Squamish health practitioners are volunteering their time to local charities.
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Squamish Integrated Health held its inaugural Community Day. The initiative offers pay-what-you-can treatments to Squamish residents who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford complimentary health care, said Susan Chapelle, owner of the clinic.
"I was trying to figure out how to give back to the community," said Chapelle, who is also a District of Squamish councillor. "This is health care that is not available to everybody."
The idea behind the program is that any registered massage therapist, naturopath, chiropractic or counsellor can volunteer a four-hour shift to the day. People from around the community sign up for the various treatments and any money raised goes to a charity.
The Howe Sound Women's Centre was be the first recipient, but Chapelle hopes there will be many other organizations to follow.
"We are hoping to have (the event) once a month," she said.
Last week, six practitioners had signed up — two massage therapists, two chiropractors, a naturopath and a counsellor.
"We are almost fully booked," Chapelle said, of patient slots on Friday (Jan. 18) afternoon.
The event took place at the new downtown Cornerstone building from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Chapelle has started a list of volunteer medical practioners, but encourages anyone interested in getting involved to contact her.
"It would be great to collect more practitioners," she said, noting that's sometimes difficult when events take place on the weekend.
Clients can book for the event online at www.squamishintegratedhealth.com. Practioners can also find information on the website or call 604-567-2666.