My professional journey
In my early years, I nursed in paediatrics, at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), primarily in the emergency department. While at CHEO, I also joined the hospital’s Sexual Assault Treatment Team where I served as a sexual assault nurse examiner.
Community Health / HIV / Addictions
When Oasis, a program of Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, opened its doors I had the opportunity to join its multidisciplinary team and began my carrer in community health. I was keen to get involved in the fight against HIV.
Eight years later, I left Oasis to take on a new challenge.
Oasis provides harm reduction based health and social services (including HIV and Hepatitis C treatment) for people who use drugs and experience barriers to health and recovery due to stigma, poverty, criminalization and mental illness.
Mental Health / Psychiatric Rehabilitation
At that time, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Ottawa was forming a multi disciplinary team to address the high rate of hospital emergency department visits by patients with severe mental illness who were either homeless or unstably housed and poorly connected with the health care system.
During my eighteen months with CMHA, part of my time was spent at the newly formed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Team at Salus Fisher.
Post graduate studies
I then rejoined the Oasis team on a casual to part-time basis, as I attended the University of Ottawa to earn advance practice credentials and became a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in 2009. During my studies, I kept a particular focus on concurrent disorders (co-occuring mental health and substance use disorders).
As a nurse practitioner, I took on a new level of responsibility at Oasis, providing episodic and primary care to our clinic’s drug addicted clients.
I also provided consultations for the clients and frontline staff at Newgate 180.
Health and safety at work
I’ve always believed in the importance of working in a respectful and safe environment. This belief is what led me to acquire qualifications and work as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention instructor and as a First Aid instructor. I’ve always contributed to a healthy workplace.
Teaching and Mentoring
Being a nurse is also being a teacher. In addition to teaching my patients, I have taught and mentored medical residents and nurses. I have given presentations and workshops on numerous topics at provincial and national conferences.
At this point in my life, work – life balance has become increasingly important. To achieve this, I’ve established an independent nurse practitioner practice which both reflects my values and respects my needs. I accept clients looking for addiction and mental health counselling in my Almonte office. I also offer several other services. Please consult the list provided on the service page or contact me to discuss your needs.
More than anything, I want to work in healthcare within my own community. I want to make use of my extensive experience helping those suffering with mental illness and addiction.
Over time, I plan to set up a clinic offering a range of health services in addition to the counselling I now offer.
I will be looking to collaborate with professionals interested in improving care for people who struggle with mental illness and addictions. By joining forces, we could improve the coordination of resources and optimize the care we provide. Joint community efforts augment everyone’s experience through ongoing sharing of ideas, education and support.