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Celebrating the women of TELUS Health Care Centres

Personal · Mar 8, 2021

On this International Women’s Day, find out more about the roles these talented women at TELUS Health Care Centres play within TELUS Health, and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Cristy Andres, Manager, TELUS Health Care Centres

1. What is your role and what does it entail?

My role as Clinic Manager is multifaceted: it involves clinical care as a treating physiotherapist for my patients, while also being a leader at our Thompson location. Our clinic provides occupational health support for our clients, and our team is proudly staffed by 96% women.

2. What do you love about your role?

No two days are ever the same. You must be able to problem-solve quickly and multitask at every turn. The role is challenging but equally rewarding. It is an opportunity to see some amazing people strive for personal and professional growth on a daily basis.

3. What does IWD mean to you?

It is an opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the many sacrifices women have endured for many generations. It was not long ago that women did not have the opportunity to showcase their unique talents and what they could offer to society. International Women’s Day is also a time to continue to recognize ongoing challenges and to strategize for growth and progress. I hope one day we no longer need a “day” — that will be the day of true equality.

4. Who is a female role model you look up to?

This is without question my mother, Kathleen. I was blessed with a strong, independent, kind, courageous, generous, selfless role model for a mother — all attributes I strive to uphold daily. Outside of my wonderful mother, Michelle Obama is an another incredible woman I admire. She has used her influence to create positive change and empowerment of women and girls around the world.

Dr. Rhonda Low, MD, Family Physician at TELUS Health Care Centres 

1. What is your role and what does it entail?

I am Family Doctor at TELUS Health Care Centres in Vancouver. My patients and I have worked together for years - patients ranging across all ages, from infancy, to senior citizenhood.

2. What do you love about your role?

The potential to help and hopefully make a positive difference in someone's life. Working as a team with my patients and colleagues, there's an opportunity to learn something new every day. 

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It means a few different things to me. It acknowledges the ongoing efforts of women around the world, both young and old, who continue to fight for equal rights in educational endeavors, employment opportunities and pay; it also honours and celebrates the courageous women who have gone before us, who helped pave the way for the privileges that we have now.

4. Who is a female role model you look up to?

One of my role models is Dr. Nelly Auersperg, whose lab I worked in during my undergraduate thesis at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Auersperg, MD and PhD, is a pioneer in gynaecology cancer research who has made a huge contribution towards the understanding of ovarian cancer. During that time, she was one of very few women who ran her own research lab, overseeing post-grad students with many studies on the go. She taught me that women could be successful, excel intellectually and professionally and be a great mother, daughter and wife all at the same time.

Dr. Kathee Andrews, MD, MCFP, NCMP, Physician, TELUS Health Care Centres

1. What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a Family Doctor with special interests in preventative health, women’s health and mental health/psychotherapy.

2.  What do you love about your role?

What I love most about my role is the opportunity to help educate and support people through their journeys to better physical and mental health. I like helping people engage and realize their own potential. 

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

On International Women’s Day I think of the many accomplishments of brave and successful women in history who helped to create the society we have today. Now, for instance, Canadian medical school classes graduate more than 50% women, but only 100 years ago women struggled to find employment as doctors, often having to leave the country to practice medicine or even conceal their identities and practice as men. We still have much work to do on gender equity, diversity and inclusion, and to increase awareness of sexual violence against women and girls both locally and internationally. Especially this year, International Women’s Day is a time to acknowledge the mothers, sisters, daughters and friends who have kept families together during such difficult times. 

4. Who is a female role model you look up to?

I have many female role models including NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped get the Apollo space program off the ground, Dr. May Cohen, a family doctor who at 91 years of age still advocates for women’s health and women’s rights, and my own mother, who helped raise her siblings since the age of 10 when her own mother died. 

Dr. Tracy Thomson, MD, HBSc, CCFP, CYT, CMedAc., Physician and Brain Health Specialist at TELUS Health Care Centres

1. What is your role and what does it entail?

As a Family Doctor at TELUS Health Care Centres I spend half of my week providing family practice care, and the other half performing functional medicine consults for patients who have an interest in holistic medicine. I also sit on the board of directors for the Branch Out Neurological Foundation, which helps to raise money to fund neuroCAM research for mental health disorders as well as other neurological disorders. I was also recently involved in a documentary called Headcases about undiagnosed concussions in sport.

2. What do you love about your role?

I love the people - both my clients and the people that I am fortunate enough to work with on a collaborative medicine team. Now that I have studied many different modalities in medicine, I love to educate people and share my knowledge and wisdom in helping them improve their lives and health. 

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of many different women that have made a positive impact on society. In many cases it is about gender equality and rights and basic freedoms that we take for granted in this country. It is an opportunity to shine the light on women all over the world and recognize their importance in creating a strong, empowered and compassionate future together.

4. Who is a female role model you look up to?

I hold a lot of admiration for Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's Prime Minister. She embodies the true qualities of a leader: she makes wise decisions and acts definitively during crisis (with the Christchurch shooting she immediately made reforms to gun laws, and during the current pandemic she swiftly shut her borders and acted on science versus a political agenda). She also speaks to her people in an empathetic way, so that they are inspired to not only listen but follow her leadership directives too. 

Lindsey Oliver, Clinical Operations Manager, TELUS Health Care Centres

1. What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a Clinical Operations Manager with TELUS Health Care Centres in Newfoundland. My day-to-day consists of two main things: working closely with our major clients to assist them with all of their occupational health needs, and managing a team of 57 people.  We all work very closely to make sure we are the best team we can be.

2. What do you love about your role?

What I love most about my role is the team. I’ve been very lucky to have a team who is like family. I know that no matter where the day (or life) takes us, I have colleagues who are always there for me and for each other. 2020 and 2021 have been incredibly hard on the world. I can honestly say that having such a wonderful team with me has made it so much easier to get through.  

3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me it means opportunity. First and foremost, the opportunity to have our voices heard. The opportunity to show our support for our sisters and the push for equal opportunity for women all over the world. 

4. Who is a female role model you look up to?

My grandmother is my number one role model. I’ve never known a woman who worked, loved and played as hard as my nan. I grew up next door to her and spent time with her every day. I’m so grateful to have her be a big part of raising me and even more grateful to have her in my life for all of these years.