Recent Stories

5 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Cathy* has no memory of crashing her motorcycle, an event that nearly claimed her life in 2010. She had been riding home to Penticton from Kelowna on Highway 97 after a day at the beach. “All I remember from that day was the blinding sun,” she recalls. “And I have a vague recollection of feeling gravel under my tires.” When she woke up, she was strapped down in a hospital bed at Penticton Regional Hospital. She had broken three vertebrae in her neck, and shattered her collarbone. Cathy was in a neck brace for four months. She went to physio and massage therapy for seven months for her atrophied muscles, and she lost 25 pounds from not being able to eat properly. Dr. Justin Naude, an orthopedic surgeon, rebuilt her collarbone with six screws. “I had a pinched nerve for 34 years before my accident, and that disappeared,” she jokes. “But try explaining to your three-year-old son that he can’t hug Mommy.”
4 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Every day in British Columbia, tens of thousands of people take care of loved ones with medical, physical, emotional and age-related needs – spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, friends and neighbours. Care can look like picking up some groceries, or cooking a meal. It can be bringing a loved one to health-care appointments. Or it can be round-the-clock care. If you find yourself in such a role, you are, in fact, a caregiver. In B.C., it’s estimated over 26 per cent of our population – or more than one million people – offer free care, equivalent to an economic value of $14.7 billion. Together, caregivers provide about 80 per cent of the at-home care for family and loved ones. Unpaid caregiving is not only a pillar of our health-care system, it’s embedded in the fabric of our social and family structures. That’s not to say it’s an easy, ideal or appropriate role: anyone who has taken on the responsibility of care can speak to the burnout, stress, fatigue and frustration the role entails. Providing care and navigating the health-care system can be complex, confusing and exhausting.
3 Minute Read
Community & Culture
Early in his life, Craig knew he wanted to help people in any capacity he could. Born in North Vancouver and raised in Kelowna, Craig enjoyed a varied career in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a police officer in the RCMP, and pursued his passion for animals by working with horses before joining Interior Health (IH) in 2017. After moving away from Kelowna for some time, Craig and his family returned in 2012. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to raise a family on these beautiful lands, and acknowledge that this privilege comes as a result of significant trauma to the Indigenous nations of this country. I’m committed to reconciliation and learning to live in harmony with the people, animals and plants of this beautiful land.”
3 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Our daily routines – mealtimes, family chore time and bedtime – offer opportunities for caregivers and parents to connect with toddlers and preschoolers. But did you know they are also an opportunity to develop children’s speech and language skills? “As pediatric speech-language pathologists, we know how important social interactions are in the development of speech, language and communication skills in infants, toddlers and preschoolers,” says Christina El Gazzar, professional practice leader, early childhood development speech and language services, Interior Health. Life with infants, toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging, especially when it comes to mealtime, family chore time, bedtime and the in-between transitions throughout a day. May is Speech and Hearing Month, and we’re sharing weekly tips on how to navigate the most common routines that families with young children regularly experience. We share tried-and-true strategies along with age-appropriate vocabulary to not only make routines painless, but to also support young children’s language growth, providing them with a strong foundation for school success. 
4 Minute Read
Community & Culture
Name: Teresa Packer (she/her/hers)Job Title: Support services supervisorYears of Service: 15Worksite: Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBH)Community:  TrailAncestral Territory: Ktunaxa (tun-ah-ha)/ Kootenay KtunaxaFavourite Quote / Advice to live by: Stay positive, make someone laugh and give a compliment every day. This will make for a healthier and happier you. When Teresa Packer walked into Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital 15 years ago to apply for a food service worker role, she was a first-time mother looking to rejoin the workforce. Bringing her 18-month-old son along at the time, they spoke with the support services supervisor for more information. Little did Teresa know that this would be her role a few years down the line. Teresa is now the housekeeping and food service supervisor based in Trail, and if she isn’t helping out someone at work, she’s likely taking care of family or a filly nearby!
4 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
In 2021, a year marked by catastrophic wildfires and floods in B.C., Tamara Sommer was hired to support the Health Emergency Management B.C. (HEMBC) team at Interior Health (IH). Today, Tamara is the Indigenous HEM liaison, supporting First Nations communities throughout the Interior region. Tamara was recently interviewed for Interior Voices, IH’s Aboriginal health and wellness podcast series that explores the intersection of health and culture in the workplace, everyday lives and patient care. In it, she talks about her role, the barriers and challenges of emergency management (EM) and what she hopes for the future of EM in B.C.

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