Healthy Living in the North

Welcome to the Kalum Café at Terraceview Lodge

A group of seven female staff stand and smile into the camera.

Some of the dedicated staff and volunteers that contributed to bringing the Kalum Cafe to life. (Left to right: Marivel Operana, Activity Worker; Hazel Lechasseur, Activity Worker; Amber Brown, Rehabilitation Assistant; Linda Lacasse, Activity Worker; Bonnie Casault, Recreation Coordinator; Gail Gyger, volunteer; Cheryl Block, Occupational Therapist)

Terraceview Lodge in Terrace is embracing changes to make it an environment that feels like home for residents. The facility recently transformed its lobby space on the second floor into a place for residents, families, visitors, and staff to gather. The result is the Kalum Café, an inviting space to socialize and enjoy a cup of coffee.

It took a lot of planning and teamwork between all of the Terraceview Lodge departments to work out the different aspects of the café.

“We were lucky to have a lot of support and people who wanted to contribute and see the café come to life,” says Bonnie Casault, Recreation Coordinator at Terraceview Lodge.

The space that would soon become Cafe Kalum, with four large recliners and a side table.

A view of the space before being transformed into Kalum Cafe.

“Part of the planning involved finding ways to engage residents, families, visitors, and staff in the creation of the café. We offered an opportunity for people to vote on the café’s name. We narrowed it down to two choices and residents, families, visitors, and staff voted on their favourite name. After the votes were counted, Kalum Café was the winner.”

“We’re so excited about this space becoming a new gathering spot that everyone can enjoy,” says Cheryl Block, Occupational Therapist at Terraceview Lodge. “It has vaulted ceilings with large windows that face west with views of the mountains. It’s the perfect place to experience seasonal changes including flowers blooming, trees changing colours, and snow falling.”

Several round tables with flowers on them, and chairs around them, are shown. The back wall has several coffee-themed signs hanging.

The space after being transformed into Kalum Cafe.

“The Kalum Café is furnished with chairs and tables that serve multiple functions,” continues Cheryl. “We have comfortablechairs with foot stools and tables with adjustable heights so they’re accessible for everyone. We used bright colours and included art on the walls to make the space even more inviting. Residents created a decorative wreath using coffee filters that they painted. It was a way we could have them contribute to the café’s design.”

Cheryl also notes that the Kalum Café serves more than a social purpose – it has clinical benefits as well.

“During occupational therapy, we work on resident’s mobility. This can be either walking or using a wheel chair. The café gives us a purposeful destination to go to rather than just going up and down the halls. We can also use it as a place for our different programming groups to meet.”

Kalum Café had their grand opening celebration on August 28, 2019. Residents, families, staff, community groups, and local government officials all attended the celebration.

Tamara Reichert

About Tamara Reichert

Tamara is the communications advisor for the innovation and development commons at Northern Health where she works on a number of projects with the research, quality improvement, clinical simulation, and education teams. Born and raised in Prince George, Tamara grew up on a ranch where she rode horses, played with farm animals, built forts, and raided the family garden. She enjoys spending time travelling, hiking, cooking, reading, and cheering for her favourite sports teams.

Share

IMAGINE Community Grants: Keeping safety simple in Houston

The installed Public Access Lifering is beside a sign that explains how to use it.

A Public Access Lifering was installed in Houston, BC in May 2019, after the District of Houston applied for and received an IMAGINE Community Grant.

The beach at Irrigation Lake is a popular destination for residents of Houston to cool off in when the weather gets hot, or to do some ice fishing when the mercury dips low. Located just West of town in a thriving forest, the beach is one of those hidden gems that makes a community special. The park features picnic tables, fire pits, and change rooms, but doesn’t have lifeguards on duty. To address this, Tasha Kelly from the District of Houston’s Leisure Services department made a plan to install a Public Access Lifering. As part of her plan, she applied for and received IMAGINE Community Grant funding.

A Public Access Lifering, or PAL, is exactly what it sounds like: a buoyant plastic ring that’s accessible to the public. It’s a safety measure you hope you’ll never have to use, but in an emergency, it could mean the difference between a happy ending and a tragedy. The ring that’s installed at Irrigation Lake features durable, weather-resistant housing. Its presence will help aquatic activities at the beach stay safe for years to come!

Northern Health IMAGINE Grants

Every year, the IMAGINE Community Grants program supports a wide variety of projects that help make Northern communities safer, healthier places. Projects like this one in Houston help to keep communities active by keeping them safe. Northern Health is proud to partner with communities to make the North a healthier place to live!

Apply for an IMAGINE grant in September

The application window for IMAGINE Community Grants opened on September 1 and closes September 30, 2019. The program accepts applications that promote health in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Physical activity
  • Healthy eating
  • Community food security
  • Injury prevention and safety
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Prevention of substance harms
  • Smoking and vaping reduction
  • Healthy aging
  • Healthy schools
  • …and more!

For more information, visit the IMAGINE Community Grants webpage today!

Andrew Steele

About Andrew Steele

Andrew Steele is the Coordinator of Community Funding Programs for Northern Health. He is passionate about community development, and believes that healthy communities are the result of many people working together toward common goals. Outside work, Andrew loves mountain biking, teaching Ride classes at The Movement, and enjoying art, culture and food with friends and family.

Share

The Mountainview Lodge Carnival: bringing fun to residents

Two women, who are dressed as clowns, are on either side of a male resident.

Jane McIlwrath (L) and Martha Flores (R) cheesing it up in some party hats with resident Timo Paivio.

Popcorn, ring toss, squirt guns, and clowns… all that was missing was the bumper cars and tilt-a-whirl – maybe next year!

Last month, the Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat, BC hosted its 2nd Annual In-house Carnival for about 20 residents. Organizers and Northern Health staff members Jane McIlwrath, Long-term Care Aide, and Martha Flores, Activity Worker, are already looking forward to next year.

“The residents really believe they’re at a carnival,” says McIlwrath. “It’s a lot of fun for them. We put this on because it’s exciting. The first one was little smaller, so we added more for this year. Next year, the grandkids are invited!”

Thank you to Jane and Martha for your creativity, and for bringing fun to and creating connections for the residents you work with! We’re looking forward to seeing the third carnival next year!

Check out the carnival pictures below!

Mike Erickson

About Mike Erickson

Mike Erickson is the Communications Specialist, Content Development and Engagement at Northern Health, and has been with the organization since 2013. He grew up in the Lower Mainland and has called Prince George home since 2007. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with friends and family, sports, reading, movies, and generally nerding out. He loves the slower pace of life and lack of traffic in the North.

Share

Pet Smart PG donates to paeds!

Thank you to Pet Smart in Prince George for donating brand new stuffed animals to the Medical Imaging Department at UHNBC! Our paediatric patients are loving them, and the technologists are loving handing them out!

A hospital bed is covered in stuffed animals.

Furry friends for UHNBC’s paediatric medical imaging patients, donated by Pet Smart.

 

Sanja Knezevic

About Sanja Knezevic

Sanja is a communications advisor with Northern Health’s medical affairs department and is based in Prince George. She moved to Canada in 1995 from former Yugoslavia to Fort Nelson where she lived for a few years before moving to Prince George in 2000. Sanja enjoys photography, curling up with a good book, cooking and spending time with her friends and family.

Share

Fort St. John Intensive Case Management team helps client get identification

Intensive Case Management team smiles for a photo.

The hard working and dedicated members of the Intensive Case Management team (left to right: Tiffany, Lily, Sonia, Todd, Cindy, and Bridgette).

Intensive Case Management teams (ICMs) serve people with substance abuse challenges, the mentally ill, and the homeless through a team-based approach. Members of these health care teams provide more than direct patient care – they’re advocates for their clients, helping them any way they can. In Fort St. John, when a client named Peter needed help getting identification, his ICM team was there to help him.

“Shortly after his birth in the United States in the 1960s, Peter was adopted by a Canadian family,” says Todd Stringer, Support Worker with the ICM team in Fort St. John. “He didn’t have any documentation or identification to prove who he was. This was common for kids from the Sixties Scoop. Over the last couple of years, we’ve worked closely with Peter to help him get the documentation he needs. This involved getting a Louisiana birth certificate, filling out paper work, and working with multiple government agencies.

Peter is pictured.

The Fort St. John Intensive Care Management team’s client Peter.

“It’s been such a pleasure working with Peter and helping him overcome this hurdle. Advocating for clients is an important part of our job, and it’s always nice to have a positive outcome.”

Peter recently applied for his Canadian citizenship certificate, and they expect it will arrive shortly. Once it arrives, Peter will be able to receive his primary identification and finally prove his identity.

Tamara Reichert

About Tamara Reichert

Tamara is the communications advisor for the innovation and development commons at Northern Health where she works on a number of projects with the research, quality improvement, clinical simulation, and education teams. Born and raised in Prince George, Tamara grew up on a ranch where she rode horses, played with farm animals, built forts, and raided the family garden. She enjoys spending time travelling, hiking, cooking, reading, and cheering for her favourite sports teams.

Share

Coming soon… the new Atlin Health Centre!

A computer rendering of the future Atlin Health Centre is shown. The single-story building has a grey bottom-third, a charcoal top, and black roof with white and wood trim and accents.

A rendering of the future Atlin Health Centre.

Site preparation is underway at the corner of Atlin Road and Discovery Avenue, across from the BC Hydro plant, for the location of the new Atlin Health Centre. Local contractor Pine Tree Services has been excavating and getting the grounds ready for this long-awaited replacement facility!

“We’re really happy to see action at the site!” says Jonathan Cooper, Health Services Administrator. “Planning for the new health centre in Atlin has been underway for some time now, and good work has been conducted by dedicated local residents, including the Community Advisory Group and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, as well as staff and leadership with Northern Health and the First Nations Health Authority. We’re really proud to be in the finals stages now, ensuring the health centre will meet the needs of the community.”

A man drives a mini-escalator in a field while another man watches.

Site preparation at the new location for the Atlin Health Clinic

The contract for the actual construction of the facility has been awarded to ATCO Sustainable Communities Inc. Modular Construction. At 2,540 square feet, the new facility is more than twice as big as the existing centre. The new expanded space will improve on the continued provision of all services the community currently receives, and will better serve the needs of patients, staff, and physicians.

The modular units that will make up the building itself will be in transit towards Atlin in September. Look forward to more updates then. You can also always look for current news and updates on the Atlin Health Centre and all Northern Health capital projects on the NH website.

Andrea Palmer

About Andrea Palmer

Andrea Palmer is the Communications Lead for Capital Projects at Northern Health. She’s happy in all four seasons in Northern BC and loves getting out into the wild with her family. Andrea is a Southern transplant who came to the North “for just one year” to attend UNBC… more than twenty years ago. Suffice it to say the academic and professional opportunities, wild spaces, and open-hearted people are what make the North home for Andrea. Sunny winter skies and fresh powder for days don’t hurt either.

Share

G.R. Baker’s gardens are blossoming thanks to two volunteers

A bed of flowers is pictured.

The flower gardens at GR Baker Memorial Hospital are meant lift up people in the hospital.

G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital’s gardens are flourishing in Quesnel, thanks to the help of keen gardeners and local support. For the past seven years, next-door neighbours Wilma and Joan have volunteered their time to maintain the gardens with the goal of raising the spirits of hospital patients, staff, and visitors.

“We both just love gardening,” says Joan. “It’s our passion, just absolutely love it!”

The pair have over 20 years of gardening experience and are active in the Quesnel gardening community. They both feel very proud to give back to their community in this way.

Flowers are in a commemorative stone box,Back in 2012, the hospital first approached the pair to pull out overgrown junipers and plant flowers. In the early years, the gardens were not properly maintained and the pair had a limited budget. Wilma and Joan took it upon themselves to not only take care of the gardens, but to head into the community and approach local businesses for support.

Over the years, local businesses have donated flowers, plants, trees, birdbaths, and other garden décor.

“The businesses have been great and helped out immensely,” says Wilma. G.R. Baker maintenance staff have also helped with heavy trimming, and watering the flowerpots around the facility.

Today, Joan and Wilma, with staff, and local businesses, maintain several gardens in front of the hospital. They start in the spring, meeting twice a month to clear debris from the fall and prepare the garden beds for the upcoming year. In the warmer months, they’re on site more often, checking in on the gardens, watering, and caring for plants. While they’re on site, many visitors stop and say what a wonderful job they do.

Both Wilma and Joan are long-time residents of Quesnel, and say their “whole goal for the grounds is to cheer someone up who’s having a rough patch at the hospital.”

They hope this project can be a source of inspiration for all communities.

“We want people to keep an eye out for their next-door neighbour who’s elderly and can’t do their yard. Think ‘pay it forward.’ If everyone did that, it would just be really neat in our communities.”

 

Brandan Spyker

About Brandan Spyker

Brandan works in digital communications at NH. He helps manage our staff Intranet but also creates graphics, monitors social media and shoots video for NH. Born and raised in Prince George, Brandan started out in TV broadcasting as a technical director before making the jump into healthcare. Outside of work he enjoys spending quality time and travelling with his wife, daughter and son. He’s a techie/nerd. He likes learning about all the new tech and he's a big Star Wars fan. He also enjoys watching and playing sports.

Share

Fun and learning at the first Northern BC Indigenous Youth Summer Science Camp

Campers and an adult circle a simulation dummy, feeling its chest.

Campers visit the simulation lab at the University Hospital of Northern BC.

This summer, 18 Indigenous students from urban and rural Northern BC communities traveled to the University of Northern BC (UNBC) to participate in the first ever Northern BC Indigenous Youth Summer Science Camp.

The purpose of the camp was to introduce Indigenous youth entering grades five to eight to the post-secondary environment, and inspire them to learn about and pursue health- and science-related careers in the North.

Organized by the Health Arts Research Centre (HARC) with help from several sponsors, including Northern Health (NH) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the camp was the first of its kind in Northern BC.

The weeklong, sleep-away camp featured a different theme each day, with all of the themes centred on Indigenous and Western science and health.

Students got the unique opportunity to “bunk” overnight in UNBC’s Keyoh Student Residence and enjoy meals at the Agora Dining Hall, making this group of future post-secondary students seasoned pros before they’ve even applied!

The camp began with an opening ceremony, including a traditional welcome to Lheidli T’enneh territory from Elder Darlene McIntosh and drummer Kyle Sam.

Throughout the week, campers learned about a range of topics including:

  • Wildlife and fish
  • Land and water
  • Health and genetics
  • Biology
  • Art

Campers also got to speak with an Environmental Health Officer, prepared traditional foods, learned to identify medicinal plants, and learned about Canada’s Food Guide.

Five children examine bins at Exploration Place's Nature Exchange.

Campers learn about wildlife at the Exploration Place.

Of course, no summer camp is complete without a field trip (or two)! Campers had the chance to learn about astronomy and cosmology at the Exploration Place, where they were able to create beautiful leather pouches, rattles, and cedar roses.

Campers impressed instructors and counsellors with their technological knowledge, and learned about coding and creating websites and apps. Afterwards, the students traveled to the Two Rivers Gallery Maker Lab where they participated in a stop-motion animation workshop – check out the amazing videos that the campers created.

Dr. Jessie King, Hadiksm Gaax, Lead, Research & Community Engagement, Indigenous Health, Northern Health, was on site for most of the week helping facilitate activities and was thrilled to watch how fast campers became friends!

“It was amazing to see the youth building friendships with each other and the camp leaders while experiencing so many fascinating activities. My favourite part of the week was watching the students exchange contact information in the last couple of days so their friendships could go beyond the camp experience! It made me wonder how many would come together at UNBC in five to eight years.”

The week of fun and learning ended with a Grand Finale on Friday, where campers created vision boards for their own futures before attending a Mentorship Fair in the afternoon.

Several campers hold a mixing bowl while another camper tosses the food with tongs.

Campers learn how to prepare traditional foods.

The Mentorship Fair included interactive tables from the Exploration Place, College of New Caledonia, UNBC Aboriginal Recruitment and Support Services, FNHA Environmental Health Team, Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) West, and the ECHO Network.

After the fair, campers attended a closing ceremony that included panel talks from inspiring Indigenous guest speakers who shared personal stories, experiences, career paths, and encouragement.

“Reflecting on the experience of going to university, Dr. Sarah de Leeuw and I thought about how frightening and unattainable university can seem for some,” says Dr. King. “For many students, being able to see yourself in a university environment is a powerful experience… if you walk the halls and spend time in the classrooms, it doesn’t take much to begin seeing yourself there one day.”

The success of the first Northern BC Indigenous Youth Summer Science Camp is evident in the relationships made, fun had, and pictures captured. Plans are already in motion to continue the camp into 2020 and beyond!

Shelby Petersen

About Shelby Petersen

Shelby is the Web Services Coordinator with Indigenous Health. Shelby has over five years of experience working in content development and digital marketing. After graduating with a degree in Political Science from UNBC, Shelby moved to Vancouver where she pursued a career in digital marketing. Most recently, Shelby was the Senior Content Developer and Project Manager with a digital advertising agency in Vancouver, British Columbia. Born and raised in Prince George, Shelby is thrilled to be back in the community and spending time outside enjoying everything that the North has to offer.

Share

Available now: Summer edition of NH’s public magazine

Check out the latest issue of NH’s public magazine, now available online in flipbook form: Northern Health: Health and Wellness in the North, Summer 2019.

Featuring articles on dementia care, telehealth, the Healthy Terrace program, a new Gitxsan phrasebook in Hazelton, vaping, the NH Connections bus, and more, the magazine will also be distributed soon in print — watch for it in a health care facility near you!

The cover of the summer 2019 edition of Northern Health: Health and Wellness in the North is pictured. The cover features two young boys on the edge of a lake, looking out.

Read the latest issue of NH’s public magazine!

Your feedback and suggestions on the magazine are welcome – email communications@northernhealth.ca.

Anne Scott

About Anne Scott

Anne is a communications officer at Northern Health; she lives in Prince George with her husband Andrew Watkinson. Her current health goals are to do a pull-up and more than one consecutive “real” push-up. She also dreams of becoming a master’s level competitive sprinter and finding a publisher for her children’s book on colourblindness. Anne enjoys cycling, cross-country skiing, reading, writing, sugar-free chocolate, and napping -- sometimes all on the same day!

Share

The Boon Docs: Feedback – Part 2

A comic from the theboondoc.org is pictured.

 

About the Boon Docs:

The Boon Docs is a comic about practicing medicine in a small town. It’s about raising chickens and having sheep instead of a lawnmower. It’s about being nice to your neighbours (or else). But don’t be fooled: it is not always simple or idyllic. There are hungry bears and peckish raccoons out there. Rumors get around faster than the ambulance, and the store often runs out of milk.

Caroline Shooner

About Caroline Shooner

Originally from Montreal, Dr. Caroline Shooner joined the Queen Charlotte medical team in 2007 and has been living and practicing as a family physician on Haida Gwaii ever since. Caroline is interested in how the arts and humanities can help promote health and allow us to look more critically and meaningfully at how we practice medicine. In 2015, she completed an MSc in Medical Humanities at King’s College London. During that year, she was introduced to the field of Graphic Medicine and started creating a series of cartoons inspired by the comic side of small town medicine: The Boon Docs.

Share