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Celebrating the women of Akira by TELUS Health

Personal · Mar 11, 2021

In this series for International Women’s Day, find out more about the roles these talented women on the Akira by TELUS Health team play within TELUS Health, and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Julie Bourque, Nurse Practitioner, Akira by TELUS Health 

What is your role and what does it involve?

I work as a specialized Nurse Practitioner. Basically, my role involves assessing patients’ needs and their health, and proposing an action plan. 

I’m also a clinical leader for Quebec SNPs, MDs and social workers, which involves ensuring that clinicians receive the support and training they need to do their job, ensuring quality of care, reviewing clinician performance and finding solutions to various issues raised by the team, the management team or the technical team.

What do you like about working at Akira?

I love absolutely everything. The communication is so close and constant that it really makes it feel like we’re one big family. It’s so enriching to be able to discuss all sorts of clinical topics and get the perspective of clinicians from other provinces – it’s a great privilege.  

What I’m most passionate about is how clinicians can make a difference in the lives of so many people. That’s also what I’m most proud of. 

I’ve met a lot of patients who don’t have access to a physician or Nurse Practitioner, who don’t know how to get access to them – newcomers, people who neglected their health due to a lack of access. With our 24/7 service, we can help patients when they need it most. Being there for someone when they really need you is highly gratifying.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

It’s a day of pride and recognition, and a time to remember the women who have marked history and made positive changes for the next generations. It’s a day to remember the challenges that we have overcome to win respect, autonomy and equity in our country. It’s also an opportunity to recognize that there is still injustice in the world and more work needs to be done to ensure women are recognized at their fair value. It’s a day when we need to acknowledge women’s incredible role in the world and take inspiration from the past to improve the future. 

Who is a female role model for you, and why? 

There’s no question that my mother is the woman who has been the most influential in my life. She raised three children on her own, working non-stop day and night to give us the best rather than just the basics. She was an incredibly generous woman with unwavering determination. She started as a nurse and she quickly became the head of intensive care in the cardiology unit. At a time when nurses were still seen mainly as doctors’ assistants, my mother established herself and broke down prejudices with her knowledge. Her passion for nursing – and above all for her children – always pushed her to go beyond her limits and, often, far beyond what was possible. She’s the one I try to emulate when working with Akira. 

Elaine Labrecque, BScN, Team Clinical Nurse Leader Quebec  

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m the Team Leader for the Quebec Nursing Team. I’m the go-between for the team and management. I make sure we use consistent working methods and that my team is comfortable doing its job, and I monitor files to ensure we have a safe, patient-centered work practice.  

What do you like about working at Akira?

I love being able to help people from home. I like that I provide quality care and advice tailored to the patients. I feel like I’m making a difference in people's lives.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

It’s about recognizing the work and achievements of women in different fields. 

Who is a female role model for you, and why? 

My mother. It’s a cliché, but my mother overcame so many challenges in her life and she’s always there, present and ready to listen. 

Dr. Julia Carroll FRCPC FCDA FAAD, Specialist Consultant, Akira by TELUS Health

What is your role and what does it entail?

I'm a Specialist Consultant for Akira. I help behind the scenes advising Akira’s Nurse Practitioners on complex dermatology cases.

What do you love about your role and working with Akira?

I love interacting with all of the great caring staff, and the cases are fun for a #dermnerd like me.  Because of the remote nature of the patients, we often have to work together to come up with creative solutions to help patients.  I enjoy the challenge!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a chance to reflect on how much has changed in our world, thanks to all the strong women who have led the charge. It's also an excellent chance to look ahead for new opportunities to make the world even better for women from all walks of life. 

Who is a female role model you look up to?  

The notorious RBG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think this quote from her is more relevant than ever during the economic turmoil of the pandemic: "Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation."