The Zella Clark Health Centre

Denman Health Care Society


The Zella Clark Health Centre:

submitted by the Denman Health Centre Society

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the membership of the Denman Health Centre Society (DHCS) was held on January 10, 2022. At the meeting the following Board of Directors was elected: Keith Clark, Vice Chair, Dr. David Scruton, Secretary, Lyndsey Jennings, Treasurer, John Wigle, Maintenance, Gill Forsyth, Membership, Dr. Lori McFarlane, Director-at-Large and Jennifer Villard, Chair.

The following is the text of the Annual Report from the Chair.

On behalf of the Directors of the Denman Health Centre Society I welcome you to the Annual General Meeting of the Society Membership. As we reflect on 2021, we recognize the unforeseen changes and ‘new normals’ that we as a community, and the world community have had to acknowledge. Covid 19 and the subsequent variances have taken, and continue to take, huge tolls. It has been very difficult for many, but to date, Denman Islanders appear to have adapted well to the challenges and restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The Zella Clark Health Centre has seen a few changes this year. To briefly recap the events of 2021, the Society leased the clinic facility to Dr. Steve Fox Inc, with the understanding that he would provide primary medical care at the clinic. Dr,Fox would attend on Mondays, Dr. Alsoon Brine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Dr. Ron Wilson on Thursdays and Fridays. This continued until June 2021 when Dr. Fox , for personal reasons, reneged on his lease and left the country. Fortunately Dr. Wilson and Dr. Brine continued on with the lease and operated the clinic until Dr. Brine retired this past December. We will greatly miss her expert advice and the excellent care that she gave to her Denman patients. Heading into 2022. Dr. Wilson is continuing on at the clinic working Thursdays and Fridays and has secured the help of another physician two times a month for two days a week. In addition, Dr. Wilson has placed our clinic on the list for the Island Health Locum Program for the provision of relief physicians. We are sincerely grateful and appreciative of Dr. Ron’s dedication to the health and well being of the Denman Community. Thank you Ron.

As you are aware, the mandate of the Denman Health Centre Society is to maintain the Zella Clark Health Centre for the provision of health care services for the Island. We, in effect, are the landlords and the doctors and the Hornby Denman Community Health Care Society(HDCHCS) and Island Health are the tenants. Under this umbrella, on a part time basis, the health centre is serviced by physicians, social workers, a physiotherapist, a pharmacist, a nurse and Life Lab technician. Dr. Ron will elaborate on this in his report. In planning for the future, we, as a Society , do assist with finding suitable tenants when requested and along with the doctors we are actively looking for physicians interested in providing primary care on Denman Island. We have placed several ads in National Medical journals and on websites and are following up on leads. We are also very supportive of new initiatives in the community. Lori Nawrot, Executive Director of the HDCHCS has established a steering committee to investigate setting up a Community Health Centre for both islands, This is an exciting new concept in health care delivery with a focus on community input and a professional team based approach. Updates will be circulated as details are known.

I would like to express my gratitude to the very competent and diligent Denman Health Centre Society Board of Directors. They are Keith Clark, Dr.David Scuton, Lyndsey Jennings,,John Wigle , and Gill Forsyth . Their dedication to the Society has been invaluable this past year. Thank you all.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you, the members of the Denman Health Centre Society, for your support of the Zella Clark Health Centre. It has been my honour to serve as Chair of the Society this past year.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jennifer Villard , 2021 Chair DHCS

P.S. A question was asked regarding the distinction between the DHCS and the HDCHCS. This is to clarify the roles of the two separate societies. The Denman Health Centre Society (DHCS) maintains and operates the Zella Clark Health Centre, the hub of health care services on Denman. They are not involved in the delivery of health care but do assist the doctors with long range planning when requested. The Hornby Denman Community Health Care Society (HDCHCS) on the other hand, is involved with the delivery of health care services (non primary care) for both Hornby and Denman. These essential services include Home Care, counselling for children, youth and families, mental health and substance abuse outreach, medical equipment loan program and community education and more. Their website is