Recent Stories

3 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Cheyenne Fath is a youth and peer outreach worker and lived experience educator in Penticton. Through her experiences, she knows first hand how addiction impacts individuals, families, and whole communities.  The best way to tackle these issues, and to drive change for the better, is to do it together. And Cheyenne says that starts with thinking twice about how we view drug addiction by recognizing that addictive behaviour is more common than people realize. “We are all addicted to our own vices,” says Cheyenne, who works closely with Interior Health’s substance use team. “For some people it may look like too much caffeine, exercising beyond what's considered healthy, or overeating. Perhaps your thing is adrenaline and you indulge in risky stunts that no ‘normal’ person would do, or you impulsively lie to those around you, or maybe you just really like spending money.” Cheyenne adds that it’s good to be speaking about substance use because of its high propensity to lead to addictive behaviour. These are challenging times. But challenging times also brings out the best in communities – it rallies people to support those in crisis. It was with that in mind that Interior Health established Community Action Teams in nine communities: Cranbrook, Nelson, Castlegar, Grand Forks, Kamloops, Central Okanagan, Penticton, Vernon and Williams Lake.  These were established in response to the overdose crisis, recognizing that communities play a critical role in saving lives and connecting people to treatment and recovery. Community Action Teams target local resources where they are needed most and strengthen local partnerships. “By raising awareness about the far-reaching impacts of stigma and addiction, increasing education about how to access supports, and furthering our efforts to work alongside our community partners, we can change the narrative and help people on their journey to wellness,” says Debi Morris, network director for mental health and substance use in Interior Health. Says Cheyenne: “With the ongoing opioid epidemic now in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic and systems, services and individuals stretched and wearing thin, the drug overdose death toll is higher than ever and seems to be steadily increasing. It's time we stop turning our heads and closing our eyes to these issues." Visit Substance Use and Addiction to learn more. About National Addictions Awareness Week During National Addictions Awareness Week, Nov. 21-27, we are supporting the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction by highlighting resources about substance use and addiction treatment and supports. National Addictions Awareness Week is held annually, and focuses on highlighting solutions to help address the harms related to alcohol and other drug use. It provides an opportunity to learn more about prevention, to talk about treatment and recovery, and to bring forward solutions.  Join us this week as we post about different topics related to addiction, including stigma, alcohol, gambling, adverse childhood experiences, opioids, cannabis, and COVID-19 and mental health.  Follow the hashtag #NAAW2021 and help us spread the message that recovery is possible, addiction is a medical condition and not a choice, there is information available about treatment options, and how stigma plays a role as a barrier to care – a barrier that we can break down.  
2 Minute Read
Community & Culture
We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories. Name: (John) Derrick Leblanc (he/him) Job Title: Housekeeping Supervisor Years of Service: 8.5 Worksite: Royal Inland Hospital Community: Kamloops Ancestral Territory: Secwépemc Nation Favourite Quote: "Treat everyone how you want to be treated." -Unknown Thanks to a good friend who endorsed his resume, Derrick Leblanc has been with Interior Health for almost nine years. In that time, his proudest moment, aside from being hired on, was his promotion to Housekeeping Supervisor. Derrick's family in Nova Scotia “I’ve always enjoyed helping others, and take pride in knowing that the career I’ve chosen allows me to do just that.” At one point, Derrick was even helping a friend with special need clients outside of Interior Health, finding it rewarding work. After training, Derrick eventually received his own clients. But it’s his role at Royal Inland Hospital that made the cut when he had to pull back on commitments and narrow his three jobs down to one. Derrick hails from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, calling himself “a hopeless romantic and a Maritimer.” Unsurprisingly, his greatest dream is live a long life and to retire by the ocean (after winning the lottery, of course!). Derrick’s family means everything to him – it’s hard being so far away, as he doesn’t get to see them nearly as much as he’d like. Derrick's puppy, Wall-E “I’m the eighth child out of nine so it’s a large family. We certainly know how to cook and eat seafood, as well as rappi pie.” For those not "in the know," rappi pie is a well-loved traditional Acadian dish. It’s a delicious mix of potatoes and chicken. Living in the beautiful Interior meshes well with Derrick’s love of the outdoors and taking nature photography. He also hikes, gardens and relaxes on his deck with his dog. View of Kamloops from Derrick's morning walk Derrick's nomination keeps the We Are IH loop going: “I would nominate Narinder Pannu. She works at Royal Inland Hospital and is a cleaner on 7 South. I would like to nominate her because you can always ask her to help with shortfalls and or move to another position within the department... She is very accountable at her job and you can be assured she gets her work done to standard. " - Derrick Leblanc Stay updated with careers at Interior Health Facebook  |   Instagram  |   LinkedIn
1 Minute Read
Community & Culture
This week across Canada, we remember the life and death of Louis Riel and his leadership advocating for the Métis Nation. On Nov. 16, we mark the anniversary of Riel’s execution. This act of remembrance is to honour Riel’s life and historic fight for justice. At Interior Health, we are committed to our relationship with Métis Nation BC and are working collaboratively toward our shared goal of ensuring our health services are culturally safe and supportive of Métis People. This is an example of how we live out our IH vision: Health and well-being for all. Take a moment to learn more about Louis Riel and the rich history of the Métis People.  Listen to the Interior Voices podcast and two episodes on Louis Riel Day where Métis Nation BC Regional Directors share their stories and reflections.   Check out the Métis Nation BC website for more information about Louis Riel. Read about Aboriginal Health & Wellness at Interior Health.  We stand together with Métis employees and medical staff, and Métis People across the Interior region, as we reflect on the legacy of Louis Riel and our own commitment to address racism, discrimination and injustice.  
2 Minute Read
Research & Innovation
Visit YOUR new www.InteriorHealth.ca for quick and easy access to health information in B.C.’s interior region. This website includes features designed to connect you to Interior Health services and locations in your area. Health alerts will let you know if there is something you need to be aware of, from natural disasters to toxic drug alerts or vaccine updates. And you can subscribe for news and information delivered right to your inbox. Looking for something else? Check out the search feature (click on the magnifying glass at the top right of the screen) to get immediate access to health information, contact details and more. Person-centred design To get it right, we called on the experts and reached out to people like you to tell us how this new website should look, work and feel. A public advisory group shared ideas on the website appearance, user experience, and navigation. Public members also worked alongside health-care experts, to identify the information that needs to be included. Public members on the project steering committee ensured the public perspective was always part of the decision-making process. The general public and other health-care organizations also contributed their ideas through a public survey, discovery workshops and focus groups. Thanks to the efforts of these dedicated public members, we have a website designed for the public, by the public. These are some of the people who gave their time and ideas to this website. Thank you! Looking for health stories? Please visit us at www.InteriorHealth.ca.
2 Minute Read
Research & Innovation
Our new website is search friendly. We understand that everyone likes to search for information differently, and we have organized the content and have developed our search options accordingly. Using our website menu Our navigation menu was organized strategically to streamline information and make it easy to find. If you’re looking for general health information:  You can navigate through our Health & Wellness menu, which contains secondary menu groupings such as Accessing Care Through Technology, Environmental Health & Hazards, Healthy Living and Substance Use & Addiction. We also have a comprehensive About IH menu section to learn more about  IH programs, services, career opportunities, and more If you’re looking for health information targeted toward a specific audience: You can navigate through our Information For menu to find specially selected content for different audiences. Some of the audiences in this menu are Aboriginal Communities, Businesses, Community Partners, Medical Staff, Parents & Guardians, Patients & Visitors and Seniors. There are also targeted menu options on our website for people looking to Get Involved or explore Career opportunities, including student opportunities. Using our website search function If your first instinct in this age of search engines is to click on the search icon, we have got you covered. Our advanced search feature was designed to replicate the experience of search engines like Google.  You can search: By category Using one of your recently searched terms By popular topic By quick links You will even receive suggestions as you type: Using a search engine You can easily search for content on our website without entering it first. On all of our pages, we have included labels to communicate what the page content is about on search engines like Google. This means that when you’re searching for certain types of health-care information a search engine, results will be displayed for our webpages that have relevant content on this topic. We’re effectively using keywords to capture what the page content is about, while also taking into consideration how users search, and what phrases they’re likely to use. All these measures will help you find our pages from search engines. Explore other great website features There are many enhanced features on our new website. Check out these posts highlighting some of them: New Interior Health public website features unique on-page navigation Find services & locations easily on new website
2 Minute Read
Research & Innovation
IH delivers programs and services to people across B.C.'s Southern Interior through facilities such as hospitals, clinics and community care homes. The new IH public-centred website includes advanced search functions to connect you with services (Find a Service) and locations (Find a Location). These functions replicate the experience of searching through a search engine like Google. Many options to search You have many options to conduct your service or location search. You can search by: Keyword Category Location Distance Our services and locations have been tagged and categorized appropriately to help connect your search to relevant results. Results will appear below (you can pick list or grid view) or you can use the map to view results (more on that in the next section). Search visually through our map function One of the exciting features of our new location and search function is the visual map, which creates a similar experience to browsing through Google Maps. After conducting a search, click on the “Show Map” button and you’ll see icons representing locations and services. You can click “Hide Map” if you’re finished browsing. Once you click on an icon, you’ll be presented with the location title (linked directly to the location page) and the address/contact information for that location. If you are searching for a service, the service name will be above the location name in brackets (linked directly to the service page). Showing results based on your current location (geolocation) When you visit our website, you will be asked if you would like to reveal your current location. If you accept, your location will automatically be inputted into the address field when you search for a service or location, making it easy for you services/locations close to you. When you have the map open, you can click on the blue target icon to visually highlight your current location.   Explore other great website features There are many amazing features on our new website. Check out these posts highlighting some of them: Many easy ways to search on IH’s new person-centred public website  New Interior Health public website features unique on-page navigation

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