The results were very creative and demonstrated the advantage of using new and different ways to fund-raise beyond Thrift and Gift Shops.

A tired but enervated crew headed home on the 4:40 ferry and will report back to their branches on the positive benefits of attending conferences.


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