Oceanside Health and Wellness Network (OHWN)

The OHWN includes organizations and individuals who have an interest and willingness in improving the health and wellness of the Oceanside community. Members are committed to working together to enhance the health and wellness of Oceanside residents through collaborative planning and collective action. Members share a vision to respectfully work together to address complex factors that influence health. Click here for the Health and Wellness Network Terms of Reference. Please join OHWN by clicking here.

Action Groups

Action Groups conduct the work of addressing and achieving goals related to OHWN's strategic plan. The liaison of each Action Group sits as a member of the Circle of Partners (CoP) and is responsible for monthly reporting of the group's activities and progress. Additional members may be selected from the CoP, the broader Network or the community, and they are selected for their unique interest and experience in the specific priority area.

OHWN's Action Group Liasons:

  • Gerry Herkel - Child and Youth Wellness Action Group
  • Susanna Newton - Oceanside Seniors Action Group

Circle of Partners

The CoP is a core group of leaders from the Network who are passionate, enthusiastic, forward-thinkers who have the skills to represent diverse perspectives and are committed to collaboration. The CoP provides strategic direction to the Network and Action Groups, oversees the strategic plan, and monitors metrics related to key determinants of health in Oceanside. Acting as the steering group for OHWN, the CoP provides leadership by promoting and supporting collaborative practices and the principles of collective impact. Click here for OHWN's CoP Terms of Reference.

OHWN's Circle  of Partners:

Marlys Diamond
Marly Marlys’ passion and interest in healthcare began as Qualicum Beach’s council liaison to healthcare in 1996 and has continued to this day.  Council liaison involvement included:  the Eagle Park Board of Directors, a member of the Mid-Island Health Advisory Committee (North), the Quality Assurance Committee and various related committees.  This was followed as a member of the Federation of Oceanside Residents’ Association (FORA) and its successful advocacy in the establishment of the Oceanside Health Centre, with involvement in various related committees once it was established.  As a member of the Perfect Storm Group, work continued in developing the vision to establish a multi-disciplinary community-owned, patient-centred, primary care facility.  This paralleled the change in provincial healthcare announced Sept. 15, 2020. The focus of the Perfect Storm Group, as an advocacy group, is now on collaborating with community partners on mental health issues. 
Natasha Dumont
Natasha Natasha started in her role as Manager, Public Health Services, for Oceanside, Port Alberni and West Coast communities in September 2020. Previously joining the Island Health leadership team as a clinical coordinator for public health services, Port Alberni/West Coast, in May of 2014. Natasha brings her passion and commitment to excellent and equitable health care service delivery and an openness to learn, connect and partner to improve health and wellness across the region.
Scott Harrison
Scott Scott Harrison is a councillor with the Town of Qualicum Beach. He is particularly interested in affordable housing, and was a presenter at Housing Central in 2020, the largest affordable housing conference in BC. He is the town’s liaison for the Perfect Storm Group, as well as several other community groups. In his spare time, he reads through publications online, and spends an inordinate amount of time with the family dog.
Gerry Herkel
Gerry After spending 30 years in numerous hospital management positions and the last 18 years as a CEO, Mr. Herkel retired on May 31, 2005.  He continued on as Board Chair of the Burnaby Hospice Society, however, and in the year following his retirement became instrumental in establishing a very successful Thrift Store for the Society.   Shortly after arriving in Qualicum Beach in August of 2006, he became involved with the Federation of Resident Associations (FORA). Their work resulted in the establishment of the Oceanside Health Centre.  Mr. Herkel attended the first meeting in the Fall of 2013 of what was to become OHWN. Mr. Herkel also joined the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise and he felt compelled to bring this issue of children coming to school hungry to the Oceanside Health and Wellness  Network table.  At present he is the Co-chair of OHWN.
Susanna Newton
Susan Susanna has worked most of her career in the non-profit sector and has been with District 69 Society of Organized Services (SOS) for over 25 years.  She became SOS Executive Director in January 2018 and joined the OHWN Circle of Partners in April 2018.
Jane Osborne
Jane Jane has worked in technology, management consulting and restorative justice over a lengthy career.  She currently works for BC Community Response Networks.  She says, “I am passionate about inclusive and affirming responses for all members of our communities.  A restorative justice and more recently an anti-racism and reconciliation lens allows me to explore and understand my own privilege and my personal history and bring my whole person to the process of envisioning and supporting local collective action initiatives.  Working from a reconciliation lens facilitates development of my skills as an ally in community work with First Nations, recent immigrants and other marginalized minorities.”  Jane is also a member of the United Way’s Community Based Seniors Sector Leadership Committee.  In this role, Jane focuses her energies on rural and remote communities (including FN/indigenous communities) and on LGBTQ2+and other marginalized individuals within those communities.
Joanna  Salken
Joanna Joanna has worked within healthcare since 1991, starting out her registered nursing career.  She has been with Island Health for over 20 years, with the last 14 years in leadership.  She is currently the Director for Nanaimo Community Health Service and the Oceanside Health Centre.  She has been an advocate for client care for many years and is passionate about building community partnerships to attain this goal in the local community.
Sharon Welch
Sharon Sharon has served as the Executive Director of Forward House Community Society since 2014. She provides all aspects of leadership for this non-profit organization committed to improving mental wellness and providing addiction recovery services for adults residing in District 69. Sharon holds a Master of Arts in Leadership & Training Degree and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources, and she has provided leadership in the private, public, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. Sharon’s commitment to community development has included active participation and leadership in various community networks including OHWN. She has served in the Circle of Partners for the past seven years and remains committed to improving health and wellness in the community. When Sharon is not working, she enjoys spending time on the water, playing games, and relaxing at home.
R. Elaine Young
Elaine Currently, a School Trustee, Elaine’s primary work has been in the education, social services, and the cooperative sectors. She has worked as a cooperative manager, bookkeeper, and volunteer. In the Social Services sector, Elaine has experience with many non-profit boards, worked as an advocate and taught courses in community development. As a Teacher-Counsellor, she has worked at all levels of the public school system.  Elaine is passionate about social justice outdoor pursuits, and fitness. She lives happily as an uninvited dweller on these beautiful lands and gives thanks daily to the nations that have provided good stewardship for unnumbered generations. At present she is the Co-chair of OHWN.


  • Jane Vinet, Regional Health Network Coordinator - info.ohwn [at] 250-739-1755
Comments, recommendations, or ideas presented by individuals in the Circle of Partners do not necessarily represent the view of their organizations, rather they are presented within the context of OHWN's Strategic Plan.



We wish to acknowledge the organizations that have helped in various ways to building the Oceanside Health and Wellness Network from 2013 to today:
  • Arrowsmith Health Care (2011) Society
  • Building Learning Together (BLT)
  • BC Community Response Network
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Mid-Island
  • City of Parksville
  • Federation of Resident Associations (FORA)
  • Forward House Community Society
  • Island Health
  • Nanaimo Food Share
  • Oceanside Building and Learning Together
  • Oceanside Division of Family Practice
  • Oceanside Healthy Living Association (OHLA)
  • Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness
  • Parksville Qualicum Haven House
  • Qualicum First Nations
  • Regional District of Nanaimo
  • Salvation Army
  • School District 69
  • Society of Organized Services (SOS)
  • Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation
  • Stanford Place
  • Town of Qualicum Beach
  • United Way, Central and Northern Vancouver Island


The Circle of Partners and the Action Groups all meet monthly over Zoom. info.ohwn [at] (Contact us) if you are interested in learning more about these committees.