Be safe. Be calm. Be kind.

A message from Haida Gwaii physicians:

As we deal with continued concerns around COVID on Haida Gwaii, it is important to ground ourselves in what we know:

We can all do our part    

We can continue to help slow the spread of the virus by following the advice of our Public Health Team and EOCs:

  1. Stay home if you are feeling sick or have been in close contact with someone who is sick    
  2. When outside of your “bubble”, stay at least 2m (6 feet) away from others; if you cannot do so, wear a comfortable mask to reduce the risk of transmission (even if you feel well)    
  3. Wash your hands often, and try to not touch your face
  4. Be kind to each other – trust that each person is doing the best they can, given their particular circumstances

Fear is seldom kind and never wise (Ursula K. Le Guin)

We are ready for this      

  1. We have clear protocols and the necessary resources to ensure that people have access to the care they need and take precautions in the timeliest way possible;
  2. You will be contacted directly by our Public Health Team as soon as possible if it is discovered that you are infected or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19    ​
  3. Your health care providers and EOCs are prepared to help care for those who may get sick during this pandemic  

We are going to be OK    

  1. Most people who get COVID will fully recover and will do so in the comfort of their own home, with close monitoring by their health care providers to ensure that they get the care they need, when they need it
  2. As long as we all do our part, the spread of COVID in our community will be limited and our health care services will be able to manage what comes our way    ​

Be safe. Be calm. Be kind. (Dr Bonnie Henry)

Systemic Racism in Health Care: A Response from Haida Gwaii Physicians

On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, we are dismayed by the recent report from Health Minister Adrian Dix describing a serious example of systemic racism in our healthcare system. As your doctors, we feel angry and also ashamed that such damaging attitudes and behaviours exist in our profession, despite our spoken commitments to provide care with compassion and respect.
Trust takes decades of diligent care to build, and may vanish in an instant with a thoughtless word or gesture. Without trust, there is no healing connection. Blatant acts of racism such those reported by Minister Dix damage this trust. We fear that these practices may widen the care gap as people justifiably lose faith in their healthcare providers, and avoid or delay accessing the services they need.
While we feel disheartened, we as physicians must also see this as an opportunity for humility and growth. It is another chance for those of us who have been sheltered from racism to realize the magnitude of the problem and shock us into action. 
It can be easy to distance ourselves from blatant acts of racism, to dismiss them as exceptions. It is more difficult to acknowledge how we, as health care providers, personally contribute to the persistence of systemic racism through ignorance or inaction. We do so by not taking the time to learn the history that has led to the current injustices. We do so by not uncovering the root causes of suffering and addiction. We do so by remaining silent, by ignoring our privilege to use the means we have (our voice, our influence, our strength) to address racism and injustice.
May this most recent example of systemic racism awaken and deepen our sense of shared humanity so we can embrace the words of American political activist and philosopher Angela Davis: “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”

With gratitude for the privilege to serve our communities, and with the knowledge that this privilege must be earned again every day,

The Physicians of Haida Gwaii

  • Jocelyn Black
  • James Chrones
  • Michel Daoust-Wheatley
  • Gordon Horner
  • Jordan Koopmans
  • Michele Leslie
  • Tasha Maheu
  • Tracy Morton
  • Tamara Pacholuk
  • Caroline Shooner
  • Skylar Van Osch
  • Caroline Walker
  • Catherine Wong

If you or your loved one has experienced discrimination when accessing care, please contact the NH Patient Care Quality Office

If you want to educate yourself about how to provide care in a culturally safe manner, please visit http://www.sanyas.ca

COPING with COVID-19: Mental Health Resources on Haida Gwaii

Coping during the pandemic can be difficult. Most of us will experience anxiety as we worry for ourselves or our loved ones, and wonder what kind of future lies ahead.

Please know that you are not alone!

Here are some resources to help you stay well during these stressful times:

24 HOUR CRISIS LINE: 1-888-562-1214 

NORTH END Resources

Haida Health Centre’s Mental Wellness: 250-626-7884

Northern Health’s Adult Mental Health: 250-626-4725

Haida Gwaii Society for Peace – for those experiencing or at risk of domestic violence:  250-626-4666 (24hr) 

Island Wide Haida Child & Family Services for children, youth & adults of Haida ancestry: 250-280-7896 

SOUTH END Resources

Skidegate Health Centre- online at https://skidegatehc.janeapp.com or 778-361-0179

Northern Health’s Haida Gwaii Health Centre: 250-559-4933

Island Wellness Society for those impacted by trauma or violence  – Child & youth counselling: 250-559-4767

Women’s Counseling:  250-559-8828 

ONLINE Resources

Coping with COVID-19

Accessing medical care on Haida Gwaii during the pandemic

While we are encouraging everybody to stay at home and minimize contact with others to avoid the spread of COVID-19, your North and South End hospitals remain open and accessible 24/7 to all who need medical attention. We have taken all the precautions to keep you, our hospital patients and the staff safe when medical care is needed. We are also providing regular virtual appointments (by telephone and, very soon, by video) to continue caring for you in a timely way.

If you need medical care during the pandemic, please follow these steps:

CALL FIRST

SOUTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-559-4900

NORTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-626-4702

If you need an ambulance, call 1-800-461-9911

If you need to be seen in person (such as for certain medical appointments, emergencies, urgent blood tests or Xrays), you will be directed to come to the hospital at a given time.

When you arrive to the hospital, here is what you can expect:

SOUTH END ( Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay – Haida Gwaii Hospital & Health Centre)

NORTH END (Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital)

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We will figure out the best and safest way to care for you.

COVID-19: An Urgent Message From Haida Gwaii Physicians

[NB: this post was written jointly by all Haida Gwaii Physicians, to share their urgent concerns for the well-being of the people of Haida Gwaii]

As the COVID-19 virus draws closer to our islands, there are some important ways we can work together to reduce the impact on our communities.

If we let the virus spread the way it has in other places, we would expect well over 400 people here to be sick enough to need to be in hospital. We only have 12 acute care beds between the two hospitals, and most of these are already full. Over 20 people could become sick enough to need a ventilator (breathing machine), and we have only two of these on the islands. Also keep in mind that, as our health care resources get diverted to deal with those that get very sick, we will struggle to keep up with the usual health care emergencies (heart attacks, accidents, etc.). This pandemic has consequences for everybody’s health.

However, if we ALL work together, the numbers of people who may get seriously ill will be much less and will be spread out over a longer time. We will then be more able to help those who need it most.

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP US HELP YOU

This virus spreads wherever people come together, so the most important thing you can do is STAY AT HOME and limit visitors. If you must leave your home for work or essentials, keep your distance from others, ideally beyond 2 meters (6 feet). Wash your hands often and try not to touch your face (and wash your hands or use sanitizer after you do!). Please encourage friends and family to do the same.

1. If you develop a fever, cold symptoms or a cough, use the ONLINE SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL or call the NH COVID-19 Hotline = 1-844-645-7811 to help you decide if you need medical attention.

2. If you need to see a doctor, CALL FIRST, so we can prepare for your visit and not keep you waiting where the virus can be spread to others.

SOUTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-559-4900

NORTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-626-4702

3. Stay calm and be kind, but do not minimize the seriousness of the situation. Encourage each other (and our elected politicians!) to do the right thing in a timely fashion, and support each other through this crisis – only together can we make a difference and save lives! 

We want you to know that all the health care staff of Haida Gwaii are here for you and continue to prepare the best they can for the challenges that lie ahead. We are working hard to adapt to this evolving situation, to get through this in the best way possible. We care deeply for you all and want the best for you and your families.

Educating the Next Generation

For over 30 years, the Haida Gwaii medical community has been affiliated with the University of British Columbia as a training site for Medical and Nursing students, Family Medicine residents and, more recently, Nurse Practitioner, Midwifery and Social Work students.

Providing health care cannot be learned simply from books. Interacting with patients and medical staff in a clinical environment is key to developing essential professional skills. While students will not see patients autonomously, the Family Medicine residents are in their final year of training prior to independent practice, and thus are quite senior in their education. As such, they do see patients in the clinic and the hospital independently, with daily oversight by their assigned physician preceptor. It is expected that some patients may prefer to see only their regular provider and not interact with learners. If this is your preference, simply let us know when you book your appointment. We do not take your participation for granted – respecting your wishes is our priority.

The entire Haida Gwaii medical community would like to express immense gratitude to patients and staff who choose to be involved in the education of the next generation of healthcare providers. Most local family doctors were once medical learners on Haida Gwaii, so patient and staff participation are key to the recruitment and retention of health care providers. Haawa to our teachers, patients and communities for instilling a love of rural medicine and Haida Gwaii!

Photo credit: Jags Brown

Locum Opportunities for Physicians

Haida Gwaii offers year-round opportunities for short term locum contracts in both the north end and south end of Graham Island. Haida Gwaii’s unique natural beauty and welcoming communities make it a favourite destination for both work and recreation.
Due to Haida Gwaii’s remoteness, our communities are designated as « category A » and are therefore eligible for the highest level of remuneration through the Rural GP Locum Program. Follow this link for details.

If you are a physician looking for locum work on Haida Gwaii, please contact Locums for Rural BC. You can also ask to speak with our practice support coaches via the health centres in Daajing Giids Queen Charlotte or Masset. They will guide you through the application process.

If your plans are to work in Daajing Giids Queen Charlotte, please take our South End tour for practical information on how to make the most of your experience.

Photo credit: Jags Brown

 

Welcome to Haida Gwaii Health

Our mission is to provide an overview of the health services and facilities serving Haida Gwaii, to help you quickly find what you need. 

Visit our Hospitals page for information concerning in-patient and emergency services.

Our Clinics page will provide you with contact information for our local health centres, and our Services page will quickly get you up to speed with local offerings.

If you have an emergency and need an ambulance, call 1-800-461-9911. You can also visit our Emergency page for additional important information.

Haawa Haawa Haawa

We would like to thank Jags Brown, Mary Helmer, Carey Bergman and Jason Shafto for their generosity in offering their beautiful photographs to create our website. We also gratefully recognize the Facility Engagement Initiative for providing the funding needed to realize this project, and InnoNative for their help envisioning and creating this website. And a big haawa and thank you to all who cheered us along the way!

Photo credit: Jags Brow