From left to right: Karen Inkpen, Manager, Home, Community and Public Health; Latash_Maurice Nahanee, Squamish First Nation; Karin Olson, VCH Chief Operating Officer, Coastal, and David Hawkins, Chair, Sechelt Hospital Foundation Board of Directors cut the ribbon at the new Gibsons Health Unit.

Gibsons Health Unit relocates to new site

The Gibsons Health Unit open house began with a blessing from a Squamish First Nations elder, Latash-Maurice Nahanee.

Nahanee said the new location of the health unit will create a welcoming home for health care services, particularly for families in the community. He spoke to a crowd of local community members, VCH staff and Sechelt Hospital Foundation donors and directors who attended the open house event on Thursday morning (Jan. 11).

The new, more publicly front-facing location at 821 Gibsons Way, is more centrally located and more easily accessible by public transit. It will also bring together the public health and home health teams into one site, while continuing to provide prenatal classes, immunization, youth clinics and family support services.

New location includes audiology booth and hearing lab

“But the biggest benefit of this new location is that families of young clients will now have access to an audiologist on the Sunshine Coast,” said Karin Olson, Chief Operating Officer for VCH Coastal. “They will no longer have to travel to Powell River, Squamish or to Vancouver for pediatric hearing tests.”

The Sechelt Hospital Foundation allocated $600,000 to fund the equipment and furnishings required for the new site, including the new audiology booth and a hearing aid lab for pediatric hearing testing, not currently available on the Coast.

The open house and sneak peek tours took place at the new location of the Gibsons Health Unit (821 Gibsons Way) on Thursday, but programs and services will be available to the public starting on Jan. 17.

Lauren Tindall, the VCH Director for the Sunshine Coast, gave special thanks to Karen Inkpen, manager of home health and public health, Allison Dobbie, team lead public health and prevention, and Brenda Rowe, coordinator for home health.

“Planning, preparing and completing these types of moves takes the hard work of a number of individuals,” Tindall said. “Together, they make an amazing team.”

An official ribbon cutting – with the ribbon originally used to open the Coast Garabaldi Health Unit on Dec. 3, 1981 – took place before the small group tours began.

With the addition of a new audiology booth and hearing lab in the Gibsons Health Unit, young clients will no longer have to leave the Sunshine Coast for pediatric hearing tests.

The Gibsons Health Unit is centrally located at 821 Gibsons Way on the Sunshine Coast in the town of Gibsons.