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  • Community Information

    The island village of Bella Bella/Waglisa is located on Campbell Island, north of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. It is home to the Heiltsuk Native Band and is the largest community on the Central Coast (population 1,400). Although it was the former site of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort McLoughlin in the 1830s, nothing remains of the fort today. Like many small communities on the coast, such as nearby Ocean Falls, Bella Bella/Waglisa has had a precarious and isolated existence.

    The closing of coastal cannery towns and decreased need for coastal shipping reduced the importance of Bella Bella/Waglisa’s port. However, the resumption of ferry services by BC Ferries and the introduction of an air link from Vancouver via Port Hardy by Pacific Coastal Airlines have revived Bella Bella/Waglisa.

    INDUSTRY:
    Fishing, forestry, tourism


    • Population

      Town Population: 1,095 (BC Stats, 2011 Census)

      Patient Catchment: 2,897 (LHA 49- Bella Coola Valley, BC Stats 2009)

      Ages of Population:
      0-17: 23.3%
      18-24: 9.5%
      25-64: 53.9%
      65+: 13.4%
      (BC Stats, 2010 Figures for Bella Coola Valley)
      

    • Health Administrative Information

      Health Authority: Vancouver Coastal Health

      Health Service Delivery Area: North Shore/Coast Garibaldi

      Regional District: Central Coast

      Rural Designation: RSA community

      RRP Designation: A

      RRP Points: 39.0

    • Practitioners + Clinic information

      General Practitioners: 2 (www.cpsbc.ca)

      Clinic
      Bella Bella Medical Clinic
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2332 | F: 250 957-2360
      

  • Hailika'as Heiltsuk Health Centre
    
    Box 819, 212 Wabalisla Street
    Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
    P: 250 957-2308 | F: 250 957-2311
    

  • The hospital provides acute care, continuing care, and emergency care. There is also an intensive care unit, a laboratory, diagnostic imaging services and telehealth services. There is a medical clinic, pharmacy, and ambulance service within the hospital.

    • Contact Info

      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      

    • Hospital Info

      Acute Care Beds: 6

      Continuing Care Beds: 7

      Emergency Care Beds: 3

      Intensive Care Unit: Yes, this community has an ICU

      Referral Hospital: St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver

    • Emergency Room

      This community has a limited service Emergency Room that provides basic acute care. The ER is open 24/7 and has three beds.

      Number of Visits per Year: 3,159 (2009/2010 Statistics: VCHA)

      Travel Distance to Transfer hospital: 1,004 km to Vancouver (air transport only)


    • Lab services

      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital Lab
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      Hours: 24/7
      


    • Imaging services

      X-Ray
      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital Imaging
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      
      Mammography
      Mammography services provided by BC Cancer Agency twice a year. See www.bccancer.bc.ca for details.
      
      Additional Services
      Electrocardiography

    • BC Ambulance

      BC Ambulance Services provides coverage in this community, including Air Ambulance services.

    • Pharmacy

      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital Pharmacy
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      

    • Extended Care

      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital (7 beds)
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      

    • Home Nursing

      R.W. Large Memorial Hospital
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2314 | F: 250 957-2612
      
      Hailika'as Heiltsuk Health Centre (in-community)
      Box 819, 212 Wabalisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2308 | F: 250 957-2311f
      

    • Diabetic Nurse Educator

      Hailika'as Heiltsuk Health Centre
      Box 819, 212 Wabalisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2308 | F: 250 957-2311
      

    • Mental Health and Addictions

      Hailika'as Heiltsuk Health Centre
      Box 819, 212 Wabalisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2308 | F: 250 957-2311
      

    • Social workers

      Bella Bella Family Services
      Box 754, 247 Wakas Drive
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-4325 | F: 250 957-4340
      
      Heiltsuk Kaxla Child & Family Service
      Box 754
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-4235 | F: 250 957-4340
      

    • Practice Site Information

      Bella Bella Medical Clinic
      General Delivery, 88 Waglisla Street
      Bella Bella, BC, V0T 1Z0
      P: 250 957-2332 | F: 250 957-2360
      
      Physician Site Coordinator(s):
      Dr. Lauri-Ann Shearer
      

    • Training Site Information

      Family Practice Resident Site: Yes
      
      Medical Resident: UBC
      

    • Students & Residents Perspectives

      On the Community

      “A First Nations community with an indigenous Heiltsuk population of approximately 1500 local residents. Nurses, physicians, teachers are typically non-indigenous, otherwise it is an aboriginal community that also serves remote communities including Klemtu (approx. 400 First Nations people) and Ocean Falls (approx. 25 non-indigenous people). The people are used to outsiders providing services and are welcoming and friendly. Being a small community, everyone knows each other and there is a strong sense of community spirit. The primary industry is fishing, and this is also how the majority of people will feed themselves/each other. Food is certainly more expensive, being delivered once weekly on the ferry, and thus fresh fruits and vegetables are not a common table of the local diet.”

      On the experience

      “Highly recommend it! Good for learning to treat aboriginals. Small, isolated community. Beautiful location.”

      “Highly rewarding! Working here felt like I found a place where medicine is practiced the way I had dreamed of practicing family medicine.”

      Challenges

      “Transitioning from a more supervised practice to a significant level of independence afforded here took some getting used to, however was ultimately one of the greatest rewards of the rotation. While time to review cases was not explicitly set aside, the regular physicians and locum physicians visiting were always happy to offer advise/discuss a case/join me during a patient interaction as needed.”

    • Patient Economics

      % low: 90
      % medium: 10
      

    • Patient Load

      Practice per day: Average 20/day or less

    • Office Set-up

      Personnel in Office: Nurses

      Will Residents have contact with these personnel? Yes

      Does your office have a surgical suite? No

      Do you use a consistent charting system in your practice? Yes

      Is there a problem list on each chart? No

      Is there space for the resident to have an office an an examination room? Yes

      Would you expect the resident to rotate offices on a regular basis? No

      Technology: 
      Email
      Internet
      Medline
      Healthnet in town
      Electronic Medical Records
      Videoconferencing
      

    • Educational Opportunities

      Hospital Rounds:

      Yes. There are daily rounds on hospital patients (long-term care as well as acute patients), and this is an ideal opportunity for discussion of cases and mutual learning/teaching.

      CME Teleconferences:

      Yes. Local staff also intermittently provide rounds if they have attended conferences/CME events.

      Videoconferences:

      Yes, there are opportunities for videoconferences.

      Fantastic rural trauma rounds from Interior Health are joined via videoconferencing.

      Conferences:

      Yes, there are opportunities for conferences.

      Local staff also intermittently provide rounds if they have attended conferences.

      Journal Clubs/Reading:

      Yes, there are opportunities for journal clubs/reading.

      What other educational opportunities are available to your students and residents (e.g., rounds, CPD)?

      The staff are very appreciative of residents providing insight regarding recent studies/clinical management, and were also keen to share their wealth of experience, particularly as it pertains to their remote setting.

    • Preceptor Physicians

      Dr. Stuart Iglesias
      Dr. Farghad Rojeab
      Dr. David Arnold
      Dr. Maki Ikemura
      

    • Teaching Disciplines

      Nursing
      Public Health
      Mental Health
      Pharmacy