Bowen Island still waits for a health centre but in the meantime a new health and performance clinic is opening on-island.
Dr. Nicholas Lendvoy, a chiropractor and neuro-musculoskeletal clinician and Greg Smith, a registered physiotherapist, have started Bowen Island Integrated Health in Dr. Zandy’s old office beneath the pharmacy.
The newly renovated space has three multi-use treatment rooms and will feature a multi-disciplinary team including owners Lendvoy and Smith as well as registered nurse Sarah Kraatz, registered clinical dietician Ellie MacKay, kinesiologist Rachel Canning, speech-language pathologist Michael Witten and other health practitioners as they are recruited.
The clinic’s grand opening is Oct. 6.
“We’re trying to create something for the community, says Smith. “The biggest thing that we’re looking to do is to provide new and different services.” The two note that while there are several health professionals on-island, those people are often booked solid. Smith and Lendvoy say they hope to ease some of that stress, offer different hours (for example, early mornings, evenings and weekends) and integrated service.
“The whole integrated approach is to get people not just working in the same space but actually working together as a team to better serve the community,” says Lendvoy. “So our goal is to get everyone communicating, bring in everyone under one roof, get services on-island that aren’t here yet and try and increase the accessibility a little bit.”
While this clinic is completely separate from the Bowen Island Health Centre Foundation (which is purchasing land on Miller Road to build a standalone clinic), Smith has joined the foundation board and the two say that they’re committed to supporting the foundation.
“A lot of people might see it as ‘There’s this other clinic, why do we need to fundraise?’” Says Lendvoy. “But it’s apples to oranges.”
“We’re making use of what we have to our best ability and trying to give the services prior to that being built,” he says. “But that’s always the priority.
“Get Bowen everything that it needs long term, because this isn’t a long-term solution.”
But in the short term, Smith and Lendvoy are excited.
Though they both grew up in the Lower Mainland, played sports at UBC (basketball and soccer respectively) and work in the health field, Lendvoy and Smith didn’t know one another before undertaking this venture.
Lendvoy moved to Bowen two years ago and has been commuting to a sport therapy clinic he owns in Vancouver’s West End.
“Just the feedback from people on island was, we need you here and we need a clinic here, so quit messing around and start something,” he laughs.
In the meantime, Smith, who moved to Bowen two months ago, was looking around at island spaces for himself. Then six degrees of separation worked its magic (Lendvoy’s cousin is best friends with Smith’s girlfriend’s brother) and the two connected.
“It’s nice to because the way that we approach therapy and treatment and just dealing with people in general is pretty on par,” says Lendvoy. “It’s very functional. It’s very evidence-based.”
Smith and Lendvoy assure islanders that Life Labs will continue in the clinic space and there’s the potential for extending hours (but no promises).
They also want people to know that they want the clinic to be involved in the community.
“We want to be as integrated within ourselves but also within the community as much as possible,” says Lendvoy.
“We’re very interested in getting involved in terms of fundraisers and those sort of things,” says Smith.
"We’re super thankful for how supportive the community has been so far, because everyone has been really excited about it,” says Lendvoy.
Lendvoy and Smith currently have bookings open on the BIIH website.