Recent Stories

4 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Immunization and vaccines are important throughout your life. Vaccines are products that produce immunity to a specific disease. Immunization (or vaccination) protects people from disease by introducing a vaccine into the body that triggers an immune response. Read on to find out five important things you should know about immunizations and vaccines, and visit our Immunization and vaccines page for more information.
2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
Talking about suicide - starting the conversation, listening, providing support, and connecting people with help – can be difficult and even scary, but it’s important to help prevent suicide and end the stigma surrounding it.  If you’re worried about someone, don’t be afraid to tell them; talking about suicide doesn’t make them more likely to do it, and they may be relieved to have someone who cares to talk to.  If the individual tells you they have a plan to end their life, stay with them until you connect them with supports.
6 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
There’s little I love more than cruising down a sweet single track on my mountain bike. Add my dog and some pals into the mix and you have a recipe for my perfect day! Even though I’m a confident rider and have the skills and experience to tackle most of what the trails throw at me, things can still go sideways, and unfortunately brain injury is a real risk of the sport I love. Earlier this spring, my season was off to a great start. I was feeling fit and confident, and even tackled a bike everyday challenge where I mountain biked for 24 days straight before a knee injury from a running accident put me out for a few days. But I recovered quickly and was back on the bike in a matter of days. However, in mid-May I had a crash that showed me first hand the possible consequences of the sport I am so passionate about. It was a lovely spring evening on Knox Mountain in Kelowna, on a trail I’ve done many times with a group of supportive pals, where I took a crash that caused me to experience my first concussion and started me on a new journey of recovery, learning, and rebuilding my confidence to get back on my bike. Here’s my story of brain injury and recovery, and the lessons I learned from the experience.
3 Minute Read
Community & Culture
Name: Brandy Martin (she/her/hers) Job Title: Central Functions Rehabilitation Assistant Years of Service: 25 Worksite: Vernon Jubilee Hospital Community: Vernon Ancestral Territory: Syilx Advice to live by: You have to have a work-life balance. Brandy Martin, a central functions rehabilitation assistant, was born in Medicine Hat, Alta. She moved to Vernon, B.C., in 1987 and has been working at Interior Health for more than two decades. “As a health-care worker for the past 25 years, and a JOHSC [Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee] co-chair for the past year, I have come to really appreciate working with others that have a good work ethic and are willing to work collaboratively together to achieve the same goals.”
2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness
A person can bleed to death from an injury in as little as five minutes. That means every second counts when it comes to stopping uncontrolled bleeding, and anyone – a friend, family member or even a bystander – can help save someone’s life. Think of it as you would with basic first aid, CPR or the Heimlich Manoeuvre – knowing the steps to getting bleeding under control fast can significantly increase a person’s odds of survival. Traumatic accidents can happen anywhere – in the kitchen or garage, in a motor vehicle, or during outdoor recreational activities such as cycling or hiking. No matter how safe you are trying to be, everyone is at risk of potential injury, which can result in bleeding from extremities such as the neck, groin, armpits, chest and abdomen. That’s where an initiative such as Stop The Bleed comes in. In a nutshell, Stop the Bleed trains people how to stop a person from bleeding to death. It was initiated by the American College of Surgeons in 2015 after the active shooter event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Stop the Bleed has been adopted by Trauma Services BC to help teach basic life-saving skills to health-care professionals and members of the public. “Bystanders or loved ones are often in the best position to provide early assistance to an injured person who is bleeding. Having the skills, confidence and basic equipment to stop someone’s bleeding early can mean the difference between life and death,” says Kyla Gowenlock, Interior Health’s network director for Trauma Services. “I encourage everyone to take the Stop The Bleed course and stock their car or backpack with the basic equipment. Anyone can be trained to save a life.”
2 Minute Read
Community & Culture
Name: Tanya Chmilar (she/her/hers) Job Title: Registered Nurse/Registered Psychiatric Nurse Years of Service: 25 Worksite: Community Health Services Centre Community: Kelowna Ancestral Territory: Syilx Okanagan Advice to live by: Have fun and do your best. Maintain a work-life balance. Tanya Chmilar lives her motto every day — both at work and in her personal life: Have fun and do your best. After earning her Psychiatric Nursing Diploma in 1985, and her General Nursing Diploma in 1988, Tanya worked in Vernon, Kelowna and Cranbrook psychiatric inpatient units. She moved to Vancouver to complete her BScN from the University of British Columbia (UBC), then worked in emergency and short stay psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital and UBC.

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