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Temporary Service Changes

Due to COVID-19 Omicron-related staffing challenges in our communities, we are making temporary service changes to support patient care and service access. We will resume normal operations as soon as possible.

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Getting a COVID-19 test

If you have symptoms and can manage your illness at home, you don’t need a test. Self-isolate and notify your contacts. Testing is prioritized for people at risk of more severe disease and people in higher risk settings.

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Experiencing Symptoms or Testing Positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing is prioritized for people at risk of severe disease or living and working in high risk settings. People who have symptoms and are able to manage them at home should assume they have COVID-19 and must also self-isolate.

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Volunteer at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic

If you are an interested qualified health-care provider, learn how you can help provide boosters and first and second doses in 2022.

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I've been in contact of a person with COVID-19

In general, close contacts are people you were face-to-face with for 15 minutes or more, or who live your household. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated should self-monitor closely for symptoms. Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated should self-isolate for 10 days.

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Seniors Care

Find information about home and community care options, long-term care, assisted living and other services located throughout the Interior region.

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Booking a lab appointment

Learn more about how to find the nearest lab to you, and easily book you lab appointment.

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Aboriginal Patient Navigator

The Aboriginal Patient Navigator service at Interior Health supports First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples living in the southern Interior access health services. Aboriginal Patient Navigator services help clients navigate the health system. Learn more about how to contact Aboriginal Patient Navigator services near you.

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Mental Health

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health – you’re not alone. Learn how to access different support services and access helpful resources. Reach your local Mental Health Centre for community-based supports by calling 310-MHSU (6478).

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Substance Use

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use – you’re not alone. Learn how to access different support services and access helpful resources. Reach your local Substance Use Centre for community-based supports by calling 310-MHSU (6478)

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Patient Care Quality Office

Learn about the different options for sharing your feedback on the care that you or your loved ones have received.

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Flooding and your health

Flooding can affect your health and safety in a number of ways. You may be required to evacuate if a flooding is close to your home.

2021 Year-in-Review
"This year, communities across the Interior region faced many difficult challenges. And still, the spirit of compassion and partnership that is shared across our region pulled us through. I am incredibly proud of everyone at Interior Health and for the work  we do together with partners. You have made a difference in the lives of patients and families for years to come. May you enjoy a wonderful holiday season, and may the new year bring health and well-being to you and your loved ones."   Susan Brown President and CEO  
Interior Health's 2021 Year-in-Review
Take a look at Interior Health's 2021 Year-in-Review to see how to community has come together to get through this challenging year.
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555 D Cedar Avenue , 100 Mile House, BC V0K 2E0

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Baby & Children Health

Access health information from infant to youth on topics such as dental health, hearing, immunization, nutrition and other topics.

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Heart Health

Learn ways to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle and learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack. We offer many heart procedures and programs.

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Kidney Health

We provide renal programs and services to support kidney health. People who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease may be enrolled in the renal program to access services.

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Mental Health & Substance Use

We provide many mental health and substance use services. We strive to ensure our services are welcoming to all people, gender identities, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.

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Seniors Health

We offer a range of seniors health services alongside our partner agencies. We aim to make our services person-centred, welcoming of all peoples, gender identities, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.

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Surgery

Access information you need before, during and after your surgery. Learn about surgeries we offer and recovery tips.

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Stories@IH

Stories@IH

Health & Wellness
Within the non-descript walls of a clinic in downtown Kelowna, a health-care team is doing amazing things.   The Outreach Urban Health clinic includes family doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and social workers. They collaborate with mental health and substance use clinicians who are all working at the same location, to support a range of people, including those who are homeless, those dealing with mental illness, people with problematic substance use, as well as people without access to traditional health-care services, such as new immigrants.  “We are very proud of the new Outreach Urban Health site and the care that is being provided to some of the area’s most vulnerable people. Bringing over the primary care team from the original clinic on Leon Avenue and adding mental health services means that clients are now able to access care for all of their health needs within one location. This is having a really positive health impact for many of the people we see,” explains clinical operations director Danielle Cameron. “Our goal was to create this new space to be bright and inviting, where health-care providers can offer culturally sensitive, inclusive, trauma-informed care to anyone that needs and wants it. Our teams continue to build trust with new and existing clients and the surrounding neighbourhood.” The team at Outreach Urban Health offers a wide variety of health-care services. From giving COVID-19 vaccinations, writing and renewing prescriptions, providing vital specialist referrals, offering education on safer injection techniques for a person who uses drugs, or ensuring a client has shoes to wear, their services run the gamut - but their commitment to the population they serve is singular.  Since opening in March 2021, Outreach Urban Health has provided more than 3,000 appointments.   “This is a comprehensive medical centre offering a full suite of services to those most vulnerable in addressing both mental health and addictions. Our community is fortunate to have a facility such as this," said City of Kelowna bylaw services supervisor Ken Hunter after a recent tour of the clinic. "Interior Health has really stepped up to the plate here and there should certainly be focused community awareness to this – it truly is a good news story.” Much of the care team’s efforts are focused on establishing familiarity and trust with clients. For example, a young street worker with multiple chronic illnesses and significant substance use issues was very nervous about accessing the health-care system, even though her health was rapidly failing. After one mental health and substance use worker invested time getting to know her and building trust, he was able to encourage her to connect with the primary care team. That young person became a regular patient, receiving much needed medical attention. She has left behind life on the streets, has a full-time job, is no longer using drugs, and her health issues are under control. This story demonstrates the impact of the care team’s collaborative, “one-stop-shop” approach.  It’s an approach that benefits many different types of clients and patients. For example, Devon is a peer worker who provides overdose prevention and harm reduction supports to those living in shelters and supportive housing. He finds the new location a great improvement for several reasons including the inclusion of supervised consumption services on site.  “The indoor supervised consumption site is much more functional for the staff and the patrons. I also have my doctor there, so it’s a one-stop-shop,” he says. “Supervised consumption is a service that’s really needed, especially in the downtown area. It’s not a matter of enabling people or encouraging them to use drugs. It’s about providing a place where people can go to use their drugs and know that they won’t die, instead of using in an alley all alone. It’s there to save lives.” Learn more about Outreach Urban Health.  Photo above: Interior Health staff and community members gathered with Westbank First Nation elder Grouse and Edna from the Friendship Centre, to mark the opening of the newly relocated Outreach Urban Health clinic in spring 2021.
3 Minute Read
Community & Culture
Dr. Amanda Wilmer is no stranger to the B.C. Interior. While she was born in Vancouver, Amanda grew up living in Squamish, Williams Lake, Kamloops and Grand Forks, all before the age of 18. Amanda moved back to Vancouver to complete her formal education at UBC, but was delighted to have the opportunity to return to the Interior after finishing her training – having family in the area makes it feel like home. Amanda is always willing to do whatever it takes to ensure high-quality care is provided to patients. For her, it’s been meaningful to come back to the Interior as a Medical Microbiologist at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH).  “It’s a pleasure to work with the rest of the laboratory team, who are similarly quality and patient care-oriented, to improve access to testing for all patients across IH.” When Amanda first came to IH, no molecular testing was available for diagnosis of viral infections, such as influenza, and patients were waiting up to five days for results. Through collaboration with the KGH and Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundations, the KGH lab obtained the needed testing equipment.  “Through KGH Facility Engagement funding, my team was able to validate the equipment and our proposal was approved for trial funding of respiratory virus testing at KGH lab in winter 2017. The trial was successful, and testing was subsequently expanded to all microbiology labs region-wide. This infrastructure was key to the ability of labs to quickly adopt testing for COVID-19.” Amanda describes herself as ‘energetic,’ and seeing her love for water activities drives that home.  “I love spending time on the water. Whether it be paddle boarding, kayaking, wake surfing, scuba diving or just floating – the water is my happy place.”  Amanda also enjoys hiking and snowboarding. She and her husband, James, spent as much time as possible leaving the city when living in Vancouver, so coming back to the outdoor playground of the Interior has been amazing. Despite loving where she lives, Amanda is also looking forward to travelling again.  “I love visiting new places, experiencing new cultures, trying new foods and enjoying beautiful scenery. Before COVID-19, I travelled a lot, and am hoping to continue these adventures once things settle down!”                   To keep the We Are IH loop going, Amanda nominates Hope Byrne “Hope Byrne is an amazing person, but also an outstanding leader who has been so instrumental in improving patient care by ensuring the best laboratory services are being provided in IH. She has worked tirelessly (often days, nights and weekends) during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the lab is able to provide timely and high-quality results. She also serves as a mentor and inspiration to many others in the laboratory, and somehow finds time to also do her MBA!” – Dr. Amanda Wilmer   We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories.   Name: Dr. Amanda Wilmer (she/her) Job Title: Medical Microbiologist Years of Service: 7 Worksite: Kelowna General Hospital Community: Kelowna Ancestral Territory: Syilx Okanagan Favourite Quote: I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.   Stay updated with careers at Interior Health Facebook  |   Instagram  |   LinkedIn    
4 Minute Read
Research & Innovation
Dr. David Cruickshank is an orthopedic surgeon at Royal Inland Hospital who is part of the team who is now able to send patients home with hip and partial knee replacements on the same day as their surgery. His skeleton pal helps the orthopedic surgeons educate patients on their joints.   Years of intensive equine riding events and weightlifting took a heavy toll on Shelby Roblin’s knees – so much so that she has lived with pain for the past 10 years. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of elective surgeries across B.C., she expected she would be waiting a lot longer for relief. Instead, thanks to innovative planning and two enthusiastic surgeons, she got her long-anticipated partial knee replacement in December at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.  Now she is looking forward to the second procedure, particularly because she knows that once again, no overnight stay will be required.  “My surgery was in the morning; I saw the physio at one and I left the hospital at 2 p.m.” Shelby has been in hospital before when she had to stay for several nights and “it was not very pleasant.”  So when her orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chris Dusik told her she would be able to sleep in her own bed the night of the surgery, she was ecstatic. Shelby Roblin was thrilled to get a partial knee replacement in early December and even happier to find out she was going home the same day. “Dr. Dusik did a fantastic job. I have had no pain or infection. I slept well and was up walking about in the morning. I would recommend going home that day to anyone who fits the criteria. It is just so much better for recovery,” said Shelby. She added that because the hospital did not need to find a bed for her, she was able to get in for her surgery much sooner. Seven days after her surgery, Shelby was still glowing about her short hospital stay and the success of her knee replacement. As a patient, Shelby met the criteria for the program. She is 51 and had her adult son at home to provide some support during the recovery period. Basically, suitable patients must be fairly young, reasonably healthy and have someone at home to help them. Until recently, all patients getting hip, knee or shoulder replacements stayed in hospital a minimum of one night.  Dr. Dusik and his partner Dr. David Cruickshank proposed the idea of a day-care joint program for their patients as a solution to a difficult problem for people who had been waiting years, often in pain, for orthopedic procedures.  The team started with hip replacements, moved into partial knees, with shoulder replacements coming next. The results have been “incredibly successful,” with virtually no complications, said Dr. Cruickshank. He said patients are overwhelmingly positive about the experience. When the surgeons check in with them the next day, they are all rested and up using their new joints with minimal pain. Both surgeons are looking forward to broadening the program to include more patients once more physio resources are available.  “Expanding the program would mean the ability to complete significantly more surgeries in the context of bed shortages. Ultimately, this would translate into shorter wait times and decreased health-care costs,” said Dr. Dusik. There’s no reason not to expand when the cost savings and positive feedback from both patients and providers are considered, added Dr. Cruickshank. Denisa Urban, who works in surgical process improvement in Kamloops, credits the surgical improvement team for creating something really positive during the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. “We have a very dedicated multi-disciplinary team who is keen at preserving patient safety and satisfaction. The results are due to a really fantastic team who came together to achieve a common goal,” she said. Dr. Tyler MacGregor, perioperative medical director at Royal Inland Hospital, performs most of the orthopedic procedures in Williams Lake and said patients are extremely grateful for the new program.  Bonnie Markland was the first patient at Cariboo Memorial Hospital to have her surgery in the morning and head home the same day. Dr. MacGregor proposed the idea for her hip replacement, noting she was a prime candidate.  It also appealed to her because it meant she would have surgery earlier given she wouldn’t need to stay overnight in hospital. “I had been living in pain for about four years so I was willing to do that. I was a little nervous about how the pain would be managed, but it worked out fine. I would highly recommend it. It was great to be able to have the surgery locally and go home to my own bed.” Same-day joint replacement surgeries also take place at Kelowna General, Penticton Regional, and Vernon Jubilee.  
3 Minute Read
Community & Culture
We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories. Name: Michaela Ashbee (she/her) Job Title: Privacy Advisor Years of Service: 7 Worksite: Community Health Services Centre Community: Kelowna Ancestral Territory: Syilx Okanagan Favourite Quotes:  “Everything happens for a reason.” - Anonymous “Live life to the fullest!” - Anonymous Michaela Ashbee has come a long way – literally – to her current role as a Privacy Advisor with Interior Health. Born in a small town in (what was previously) East Germany, her family emigrated to Kelowna after her parents spent three amazing weeks in Canada to attend a family wedding and travel throughout B.C. Since 1993, Michaela has lived in Kelowna, not only attending school and university here, but also creating her own life and family. “It was a big step for our family, but we’ve never looked back. We love not only living in this beautiful country, but also becoming Canadians!” It wasn’t a straight path to her current role: Michaela spent seven years in the car industry in administration and accounting, then the beverage industry for eight years as administrator for the B.C. Interior. In 2015, she joined Interior Health as an Information Privacy Assistant, then moved to Information Privacy Analyst later that year. After going back to university and achieving her certification with the Canadian Institute of Access and Privacy Professionals (CIAPP), Michaela moved in to her current role.   Michaela enjoys helping people, seeing them succeed and achieving their goals. Those who work with her would not be surprised to hear Michaela describe herself as a passionate, dedicated go-getter who strives to exceed her goals. However, she also wears her heart on her sleeve and is a team player who loves to help others.  “I love being challenged and continuously learning new things. I don't do 'boring' well, which is the reason I like how fast-paced my current role is. Not only do I get to do what I love every day, but I work with such a diverse group of people and departments that keep sharing their knowledge and expertise with me and make every day an adventure!” Michaela cannot pinpoint just one memorable aspect of her job. She’s had the opportunity to lead incident investigations for IH, as well as assist leaders with revamping processes and educating teams to help make IH a better, safer place. The most recent big change for Michaela was leaving the Okanagan and relocating to the beautiful Kootenays, the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation. Her family loves the outdoors so much that they’ve made the move from city life to country life. If she’s not playing outdoors with her four big pups, enjoying horses, camping at a friend’s ranch, taking pictures or playing in the dirt while gardening, you can find Michaela at a hockey rink with her husband of 13 years, Brett, cheering on their 12-year-old son, Dominic, or local hockey teams. She also volunteers as a team manager and Grand Forks Minor Hockey Association Board Member. A little-known fact is that in 2010, Michaela had the privilege of being an Olympic Torchbearer, running with the Olympic Torch in Kelowna.  Michaela was in a car accident in 2016, which resulted in a long term hip injury that’s limited the activities she’s able to do. But she’s pushed to find a new normal and always tries to live life to the fullest! Michaela is looking forward to: “Enjoying every day, new adventures, new opportunities and getting to know my new community, and being a part of it to help it grow and thrive.” Michaela's nomination keeps the We Are IH loop going: “Paula Cyra is an amazing nurse, educator, mom, hockey billet mom and volunteer – and just has so much passion for helping others! Even her latest selfless venture of donating a kidney to a complete stranger is nothing short of amazing!" – Michaela Ashbee       Stay updated with careers at Interior Health Facebook  |   Instagram  |   LinkedIn    

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Interior Health at a Glance

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834000+

Population
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4800+

Hospital Volunteers
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21000+

Staff
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1900+

Physicians