Cowichan Health and Care Plan

View of the Cowichan Valley

At Island Health, we recognize that the success of our new hospital is closely tied to the overall health and wellbeing of the Cowichan region. That’s why we have created the Cowichan Health & Care Plan, a comprehensive initiative aimed at integrating our services in ways that help people thrive, maintain their health and avoid unplanned hospital stays.


The Plan identifies evidence-based options to reduce hospital utilization and promote health and wellness for people in the region by involving local partners in health service planning and implementation.

The Cowichan Health & Care Plan is a whole community approach to planning and delivering health and health-care for priority populations in Cowichan communities. Furthermore, it establishes a roadmap for strengthening and integrating health services to address gaps and remove barriers to achieving better health, with an aim to prevent 7,300 inpatient days by 2025 and 12,000 days by 2035.

As of March 2024, the Cowichan Health & Care Plan’s enhanced services have saved over 17,000 bed days at the current hospital since the plan was initiated in the fall of 2021; which means people who require a hospital stay will have better access to the care they need, and can recover with appropriate supports, in the most appropriate care setting. 

The Plan is currently saving 18.8 beds per day at Cowichan District Hospital (CDH) – progressing well towards the goal of saving 21 beds/day by the time the new hospital opens for patient care.

Here are some examples of work currently underway to support better health and wellness across the Cowichan region and increase capacity at the current and future CDH:


November 15: Supporting people with COPD in Cowichan: 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that includes respiratory disorders such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you or someone you care for has been hospitalized for COPD in the past year, wrap-around care is available through the COPD clinic in Duncan.

November 15: Enhancing palliative and end-of-life care for people in Cowichan:

Being diagnosed with a serious or life-limiting illness is challenging and uncertain. Learn how local care teams provide compassionate comfort and support patients and families with enhanced community services and end-of-life options at home or through Cowichan Hospice House.

November 9: Supporting seniors care in Cowichan:

The Seniors Outpatient Clinic in Duncan can connect individuals to services to help them live independently at home for as long as possible and avoid hospital admissions. If you or someone you care for is experiencing recurrent falls, difficulty with daily activities or problems thinking or memory, speak with your primary care provider about a referral to the Seniors Outpatient Clinic in Duncan.

Cowichan Health and Care Plan: A community-centred approach 

People often think hospitals are the hub of healthcare; however, healthcare happens everywhere. Learn how investments in community health services are contributing to better patient outcomes in Cowichan by supporting people to manage their health from home or in the community while avoiding admissions to hospital.



Cowichan STEPS, an innovative program that allows Cowichan residents to transition temporarily between hospital and home, receives prestigious national award


New COPD service launches in Cowichan

An assessment, education and support service for people with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms has been created within Cowichan’s Community Health Services (CHS) division. The COPD team consists of a registered respiratory therapist, pharmacist and behavioral health clinician, with access to the larger CHS team.  


Expansion of Duncan wound care clinic benefits community and nursing staff

The addition of a third treatment room for wound care at Duncan Community Health Services provides a service boost for clients who can visit the clinic, while allowing home care nurses more capacity to treat clients unable to travel for care.

Watch our video below to find out how we’re increasing our ability to care for more clients in our community.


December 18: Island Health Community Wellness Grant helps Cowichan parents learn valuable cooking skills 

Yum! Parents from two local daycares expand their kitchen skills with nutritious , delicious cooking classes made possible by Nourish Cowichan and a $12,000 Community Wellness Grant from Island Health.

Want to see what’s cooking in Cowichan? Check out this short video to learn more: 


September 19: Indigenous Care Pharmacist helps community members achieve greater control over their own health

Island Health pharmacist, Jesse Inkster is passionate about helping people understand their medications. Watch this video to learn more about the Indigenous Care Pharmacist collaboration:


July 26: Cowichan Tribes and Island Health commission Blessing Tree at Cowichan District Hospital 

This beautiful symbol of friendship, understanding and relationship building provides a place for visitors to share well wishes for loved ones and notes of thanks with caregivers who support healing and wellness at CDH.

July 25: Duncan Dialysis Patients Pedal Toward Wellness 

Renal dialysis can be draining, both physically and emotionally. Our renal team added wheels so clients can pedal their way to better health and wellness.

July 23: Thank you for help in emergency

Linda Zabok shares thanks for the care she received when experiencing a sudden health event.

July 18: Construction starts on Cowichan Hospice House in Duncan 

Celebrating an important milestone with the community and service partners who’ve worked tirelessly to fund a new hospice house for the Cowichan Valley. 

July 15: Cowichan Hospital staff add the personal touch 

Big city retiree sends kudos for day surgery care at CDH, proving you don’t have to be a long-time resident to be treated like family at CDH.

June 19: New long-term care home for Cowichan Valley residents

Seniors in the Cowichan Valley will have improved access to long-term care with the addition of 80 new publicly funded beds in the community.

June 6: Cowichan Community Paramedic valued member of local care team

Meet Mike Wright, BC Ambulance Service community paramedic and former chief power engineer. As a Community Paramedic, Mike has his finger on the pulse of his community.

Find out how he’s able to check in with people in their homes and connect them with specialized services and care when they need it.

April: A Different Perspective for Hospitals  

Dr. Shannon Waters discusses the benefits of planning for a health promoting hospital in the Cowichan Valley.

Jan 7: Exceptional medical care at Cowichan hospital

A lovely letter to the Editor from a parent to the team at the Cowichan Valley Hospital emergency department; a reminder of how showing compassion and kindness can make all the difference.


Cowichan District Hospital Celebrates 50 Years of C.A.R.E.