June 17, 2024


WEST SHORE – At the WestShore Chamber, we are privileged to be invited to a number of community events and initiatives.

In June we attended the launch of a Foundry Centre hosted by Thrive Social Services Society, and the Community Healthcare System Support Playbook, brought to you by healthywestshore, a Saunders Family Foundation project.

The aim of the Playbook is to provide a streamlined approach for local communities to attract and retain healthcare workers. It “was developed in collaboration with physicians, nurses, healthcare workers, local governments and business leaders. The Ministry of Health contributed funding toward the next step of the project – a toolkit – that describes how to implement steps and actions within communities. The release of the toolkit is anticipated for fall 2024.”

And the Foundry Centre “will provide young people ages 12-24 and their families or caregivers with free and confidential access to mental health and substance use support, physical & sexual healthcare, social services and peer support in one convenient location. [It builds] on the solid foundational work of The Village Initiative (TVI), a local network of over 60 community service providers.”

You may be thinking: “Is youth healthcare and retaining healthcare workers really a business concern?” You bet it is. Without primary care, people will not move to, or will move away from, our region. That impacts on businesses staying in or relocating to Greater Victoria, which in turn impacts on our tax base. This also impacts on the availability of workers. And we all know that healthcare is just one piece of the puzzle. Affordable housing, cost of living, transportation, education, childcare, and access to leisure & amenities are all, by extension, business issues.

It takes a village to make the village work for everyone, and people in our community are doing exceptional work. To find out more about these and other initiatives, you can sign up for our e-news on our “Contact Us” page or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or X. We’re here to help!

Julie Lawlor is Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce


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