February 23, 2012 · 12:20 PM

Safe Patient Care a Priority for Emergency Nurses

BC Nurses Union members continue to be concerned about the closure of the Castlegar Emergency services on February 4. We want the community of Castlegar to know that our priority is to provide quality and safe patient care. The nurses at Castlegar Hospital will continue to advocate for improvements so that high quality care will be there for you.

The Castlegar emergency nurses have been highlighting concerns regarding access to staffing resources for some time.  The need to recruit and retain nurses with the appropriate level of training to work in a small rural emergency department is a symptom of the nursing shortage. Nurses have been working overtime in this unit for 10 years. They have done shift swaps, have had their vacations cancelled, and work overtime to maintain two registered nurses on shift for the 12 hours a day, seven days a week coverage. These nurses perform end of shift overtime on a regular basis to provide the public with quality care.

As the health care system is interlinked and interdependent on so many systems, the nurses in the Castlegar Emergency department are seeking to examine the root causes of the February 4 closure. They are seeking a comprehensive approach to understanding all the systems that led to the closure. The issues are more than not enough nurses. Meetings are scheduled with management to seek solutions and explore the systems that failed. Internal processes are being utilized and led by the BCNU members.

The nurses are strong and committed advocates to ensure Emergency Services are provided to the community of Castlegar. The BCNU members seek correction to the system failures that occurred. As the public is demanding answers the nurses are seeking inclusion into the process, they want to be heard. There are solutions and the BCNU members want to provide them and have them implemented.

The nurses appreciate all the support that the community is providing. Be assured BCNU members will continue to utilize our ethical duty to advocate as professionals speaking out for you so that safe patient care can be achieved!

Ensuring you have safe care when you arrive at the Emergency department is the BC Nurses Union member’s priority!

Tina Coletti RN

BC Nurses Union Chairperson West Kootenay Region

The Renewal of Relay For Life

Castlegar has hosted the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life for 6 years. The event has provided the community with an opportunity to come together and support those battling cancer and to show support to people who have lost loved ones to the disease.

It is a day of solidarity against cancer.

It is an event that happens because many volunteers come together with a united goal. These volunteers do not require any special skills or talents-they simply care enough to make it happen!

2012 marks the Renewal of Relay For Life. Many who have volunteered countless hours over the past 6 years would like to “pass the torch” - new volunteers are needed!

Cancers greatest ally is apathy- If we stop caring –cancer wins.

I know that the residents of Castlegar have not stopped caring

I know those that have participated have experienced the “community hug” that happens at a Relay For Life Event

I know that the funds raised change lives for the better-by providing programs including; the Cancer Information Service, the Cancer Connection Peer Support program, the Financial Support program, welcoming Lodges to stay in while undergoing treatment away from home, and Camp Goodtimes for kids and teens.

I know that the funds raised saves lives- by educating citizens in cancer prevention strategies, advocating to government for healthy public policies, and by funding cutting edge research.

I know that many people, each doing a small task, can make a really big difference.

Please help us continue the tradition of caring in Castlegar. Volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Please contact me to find out about the variety of ways Relay can use your help (whether you can spare one hour or fifty!).

Most sincerely,

Stacey Semenoff


Order of British Columbia Honours Excellence

The Order of British Columbia offers British Columbians a golden opportunity to take part in the public recognition of individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement, excellence and distinction in their particular fields of endeavour.

Nominations are now being received for the 2012 Order of British Columbia.  If you know anyone in this community who has truly led by example, I encourage you to nominate them for the Order of British Columbia.  The deadline for nominations is

5 p.m., March 10, 2012 but nominations will be accepted up to 5p.m, March 12 due to March 10 falling on a weekend.  An independent Advisory Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of British Columbia will consider nominations.

Since 1990, 317 British Columbians from all walks of life and many regions of the province have received the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest award.

Nomination forms are available from the Honours and Awards Secretariat in Victoria

(250-356-1105), the Order of BC web site at, or your nearest Government Agent.

Honours and Awards Secretariat,

P.O. Box 9422, Stn. Prov. Govt

Victoria, BC  V8W 9V1

phone:  (250) 387-1616     fax:  (250) 356-2814

Here is your opportunity to participate in the appointment of deserving British Columbians to the Order of British Columbia.  The process begins with a nomination.

Thank you for making it happen.

Katrine Conroy, MLA

Kootenay West

Kudos to local Les Mis production

I had a wonderful experience last Friday night. I love Broadway shows and have seen many in my travels throughout the years. My favourite show is Les Miserables and I have been fortunate enough to have seen it seven times in five different countries.  On Friday night my husband and I went to the Stanley Humphries Secondary School production of Les Miserables.   I was sure I would enjoy it if only for the music but I was absolutely amazed at the professionalism of the whole show. The acting was excellent as was the singing and all characters were well portrayed. I am always intrigued by the wicked character Thenardier, the thieving Inn Keeper.   His character is more open to individual interpretation and creativity and I was fascinated by the acting of Rachael Sykes.   She was brilliant!   However, I am not totally surprised at that as I had the chance to see her father as the Scarecrow in last year’s Rossland Light Opera Players production of the Wizard of Oz! Acting is obviously in the genes of the Sykes family.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the production of Les Mis.   You gave many citizens of the Kootenays a great deal of pleasure.   I can now happily say I have seen Les Miserables eight times in five different countries. Bravo!


Kay Jones