Bella Coola’s brand new Public Health Nurse Sophie Mack is settling into her new position at Bella Coola General Hospital and enjoying every minute.
Mack is in familiar territory – she was raised in Bella Coola and recently returned to take on this new challenge. “I am really happy to be back in my community,” Mack said. “It’s been a big learning curve but I am really enjoying it.”
Mack was raised in Bella Coola, her parents and brother also reside here, but graduated from high school in Burnaby after her father, James Mack Sr., decided to return to school and completed an art program at Vancouver Community College. He now teaches at SAMS.
“After I graduated from high school I decided to stay in the Lower Mainland and I completed my Nursing degree at Langara College,” she said. “During school I worked at Vancouver General Hospital as an undergrad in acute medicine, and after graduation I was employed by the Musqueam First Nation in Vancouver as a home care nurse, and I also worked at Surrey Memorial Hospital in acute medicine and oncology.”
Mack began thinking about moving back to Bella Coola soon after her son was born, and wanted to remain in the community healthcare field. The Public Health position was perfect. “When the opportunity came up I knew I wanted to apply,” she said.
The role of the Public Health Nurse is largely focused on prevention. In Bella Coola, Public Health Nursing provides health promotion, disease prevention, intervention, and support services to women, children, youth and families. Services are provided to individuals, families, groups and communities in homes, schools, health units and community settings.
“In Public Health we aim to prevent communicable diseases, provide immunizations, prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections, and provide support for pre and post-natal mothers and newborns,” said Mack.
Mack has been training with Bella Coola’s retired Public Health nurse, Pat Lenci, and is grateful that Lenci has been able to pass on her knowledge and experience. “Pat has been such a valuable asset to me in this position,” said Mack. “I feel really lucky that she was able to help me transition into this new role.”
Public Health plays a vital role in our community. If you would like to speak with the Public Health Nurse at any time, feel free to call Sophie Mack at 250 799 5722 to schedule an appointment or drop by her office at the Bella Coola General Hospital.