Amelia Sizer (left), midwife Carrie Sizer, midwife Birte Paschen, registered acupuncturist Christy Berger, physiotherapist Sharina Zantingh, registered social worker Stephanie Mortenson and massage therapist Katie Fairles make up The Health Nest, a new one-stop shop for all things medical in downtown Vernon. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

The Health Nest open for business in downtown Vernon

Vernon’s newest and centralized health centre opened Monday, Jan. 14

It’s a one-stop-shop for any health-related needs at Vernon’s newest medical centre.

The Health Nest, which officially opened its doors at 3117 32nd Street Monday, Jan. 14, is home to specialists of varied practices including acupuncture, massage therapy, physiotherapy, counselling and midwifery, all of whom specialize in women’s health and prenatal care. While all those who practice in The Health Nest specialize in women’s health, midwife and Nest mastermind Carrie Sizer said that all patients are welcome and treated equally.

“What I find is through nine months of pregnancy, you get to know both partners,” Sizer said, noting that her patient’s partners often require unrelated medical attention. “(With services) all together in one place, we can send you straight to the specialist. It’s about working as a community together.”

Stephanie Mortenson, a registered social worker who has taken up an office in the Nest, said The Health Nest’s central location also plays a pivotal role in accessibility and comfort.

“You can feel comfortable that you’re around other services,” Mortenson said. “One support service doesn’t cover all aspects.”

Sizer, who has spent the last few years working as a midwife in Vernon, said the team’s medical colleagues have lauded the idea.

“It’s really important that we’re all getting together to promote the best possible health service,” she said. “It’s becoming more and more obvious that this idea would work.”

Beautiful grey hardwood floors flow throughout the newly renovated centre, leading visitors through the warm environment. Pops of colour, either in the form of paintings or accent walls, fill the space with a light glow as the large windows weave natural light into the welcoming mix.

“It’s going to be really blissful. It’s not going to have that clinical edge to it. It’s somewhere people can be relaxed and enjoy the atmosphere,” Sizer said.

Related: Health care, scientific jobs top B.C. employment forecast

Related: Health care training at Okanagan College

A large open space fills the back of the office. While it is currently empty save for seating, Sizer said the space will remain open to allow for small group yoga sessions, baby massage classes, bereavement group meetings and other social, health-focused activities. When the space isn’t being used for community activities, children’s toys are available for entertainment.

“There’s nothing worse than going to an appointment where you feel that your kids are being too loud,” Sizer said, noting that The Health Nest is 100 per cent kid-friendly.

While a date has yet to be set, Sizer and Mortenson said that an open house will occur sometime in February. Despite only opening its doors this week, Sizer said that many of the practitioners are already fully-booked and all have appointments throughout the week.

“It’s really strong business women that support the community,” Mortenson said. “It’s a good team.”

Alongside Mortenson, who specializes in a strengths-based and client-centred approach to develop unique and individual treatment plans for each client, and Sizer, a registered nurse who began working in the field in the emergency department before finding her true love of midwifery and graduating with a bachelor’s of midwifery from the University of York, The Health Nest is home to Sizer’s midwife practice partner Birte Paschen, registered acupuncturist Christy Berger, physiotherapist Sharina Zantingh and massage therapist Katie Fairles.

Paschen said she and Sizer share clients on a weekly on-call and in-office rotation.

“It’s a really nice space. This is something I’ve also been dreaming about for a long time,” Paschen said. “I was in Revelstoke for eight years as their midwife and it was so small that this would have never been a possibility. I’m excited Carrie wanted to open this and I tagged along.”

Berger, a registered acupuncturist with a background in massage therapy, said her work is based in traditional Chinese medicine.

“I treat a variety of ailments,” said Berger. “I treat with acupuncture and also use a lot of massage therapy elements in my treatment.”

Zantingh, a longtime physiotherapist who has been working in Vernon for 11 years, said she specializes in musculoskeletal orthopaedic physiotherapy.

“That’s sports injuries, lower back injuries, shoulder injuries, car accidents, things like that,” Zantingh said. “I also work in women’s health, so I treat pelvic floor dysfunction, pain, incontinence, sexual pain and I also use IMS in my practice, which is intramuscular stimulation, which is really good for neuropathic type pain.”

Fairles, who has been practising for more than three years, specializes in craniosacral therapy and visceral manipulation, “which are gentle manual therapy techniques.”

With the first week in the books, Mortenson said that anticipation is running high for the future of The Health Nest.

“There’s a buzz about it,” Mortenson said. “People are getting excited because it’s a bit different.”

Appointments can be made online through the website, www.thehealthnest.ca, and through The Health Nest’s Facebook page. For more information, call 250-307-9433.



parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Vernon’s Summer Music Festival a hit at Caetani Centre

Acts from Argentina to Vernon gathered in the back yard of the Pleasant Valley home Saturday

PHOTOS: Grindrod Days brings smiles

Day-long celebration features antique tractor parade, old-fashioned games, animals and fun

Vernon COPA for Kids program soars

Free flights for kids eight to 17 to introduce them to general aviation draws full field of 1oo

UPDATED: Empty Vernon playbox re-stocked by anonymous donor

North Okanagan Optimist Club’s donated playbox at Lakeview Park had everything removed

Coldstream rainbow crosswalk defaced

Vandals cover colours with white paint sometime overnight Saturday

When walls talk: Vernon murals see generation II

“This new movement, an app, will bring the strength of some of those same Vernon visionaries together again into a newdigital form”

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Water quality makes swimming unsafe at three beaches near Salmon Arm

The Adams Lake Indian Band has issued a water qulity notice affecting beaches at three campgrounds.

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Second osprey chick dies, Okanagan web cam off

The second chick in an osprey nest featured on the Town of Osoyoos website has died

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Most Read