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)

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

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

Dawn Low is the first female CAO for the City of Revelstoke. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review file)
Armstrong welcomes new CAO

Dawn Low previously served as CAO in Revelstoke since 2019

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read