it must be something in the Kootenay air …
Or perhaps people in Nelson just really enjoy attending meetings.
Nelson and its surrounding communities have a long history of financially viable and successful cooperatives, starting with the Fruit Tree Growers Co-op more than a century ago. Currently, there are 123 successful co-ops in Nelson; some with annual incomes of more than $5 million.
The Community First Health Co-op (CFHC) joined this flood of cooperation in May 2006 when it opened the Nelson and Area Wellness and Education Centre on Lake Street, in the old forestry building. It was the culmination of a long and committed effort by the residents of the community to restore health servicers that were lost when the provincial government closed down the local hospital and emergency services as part of its amalgamation of regional health services in 2001. Getting community control over health care, and developing health services that responded to the real needs of the community, was a big part of the effort to ensure that never again would local health care be hostage to government whims.
Today, Community First Health Co-op combines traditional medical services and alternative medicine practices in a single location, with an additional focus on education and prevention for young and old alike. It has become a model for successful community based health care in British Columbia and beyond.