Spiritual Health Practitioner – Cowichan





Island Health  
Spiritual Health Practitioner – Cowichan District Hospital 

Permanent Part Time Position 
Island Health’s Spiritual Health program is excited to welcome a new Spiritual Health Practitioner to the Cowichan District Hospital.           

The Cowichan District Hospital is currently a 134 bed, community based acute care facility with a newly constructed hospital on the horizon.  The vision of a new Cowichan District Hospital reflects the deep partnership and respectful collaboration that makes the Cowichan Valley an exceptional place to live, work and learn.  See below for more information on CDH.   

The Spiritual Health Practitioner functions as a key member of the health care team and provides spiritual care and emotional support to patients, families and staff across programs.  Spiritual care is provided in manner that is respectful of cultural, traditional and religious diversities, complimenting and linking with community partners.   

There are currently 5 Spiritual Health Practitioners across 5 Island Health acute care sites; together with the Spiritual Health Leader and Manager, this team meets weekly for mutual support and consultation, sharing resources, education, planning and collaboration on initiatives.    

For job description and application process visit Island Health’s Job Posting and Application System (VI Hire). (Job code is 161166). 

 Information about the Cowichan District Hospital 

The Cowichan District Hospital is a 134 bed, community based acute care facility located in Duncan, British Columbia.  A new CDH, currently under design, will see the total number of acute care beds increase to 204. 

The current facility has the following services:  

  • ED/ ICU/ Ped/ Maternity/ MHSU/ medical-surgical units and robust surgical program… 
  • Surgical program includes general/ urology/ ophthalmology/ orthopedics/ gynecology/ dental/ plastics/ obstetrics/ endoscopy. 
  • Medical imaging includes –CT/ radiology –some interventional radiology/ ultrasound/ mammography/ bone densitometry and mobile MRI. 
  • Outpatient programing is limited by hospital size but includes a Community Oncology Clinic, a small infusion clinic and orthopedics clinic, Pulmonary function clinic and small electro diagnostic clinic – EKG, Stress tests, halter monitors etc. 
  • Onsite outpatient lab and main lab and pharmacy.   
  • The current hospital building is just over 50 years old and is well supported by The Cowichan District Hospital Foundation and CDH Auxiliary, as well as a number of community auxiliaries in the region  

Regional information:  

  • Cowichan District Hospital is located on the homeland of the Cowichan Tribes, Hul’qumi’num speaking Peoples, who have over 4,900 members and are the largest single First Nation Band in BC. 
  • The Cowichan Valley has a population of over 85,000 people (2016 statistics).  
  • The region stretches from the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island to the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia) and the Southern Gulf Islands to the east.  
  • It reaches north of Ladysmith and south to the Malahat/Mill Bay area, covering a land area of 3,472 km². 
  • In this region Island Health serves members of the Métis Nation, Inuit, Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship), the urban Indigenous populations within the Cowichan Valley Regional District and people who reside within the unceded traditional territories of Ditidaht, Pacheedaht, Ts’uubaa-asatx, Stz’uminus, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt, Malahat, and Cowichan Tribes.  
  • The growing and aging population is one of the most significant impacts on service growth at CDH. This trend can be seen across Island Health, and specifically within the Cowichan Region at an accelerated rate.  
  • As a result of the growing and aging population trends, the mean age of patients admitted to hospital is predicted to increase, together with an anticipated increase in the incidence of patients with co‐morbidities, complex health issues and dementia.  
  • Strengthening services in the community that help to manage chronic conditions, keep people healthy and well, and reduce the number of avoidable visits to the hospital has a significant impact on the size of hospital required.  
  • The Cowichan Region has other challenges impacting health outcomes for residents, including difficult socioeconomic conditions and high rates of chronic disease. The Region tends to have lower median family income and more people on income assistance compared to BC and Island Health. In addition, a lower percentage of the population has post‐secondary education or has graduated from high school compared to BC and Island Health.  
  • The rates of many chronic diseases in the Cowichan Region are higher than the rest of Island Health and BC, including asthma, diabetes, hypertension and osteoarthritis. Of particular note is the high prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  
  • The Cowichan Region has high rates of mental health disorders and substantial substance use challenges.  
  • The Cowichan Region has many Indigenous residents, with approximately 12% of the population self‐identifying as Indigenous, compared to 6.6% in Island Health and 5.4% in British Columbia. Indigenous people make up 20% of the paediatric population. 

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