Health and Human Services


Community Partner Award

July 3, 2020 - 1:10pm

The Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Business Achievement Awards via a modified ceremony via Zoom on June 18, 2020. The ceremony was originally scheduled for March 19 but was delayed due to COVID.

The awards honour outstanding businesses and service individuals “who excel beyond expectations.”

Jean Maltesen, President Board of Directors announced 7 category winners and a special Community Spirit Award recipient and Chamber Award recipients.

Specifically, as a VIU Partnership, the ‘Not-For-Profit of the Year award’ was given to Arrowsmith Health Care Society. This is a wonderful achievement for a VIU partner. full story »

VIU Child Care Centre

July 3, 2020 - 1:10pm

We are incredibly excited to share with you all, that the Ministry of Children and Family Development is investing in a new child care centre at the VIU Nanaimo Campus! Thank you to everyone involved in this process.

VIU’s LinkedIn stated, “VIU receives support from the Ministry of Children and Family Development for a new child centre on campus. Our Elders-in-Residence will consult on the centre’s curriculum to ensure children learn about Indigenous cultures, traditions and history. The new, accessible building will function as a child care centre, providing local families with an additional 75 spaces, and a training hub where students in programs, including early childhood education, social work and nursing, will be offered a practicum.”

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Congratulations to Rosemary Holley

July 3, 2020 - 1:10pm

On August 31, Rosemary Holley (Instructor, DENA) will be retiring after 22 years of service. Rosemary, we thank you for the commitment and loyalty to VIU for the past 22 years, and your hard work. We wish you all the very best in this next exciting chapter of your life!

Awards, Grants & Scholarships

July 3, 2020 - 1:10pm

The Faculty of Health and Human Services has much to be proud of with the awards, grants and scholarships received in recent times. Congratulations to all our deserving winners, see below.  

Recipients of the Provost’s Awards for demonstrating excellence in their respective areas:

  • Dr. Shannon Dames
    • Early Career Research Excellence Award
  • Dr. Linda Shea
    • Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
  • Antje Bitterberg and Cheryl Cameron
    • Knowledge Mobilization Award
  • Dr. Monica Soth
    • The Deans’ Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity Award

Recipients of Research Awards:

  • Collaborate Grant  - Alison Taplay
    • Centre for Collaboration, Innovation and Sustainable Community Development: Laying the Groundwork
  • Share Grant  - Heather Sanrud
    • Child & Youth Care National Conference Presentation
  • Share Grant - Fiona Meyer Cook
    • Resurgence! Making Space for Indigenous ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing

Recipients of the COVID Special Call Research Awards:

  • VIURAC Grant - Dr. Shannon Dames
    • A COVID-19 Response and Recovery Effort: Working Across Sectors to Aid Healthcare Providers Suffering from Mental Illness
  • VIURAC Grant - Alana Deveraux
    • Acute-Care RNs' Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2 BSN Students received the VIU President's Scholarship for Continuing Students.

Last and certainly not least, Dr. Shannon Dames has been awarded a $50,000 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Synthesis grant to support her research, which aims to help health-care providers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or treatment-resistant mental health issues related to depression. The CIHR grant is part of the government’s rapid research response to COVID-19 and is aimed at addressing and improving mental health outcomes during the pandemic response and beyond.

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VIU Helps Community Partner with PPE

May 4, 2020 - 3:30pm

Arrowsmith Lodge is a self-supporting, non-denominational home for the elderly of Parksville, found themselves without  the PPE necessary to keep themselves and their occupants safe at this time. Using 3D printing technology, Brian Dick, Professor and Chair of Science at VIU, went with Patricia to the lodge in fall 2019 to investigate student projects for engineering students. As a result of the relationship and the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian wanted to help.  He donated face shields in April to Arrowsmith Lodge that allowed their staff to work safely, particularly for those staff members with glasses . The staff were very grateful to VIU, sending the picture below showcasing their new PPE!

End of 2020 Academic Celebrations

April 9, 2020 - 2:55pm

  • Student Shabnam Sadeghi has submitted a letter specially acknowledging Dr. Linda Shea which will be shared with the Nursing faculty. Thank you for the work you do, and congratulations Linda! 
  • HHS had the following adjuncts in place:
    • Linda McDonell (ECEC)
    • Velupti Corlis (HHS)
    • Laureen Styles (BSN)
    • Wendy Young (BSN) 
  • The Society for Rural Physicians in Canada (SRPC) has named Brenda Fowler, Executive Director of People For a Healthy Community on Gabriola, the recipient of the 2020 Rural Health Champion Award. Brenda acknowledges the HCA team, “Like anyone who wins an award like this I only got it because of each of you who picked up a piece of this project and made it happen.” Thank you to all involved in the HCA program on Gabriola Island for your support. full story »
  • It was just announced that Dr. Carmen Lavoie received the Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Design and Practice that Employs Innovative Practices for Student Learning. Congratulations Carmen!
  • Congratulations to Leslie Sundby and Amy Moen for getting ‘SMILES: Kudos for a colleague’ in the VIU newsletter!
    • A huge thank you from the BSN faculty to Leslie Sundby for her leadership and hard work getting us to and through our accreditation. Leslie your smile, hugs and the huge amount of work you did made all the difference. We could not have done it (as well as we did) without you!
    • Starting a new role/job can be an experience that is uncomfortable and stressful in the early stages. In my new role, I have been blessed to work very closely with a co-worker that is patient, compassionate, open minded, fun and extremely knowledgeable which has made my learning experience comfortable and enjoyable. I want to send a huge thank you to Amy Moen for her abundance of support and guidance! I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with her :)

New teaching network a win for ECEs, quality child care

February 3, 2020 - 11:00am

Vancouver Island University (VIU) has received funding for two pedagogist positions to work with early childhood educators at select child care centres in Nanaimo and Cowichan, as well as students in the University's Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) program. .

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2020 Long Service Awards

January 28, 2020 - 4:51pm

Congratulations to our Long Service Award Recipients! Thank you for your continued support, you are very valuable members of the team. This year we acknowledge:

  • Brenda McKay (25 years)
  • Heather Sanrud (20 years)
  • Marianne Roden (15 years)
  • Nona Brack (15 years)
  • Lorna McCrae (15 years)
  • Tina Schultz (15 years)
  • Liz Eccles (15 years)
  • Alison Taplay (10 years)
  • Bob Esliger (10 years)
  • Holly Bradley (10 years)
  • Noella Rickaby (10 years)

VIUs Long Service Reception was held on January 23, 2020. Thank you to all those who attended! 


VIU Students to Benefit From Norwegian Collaboration in Outdoor Studies

January 24, 2020 - 9:45am

A new partnership will allow Canadian and Norwegian university students to benefit from interdisciplinary nature-based recreation and outdoor wellness education programs offered in both countries.

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HHS Celebrating The Installation of Dr. Deborah Saucier

November 15, 2020 - 3:30pm

Thank you to all those who attended The Installation of Dr. Deborah Saucier as VIU President and Vice-Chancellor today. It was a very special ceremony and an honour to share the experience at the Long House. Congratulations, Deb! full story »

President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

September 17, 2020 - 11:45am; Updated April 9, 2020 - 2:55pm

Both Anita Caroll and Sandy Alexander have received the President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. The Awards Ceremony was held on October 24, 2019. Congratulations Anita and Sandy! 


Community Leadership Award
Ms. Anita Carroll (Faculty of Health and Human Services) nominated by Dr. Patricia O’Hagan


Community Outreach Award
Ms. Sandy Alexander (Faculty of Health and Human Services) nominated by Dr. Patricia O’Hagan

More information »

Faculty Publications 2019

September 17, 11:45am

Alison Taplay and an ex-student of our Faculty have co-authored a chapter in a new textbook ‘The Role of an Education Assistant’. 

Louise Stern's most recent scholarly work is based on a collaborative text entitled 'Gerontological Social Work in Action: Anti-oppressive Practice with Older Adults, Their Families, and Communities'. The text has been recommended as “essential reading for social work students new to or seeking to specialize in aging, as well as those interested in the application of anti-oppressive principles to working with older adults and researching later life.” Louise collaborated on this work with Wendy HulkoShari Brotman and Ilyan Ferrer (published 2019).

Shannon Dames – Receives $10,000 Reach Award!

Shannon Dames (BSN) and a multidisciplinary team from Island Health are collaborating to develop curriculum that emphasizes the importance of promoting self-compassion among healthcare providers.  She was awarded a $10,000 from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) for their research into improving the healthcare worker experience and developing an evidence-based strategy to address the commonly reported issue of hostile work environments.

More Information » 

Giant in the Woods

The movie, Giant in the Woods is now available on VIU's YouTube channel

Feel free to share it with anyone you think may be interested.
If you want more information about the course, click here: CYC 391

Giant in the Woods -Premiere Movie Event- OCT 3/18

Giant in the Woods bearded man saying good morning

VIU's Child and Youth Care program received a generous donation to support the creation of a short documentary by Brought to You By that highlights a new field course: CYC 391 - Therapeutic Applications of Wilderness. Join us on October 3rd in the Malaspina Theatre on VIU's Nanaimo campus to get a first look at the short film before it hits the International Film Festival circuit. Hear from students and the course instructor about their experience, learn more about the benefits of wilderness travel for emotional, mental, and physical health, and learn how you can get involved in this unique practical training in the future.

Join us in the VIU Theatre October 3rd at 5pm for pizza, popcorn, and the world premiere screening. The event is free and open to anyone. There are limited seats. To reserve your tickets and for more information, go to

Outstanding Child & Youth Care Students Honoured with Awards

The CYC students did very well this year with awards and scholarships.  Please join us in congratulating the following students on their hard work and achievements:

  • Alice Hobbs Health & Human Services Award - Recipient: Jennifer Chicorelli
  • Durnin Family Health Services Award - Recipient: Ruby Barclay
  • 2017 Lucy Child Award - Recipient: Tiana Praud
  • VIU Bachelor of Arts in Child & Youth Care Degree Entrance Scholarship - Recipient: Katie McCarthy

VIU Students Called to King Arthur Court

VIU’s Centre for Community Outreach and Care launches year-long project to address quality of life issues at housing complex in...
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