Nanaimo Division of Family Practice

Health in the Community

The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice is proud to support provincial, municipal, and community programs that promote health in our everyday lives.

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Live 5-2-1-0 at McNab's Corn Maze

Discharged with Dignity

Photo: Sheri Shanahan, R.N., Trapper Edison, Emergency Department Manager, and Mark Hunns, R.N. with some of the many backpacks Island Health staff have donated. The donation drive started within NRGH but has since spread to departments across the health authority.

The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Emergency Department is embarking on a new initiative to discharge its homeless, vulnerable, disenfranchised patients with backpacks filled with care packages. On May 10, the Emergency team put out the call for NRGH staff to consider donating used backpacks and care package items. Since then, departments from across Island Health have answered the call. 

"I was actually quite surprised that people were so into it," said NRGH Emergency Department Manager Trapper Edison, who has been wearing a pink Sofia the First backpack every day to encourage donations. "The response has been wonderful. It's a good feeling."

The idea for the care packages came directly from the Emergency team, including Clinical Nurse Leader Val Gfrerer and RN Sheri Shanahan. "We had a gentleman come in who wanted to go to detox – you can give them the resources, but it's difficult to know you are sending them back out with nothing," Shanahan said. "You feel like you have an open door, and you want to be able to do something. Leaving with a backpack with goodies inside would make people a little happier. It'll open up dialogue more between us and the community, and it's a way for us to provide more resources as well."

The NRGH Emergency Department is accepting donations of gently used backpacks (it does not matter what the logo or design is). They are also seeking care package donations such as socks, toques, ponchos, toothbrushes, toothpaste and toiletries.

Donations can be dropped off in the emergency room at the CNL office. For more information, call Trapper Edison at 250-755-7601 ext. 52629. The Emergency team's goal is to hand out 250 filled backpacks by the end of the summer and 500 by the end of 2016.

Stories of Migration Event 
Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. 
at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre 

More information about other VIU International Development Week activities, including the World Bridger Film Series documentary, "A Requiem for Syrian Refugees" (Thursday, February 4 @ 7:00 p.m.), can be found by clicking here.

Vancouver Island University marks International Development Week each year with campus events, visiting speakers, and classroom dialogues that explore global development issues at home and abroad.

This year VIU is exploring the theme of Global Citizenship by celebrating change-makers in the VIU community and beyond who are taking action on global development issues. Join us as we delve into topics of global health, migration, science and technology, social justice, media and more, as we showcase the work of students, staff and faculty who are making positive change in their communities and around the globe.

Weedless Wednesday Workshop - January 20, 2016

Weedless Wednesday: A great day to quit smoking

January 20, 2016, is Weedless Wednesday, the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week. The Canadian Cancer Society encourages those who smoke to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. It could end up being the start of something wonderful.


N-HART (Nanaimo Health Alliance Refugee Team)

N-HART (Nanaimo Health Alliance Refugee Team) is a group of dedicated individuals in the Nanaimo community who have been putting together a Community Sponsorship plan. We have a core group of leaders in place and have generated the funding necessary to take the next step: Developing a Settlement Plan to bring a Syrian refugee family here. We are generating ongoing support, both financial and Volunteering / Donations, so that we can support this family for the required year. We will be needing people, household items, Physician support, community support to make the family feel welcome and to address their (as yet unknown) physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs. 

We expect we will be able to welcome a Syrian family to our community sometime in March 2016!
On behalf of the Nanaimo-HART Co-Chairs: Lara Dickinson, Mike Flesher, and Jennifer Wurster thank you for your support!

For further information, please contact us either through our FACEBOOK Page or directly at:


Dr. Derek Poteryko supports the 5210 program.

The four simple guidelines for raising healthy children, 5210 stands for five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, no more than two hours of screen time a day, an hour of playtime or activity a day, and zero sugar-sweetened drinks. 



Walk and Talk with the Docs