The Kootenay Boundary Physicians Association (KBPA) has commissioned a massive mural to be painted on the north and west wall at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) Trail by local Kootenay muralist Tyler Toews of Canadian Murals. The idea, which grew from the positive energy of last year’s Gratitude Garden installation, will flourish throughout May 2021 on the hospital’s outside the back entry.
Initially, Dr. Sue Benzer, KBRH Chief of Staff, inspired by the smiles the Gratitude Garden project at the back entrance brought to staff, proposed a smaller mural to go behind the garden. When Dr. Sue Babensee (Project Lead), the KBPA Working Group and Board explored options, the idea expanded into a 21-meter (70 feet) by 16-meter (55 feet ) 3-D commission for Toews.
Known for his passion about nature, Toews’ colourful murals can be seen on Nelson City Hall, the Rossland Cenotaph, and the BC Children’s Hospital. KBdoctors.ca are keen to share the progress of this exciting, one-of-a-kind project. They will record and post the mural’s development up the wall with a weekly video posted every Friday on facebook and instagram @kbdoctors (like and share).
"The #KBRHGratitudeMural is a colourful, anamorphic design that will create an optical illusion as it interacts with the architecture of the building. Featuring a large red ribbon that forms a heart of gratitude, the completed painting will transcend the boundaries of spatial design and perception," said Toews.
KBPA physicians teamed up to work out an inspired mural mission. The Physician Mural Design Team, KBPA Board Member and Project Lead, Dr. Sue Babensee; Dr. Susan Benzer, Dr. Peter Krampl, and Dr. Carolyn Stark, mutually chose ‘uplifting and joyful’ as the mural’s focus. The group unanimously agreed on a concept proposed by Toews.
“We wanted to give everyone associated with the hospital and in the community a visual that would lift their spirits,” said Dr. Babensee, “We felt this was so important as we all work our way through the pandemic and other health challenges together. It will hopefully be both a reflection of what we’ve achieved and motivate us to move forward.”
Finished project 31st May 2021
A big thank you to Jenn Waldie, Producer at Shaw Spotlight Kootenays for documenting the #KBRHGratitudeMural in the video below.
Ruth Kohut, KBRH Director of Clinical Operations, gathered full support from Interior Health (IH) for this exciting art adventure.
“Art is what grounds us all individually as it reminds us to stop, reflect, and feel inspired,” Kohut said. “Art also enables connections with others by sharing stories about the world we live in, our culture, our communities.”
KBPA is proud to have this project which will reflect its community commitments and connections. The #KBRHGratitudeMural design will be revealed at the KBRH Staff Appreciation Day on the 5th May. The #KBRHGratitudeMural will give staff, visitors, and the community a memorable image to take with them.
Please take a moment to thank:
Mural Design Team: Dr. Sue Babensee (Lead), Dr. Sue Benzer, Dr. Pete Krampl, Dr. Carolyn Stark
KBPA and MSA Board and Staff
Dr. Kristen Edge, Dr. Ian Sibbald, Dr. Dennis Small, Dr. Sue Babensee, James Brotherhood, Paul Edney, Kimberley Pegg
Interior Health key collaborators
Ruth Kohut, Jay Armstrong, Luc Senechal
Update 30th April, 2021 Radio Interview on the #KBRHGratitudeMural with Chris Walker and Dr. Sue Babensee (Physician Project Lead on #KBRHGratitudeMural) Click here to listen.
Like, Share and Follow us @kbdoctors.ca @canadianmurals #KBRHGratitudeMural
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Women in Leadership - Kootenay Boundary key attraction is the collaboration and cooperation
Dr. Nattana Dixon-Warren wears many hats including KBRH Senior Medical Director, Primary Care Physician in Salmo, and KBRH hospitalist. She shares her experiences while keeping an eye on the weather and the snow conditions at Red Mountain in Rossland, where she lives with her family. She wanted a balanced lifestyle and she got it.
Although Dr. Dixon-Warren didn’t get into medicine on her first try, she continued her studies in premedical training, biochemistry, environmental toxicology and English literature, later graduating from UBC medical school. She and her husband, ready for a move, put a list of career options on their fridge in their Ontario home. They chose KB over places like Churchill, Manitoba.
Dr Dixon-Warren and a colleague set up their family practice at the Salmo Wellness Centre, established with help from the town, the regional government, and the Health Authority, filling a long-time community void.
“I’ve always enjoyed the variety of longitudinal care. It is unbelievably satisfying,” said Dr. Dixon-Warren about her role as a family doctor.
The longer she stayed, the more roles she took on.
'Nimbleness’ needed for today’s services
She describes the four bundles of family medicine as running a clinic, delivering babies, helping out with hospital/facility services, and using special skills in the community. It’s not as simple as it used to be, but KB’s collaborative and collective teamwork across a complex system and service delivery impressed her. The model is one of its biggest strengths and played a major role in Dr. Dixon-Warren coming, staying, and expanding her roles.
“There has to be a nimbleness to the way services are developed,” she adds, using the COVID crisis as an example. “A respiratory assessment clinic was needed here, which involved setting up, running, staffing and planning.”
They did just that; another example of KB medical services in motion.
Blending family and work
Having grown up in a large family with professional parents, one being a doctor, she learned first-hand about the accommodation required by family to make a medical professional’s work life possible. It asks everyone to be flexible, so the community benefits. Her family, including four children, accepted this lifestyle and she looks back at a busy 20 years as ‘fun and happy’. They took advantage of all KB offers: sports, arts, fitness, outdoors, and nearby urban culture. Her husband, a teacher at the time of their move, later switched to ski instructing, running a guest cabin, and domestic roles. They wanted to move to be closer to my family, who live at the coast, and have access to skiing. The work-life balance was struck.
“KB is quite family oriented,” she adds “What’s important to me is that family life is supported throughout this journey.”
In true Kootenay style she blends activities into her daily routine, doing a 1950s military fitness program, yoga with her daughter via Zoom, and walk and talk meetings, to take indoor tasks outdoors.
“I’m happy the offerings here make for a sustainable lifestyle.”
Taking the lead
Not only is Dr. Dixon-Warren KB's Senior Medical Director, a family doctor to the residents of Salmo, and a KBRH hospitalist, she's also Assistant Clinical professor for UBC medical program and serves as admin lead for distributed post graduate medical education. She is instrumental in helping drive the region’s medical education programs.
In her role as KB’s Senior Medical Director, Dr. Dixon-Warren strives to ensure resources are planned for and distributed as needed throughout the region. She describes the job as a resource for chiefs of staff across the region, working to plan and recruit the resources needed to ensure nodes of acute care are functioning, supporting community service delivery, and that the region's specialty care centre is strong enough to do its job. It’s about keeping it all working smoothly and efficiently.
“The discipline needs to keep an eye on the ball and ensure everyone is cared for. It’s our social contract.”
Her reach is broad, her jobs varied, her vision expansive, but that’s how she likes it!
Dr Nattana Dixon-Warren
BSc, PBDip, MD, FCCFP
KB Senior Medical Director
Primary Care Physician- Salmo Wellness Centre
Member of KBRH Hospitalist Group
If you want to learn more about living and working as a physician in Kootenay Boundary, please get in touch with Sylvain Turgeon, Head of the KB Doctors Recruitment Team.
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Video Health Choices - Dr. Nattana Dixon-Warren