We are IH: Michaela Ashbee

January 7, 2022

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




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