Blog

Stay up to date with what's happening at REACH.


REACH Welcome Back Ceremony November 25, 2017

We're back on the Drive, and we want to share our new space with you! Come and join on November 25th from 11am to 3pm for an open house, including:

  • A Coast Salish welcoming ceremony
  • Tours of the new building
  • Locally Sourced Food

Local Music featuring:

  • The Carnival Band
  • DJ Su Comandante
  • East Van's Accordion Orchestra
  • Jazz by East Van's Trevor Whitridge Trio

Speeches by Community Representatives.


REACH is Back on Commercial Drive! November 7, 2017

We're thrilled to announce that REACH is finally back home at 1145 Commercial Drive! All services have resumed their normal hours. Please be advised that our temporary locations are now no longer in service.

Please stop by and say hi! Our dental and pharmacy are located on the main floor, administration and the Multicultural Family Centre are on the 2nd floor, and our medical department is located in the basement.

A huge thank you to everyone for your patience and support during this time as we built our new home. We couldn't have done it without you, and we're looking forward to seeing you all soon at 1145 Commercial Drive! :)


REACH Move Dates and Medical Service Interruptions Sept 7, 2017

There will be an interruption to usual medical clinic operations from October 16, 2017 until October 29, 2017. During these 2 weeks, the clinic will not be able to offer routine follow ups, check ups, or completion of forms. Patients are encouraged to ensure all chronic medication is refilled prior to this time or if medication runs out, ensure they see their pharmacist for an emergency supply to bridge the time until the clinic is fully operation again.

  • October 16-17: The clinic will be operating a reduced service with limited appointments while equipment is organized and rooms are decommissioned.
  • October 18-22: The clinic will be able to offer telephone-based consultations only for those with urgent medical needs that cannot wait until October 23.
  • October 23: The clinic will start to offer face-to-face appointments for urgent medical problems only.
  • October 25: The medical clinic is closed, with no phone service.
  • October 26-November 2: The medical clinic is closed. Phones will be answered for emergencies.
  • October 27-November 2: The dental clinic is closed. Phones will be answered for emergencies.
  • November 3: Full services resume.

Nominations for the Board Sept 25, 2017

Meet the nominees for REACH Board of Directors. Voting for new membership occurs at the Annual General Meeting, held this year at 7pm Famee Furlane on Wednesday, Sept 27/17.

Diana Day

Diana Day is an Indigenous First Nations from the Oneida Nation a member of the Wolf Clan and has lived in Vancouver since 1983. Diana is passionate about social justice issues that impact the health and welfare of the most vulnerable. Diana has an honours degree in Psychology and is the Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Women Rise, a program of the Pacific Association of First Nations Women. A long-time advocate for education and health care Diana was a Leader, in Aboriginal Community Engagement and Development for 10 years with Vancouver Coastal Health and a member of the District Parent Advisory Council of the Vancouver School Board for 3 years. Her work experience includes work at the local, regional, provincial and national level ranging from program development to management. With exceptional facilitation skills Diana has provided personal and professional development training for Indigenous people in Canada and the US. Her most important role is mothering her two young adult children Alexander and Angeline.


Ruth Herman

Ruth has been on the Reach board for 9 years in many roles, including president for 7 years, as well as a medical patient here for nearly 40 years, most of that time with the wonderful Sandi Witherspoon as her doctor. She is a retired lawyer who specialized in workers’ health and safety for more than 25 years. From 1990–1993, she was an elected Vancouver School Board trustee. Most importantly, she is a parent of two and grandparent of two beautiful girls.


Neal Jennings

Neal joined REACH’s finance committee in November 2016, and joined the board in February 2017 to fill a vacancy. He has enjoyed serving the REACH community, and believes the board has done a lot of good work this year. While his day job brings him out of town for the AGM, he hopes to be elected to continue to serve the REACH membership. Outside of REACH, Neal is a CPA, CA, and manages his own accounting practice. He recently retired from the treasurer role at the BC Technology For Learning Society, where he served the maximum four-year term, and currently sits as the treasurer at the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives.


Jim LeMaistre

Jim joined the REACH Board in 2011. He has chaired the New Building Committee during the search for new premises, the decision to renovate instead of moving, and observing the reconstruction. Jim has also participated on the Policy Planning and Evaluation Committee. In 2012, Jim retired from a 40-year career as a community planner, agrologist, and agricultural land use planner. He has lived in Grandview Woodland and been a REACH patient starting in the mid 1970's.


Emma Macklem

I am a fourth year International Relations and Economics student at the University of British Columbia. Upon graduation in December, I plan to pursue a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration. I have been lucky enough to call East Vancouver my home for the last 22 years and I would love the opportunity to give back to this community. I was born and bred at REACH (literally), and so I can see firsthand the importance of such an accessible, inclusive and all-encompassing healthcare centre. The integrated healthcare approach of REACH has been very important to my whole family. If elected to the board, I would do my best to represent the youth voice -- advocating for this very important subset of not only REACH patients, but East Vancouver in general.


Piotr Majkowski

Piotr Majkowski is a professor of nursing ethics, research, and mental health practice at Douglas College. He has lived in East Vancouver for 5 years, and is in the process of completing his Masters in Public Health at SFU. In the past, he has worked in health policy with the World Health Organization and the BC Nurses’ Union. As a nurse, Piotr worked at a Downtown East Side community health clinic, and also at Langley Memorial Hospital. His interests at REACH include expanding access to primary care, and maintaining a global funding approach. In his spare time, Piotr and his partner Dan run a small community-supported farm.


Jane Turner

Jane has served on the Board for the last two years, the last twelve months in the capacity of president of the Board. I have seen the board transform itself from one committed to a fee for service model for some REACH patients to a Board committed to having all patients, complex and non-complex, receive medical care under the same funding formula of the Alternative Payment Plan. If re-elected, I hope to continue forwarding a vision and plan to have REACH serve the whole community of Grandview Woodlands and East Vancouver funded by a global funding model. I will continue to work on developing an integrated model of health care for the people served by REACH Community Health Centre.


Alice Munro

I come from a family of 12 children and I am a residential school survivor. I am an Elder in the Grandview Woodlands neighbourhood connecting with others including indigenous families who, like me, thrive in communities that support and represent us. I’ve lived and worked all over BC, Montreal, Yellowknife and Fort
Resolution. My time in Fort Resolution, where I worked as a prison guard, brought home to me the importance of community, connection and Elder mentorship. My family and I worked in and with the community, of 150 people, helping them to reclaim their space, dignity and lives. We helped revitalized the community facilities so that the people could gather to play, eat and connect. After retirement I found a new home in the Grandview Woodland neighbour- hood where many other Indigenous Elders, Families and youth call home. I am very interested in sitting on the board for the Reach program, to represent the interest of the elders and indigenous families in this neighbourhood.


REACH – Special Resolution Proposed By-Law Changes Sept 13, 2017

  1. Replace existing 1.1 (n) with the following:
    • 1.1 n) “Special Resolution” means (1) a resolution passed in a General Meeting by the Members of the Association by a majority not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the valid votes cast, and of which not less than fourteen (14) days notice specifying the intention to propose it as a Special Resolution has been given; OR (2) a resolution adopted by the Members of the Association by two-thirds (2/3) valid vote in a mail ballot;

    Explanation: The new Societies Act has changed the requirement for a Special Resolution from ¾ of the members to 2/3. The Board is proposing that this be incorporated into the by-laws by changing three-quarters (3/4) to two-thirds (2/3) in by-law 1.1(n).


  2. Add a new Part 12 as follows and renumber existing parts 12 to 15 to 13 to 16.

    Part 12 - Records of the Society

    12.1 Requests for inspection of the Society’s records shall be dispensed with as follows:

    • (a) Subject to (b), the books and legally required records of the Society may be inspected by any member at a time convenient to and in the presence of a Director. A request for such inspection shall be granted not more than one (1) month after it has been received.
    • (b) The directors may, by directors’ resolution, restrict the members’ rights to inspect the society’s accounting records and/or records of directors’ in camera proceedings.

    Explanation: The new Societies Act allows access to all records of the Society unless there is a provision in the by-laws restricting such access. In-camera minutes are confidential, and the Board thinks it is prudent to have the ability to restrict access to them, as well as to some financial records. This in no way limits the members’ right to receive audited financial statements at each AGM.


  3. Add at the end of by-laws 15.1, 15.2 and 15.3 (to be renumbered to 16.1, 16.2 and 16.3 if the previous proposal is successful) “Notwithstanding by-law (1)(n), amendment of this provision requires 75% approval at a duly constituted meeting of Members.

    Explanation: The Societies Act has eliminated unalterable clauses. Previously REACH had three such clauses. At the time of transitioning to the new Act, these clauses were removed from the Constitution and put into the by-laws as follows. The Act allows for a higher majority to make changes to these previously unalterable clauses. The Board is recommending that these clauses still require 75% vote of the members in order to change them.

    • 15.1 In the event of a winding up or the dissolution of the Society, the liquidator appointed shall cause all assets of the Society available for distribution to be transferred to an organization or organizations situate in British Columbia and devoted to the relief of poverty in Canada, or the advancement of religion in Canada, or some other purpose beneficial to a Canadian community and such organization or organizations shall be determined by a majority of the members attending the first meeting called by the liquidator. This provision was previously unalterable.
    • 15.2 The Association shall be carried on without the purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretion to the Association shall be used for promoting its purposes. This provision was previously unalterable.
    • 15.3 The operations of the Association are to be carried out in the City of Vancouver, in the Province of British Columbia. This provision was previously unalterable.

Request for Proposals: REACH Stairway Art July 31, 2017

UPDATE: The application process is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted their proposals!

REACH is requesting proposals for artwork for our new building. The work will be commissioned to adorn the walls of our stairwell (see below), and will be visible from The Drive. Artists in the community are invited to submit their proposals. A three-person jury will decide on the artwork they think is best suited to the location.


2017 Annual General Meeting July 25, 2017

It's that time of year again! REACH Community Health Centre will be holding it's Annual General Meeting (AGM) for all members in good standing.

Time: 7pm - 9pm. Doors at 6pm for membership renewals. Please note that new members signing up at this time will not be eligible to vote at this year's AGM, but membership renewals at the door mean you are eligible.

Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Location: Famee Furlane Vancouver. 2605 Pender Street East, Vancouver, BC V5K 2B6.

Please join us and vote for the future board of directors. This year, we have 7 vacant positions. If you are interested in running for our board of directors, you must be:

Please submit your resume to Devika Krishnan, Administration offices at REACH's Slocan street site for review by the nomination committee. Note that to be eligible to vote at this year's AGM, you must have be a member by Wednesday, September 20, 2017.


Pharmacy Blast - Summer Schedule July 1, 2017

The summer is now in full swing and we are busy preparing for our move back to The Drive later this year. But before all of that, the pharmacy will be closed for two weeks over the summer. The closure dates are July 17th to 21st and August 14th to 18th. Please ensure that you have adequate supplies of your medications for those periods by calling us in advance to arrange. In case of an emergency or a refill, please call the front desk or the pharmacy directly at 604-216-3136, as our pharmacy technician will be available to help cover for those weeks. Look for our next blast at the end of the summer at which time we will be updating you about our move back and opening dates.


Update to REACH Members and the CommunityJune 16, 2017

It’s been so long since we’ve been in touch with you!! We can assure you we’ve been working hard and now want to bring you up to date on what the REACH Board has been doing to fulfill its responsibility to you and our community.

At its 2016 Annual General Meeting, REACH members elected eight new directors to its board. Members also discussed a controversial decision to set up a separate fee-for-service (FFS) clinic in the new building on Commercial Drive (currently under construction). In response, the meeting passed a motion directing the Board to reconsider a FFS clinic, which the Board has done. There will be no FFS clinic at REACH in the foreseeable future.

REACH medical services are funded through something called The Alternative Payment Program, administered by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). We also receive modest funds to support preventative and health promotion activities such as counselling and social work. Currently, we are in negotiations with VCH for a renewal of our contract with them. Our negotiations have not yet concluded but we are optimistic that our ability to successfully fulfill our obligations under the VCH contract will be strengthened, while enabling us to meet our commitments to our patients and to our community.

Add to this picture the fact that we will likely have a new government by the beginning of July. Both the NDP and Green Party committed themselves to a new approach to community health centres like REACH. During the election campaign, the BC Association of Community Health Centres and the Metro Vancouver Alliance – both of which we are members of – asked all parties to support this model of health care. The NDP and Greens said they would move towards a new funding model for CHCs to better support integrated, multi-disciplinary teams providing a range of services including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians, health professionals specializing in mental health and addictions treatment, occupational and physio therapists. This “one-stop shopping” model would provide “relationship-based, team-focused health care” and be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This is very good news, not only for REACH but for the entire sector of community health centres in BC. In addition, it corresponds with a proposal for a new funding model that we have been developing since last November that would allow us to significantly expand the range of services we provide and increase the number of residents who have access to those services. Our patients would have access not just to doctors, but to a variety of other medical services. During the last several months we have been encouraged by Ministry of Health officials, by a doctors’ group known at the General Practice Services Committee, by a number of community organizations, and by local politicians to pursue this new funding model vigorously. We are doing just that!

As you probably know, REACH is currently in the midst of a building project to reconstruct our Commercial Drive headquarters. We hope to be moving into our new building in October 2017. This is a complex project costing $7.5 million, funded largely through a mortgage partnership with VanCity Credit Union. Due to the reconstruction, we are developing a fundraising plan to pay off our mortgage. We will be needing the help and support of our REACH community to make this happen, so stay tuned.

In the midst of all these Board activities, our fantastic staff have continued to work diligently and productively despite less than optimum working conditions in our temporary premises. As many of you know, Dr. Sandi Witherspoon has retired after many years of serving the REACH community and we wish her well. Gloria, one of our Registered Nurses, is working temporarily with Medicines Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders and Anna, our other RN, has gone back to school. We look forward to seeing them back at REACH in the future. The REACH Pharmacy has a new half time pharmacist, Nathan Swartsman, who joins Afshin Jaberi and – good news for patients – the pharmacy hours have been extended. Meanwhile, Allie will be working through the summer at the Multicultural Family Centre to recruit and train volunteers. And last but not least, Dr. Farzad Farah-Josteh has recently joined the team in the dental clinic.

Finally, we are also pleased to announce that as per another resolution at the 2016 AGM, REACH board meetings are now open to all members in good standing who wish to attend and observe. (REACH membership is open to all who live and/or work in East Vancouver. If you would like to join REACH, please contact Devika Krishnan at dkrishnan@reachcentre.bc.ca. Membership is $1.)

We welcome your views on all things REACH. Over the next several months we will be holding a membership meeting, as well as presenting our new proposal to our community partners to ensure the direction we want to go in meets the needs of residents in Grandview-Woodland and East Vancouver. Watch for updates on our website and information about where to obtain further information.

In future, we will do our best to keep you informed of our progress on all these fronts. In the meantime, have a wonderful summer.

The REACH Board of Directors


New Face in Our Pharmacy: Nathan Swartsman May 23, 2017

This month REACH Pharmacy would like to take the opportunity to introduce our newest team member, Nathan Swartsman.

Nathan is a Registered Pharmacy Technician and was one of the first wave of licensed pharmacy technicians in the province. Besides having a bachelors degree in the biological sciences, Nathan went on to complete the Pharmacy Technician certification program through the Division of Continuing Pharmacy Professional Development at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, after having over 15 years of extensive experience as a pharmacy assistant in various pharmacy environments, originally in Toronto and eventually in Vancouver. He has vast knowledge in running compliance package programs and opioid replacement therapy. He has a particular interest in learning about and engaging in outreach, especially with youth and will likely be involved heavily in our pharmacy's future community endeavours.

Nathan is Russian born but raised partly in Israel and mainly in Ontario, Toronto being his home city. In 2002, Nathan impulsively made the move westward to Vancouver and has made it his home ever since. He has made pharmacy his career passion, and even met his wife there.

But above all, Nathan loves baking and cooking, swimming, and playing racquet sports in his spare time and he is a passionate environmentalist. Nathan will be working around three days a week for the next couple of months and will become full time as we move back into our new building. Please drop by to meet him and feel free to pick his brain about anything that can improve our services for you as we prepare to move back to the Drive.


Unpacking Cannabis Legalization Recommendations April 11, 2017

In November 2016, the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation submitted its final report outlining its recommendations for Cannabis legalization in Canada. The nine member task force submitted more than 80 recommendations. This public panel unpacks and reconsiders these recommendations in light of the new Cannabis Legalization Bill to be proposed on April 10, 2017. Some key issues the report covers are:

Please join us at SFU Harbour Centre downtown!


MVA Election Accountability Assembly March 21, 2017

REACH is proud to be part of the Metro Vancouver Alliance, and will have a presence at the Provincial Election Accountability Assembly on April 4th in an effort to hold government accountable for quality health care. Join us at the Italian Cultural Centre from 6-8pm with questions and concerns for the candidates. Please be sure to get your ticket by RSVPing to info@metvanalliance.org.


Dr. Witherspoon's Retirement Party March 9, 2017

REACH is planning a special celebration of one of our longest serving staff members, Dr. Sandi Witherspoon. Dr. Witherspoon has retired, but her tremendously positive effect on the Grandview-Woodland community will endure for many years to come.

If you would like to join us in thanking her, please RSVP to info@reachcentre.bc.ca. Note that we're asking for $15 at the door, but nobody will be turned away because they cannot pay.


Pharmacy Blast #5 February 7, 2017

The pharmacy blast is our way of connecting to you, our patients and community, on a monthly basis. It includes a cool, evidence-based pharmacy tip and any important upcoming news in our department. Hope you like it and check back the first of each month for your tip.

We have been fielding a lot of questions recently about what over-the-counter cough and cold preparations work. Generally speaking, we don't recommend most of these preparations as they are ineffective and do have some significant side effects. Health Canada issued a warning a couple of years ago that all children six years and under should no longer use over-the-counter cough and cold preparations as the they lack evidence and have significant side effects. As a rule of thumb for adults straight DM cough syrup can be mildly helpful and are safe; although two teaspoons of honey has been shown to be as effective. Straight decongestant are effective for stuffy nose but are stimulants so they are association with some side effects. Finally, straight antihistamines can help runny nose but can cause some drowsiness. We don't recommend combo products or any expectorant preparations due to a lack of evidence. We hope this helps with getting through our extended winter season.


Pharmacy Blast #4 January 9, 2017

The pharmacy blast is our way of connecting to you, our patients and community, on a monthly basis. It includes a cool, evidence-based pharmacy tip and any important upcoming news in our department. Hope you like it and check back the first of each month for your tip.

As some of you may now be aware, BC Pharmacare has introduced a new Reference Drug Program. This is the program that states which drugs are covered for each class of drugs in order to lower BC medication costs. Our doctors at REACH are generally well versed in the Pharmacare coverage policies, however the new RDP does have some updates that are new to all of us. For now continue your medications as prescribed, but if you do run into coverage issues particularly with chronic medications, please feel free to ask us in the pharmacy for advise.


GWAC and RIA Open House November 4, 2016

Our friends at the Grandview-Woodland Advisory Council (GWAC), Our Place, the Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement (ALIVE) Society, and the Reconciliation in Action initiative are hosting an open house to learn more about Our Place: A Collective Place-Based Strategy. REACH is working on many of its own place-based strategies, and as such this is an important event for those who are looking to learn more about what place-based strategies are, and how Reconciliation in Action and the GWAC are working towards this perspective. The meeting will be held on Monday, November 7th, from 7-9pm. Come on out and learn more! We'll see you there.


Ground Blessing Wrap Up November 3, 2016

Last weekend, REACH Community Health Centre hosted a ground blessing ceremony at our Commercial Drive site, in recognition of the fact that it is located on unceded Coast Salish territory. In attendance were many of REACH's managers and board members, as well as our Executive Director and several community members. Jane Turner, REACH's Board President, addressed the crowd with a short speech:

We are here, on the unceded, overlapping traditional territory of the Musqueum, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish nations to witness and participate in the blessing of the ground upon which the new REACH Community Health Centre will rise.

Almost 50 years ago, in 1969, the REACH Community Health Centre was born. The original premises were across the street on the site of the current Portugese Club. The bricks and mortar, or in our case, stucco and wood, that framed a building became REACH community health centre. It was to be a place where members of the community, all members of the community, could come and be active participants in their own health care.

Grandview Woodland was chosen as the site for the location because the neighbourhood was woefully underserved from a medical perspective. REACH began as a medical clinic but, and here I am quoting from the wonderful history of REACH written by Dr. Sandi Witherspoon, in 1973 a community survey of children’s health needs revealed the lack of dental services in the area, so REACH’s dental clinic was established.

In 1976, a full-time pharmacist joined the team.

In 1991, REACH welcomed the arrival of the Multicultural Family Centre (MFC), which began as a federally funded project of the School of Social Work at UBC and REACH. Federal studies had identified Vancouver’s African, Hispanic and Vietnamese communities as underserved, and these communities became the focus for MFC.

In 1982, after a major funding campaign, REACH purchased this present building at 1145 Commercial Drive.

The new REACH is being rebuilt on land that has a history, a narrative of its own. This new building will also be situated on unceded Aboriginal land, - land that can tell us stories about ourselves and our community, history and perspective - if we listen to it. Located in this place, I think that the history of this land helped to form the ethic of care that is the foundation of REACH, a place where people are welcomed as equal partners in the care of our physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health.

REACH began with an elected, community board of directors. Over the many years of REACH’s existence, countless numbers of dedicated people served as directors, helping to keep REACH committed to its roots and community. The hundreds of staff who have worked here with the same goals as the board made REACH the jewel that it is and will continue to be.

But even jewels get a little worn and dirty, needing a renewal to allow the sparkle to show. That is what is happening here on this site. But it’s not just about the surface, the outside appearance.

The foundation of REACH is being reinforced, both literally and metaphorically. The cement is poured for a building that will continue on the foundations from which it was born. A foundation of deep respect for the people who work here, who come through the doors, who live in the community and with a deep respect for those who have gone before us and will come after us.

I think that a Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois, as it was called colonially) Oral Teaching best expresses what REACH represents in this community:

We are a part of everything that is beneath us, above us, and around us. Our past is our present, our present is our tomorrow and our tomorrows are the seven generations past and present.

-Haudenosaunee Oral Teaching.

Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported this incredibly important ceremony! A special thanks to Martha for taking photos, John Sakamoto-Kramer for organizing, and to Glen Williams and Wes Nahanee for the blessing.


Pharmacy Blast #3 November 1, 2016

The pharmacy blast is our way of connecting to you, our patients and community, on a monthly basis. It includes a cool, evidence-based pharmacy tip and any important upcoming news in our department. Hope you like it and check back the first of each month for your tip.

We have all heard the expression that "less is more". Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the world of pharmaceutics. You may not be aware but most dosage regimens are quite arbitrary. A dose is selected, tested and then marketed. However, often one can use as little as a half or a quarter of the indicated dose and get a good response. Why subject yourself to more drugs and more side effects if it gives no added benefit? Here's another expression I often tell physicians that you should remember as a consumer of medications: "Start LOW and go SLOW".

- Afshin Jaberi, REACH Pharmacist


Ground Blessing Ceremony October 17, 2016

REACH is hosting a ground blessing ceremony on October 29, 2016 to acknowledge that our new building on Commercial Drive is located on unceded Coast Salish territory. Please join us at 10:30am for the ceremony and some short speeches from REACH's President and community members. There will be refreshments afterwards at the Brittania 55+ Senior's Centre.

Ground Blessing Poster

Pharmacy Blast #2 October 4, 2016

The pharmacy blast is our way of connecting to you, our patients and community, on a monthly basis. It includes a cool, evidence-based pharmacy tip and any important upcoming news in our department. Hope you like it and check back the first of each month for your tip.

Welcome back to our second pharmacy blast! Were you aware that the cost of production and raw materials has little to do with the pricing of prescription medication? The price of drugs is often set by research and development, and heavily influenced by marketing. Hence, prescription drugs are often priced the same through the entire dosage range. Where possible, why not buy the higher strength and cut in half, or even quarters? This is a simple way to lower your drug costs. Ask your pharmacist if it's possible to cut any of your meds. It may halve your costs.


AGM Wrap-Up September 27, 2016

Thank you to everyone in the community who showed up for our Annual General Meeting on September 21 at Famee Furlane. It was a wonderful evening filled with spirited debate and it was great to hear the voices of our community. Please see below for a copy of the slides to our Executive Director, Geoff Trafford's, presentation.

Congratulations to the new board members elected on the 21st: Colleen Fuller, Scott Clark, Barbera Cameron, Bill Hood, Karen Dean, Mike Ma, Penny Street. There was a tie between Eva Sharell and Ruth Herman, which according to REACH constitution, will be worked out between the two nominees.

UPDATE: Ruth Herman will stand as the final board member.

Also, a big thank you to our outgoing board members! Your service was greatly appreciated by all, and we wish you the best of luck in future endeavors.

AGM Slides

REACH FAQ #4 - New Doctor Hires and the AGM September 6, 2016

Our weekly FAQ series provides you with answers to commonly asked questions we've had this week at REACH. If you'd like to see a question answered, contact us by email or Twitter! This week's questions focus on our doctors, both new and old, and how new doctors incoming will affect current patients.

  1. Have you hired any new doctors to replace Dr. Howitt, Dr. Kovacevic, and Dr. Malleson??

    We have hired two doctors to replace outgoing doctors. Dr. Martz will be working at REACH starting in October, and Dr. Shah will be working with REACH as our new youth doctor by the end of September.

  2. What time is the AGM on September 21?

    The Annual General Meeting begins at 6pm on September 21st. If you need to renew your membership, the doors will be open at 5pm for renewal.

  3. Can I vote at this month's AGM?

    If you became a member on or before September 14th, you are eligible to vote at the upcoming AGM. If you are a current member who simply needs to renew, you may do so at the door and be able to vote.


PHARMACY BLAST #1 September 6, 2016

Welcome to REACH pharmacy's first "Pharmacy Blast". This will be our way of connecting to you, our patients and community, on a monthly basis. It will include a cool, evidence-based pharmacy tip and any important upcoming news in our department. Hope you like it and check back the first of each month for your tip.

Are you aware that the old saying of "you get what you pay for" doesn't really apply to pharmacy prescriptions? When a new drug comes out, the company has a ten year patent to recoup research and development costs. Hence, newer drugs are often very expensive and having just been released, have every little good data on their use. Older drugs have patents that have expired, and they become generics and are much less expensive. Generics are exact copies of the original brand name drugs. Canada has some of the strictest generic standards in the world, so they are always a smart option. Furthermore, they usually have years of collected data on their use so they are proven and predictable. Newer and more expensive is not always better — at least not in the pharmacy world!


REACH FAQ #2 - New Doctors at REACH August 31, 2016

Our weekly FAQ series provides you with answers to commonly asked questions we've had this week at REACH. If you'd like to see a question answered, contact us by email or Twitter! This week's questions focus on our doctors, both new and old, and how new doctors incoming will affect current patients.

  1. Why did a few doctors leave REACH?

    Five doctors decided to leave REACH with their departures spread over two months, August through September. Two have reconsidered their departure and will remain at REACH. Some of our physicians have worked with the clinic for more than 30 years and have expressed an interest in new challenges. We also understand from our physicians that over the past few years there was a growing gap in the communications between the doctors and REACH management. Unfortunately, we are not able to get into too many more specifics for privacy reasons.

  2. What's happening to recruit new doctors?

    We are working with health authorities and accessing our contacts, and we have been fortunate to receive several inquiries about coming to work with the REACH medical clinic. We feel confident that we will be able to recruit new doctors to REACH very soon.

  3. Will anyone lose their doctors or be forced to leave their doctors?

    Physicians, just like the rest of us, have their circumstances change, look at and accept new opportunities, and consider retirement. In this respect we can not promise our patients that they will not lose their current care giver over time. What we can say is that no one will be forced at this time to leave their doctors if they are continuing to work at REACH.


REACH Membership and Voting Changes August 23, 2016

Good news for those of you hoping to become a member, or renew your membership, before our Annual General Meeting on September 21, 2016.

You now have until 7 days before the AGM to get your membership in to us! Prior to this change, memberships would have already had to be in to be eligible to vote on the 21st.

Don't forget to hand in your membership before the new deadline, September 13th, 2016! Of course, you can always submit memberships afterwards, but you will not be eligible to vote at the meeting.

For more information about becoming a member, or to find our membership form online, check out the membership section of our website. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any membership-related questions by email or through our Twitter page.


Welcome to the New Website! August 19, 2016

Here at REACH Community Health Centre, we're always looking for better ways to treat our patients and help our community. With this in mind, we've completely redesigned our website from the ground up to better communicate with you, our patients, stakeholders, staff, and the community of East Vancouver.

There have been a lot of changes over the past few months at REACH, and keeping you up-to-date on these changes is important to us. With that in mind, we've added staff profiles for you to better acquaint yourself with our doctors, an integrated Twitter feed so you can always get in touch with us, and expanded and simplified information about each of our services so you know exactly what's going on with us.

Please take a look around, and let us know what you think by Tweeting at us, saying "hi" on Facebook, or sending us a good old-fashioned email!


Introducing the Weekly FAQ! August 19, 2016

One of our goals here at REACH is to communicate with you, our patients and our community, better. But for us, that goes beyond simply answering your questions via email. To us, that means striving towards transparency when addressing concerns. To this end, every week on the blog, we'll round up all the important questions we've been asked via Twitter, email, or Facebook and summarize the answers into a handy FAQ, so that other community members who might be wondering the same thing can get answers quickly and easily.

So please, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, get them to us any way you can! We're listening to what our community has to say.


September 21, 2016: REACH's AGM August 11, 2016

REACH will be meeting September 21, 2016 for our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Members are invited to attend, or if you're not yet a member and would like to be one, please fill out a membership form.

Agenda and more information about the AGM will be posted closer to the date. Please stay tuned!


We're Under Construction August 4th, 2016

You may have noticed if you've walked by our Commercial Drive clinic recently that we're under construction! Renovations are well underway at the Commercial Drive location and we are currently in the removal and deconstruction stage. The asbestos has been removed and the contractors have stripped all reusable elements such as the copper pipes and door handles.

The next step is to remove the roof and part of the back floor. The building will be covered for security and the site manager's office will move in. The building has been surrounded by hoarding (large white wood walls). During Italian Days on June 12th, 2016, REACH was on the Drive, inviting community members to write a message on the hoarding.


Welcome Geoff Trafford! July 28, 2016

It is our pleasure to introduce Geoff Trafford as the Acting Executive Director of REACH Community Health Centre.

Geoff has several years experience in the private sector in management of financial services corporations in Canada and the United States. As well, for the past 15 years, he has been involved in the building of medical clinics throughout the lower mainland in British Columbia. More recently, he managed the transition of the Mid Main clinic from an Alternative Payment Program model to a fee for service practice.

The main objectives concerning REACH Community Health Centre are:

The focus on these objectives will be to ensure that all members of the community have access, are represented and cared for by the REACH team, and to expand our practice beyond the restrictions of the Alternative Payment Program guidelines of complexity. Please join us in welcoming Geoff Trafford to REACH.

We look forward to a challenging and exciting process of growth and renewal at REACH, returning to our renovated facility and the community, and look forward to another 50 years on the Drive.



1145 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC, Canada V5L 3X3

P: 604-251-3000

F: 604-258-9190

Copyright ©2016 REACH Community Health Centre. All rights reserved.