Helen graduated with a Diploma of Nursing from Shawinigan College in Quebec. She completed her BScN at the University of British Columbia and holds a Masters Degree in Counselling from Gonzaga University, Spokane Washington.
Helen’s career spanned from bedside nursing in EENT surgery in Alberta to Abdominal and Thoracic surgery in Switzerland, Critical Care in Vancouver, Emergency room nursing in the Yukon Territory and Open-Heart surgery in New Zealand. Her enthusiasm for the novel opportunities offered by this profession has never wavered. Subsequently, seven years were spent as a Faculty member at the UBC School of Nursing where her desire to mentor nursing students grew. She eventually returned to her initial nursing interest as a Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor in both the public system and as a private practitioner.
Firmly dedicated to social justice, Helen spent a decade as a community nurse advocating for the rights of individuals who are homeless. In 2009, she founded and successfully launched the Care-A-Van (https://www.cvcareavan.ca/history), an innovative nurse-led mobile healthcare clinic delivering services directly to the streets to our homeless population. This initiative continues to grow its services to this day.
In 2018, identifying the inextricable link between health impacts and Climate Change. Helen chose to start the Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment. In addition, she has the privilege of representing CANE as a Board member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).
In 2012, the College of Registered Nurses of BC granted her the Award of Advocacy for her work with marginalized populations. She is also the recipient of the 2013 British Columbia Community Achievement Award.
Helen thrives in the outdoors and is an avid hiker. It is her travel to South-East Asia, Africa, Central and South America that strengthened her resolve to address social inequities. She is passionately committed to conserving and enriching our natural environment for generations to come. She enjoys learning about the richness of Indigenous culture and explores ways to implement true reconciliation. In her free time, Helen enjoys volunteering with groups that concentrate on river and forest restoration projects as well as food gleaning programs.