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A Healthier You FEBRUARY 2015




Presented by Northern Health and Glacier Media



Complimentary copy

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contents FEBRUARY2015 6

5 Tips for Fuelling Your Active Lifestyle

4 5 8 9 10 12 13 14 16 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30

Staying Motivated for Healthy Changes Meet Spirit! Big Goals, Small Changes “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Children Follow By Example - How Are You Leading? Walking to Wellness in Winter Community Health Star Keeps on Running Leaving a Legacy: The Nordic Ski Initiative Volunteer To Make Your Community “Home” Staff Profile: Vince Terstappen Mr. Hockey: More Than 65 Years On The Ice Active Lifestyle for Athletic Success Shining a Light on Northern B.C. Talent Turning Public Engagement into Personal Engagement How Can We Help? Embrace Winter Sports Neil Evans: A Product of the Peace Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii Hospital Update Northern Health Connections: Connecting Patients to a Healthy Lifestyle! From Snowboard to Toboggan - Have Fun, Protect Your Noggin!

A Healthier You is published by A product of Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Ann Holmes, WINBC, Prince George Citizen, Alaska Highway News, Canada Winter Games, ImpactBC, Northern BC Tourism, and Northern Health staff for their contributions to this issue. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Northern Health does not endorse products or services.

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What Motivates You?

Staying Motivated for Healthy Changes By Theresa Healy, lead, healthy community development – Aboriginal communities, Northern Health

If you put us all in the same room we look like a real rag, tag and bobtail crew. We are different ages, sizes, races and genders. However, we all have one thing in common: we all want to be more active. More specifically, we want to find ways of being more active that won’t worsen other injuries or ailments acquired over the years. My northern group of activity seekers have settled on running. We are all on a journey to run a race. For some, it is a marathon (42 km); for others, it’s a half-marathon (21 km) or other race distance (8 km). They are personal fitness goals and we are all at different stages of that journey. Some of us are still using training wheels. Some of us run up the sides of mountains on a regular basis. But there are no differences in the levels of support and encouragement that each of us offers another.

“We all have one thing in common: we all want to be more active.” Some of us are aiming for the Totem to Totem half-marathon on Haida Gwaii as our first racing endeavour. Others are aiming for the BMO Vancouver Marathon or Half-Marathon event (May 2015). These events are far enough away to seem possible at this point and fear has not yet kicked in. Yet, there is more to all this than standing at the start line and running to cross the finish line. Paying attention to nutrition, to exercising muscles, and to building stamina are all equally important to running well. It motivates me to see this disparate group of people tackling the physical challenges of a race and the emotional and psychological barriers that interfere with putting it all out there. As we are all Northern Health staff, we are also really putting Northern Health’s words and policies around

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increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour into action. We really want our northern communities to get healthier and we can’t ask of others what we cannot do ourselves. And truly, if we can do it, then anyone can. We’ve set goals for ourselves and have stitched together a seemingly odd group of supporters, but we all believe in each other and will help each other get there. What can you do to get moving more? Find more information on our goals (or, set your own goals) here: • Haida Gwaii Totem to Totem Marathon: • BMO Vancouver Marathon: www.bmovanmarathon. ca/register-now/ • Other northern B.C. running events: • For more physical activity inspiration, visit the Northern Health Matters blog at regularly!

Event Calendar

Winter 2015:

Your Daily Dose of Health and Wellness February • • • • • •

Heart Month Feb 1-7: Eating Disorder Awareness Week Feb 13 – Mar 1: Canada Winter Games (Prince George) Feb 4: World Cancer Day Feb 14: Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Day Feb 25: Pink Shirt Day (Bullying Awareness Day)

All across Canada, specific dates are set aside to bring awareness to various health issues. These dates provide you with the chance to think about a specific aspect of your health.

Do you have a community event coming up that promotes health? Tell us about it!

March • • • • • •

National Nutrition Month Mar 15-21: Canadian Agricultural Safety Week Mar 16-22: Brain Awareness Week Mar 12: World Kidney Day Mar 18: National Dietitians Day Mar 24: World Tuberculosis Day

April • • • • • •

Daffodil Month (Canadian Cancer Society) National Oral Health Month Apr 25 – May 2: National Immunization Awareness Week Apr 7: World Health Day (topic: food safety) Apr 22: Earth Day Apr 28: Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace (Workers’ Memorial Day)


Join the #healthynorth conversation!

For more information, visit Health Canada’s Calendar of Health Promotion Days online at:

Meet Spirit! There’s a new face of healthy living in northern B.C. He eats a lot of fruits and vegetables, gets plenty of physical activity outdoors, and has some pretty solid gear to protect his head and prevent injuries! Spirit, a caribou designed by 13-year-old Prince George resident Isabel Stratton, is Northern Health’s new mascot and will be promoting healthy living across the province!

In case you were wondering where Spirit came from, as Isabel tells the story, he has had quite the journey to a healthy life himself! “When Spirit was young, he was adventurous and loved to explore. Throughout the years, he became big and strong. One day, when Spirit was out discovering the world, he got a really bad cold and had to go visit the doctor. The doctor said that even though it was a minor cold, it is important to be healthy so that Spirit can prevent other diseases. To help prevent other sicknesses, he learned that it is important to wash his hands and get lots of exercise.

Proudly sponsored by the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, Spirit has arrived just in time for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. At his stops throughout the region, Spirit will be encouraging children to develop healthy habits, like living an active lifestyle, eating healthy foods, wearing protective equipment, and Spirit the caribou lives all around more. Getting children excited about their northern B.C. It’s important for him health is key to building a healthier north! to stay healthy so he and his family can stay strong. Spirit really enjoys Spirit will be travelling across northern exercising, eating well, and making the B.C. to take part in community events right choices for himself and his body.” and to engage the youngest members of our communities on healthy living issues. We can’t wait for you to meet Spirit at a Spirit will make health more fun and healthy event near you! accessible to a young audience, leading to healthy habits for life!

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Healthy Eating

5 Tips for Fuelling

Your Active Lifestyle

By Marianne Bloudoff, population health dietitian, Northern Health

From walking in the park to cross-country skiing, or from backyard gardening to organized sports, physical activity is great for the mind, body, and soul. Keeping active also means keeping your body energized, strong and healthy. Try these five easy tips to fuel your active lifestyle. 1. Eat regular meals and snacks – eating regularly gives our bodies a constant source of energy, so we’re ready for everything the day has in store. 2. Enjoy a variety of foods from all of the food groups – each of the food groups from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provide different nutrients to keep your body fuelled, healthy and happy: • Vegetables and Fruits – provide vitamins and minerals to keep your body running smoothly and recover from injuries and illness. Choose fruits and vegetables from all colours of the rainbow to get the most benefits.

• Grain Products – provide carbohydrates which our bodies use for energy. Choose whole grains more often to have consistent energy throughout the day. • Milk and Alternatives – provide vitamins and minerals important for healthy bones. Strong bones allow us to stay active and help prevent falls and injuries. • Meat and Alternatives – provide protein for building muscles, and iron to deliver oxygen to our cells. 3. Eat real food – no need for protein powders, energy bars, or other sports supplements. Eating a variety of real foods from all of the food groups will provide your body with everything it needs to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and it’s less expensive too. 4. Stay hydrated with water – sip on water throughout the day and during activities to keep your body well hydrated. Sports drinks aren’t necessary for most people, and cost more. Try flavouring your water with lemon or lime wedges to mix it up. 5. Avoid energy drinks – while they might give you a burst of energy, it won’t last. And their high caffeine content can actually be dangerous for your heart.

For more healthy eating tips, visit the Northern Health Matters blog at regularly!

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Physical Activity

Big Goals, Small Changes By Ann Holmes, athletics & human kinetics, College of New Caledonia

Big ideas happen on January 1st – great intentions followed by great plans. Until one week becomes two, two weeks becomes four, and now the calendar reads February (or March) and we seem to be right back to where we started on December 31st. Making changes in our northern winters can be daunting because often we feel solar-powered. When daylight hours are short, it’s easy to feel our energy matching that lull. If your New Year’s resolution had something to do with getting in shape or losing weight, maybe it’s time for a new approach. Try a focus on health. Huge goals can be accomplished with small changes. Small, consistent, daily investments into moving our bodies a little more can produce large returns. It’s time for a shift in our mindset, and this shift can get us through the dark days of winter until the light (and spring) returns. Here are a few tips and small investments that will reap health benefits: • A headlamp means you can get outside after dark. Walk your dog, find a trail that has been packed down by snowshoers, or simply bundle up and get moving around your neighborhood. And heading outside after dinner, instead of going straight for the couch, will burn calories and help you sleep.

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• Better yet, find an inexpensive pair of snowshoes. There is no learning curve or lessons required; just strap them on and go! • Check out your local skating rink. Either put on some blades or walk the stairs and long straightaways in the stands. Plan to keep moving for a certain time and complete some loops around the rink. Enlist a friend and chat the time away, which is a “win-win” as this fulfills our need for social connection and fitness. • For those who are a little more tech-savvy, purchase a FitBit for about $100 (check your local sports store or online). Place it on your wrist and set a goal (like steps per day or active minutes). It’s easy to set up on your phone or tablet and then you can be accountable to yourself. Start with getting 10,000 steps for two days in a row, then three days and beyond! For more physical activity inspiration and tips, visit the Northern Health Matters blog at regularly!

“Do You Want to Build a By Mandy Levesque, physical activity lead, Northern Health

If you have children or have watched television in the past year, chances are you have heard this song. The song from Disney’s hit movie Frozen has been very popular with both children and adults and is quite a catchy tune. Listening to it recently made me think of how fortunate we are to have an abundance of activities at our doorstep to enjoy during the winter months.


Choosing to be more physically active and decreasing our sedentary behaviours is definitely beneficial for our bodies, as an active lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Being active also enhances our mental health and well-being, which can be really helpful during this season when days are shorter and darker. Aim to choose activities that you enjoy - if you like it, you’re more likely to do it!

Some examples of winter activities to experience in northern B.C.: • • • • • • • • •

Snowshoeing Cross-country skiing Walking Tobogganing Snowboarding Ice fishing Alpine skiing Skating Building a snowman

Whatever winter activities you choose to take part in, ensure that you stay safe to prevent injury. Wear a helmet when skating or skiing, wear ice-grippers when walking, and wear reflective clothing if you are outside in the morning or after dark. Choose activities that are fun and that you enjoy. Don’t forget to bring along your family and friends to join you on a road to better health!

Northern Health Tip: Developing a healthy approach to food and moving your body early in life can last a lifetime. • • • •

Learn to eat naturally and well Accept our bodies Develop active lifestyles Prevent overweight or obesity

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Healthy Kids

Children Follow By Example How Are You Leading? By Karen Wonders, public health manager, Northern Health

Although slower to start this year, winter is upon us. Days are shorter, darker, and colder and for some of us the “winter blues” might be settling in. Feelings of low energy, tiredness, and a lack of motivation can be felt by both adults and children during these winter months. The challenge for us all is to resist going into hibernation mode and to instead find ways to beat the “blues.” Even though it might seem easier and warmer to stay cooped up indoors, it is not necessarily better for our bodies to do this. Helping children enjoy all that winter has to offer will have positive benefits for adults and children alike. Here are some suggestions that might help you and your children to stay energized and happy during this winter season. Remember, children follow by example!

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• Plan to be active every day. Exercise is not only good for your physical health, it also helps to improve your mood. • Eat a healthy diet. Your mood and energy levels can be affected by what and when you eat. Eating healthy foods will give your body the nutrients needed to help stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels. • Spend more time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can affect your mood. Make a plan to spend a little more time outdoors, particularly around midday to take advantage of sunlight or daylight. Bundle up to stay warm and to avoid frostbite. • Sleep. Try to keep bedtime and waking time consistent as this will help you to have more energy. Oversleeping can actually make you more tired.

• Be proactive. Make a plan together with your family and friends to help each other to stay active and engaged during winter. So I challenge you today to start making your plan to stay active indoors and outdoors this winter. Try something new to beat the “winter blues” and make wintertime fun!



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Wellness in Northern B.C.

Walking to Wellness in Winter By Chris Bone, Promoting Wellness in Northern B.C.

Deborah Smedley enjoys a walk with her dog in Vanderhoof on a winter day.

You might be wondering how you can get (or stay) physically active during the winter months. Did you know that health professionals describe walking as the perfect exercise and an ideal way for most people to become more active? Even better, you are more likely to stick with walking than with any other exercise because it’s efficient, free, simple, easy to fit in, and adaptable. Walking outdoors in the winter brings the added benefits of boosting your immunity during cold and flu season and providing a means to take in sunlight, which can improve your mood and help you get vitamin D. Read on for some tips that will help you stay warm and safe when you’re walking this winter. While walking is safe for most people, check with your health care provider if you have concerns or questions before embarking on your winter walking program. When you are ready to get moving outside, consider your clothing and think about layers. Resist the urge to layer cotton as it traps moisture and will make you feel colder. Instead, choose a fabric that wicks away moisture as your first layer, add a layer of fleece, and end with a thin waterproof layer. You can always peel off layers if you get too hot. Choose socks designed to keep feet warm and remember to wear

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gloves and a hat to ensure your hands and head stay warm. You can protect your eyes from sunlight or snow by wearing sunglasses or goggles with light-coloured lenses. Sometimes winter roads and paths can be icy, so start slowly and remember that the bigger the stride, the higher your risk of falling. If you want to increase the intensity of your walk, take more steps per minute. If you need extra traction on slippery surfaces, many stores sell cleats (ice-grippers) that can be worn over your runners to improve stability and traction. And finally, stay hydrated during your walk and stay safe by being visible. Always wear reflective gear. If you are searching for good walking routes in your community, check with your local recreation department (many have guides available online). WINBC (Promoting Wellness in Northern B.C.) is a new non-profit organization committed to building capacity for wellness through education, research, and community development. This article is one of many initiatives that will be undertaken to ensure northern B.C. residents enjoy the many benefits of physical activity. Stay tuned for information on a physical activity and health summit scheduled for September 2015!

Community Health Star

“Snow, Rain, or Shine”

– Community Health Star Keeps on Running By Vince Terstappen, health promotions project assistant, Northern Health

Whether you are training for the famed Emperor’s Challenge or just want to jog with friendly faces, Dawson Creek’s running club is the place to be. The “running club for everyone” meets four mornings each week and while the makeup of the group can change from run to run, club members agree that one of the runners, whether “snow, rain, or shine,” will always be Wayne Mould, Northern Health’s first Community Health Star of 2015.

Northern Health’s Community Health Stars program shines a light on community members who, like Wayne, are doing exceptional work, on their own time, to promote health and wellness in northern B.C. Nominate a Community Health Star today at CommunityHealthStars.aspx

Wayne started running in his late 50s, proving that it is never too late to make running and walking part of your lifestyle. Together with other community members, Wayne helped to start the running club in Dawson Creek and they’ve been running ever since! With over a dozen half-marathons, ten kilometre races, and a full marathon now under his belt – including a couple of first place finishes – Wayne shows no sign of stopping. In fact, not even a kidney cancer diagnosis and surgery could slow him down. With his commitment to promoting active living and welcoming others, Wayne is a shining example of how community members can make a healthy difference where they live! Visit to see Wayne’s full story and to meet all of Northern Health’s Community Health Stars!

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Leaving A Legacy:

The Nordic Ski Initiative By Michael Erickson, health promotions assistant, Northern Health

When the 2015 Canada Winter Games come to Prince George, they will bring a symphony of action to the city – the cheers from fans watching hockey in Kin 1, the hustle and bustle of added traffic on Highway 97, athletes and their parents from across the nation wandering the streets of downtown, and, of course, the celebration of competition in Canada. But what will happen when this two week chorus fades with the Games’ closing ceremony on March 1? How will the Games be remembered and what will their legacy be – not only in Prince George, but throughout all of northern B.C.?

school time.” With School District 59 owning its own track setter, there is an abundance of cross-country tracks near or on school grounds where teachers can take their classes. Despite cross-country skiing’s place in the community, the cost of quality equipment means that it is not readily available to everyone. Recalling why he did not take up

To ensure that the legacy is a healthy one that embodies the spirit of physical activity that the Games represent, Northern Health created the IMAGINE: Legacy Grants stream in 2014, which funded 89 projects for a total of nearly $280,000. Northern Health’s IMAGINE Grants have a long tradition of funding health promotion projects led by community partners including northern groups, organizations, schools, and districts, that support the health and wellness of northerners where they live, work, learn, and play. Ideas for projects are inspired and guided by Northern Health’s position statements addressing modifiable risk factors ( PositionStatementsAddressingRiskFactors.aspx). One such community partner is School District 59’s Brad Booker. Brad lives in Dawson Creek and has one of the world’s coolest jobs. He’s the vice principal – outdoor and experiential education, which means he gets paid to ensure children are engaged in outdoor activity and physical activity. In other words, Brad makes being healthy fun! Brad, who began cross-country skiing as a hobby five years ago, started the Nordic Ski Initiative – a program that allows teachers to sign out cross-country ski equipment for use by their class for one week intervals – to combat inactivity in youth. When speaking with Brad, his passion for crosscountry skiing, the outdoors, and his work becomes clear; however, his enthusiasm is tempered when discussing the current state of children’s health. “It’s not looking good for young people,” said Brad. “If we can pull kids away from screens for just a little while every day, we’re helping.” Brad said that he started the Nordic Ski Initiative to help fill the demand in the community: “Cross-country skiing is part of the culture in the southeast Peace. We have a great nordic ski club with lots of families and lots of groomed tracks around town. A lot of them are in public parks that are attached to schools, so it’s easy for kids to ski during

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the sport at an earlier age, Brad blames the equipment, “I tried it as a kid, but my equipment was no good and I didn’t enjoy it.” Through the IMAGINE: Legacy Grants, Northern Health has helped fund Brad’s “ski library,” providing $3,000 towards the Nordic Ski Initiative’s purchase of new equipment. “Ski equipment doesn’t become dated quickly,” said Brad of the legacy that this program and funding provide, “The equipment lasts a generation. A single pair of skis might see 30-plus kids, helping them find a new passion and a new sport. The great thing about crosscountry skiing is that you can do it at any age – kids to 70and 80-year-olds. It can be a lifelong sport.”

something peaceful.” Brad walks the pro-winter walk, too. His involvement with the program goes beyond managing its inventory as he accompanies students during their first lesson to teach them the skills they’ll need to stay safe while still having fun on the track. Along with the physical activity that kids are getting through the Nordic Ski Initiative, Brad and his colleagues at School District 59 have noticed a change their behaviour. “The big impact that I see, and that I hear about from teachers, is that kids have gotten rid of energy. But more than that, they’ve calmed down. That’s having a positive impact on their schooling.” Greeted with enthusiasm by students, teachers, and the community, the program’s biggest hurdle is people’s attitudes towards winter. “I think a lot of people prefer to not go out in the winter time,” said Brad. “Getting kids excited at an early age is critical [in overcoming this perception]. Instilling in kids that winter is not a cold, desolate time is important. It’s also when nature comes alive for kids,” he continued, building his case. “Looking at tracks, appreciating nature - you are connected with what’s around you; it’s

Improved health, better grades, and a new, active hobby for life – these are the types of positive changes that defined the purpose of the IMAGINE: Legacy Grants when Northern Health first planned them. Seeing the impact of this project, and the others like it, ensures that the Canada Winter Games will reach beyond their time and space in Prince George, leaving a healthy legacy that the north can be proud of for generations to come.

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Everyday Athletes

Volunteer To Make Your Community “Home” By Christine Hinzmann, Prince George Citizen

Ken Pendergast, a longtime Prince George volunteer and active outdoorsman, has been chosen as a torchbearer for the Canada Winter Games.

Photo by Brent Braaten

Longtime Prince George resident Ken Pendergast will participate in the torch relay on February 13.

Operation Red Nose is put back into the community to support youth and youth sport activities.”

“I was surprised and pleased that someone had taken the time to put my name forward,” said Pendergast, who has volunteered most of his life and dedicated even more effort to volunteerism after his retirement from the Ministry of Forests.

Operation Red Nose offers people and their vehicles a safe ride home during the holiday season. The program is offered by donation.

One of his many volunteer roles was as sports director for the bid committee for the Canada Winter Games. He was sports director for the BC Seniors Games a few years ago and through contacts from that, Pendergast was invited to become the sports director for the national games bid committee. Since 1983, Pendergast has been an active member of the Nechako Rotary Club and has his hand in most of their volunteer projects. “I guess you could say I am one of the founding members of Operation Red Nose, and in my opinion it’s one of the best community projects that we could possibly do as a Rotary Club,” said Pendergast. “All the money raised through our A Healthier You | 16 | February 2015

“Each and every one of us spends our career in a community like Prince George and most of us want to give back to our community,” said Pendergast. “We all know that the world is basically run by volunteers and if it wasn’t for volunteers, most of the things we support in Prince George could not happen. You can’t physically employ all of the resources necessary and so it falls on the backs of volunteers. Most of us volunteer because we want to see our community participate in activities and we want to show our support in doing so.” Adding to his many volunteer roles, Pendergast, an avid downhill and cross-country skier, will be lead ski patrol at Otway Nordic Ski Centre during the Canada Winter Games.

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Northern Health Staff Profile

Staff Profile: Vince Terstappen Although new to Northern Health and northern B.C., Vince is no stranger to our cold winters and four distinct seasons. From Calgary to Saskatoon and from speedskating to gardening, Vince finds local and creative ways to stay healthy across the four seasons.


Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Northern Health. I was born and raised in Calgary and spent time in Saskatoon, Victoria, and Vancouver before moving to Vanderhoof in 2012. I have always been interested in health care and, beginning with a summer job in Grade 11, developed a passion for population health and “big picture” health questions. In post-secondary, I studied community health and I really enjoy thinking about health in this “upstream” way. What does it mean to work upstream? For me, it means preventing whatever it is that causes people to fall into a river in the first place instead of focusing on plucking them out of the river one-by-one. I started at Northern Health in October 2014 and am currently a project assistant with the health promotion team. In a nutshell, my role is to support different programs to talk to the public about healthy living. I enjoy the work because it fits so well with my beliefs about health and working upstream. I strongly believe that sharing healthy living messages plays an important role in keeping people “out of the river” (to keep the metaphor going).

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What are some of the best features of Vanderhoof that support you being active in the winter? The easy access to beautiful nature and trails is the obvious answer here, but I think that Vanderhoof’s best feature for active living is the people. I am consistently inspired by the number of unsung heroes who promote active living in Vanderhoof. As a new community member, it was a treat to find groomed cross-country ski trails, fun winter events, and volunteer-run clubs for nearly every winter sport. These things don’t happen without a huge number of volunteer hours, which residents of Vanderhoof have provided in spades.



Anything else you want to tell us? One great feature of Vanderhoof is the connectedness between the people. Members of the speedskating club – which was my first point of contact in Vanderhoof – were keen to connect me with other recreational pursuits in town. What started as speedskating ended with club members taking me dogsledding, connecting me with the local soccer association, giving me crosscountry ski tips and information about local trails, and helping me to get involved in local initiatives.

What do you do to live a healthy life? For me, trying to stay active and eating real food are key to a healthy life. I enjoy cooking and try to make every evening meal a home-cooked one. I’m more of a recipefollower than an improv cook so I especially enjoy looking through recipe books and menu planning before heading to the grocery store. One of the perks of living in Vanderhoof is that I got to upgrade from my small Vancouver one-pot balcony garden to an awesome backyard garden. This year I tried my hand at growing tomatoes, corn, zucchini, carrots, peas, lettuce, beets, and more! An early frost and some resident deer took part of the harvest but we still ate delicious, fresh produce all summer and fall! To stay active, I try to make the most of both unstructured and structured recreation opportunities. In the winter, I love to shovel snow and our long driveway provides a great workout! Likewise, in the summer, mowing the lawn becomes an enjoyable two-hour walk behind the mower! For more structured activities, I am very fortunate to live in a community with a large speedskating club and have been skating and coaching with the club since 2012.

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Everyday Athletes

Mr. Hockey:

More Than 65 Years On The Ice

By Christine Hinzmann, Prince George Citizen

“I came to town with $10 in my pocket,” said Claffey, now 80 years old. Orville Claffey oversees the visitors penalty box at Prince George Cougars games as an official for the Western Hockey League. He played hockey with the Prince George Lumbermen back in the 1950s and is a member of the Canadian Adult Recreation Hockey Association’s Hall of Fame for his volunteer work with adult hockey.

After the third practice, he was welcomed into the Lumbermen club and played with them until the arena collapsed in 1956. He moved over to the Prince George Mohawks the next year. Back then, until the Coliseum was built in 1958, they played on an outdoor rink where the Days Inn stands now, Claffey added. For work, Claffey was at the Prince George planer mill, including some time spent in the lumber sales department, and learned the business inside and out. He tried his hand at part time work and then found his way to Sinclar Enterprises where he worked from 1968 until he retired in 1993. “That was the best job I ever had,” said Claffey. “They treated me like family.”

Photo by Brent Braaten

There are many people who say hockey is their life. And then there’s Mr. Hockey himself, Orville Claffey, who has lived hockey for more than 65 years and still spends many hours in the Cougars penalty box - but only as an official.

Work didn’t reduce Claffey’s passion for hockey as he played with the Houston Luckies from 1968 to 1969 and then played recreational hockey for the Yellowhead Inn, Simon Fraser Hotel, and Sherwood Court. Claffey also took on coaching duties, something he loved to do, and after working with the team for five years, he took the RCMP Northern E Division to the Canadian RCMP Championships in Regina for the win in 1975.

For Claffey, his love of the sport began when he joined minor hockey and it quickly became his life.

Through yet another facet of Mr. Hockey’s long ice career, he also refereed minor, junior, and senior hockey for 35 years as well as taught new officials how it’s done, offering free referee clinics throughout the north for eight years.

Playing mostly left wing throughout his career and then defence later on, Claffey moved to Prince George in 1953 to play for the Lumbermen.

He volunteered with the Spruce Kings for 36 years and has been with the Cougars organization for 21 years as the visitors penalty box official. Eventually, Claffey was ready for old-timers hockey and played for the Mohawk Old Timers and took on the role of treasurer for the team for 19 years. At 60, Claffey played in tournaments for the Victoria Oldstylers (who then changed their name to the Traditionals) until he turned 71, at which point he played for the 70 and over division. He commuted from Prince George to play hockey in Victoria. In 2000, Claffey received what he said is a great honour. “I was inducted into the Canadian Adult Recreation Hockey Association Hall of Fame,” said Claffey, who played the beloved game until he was 77 years old and had to have two knee replacement surgeries. “I’m still involved with hockey,” said Claffey. “And I will be for as long as I can.”

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2015 Canada Winter Games

Active Lifestyle for Athletic Success

Submitted by 2015 Canada Winter Games

For the outdoor enthusiast, northern B.C. is a natural playground. Small communities spread over a massive region that is filled with towering mountains, untouched forests and roaring rivers. Locals and visitors alike enjoy exercising in the raw nature that northern B.C. offers. This natural environment is also the training ground for some of B.C.’s top winter athletes. Because of their lifetime of exposure to the elements, they will be advantaged when competing on home turf at this year’s Canada Games. Residents in northern B.C. were thrilled to learn that they would host the 2015 Canada Winter Games after an announcement in 2010. For the first time in the province’s history, B.C. will be hosting a winter edition of the Canada Games. Thousands of athletes from over 800 communities across Canada will travel to the region to participate in the Games from February 13 to March 1, 2015.

Games as an ice hockey player. “I think that playing a wide variety of sports as a child helped me keep my love of sport. I chose ringette because I wasn’t forced into it, so the passion to continue competing came naturally when I was older,” says Irving. Irving, the Hillers, and many other northern B.C. athletes will soon have a chance to represent the region at Canada’s largest multi-sport and cultural event. Their active lifestyles - cultivated in the great outdoors of Prince George and the surrounding region - have acted as a base for athletic greatness, but can also act as inspiration for us all.

Among those athletes are 23 young women and men from northern B.C. who have already been named to Team BC. These competitors credit their success to an active lifestyle, easy access to nature, and having top-notch training facilities easily available to them. “Being from northern B.C. helps us stay competitive because there are loads of outdoor activities that you don’t have access to down south. I’ve been going outside and doing activities since I could walk,” says Nicolas Hiller, a long track speedskater from Prince George representing B.C. at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Nicolas’ twin sister Carolina will also represent Team BC in long track speed skating, and she couldn’t be happier about where she was raised. “Living in northern B.C. has given us a big advantage thanks to the oval we have up here [in Prince George] and our close proximity to the speed skating oval in Fort St. John (one of only three indoor speed skating facilities in North America),” says Hiller. “Those facilities host a lot of competitions and camps, giving us opportunities to train and compete close to home. Training on an outdoor track [for the 2015 Games] gives us an advantage because we’re used to the cold weather and won’t let it affect our performance.” Other athletes cite the diversity of sporting activities in northern B.C. as a factor in helping them pursue their sport. Sidney Irving will compete in ringette for Team BC at the 2015 Games and previously competed in the B.C. Winter February 2015 | 21

| A Healthier You

Everyday Athletes

Shining a Light on Northern B.C. Talent By Christine Hinzmann, Prince George Citizen

Michiko Maruyama shows the Rising Star Health Service award and a children’s book she authored. She stands in front of a healthy foods mural she painted in the paediatrics ward at the University Hospital of Northern B.C.

Photo by David Mah

To showcase and honour deserving community members who make significant contributions to their communities, the Canada Winter Games has named more than 150 torchbearers. One of these 150 exceptional individuals is Michiko Maruyama, who said she’s excited to be carrying the torch on February 13 in Prince George. “It means so much. First of all, I actually participated in the Canada Winter Games in Newfoundland in my teenage years,” said Maruyama, who is a former national judo champion. “So when I heard it was coming to Prince George, as a past athlete, it brought back all those memories and I remember it was such an exciting event.” It’s so special to see young athletes competing, she added. “I remember the camaraderie, the sense of fun and the excitement and then when I got nominated and selected to be a torchbearer it just brought it all back,” Maruyama said. Unfortunately, a rare disease - from which she has now recovered - prevented Maruyama from continuing her highperformance sport journey but she is still active in the judo community in Prince George and is a member of the Prince George Judo Club where she volunteers and practises. Though it cut short her sport career, her illness inspired her to explore the health sciences and Maruyama is now a fourth-year resident in the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern B.C. A Healthier You | 22 | February 2015

“Fourth year is a really exciting year for medical students because it’s an elective year and students can take electives anywhere in Canada,” explained Maruyama, who is interested in surgery and spent four weeks in Delta as part of an emergency department rotation. “We leave the nest with the goal of experiencing different programs and different specialties.” Maruyama is an active volunteer in the community and is passionate about health care in the north. For her volunteer work within the medical community, Maruyama was named the Rising Star by the Northern Medical Programs Trust at the Bob Ewert fundraising dinner in June. Maruyama, who loves to paint in her spare time and has experience in art and design, created a mural in the pediatric unit of the University Hospital of Northern B.C. “I was able to incorporate it into a second-year self-directed project that was so big it turned into a summer volunteering opportunity,” said Maruyama. “I’m always interested in health and nutrition, so I took the Canada Food Guide and turned it into this fun and happy mural.” “I would really like to thank the medical faculty in the Northern Medical Program because they have always been so supportive, especially with my goal of integrating art and design into medicine,” said Maruyama. “The program is absolutely wonderful in Prince George and I am so amazed at that program and so happy to be part of it.”


Turning Public Engagement into Personal Engagement By Anthony Gagne, engagement liaison, ImpactBC

There are many ways to describe our involvement in decisions that impact our lives: public participation, citizen engagement, and community involvement, to name a few. In health care, “patient engagement” is used to describe how we (users of health care services) can share our experiences to improve B.C.’s health care system. Patients and health care providers from across the province recognize the value of including the end user in the improvement process.

Anthony is an Engagement Liaison with ImpactBC, working closely with Northern Health to promote and support patient engagement. If you would like to learn more visit

Many choose to engage with the health care system after having an experience within it. By sharing stories about what did and didn’t work while receiving care, we can feel a sense of pride and ownership in the health care system. But for many of us, the majority of our lives are not spent receiving care. I still like to think of these times as opportunities for personal engagement; a chance to improve our health care system indirectly by introducing habits that promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent us from requiring services. In February, Prince George will host the 2015 Canada Winter Games. This is a unique opportunity to create a lasting legacy of health and well-being for the entire region. Let’s use this as an opportunity to become personally engaged in our health through volunteerism, healthy eating and physical activity, and forever improve our communities though personal engagement.

February 2015 | 23

| A Healthier You

How Can We Help?

How Can We Help? By Chelan Zirul, health promotions and communications officer, Northern Health

Stay tuned for more!

In our May 2015 issue, we will feature similar listings of services available in the smaller communities of the northern interior health service delivery area. Similar listings are available for the northeast service delivery area (August 2014 edition) and the northwest health service delivery area (November 2014 edition). They are available online: www.

Northern Health has a variety of services available all across the north to support your health and wellness. Our services are more than acute care. We support healthy community development, public health and mental wellness. One of the most important things you can do for your health is be aware of who to call when you need help. We encourage you to rip this page out and post it on your fridge so it’s always close at hand!

My family physician’s phone number is:

Prince George:


University Hospital of Northern BC 1475 Edmonton St. Prince George, BC Ph: 250-565-2000

In case of emergency, call 9-1-1. Here is a listing of services available in the Prince George area. With a population of nearly 72,000 (2011), Prince George is the largest municipality in northern B.C. Combined with many other services, including shopping and other government services, Prince George acts as a regional service centre in many capacities. As such, many Northern Health services are located in Prince George. More information on all services listed below is available at or you can visit CommunityContactsFacilities/NorthernInterior/PrinceGeorge. aspx for a listing of all contacts in the community. Aboriginal patient liaisons can help you to navigate the health system. •

Prince George: June McMullen, 250-565-2364,

Prince George: 250-565-2150

Environmental health officers can help you with issues that affect the health of the general public, such as food-borne illness outbreaks and sewage entering neighbouring properties. •

• • • • • • • • • • •

Prince George: 250-565-2150

Public health nurses can help you with adult, women’s, infant, children and family health, including communicable disease prevention and control, dental, hearing, school and youth, and speech and language services. Call your local health unit or health centre: •

• •

Lab testing services are available near you. For hours, please call: • •

University Hospital of Northern BC: 250-565-2441 Phoenix Medical Lab: 250-649-7616

Medical imaging, such as X-ray, is available near you. Please call: • •

University Hospital of Northern BC: 250-565-2400 or (toll free) 1-855-565-2405 Victoria Medical X-Ray: 250-563-1600

• • • •

A Healthier You | 24 | February 2015

Prince George: 250-565-7311

In addition to what is available locally, there are also a variety of regional services available:

Home and community care promotes independence, choice and dignity for northerners through in-home supports, respite, assisted living, residential care, and hospice palliative and end-of-life care. Please contact the office nearest you for more information: Prince George: 250-565-7317 or, 250-565-7322

Youth Community Outpatient Service: 250-649-7660 Eating Disorder Clinic: 250-565-7479 Community Response Unit: 250-565-2668 Adult Education Day Treatment Program: 250-565-2387 Methadone Program: 250-565-2100 Developmental Disabilities: 250-565-7393 Acquired Brain Injury: 250-565-7393 Elderly Services: 250-612-4500 Early Psychosis Intervention: 250-649-7660 Youth Treatment Centre: 250-565-2881 Adult Withdrawal Management Unit: 250-565-2175

24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-888-562-1214 1-800-suicide: 1-800-784-2433


Community care licensing supports the health, safety and wellbeing of adults and children in licensed care facilities, such as day care and residential care facilities. •

Mental health and addictions community programs offer services such as crisis response, intake, support and education. To learn what is available near you, please call:

Check out the Community Health Information Portal to learn about key issues that affect our health: The patient care quality office is here to help you obtain quality health care. If you have a complaint and cannot resolve it with the person who provided the service, please call toll-free: 1-877-677-7715, or visit: PatientCareQualityOffice.aspx Population health provides lots of information on healthy living, including healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco reduction, injury prevention, men’s health, and more: PositionStatementsAddressingRiskFactors.aspx IMAGINE grants support local health initiatives. Learn more at HealthyLivingCommunities/ImagineGrants.aspx Call HealthLinkBC to talk to a registered nurse, a dietitian, or a pharmacist. They can be reached at 8-1-1, or visit www. Northern Health is always looking for professionals to join our team in your community. Visit today to learn more! NH Connections provides low-cost bus transportation if you have to leave your home community to access health services. Learn more at ions(medicaltravelservice).aspx

Northern BC Tourism

Embrace Winter Sports (or at least give them a little love) By Susan Clarke, Northern BC Tourism

Credit: Susan Clarke

While some people thrive on winter and all its fast and slippery sports, not everyone shares their love of coldweather activities. Winter hobbies and television might beckon instead, but spending time being active outdoors will benefit both your fitness and mood. Here are a few easily accessible ideas to keep “cold-weather avoiders” active in winter. Walking: After a busy day, consider taking a quick walk before settling down for the night. Start with your own neighbourhood, along a lake or river, or just down to the corner and back. If you hate going out in the cold, just go! The hardest part is just getting out the door. You may find that once you’re in the habit, your walks gradually become longer.

colder, but we’re tough northerners, right?

Big Trees in Ancient Forest, 800km inland from the coast. Credit: Susan Clarke

Snowshoeing: Adult and kid-sized snowshoes are easy to source, and sometimes can even be rented. If you have never been on snowshoes, rest assured that it is easy to catch on! An outdoor instructor explained it this way: “Learning to snowshoe is a ten-step program – take ten steps, and you’ve got it!” Happy news! Snowshoeing even on a flat trail burns far more calories than walking. As you become more experienced, add lunges and squats to your snowshoe routine for some variety. Sledding: Taking the kids out for a slide down the local hill is a great way to fend off cabin fever. Don’t forget to join in on the fun! Skating: One of the benefits of living in the north is all of our skating rinks. Indoors or out, recreational skating – something many of us did as kids – is a great exercise, and easy on the post-Christmas budget! Cross-country skiing: Most ski clubs have a learn-to-ski program, so you can try it out without investing in equipment. If you’ve cross-country skied in the past and are considering coming back to it, the gear is better, and the people are still friendly. Skijoring: Got dog? If you’ve got a pooch with power and you are a fairly experienced cross-country skier, exercise your pet by letting it pull you on skis! The pet gear isn’t expensive – about $150 (order online) – and you’ve got a way to keep up to your bounding buddy. Last but not least – on your way to and from the hot tub at your local pool, try swimming a few laps! Sure, the water’s February 2015 | 25

| A Healthier You

Alaska Highway News

Neil Evans: A product of the Peace

By David Dyck, Alaska Highway News

Neil Evans was chosen as a torchbearer for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Photo by David Dyck.

Born and raised in the Peace Country, Neil Evans has a passion for extolling the virtues of the northeastern corner of the province.

He said he remembers moving back that Labour Day long weekend in 2007 very clearly – going in for his first day of work at the hospital.

He organizes the largest outdoor pond hockey tournament in Western Canada, the Crystal Cup, which is coming up on its fourth year this February. He’s a major local proponent of Movember, the men’s health movement that transforms moustaches into dollars to fund prostate cancer research, and has raised over $25,000 over the past five years.

“It was a very unique feeling knowing that I’m going to be working in the facility that I was born in ... lots of family and friends were born in, and people had passed away in. There was an automatic connection back into the community, and then I knew I’d be there for quite some time.”

Most recently, he was recognized with 21 others as a torchbearer for not only the region, but the whole country, during the 2015 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay on November 22. It isn’t that hard to see why. Looking at where he’s most involved in the community, from sport to health care, those are the areas that strike a note with residents. They also happen to align with his interests. Evans hasn’t lived here all his life, but he said he plans on staying here for the rest of it. He lived in the Lower Mainland for a while, and went to nursing school in Victoria before moving back in 2007 with his wife Loni, who was also born and raised here. He worked in the intensive care unit of the Fort St. John Hospital for five years, eventually moving his way up a few floors to the position of patient unit manager.

A Healthier You | 26 | February 2015

Evans speaks through a patchy moustache that he’s the first to laugh about, with a leaned-back, confident gait. Movember is one of the first things he really got into when he moved back here, starting in 2009. One of his coworkers in the ICU told him about it, and while Fort St. John certainly isn’t lacking in fundraisers, this one jumped out at him. He was working in health care, and he thought the issue of men’s health could use more exposure, especially in this region. “If you look at our community, there’s definitely a significant male population, a transient male population. And we get these tough, gruff guys that work in the oilfield that don’t want to talk about their health,” said Evans. “It was definitely an uphill challenge, and that’s what I wanted to do, was hit this challenge head-on and get the word out.” Evans is happy with how the movement has grown: “If you look at it now ... you have every major oilfield company involved. You look outside of that, you have every sports team

involved out there, and it’s really cool how it’s blossomed since 2009 when I first got into it.” Neil and Loni Evans since had two sons – Linden, 3, and Maverick, 1. He said that having young children has limited how much time he’s been able to spend on his Movember campaign this year, but that doesn’t stop him from sporting the ‘stache. Sport is Evans’ other passion that he’s translated into community development, partly through organizing the Crystal Cup four years ago. It’s now the biggest outdoor pond hockey tournament in Western Canada. Last year, the NHL tweeted out a picture of the event, which takes place on the south end of Charlie Lake. He said that got them a lot of attention on a national – and even international – level. The idea came when Fort St. John wanted an event that would appeal to men ages 19 to 35 to incorporate into the High on Ice Festival the city puts on every year. Evans was already involved with hockey, and he and some friends got together and came up with the Crystal Cup. “The first year we opened it up to 40 teams and got 28 teams, which is awesome for a first annual event,” he said. “Ever since then it’s evolved.” This year, they have 40 teams in the general division, five teams in the women’s division, and for the first time they’ll have 10 teams in a master’s division for those who are 40plus. They also have a kids’ tournament during the weekend.

He said that feeling didn’t disappear right away. “I went home with my family shortly afterwards, and carried on with life. Then I thought about it the second day, I was like, ‘I just held the torch for all of Canada.’ We’re talking literally everyone in Canada!” He paused, letting that sink in. Evans stressed the importance of his family to all of his accomplishments. “The only reason I can do what I do is because of family,” he said. “Obviously it’s a bit of a sacrifice sometimes to my family, but my family comes first at all times. I try to make that very clear, and then I try to do this on the side, if I can.” Evans pointed specifically to his father, Larry, a longtime member of the Fort St. John City Council. He said his father has been a role model for his involvement in the community. “He’s a perfect example of how you can make a small community a better place: you get involved,” he said. Asked if he had any of his own aspirations for council, he laughed: “I get that question all the time.”

This article originally appeared in the Alaska Highway News on November 29, 2014.

“In the beginning, [the goal] was definitely to get that target audience of 19 to 35, and we nailed that really quick, and then just expanded from there,” said Evans. “We’ve incorporated ... everyone we can, because it’s such a fun outdoor event that gets the community together, and gets you in the winter spirit.” Evans said the tournament hasn’t had a problem getting sponsors for the event, including for a beer garden to relax in, and this year they’re planning to have an ice bar. “Pond hockey: it’s so Canadiana that it’s not even funny. You think of Canada, you think hockey, right?” said Evans. “And the feel out there is amazing, especially when we have the night games with the floodlights out – it’s beautiful,” he said. Most recently, Evans was involved in the torch relay for the 2015 Canada Winter Games that went through Fort St. John on a snowy Saturday. Originally, he was supposed to start the relay, but when the final torchbearer was too sick to attend the event, he was asked to bring it through the final leg. “I said yes, immediately,” he said. “I’ll never forget the van ride following the runners through town, and just the conversation was hilarious, really fun, leading up to Centennial Park, and then stepping out of the van and Gail Weber handing it over to me,” Evans said, describing the final moments of the relay. “She passed it on to me just outside of Centennial Park. I was obviously very nervous. No. 1, I didn’t want this flame to go out, so I was very hesitant to run ... I two-handed it very slowly through the park and walked right up to the stage. It was such a cool feeling being surrounded by the other 20 torchbearers, and then presenting it to the CEO of the Games.”

February 2015 | 27

| A Healthier You

Capital Update

Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii Hospital Update By Jonathon Dyck, lead, public affairs and media relations, Northern Health

The new Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii Hospital is starting to take shape. In summer 2014, rock and topsoil were removed at the site in order to make room for the new facility, and construction of the building began in the fall. The facility is being built on the same site as the existing Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii Hospital, which remains operational until the new facility is complete. The materials for the facility have been arriving by barge, and stored off site to allow for appropriate space for construction crews to work. The crane on site, set up in the spring of 2014, is helping to move materials around the site and with the construction of the exterior walls. It is expected to be taken off of the site by the spring of 2015, when the majority of the exterior work will be complete. The facility will be a two-storey building, approximately 5,000 square metres (54,000 square feet) in size and will improve patient comfort and working conditions for staff and physicians. The existing hospital, built in 1953 and opened in 1955, is approximately 1,670 square metres (18,000 square feet). The total value of the replacement hospital is up to $50 million, and the funding will be cost-shared by the province and the North West Regional Hospital District. The replacement hospital is scheduled to be complete in late 2015.

A Healthier You | 28 | February 2015

Northern Health Connections

Northern Health Connections:

Connecting Patients to a Healthy Lifestyle! By Maureen Haley, coordinator, patient transfer network, Northern Health

With a total area of over 600,000 square kilometres, Northern Health is the largest regional health authority in British Columbia. With over 300,000 people in our rural and remote communities, we needed a solution to ensure that they had access to health care services. In 2006, Northern Health Connections was implemented to provide scheduled bus service through a fleet of 11 buses, six coaches and five smaller units, to help northerners stay in good health. The buses travel along the north’s major highway systems and to Vancouver. Over the years many misconceptions started to emerge about the service. It is thought that only people who are really sick, low income or travelling for specialist appointments can use the bus. However, the service was implemented to help people avoid getting sick, allowing them to play an active role in staying healthy. Patients use the Connections bus for many common health care services, including traveling to their dentist, physiotherapist, psychology and optometry appointments, as well as specialist appointments in larger communities. If any of the above services aren’t available in a resident’s home town, then they are eligible to use the bus service. To make reserving a seat on the bus more convenient, Northern Health Connections has refreshed the website, which now includes an online reservation system. Now, from the convenience of your home, office or mobile device, you can check the schedules and prices, and book your trip to reach your health care appointment. While we have this great new system in place, the call centre representatives are still available to answer questions and provide reservation assistance. To reserve online, visit, or phone 1-877-647-4997. The verification process of heath care appointments is still required. In 2015, consider Northern Health Connections for your health care related travel. Welcome aboard! February 2015 | 29

| A Healthier You

Injury Prevention

From Snowboard to Toboggan - Have Fun, Protect Your Noggin! Shellie O’Brien, injury prevention coordinator, Northern Health

From snowboarding to skating, biathlon to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, or curling to tobogganing - you name the winter sport and we got it! Being active and participating in sports and outdoor activities during winter is a fantastic way to stay healthy and happy. Whether you are a weekend enthusiast or you’ve been inspired by the Canada Winter Games athletes to try out a new sport, learn how to keep winter play fun, safe and injury-free. Concussions have often been dismissed as ‘getting your bell rung,’ a time to just shake it off and get back at it! However, in reality, a concussion is a brain injury that can cause a number of symptoms affecting the way you think or act. A repeat concussion that occurs while your brain is still healing from a previous concussion can cause long-term problems that may change your life forever. How a concussion is handled in the minutes, hours and days following the injury can significantly influence the extent of damage and recovery time. Protect yourself and your loved ones: Learn how to recognize a concussion • Any force that causes the brain to move around in the skull can cause a concussion. • Signs of a concussion may not appear immediately. • Most concussions do not include a loss of consciousness. • When in doubt, sit out! Take the time your brain needs to heal. Know what to do if you suspect a concussion • Assess the individual for any visible cues, signs or symptoms like imbalance, memory loss, and changes in the way they appear to be thinking, feeling or acting. • Get medical help – any possible concussion should be evaluated by a medical professional. A Healthier You | 30 | February 2015

Visit for up-to-date and free concussion information, training and resources for parents, players, coaches, medical professionals and educators. Know how to manage a concussion • Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion – both physical and mental. • Follow the guidelines for Return to Learn and Return to Play to help achieve full recovery (available at Spread the word! • Injuries are preventable. Tell others to help build awareness and understanding about preventing and managing concussion where you live, work, learn and play. Together we can make northern B.C. injury-free.

February 2015 | 31

| A Healthier You

A Healthier You | February 2015  

Northern BC’s health information magazine.

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