About Us

What Guides Us


The Community First Health Co-op has a vision for Nelson and Area as healthy communities where people have equal opportunities for good health.


The mission of the Community First Health Co-op is to enhance the health and wellness of communities, families, and individuals by providing services through a co-operative partnership of consumers and health service providers.


The Community First Health Co-op’s strategies, policies and organizational relationships will be based on the following values:

  • Local Control: We believe in open membership, democratic member control and cooperative autonomy.
  • Communication/Education: We believe in communicating in an atmosphere of openness, honesty and trust. We believe in providing education and training for our members so they can contribute effectively to the development of the co-op and assist in developing solutions for wellness in our communities. We believe in informing the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
  • Cooperation: We believe in working cooperatively. We believe in developing partnerships and relationships with individuals, organizations and communities to achieve our purpose and vision.
  • Community oriented: We believe in being community oriented because we live and operate in our communities. We believe in being proactive by providing a variety of services within the not for profit structure.


The Community First Health Co-op has been in existence since 2003. The extent and scope of the accomplishments that have been achieved by this group are extraordinary, all the more so considering that most of the work has been done by volunteers. The brief history of the Co-op speaks volumes about its capacity to perform and the intelligence and drive that motivate the organization.

2002 was a year of tremendous change and upheaval in the health care sector in BC. Many communities, Nelson among them, found themselves confronted with a new alignment of service delivery, the removal of some services from the community and a sense of disengagement from the decision making process surrounding health care.

In response to this situation a significant number of Nelson and Area residents formed a coalition designed to protect the services that had existed here for many years. This organization, called Save Our Services, generated broad support from the community and embarked on a number of initiatives. One of these initiatives was the development of a “Community Initiatives, Alternative Funding Committee.” This committee’s mandate was to explore creative, proactive approaches to the provision of health care services in the community.

Principles of Co-operatives

First Principle

Voluntary & Open Membership Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discriminations.

Second Principle

Democratic Member Control Co-operatives are democratic organizations, controlled by their members, who “actively” participate in setting their policies and making decisions.

Third Principle

Member Economic Participation Members democratically control the capital of their co-operative.

Fourth Principle

Autonomy and Independence Co-operatives are autonomous; self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements, with say governments, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and that maintain their co-operative autonomy.

Fifth Principle

Education, Training and Information Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operative.

Sixth Principle

Co-operation Among Co-operatives serve their members most effectively by working together.

Seventh Principle

The International Co-operative Movement adopted it in 1995. Concern For the Community Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.


CFHC Information

Learn more about the history of the CFHC, Member Benefits and services for Health Care in the Nelson and District Area.

CFHC Brochure

Download our tri-fold brochure about the Community First Health Co-op and Membership options here.

Organization Chart

The CFHC Members are associated with organizations across the region, download this org chart to learn more about the good work being done in our communities.

Partners' List

The CFHC Partner list and their contact numbers below.  Information on 24/7 storage unit rentals to the public and a meeting room available to non-profit organizations is also found here.

Did you know?

The following services and programs were provided directly to seniors and disadvantaged people in our communities in 2020.


Join the Community First Health Co-op