We Are IH: African roots pulled public health nurse into maternity field

February 29, 2024
Public health nurse Joanne Juras loves getting outdoors.

Name: Joanne Juras (she/her/hers)
Job Title: Public Health Nurse
Years of Service: 25
Worksite: Kamloops Public Health        
Community: Kamloops
Ancestral Territory: Tk’emlups te Secwepemc
Favourite Quote / Advice to live by: “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” ― James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Joanne Juras grew up as far away from the B.C. Interior as one can imagine.

Born and raised in Sierra Leone until she was about six years old, Joanne lived in a town without running water. Her mom, an American, was a midwife who delivered babies, while her British father was a school teacher who made life interesting for the family at home.

“My dad, as a science teacher, collected a lot of animals. We had a pet monkey and all sorts of pets―armadillos, he brought in snakes. I remember all that stuff,” she says.

The family moved to Winnipeg when she was six and Joanne later moved to B.C. on her own.

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