Health & Wellness

Yúustway exists to provide quality holistic care in a respectful, safe manner to ensure the health and wellness of all people by empowering our community and offering the tools for living in health from birth to end of life. Respect does not stop within Yúustway, but is a way to interact with the other departments, other associations, and the outside community at large.

Yúustway Reception
Phone: 604-982-0332
Email: yhsreception@squamish.net
Office and Mailing Address: Unit 9A, 380 Welch Street, West Vancouver, BC V7P 0A7
Director: Glenda Gibbon

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Name:  Yúustway

“Yúustway” means to take care of one another/each other.

Programs & Services

Community Health & Wellness

The Community Health and Wellness division provides Members with mental, emotional, physical and spiritual support and health services. These include conventional mental health & addictions counselling, community nursing and a doctor’s clinic, as well as traditional, alternative, and naturopathic healing and wellness. The division provides:

  • Alternative Healing & Wellness Services
  • Counselling
  • Mental Health Intake Services 
  • Addiction Services

Acting Manager: Mackenzie Gomez
Phone: 604-982-7812
Email: Mackenzie_Gomez@squamish.net

Our team provides coordination of various alternative healing and wellness services. Services include: 

  • Development of personal wellness plans  
  • Referral to alternative healing practitioners 
  • Coordination of various alternative healing and wellness activities in Squamish communities

Phone: 604-982-7806
Intake Email: wellness@squamish.net

The Mental Health Intake Worker provides initial response, support and referral to short-term counselling in North/West Vancouver and Squamish Valley. Services include short-term crisis counselling referral to individual/couples/group counselling and referrals to alternative healing and planning support in regards to mental health issues.

Our goal is to ensure client safety and fair and equitable access to various programs and services.

Phone: 604-982-7806
Intake Email: wellness@squamish.net

Our Addictions Counsellors provide services to Members in North/West Vancouver and Squamish Valley. Services include: 

  • One-to-one counselling
  • Support completing treatment assessment/referral/application forms
  • Support coordinating travel to and from treatment
  • Development of wellness plans including pre- and post-treatment care
  • Prevention and awareness information
  • Support and coordination of community-based services (such as talking circles)

Phone: 604-982-7806
Intake Email: wellness@squamish.net

Heather Andrew

My name is Heather Andrew, my ancestral name is Tli’ichilwet. I am the Senior Addictions Counsellor. I have been working with our community for 25 years. It has been my passion to work for our people and assist them on their healing journey of recovery and wellness in sobriety. I meet people where they are at in their healing journey; guiding our Members on the path of sobriety and recovery has been an individualized journey that I’m blessed to be a part of. I also provide cultural support, including brushing off and candling to holistically support our community however they need.

Brittany Cowen

Brittany has extensive experience working with women and children in and/or fleeing intimate partner violence, Indigenous First Peoples, trauma, addictions, and concurrent sectors. Brittany is trained in the modalities of general supportive counselling, DBT, and EMDR. Through a person-centered and trauma informed lens, Brittany provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to explore and express emotional pain.

Brittany is a descendant from one of the six Indigenous Nations in Ontario. Brittany aims to integrate traditional ways of healing into her practice and believes that everyone coming into therapy is whole, unique, has wisdom and experience, has creativity and strength, and is the authority of their life.

About EMDR: Developed by Francine Shapiro, EMDR is an internationally recognized evidenced based therapy for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and the symptoms of trauma.

About DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed at the University of Washington by Psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan. Originally designed as a therapy to treat para-suicidal behavior, self-harm, and emotion dysregulation, it has since been shown as helpful for a number of other problems including eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety and depression. Dialectical Behavior Therapy incorporates elements of classical philosophy (Dialectics), behavioral psychology, and Zen Buddhism.

Danielle Hearns

Danielle is a clinical counsellor who believes everyone has a story to tell. Each story is unique to the individual and is received with a non-blaming approach. Sometimes life feels unbalanced; there is a place at the table where your voice will be heard.

Danielle grew up on the North Shore, where she established personal and professional relationships within the Squamish Nation community. Danielle considers herself a lifelong learner who has attended Capilano University, Athabasca University, and Stenberg College for her Counselling Therapist Diploma. Combining education with various workshops such as Choices, work at crisis centres, and humanitarian cultural projects offers members a broad perspective and understanding.

In counselling, Danielle focuses on providing a respectful, safe, and empathetic space to share and collaborate in finding meaningful, attainable, and sustainable solutions. Danielle’s approach comes from the Narrative Therapy lens while also incorporating other modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Gottman Couples Therapy.

About Narrative Therapy: Created by Michael White and David Epston, Narrative therapy aims to separate the individual from the problem, allowing them to externalize their issues rather than internalize them. It relies on the individual’s own skills and sense of purpose to guide them through difficult times.

About Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping): Developed by Gary Craig, EFT is an evidence-based stress reduction tool that can safely and gently manage anxiety, PTSD and other conditions. EFT involves tapping acupressure points sending a calming signal to the brain, allowing balanced energy, and reducing emotional and physical pain.

Health Benefits Advocacy & Promotion

The Health Benefits Advocacy & Promotion team provides advocacy and support to community members accessing health benefits programs and services administered through the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).

The team works to identify and build community specific health promotion and disease prevention programs and resources, provide advocacy and support to community members seeking to access health services, and advocate for national level policy change to improve overall health and access to funding for First Nations Peoples.

Manager: Nadeen Reginald
Phone: 604-982-0332 (West Vancouver)
Phone: 604-892-5166 (Squamish Valley)
Email: healthbenefits@squamish.net 

Health Benefits Administrative Coordinator: Sheila Dick
Phone: 604-982-0332
Email: Sheila_Dick@squamish.net

Services include: 

  • Provision of health prevention and awareness
  • Provision of contact and program information related to First Nations Health Authority Non-Insured Health Benefits
  • Support to complete First Nations Health Authority forms and applications
  • Advocacy and support to follow up on various applications to First Nations Health Authority
  • Management and administration of the Squamish Nation Emergency Health Benefits Project
  • Support and coordination of Medical Transportation funding as per First Nations Health Authority policy and procedures
  • Support and referral to other health services related to the provincial government, Vancouver Coastal Health and other organizations

The SNEHB program is an annual proposal-driven program supported by the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). The Health Benefits Advocacy & Promotion team administers the distribution of funds to support health related goods and services not covered by First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Health Benefits Program or other extended health benefits. This includes administering the Medical Patient Transportation benefits on behalf of FNHA for our on-reserve population.

For more information or to complete intake, contact the Advocacy Officer or Administrative Coordinator.

Home Inspections

From time-to-time Nation home owners request inspections of their homes for various reasons, including air quality, contaminants, pest control, water supply, solid and liquid waste disposal, general safety, structural concerns and overcrowding. 

The Health Benefits Advocacy & Promotion team of Yúustway will receive requests for home inspection, coordinate home inspection with the FNHA Environmental Health Office (EHO), Community Operations and liaise with community members when formal reports have been received.

Water Monitoring

Water monitoring is a high priority to ensure safe drinking water for the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw communities. 

Anyone who collects, tests, and ships water samples are trained from the FNHA Environmental Health Office on how to gather and test samples correctly. The designated water monitor will collect and test weekly water samples from rotating locations on-reserve. The designated water monitor will collect, package and send water samples to BC Centre for Disease Control center (BCCDC) on a monthly basis for further testing.

Home & Community Care

The Home & Community Care division assists clients with activities of daily life including personal care tasks and homemaking. The division also ensures that advanced medical/nursing care is provided by hospitals/long term care facilities as required. The goal of the division is to promote maximum independence and enhanced quality of life for care recipients by providing service that supplements and complements (but that does not replace) the care provided by families, friends and the community.

This dedicated team provides holistic personal care and homemaking services to on-reserve clients in their homes in Nation communities.

Phone: 604-982-0332 

Services include:

  • Assessing and monitoring health status
  • Bathing
  • Foot care
  • Grooming
  • Nutrition
  • Light homemaking

The Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation Better at Home Program services Elders in both communities who are 65+ through United Way. The program assists with simple day-to-day tasks, thereby helping Elders maintain independence at home while staying connected with their community. Better At Home services are non-medical in nature and offer the following: light housekeeping, grocery shopping, light yard work, friendly visits, and transportation. Its unique “seniors planning for seniors” approach means Elders contribute to the design, operation and evaluation of the program.

For more information please visit betterathome.ca/better-home-program or contact the Better at Home Program Coordinator.

Phone: 604-982-0332
Mobile: 604-506-0952
Email: betterathome@squamish.net

Kal’númet Primary Care Clinic

The Primary Care team includes Physicians, Naturopathic Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, Community Health Nurses, Medical Office Assistant(s), and a Primary Care Manager. Physicians and Nurse Practitioners provide general medical care, assessments, physical examinations, diagnoses, treatment plans, prescribing, referral, health information, education, and advice. They can refer to traditional healers, massage therapists, reiki, and other alternative services. 

Medical Office Assistants are able to book appointments and answer any non-clinical or non-medical queries including accessing information to pharmacy, dental and optometry supports. The team also has Public Health Nurses (PHN) providing community-based health services and information.

Manager: Samantha Clarke
Phone: 604-985-2052
Cell: 604-318-4418
Email: kpc_medicalclinic@squamish.net or Samantha_Clarke@squamish.net

Samantha Clarke – Manager: Sam grew up on the Australian coast where the rest of her family still reside. She consolidated her Registered Nurse training in Australian operating rooms and then moved to Canada in 2016, working in long term care before transitioning into Community Care. This transition has been remarkable and one that is held close to her heart. She is passionate about her work with Squamish Nation and feels honored by the opportunities to learn more about the traditional culture of the community she serves.  Sam spends her free time rock climbing, ski touring and running the forest trails surrounding Squamish.

Dr. Preveena Dharmaraj – Family Physician: Dr. Preveena Dharmaraj is a Family Physician who lives and works on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Preveena worked in eating disorder research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before completing medical school at Queen’s University and residency at the St. Paul’s Family Medicine program at UBC. In addition to general family practice, she dedicates a portion of her practice to low-risk Obstetrics. Her special interest is in advocating for radicalized populations in women’s health and bringing an anti-oppression approach to healthcare.

Dr. Ray Chaboyer – Family Physician: Dr. Raymond Chaboyer is a Family Doctor of Cree background from northern Manitoba. Dr. Chaboyer grew up in polar bear country in Churchill, Manitoba and received his medical training at the University of Manitoba. He worked as an ER physician in Winnipeg and then as a fly-in physician into northern Manitoba Cree communities before coming to the North Shore to work as a family doctor. Dr. Chaboyer works out of his own practice as well as at the Tsleil-Waututh clinic and is honoured and proud to have been working out of the Yuustway clinic for the past year. Dr. Chaboyer has been happy to be caring for Squamish Nation patients for the past 16 years and is interested in learning more about the history of the Coast Salish people in BC. He is committed to providing excellent culturally informed care to Squamish Nation members. Dr. Chaboyer is the Chair of the Board of the North Shore Division of Family Practice and represents north shore family doctors in discussions with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Ministry of Health. He is also happy to be a spokesperson for the First Nations and Aboriginal Primary Care Network. Dr. Chaboyer enjoys an active lifestyle, is an avid hockey player and enjoys playing guitar with a special interest in classic rock and country music.

Dr. Georgia Kyba – Naturopathic Doctor: Dr. Georgia Kyba is Northern Tutchone from the Selkirk First Nation in the Yukon and grew up on Coast Salish territory. She graduated with a Naturopathic Doctorate degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Dr Kyba has been working with Squamish Nation since 2008 in the Health Department. She also works with Tsleil-Waututh Health Clinic and is a member of the First Nations and Aboriginal Primary Care Network. She has work with First Nations Health Authority, as a member of the Health Professionals Roster, and with Seabird Island, as well as had a private clinic.

Dr Kyba is passionate about health and wellness and works with her patients on an individualized health plan.

Naturopathic Medicine is a natural form of health care with the goal to treat the body naturally whenever possible and promote health by focusing on the balance between mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. Dr Kyba looks forward to helping you and your family achieve your optimal health and wellness on your healing journey.

Liz Grant – Public Health Nurse (Squamish Valley): As a Public Health Nurse, Liz has spent the last 15 years working with Squamish Nation families in the Squamish Valley.  Liz enjoys working with prenatal moms and their gorgeous mun mun, providing immunizations and health information, but her favourite role is advocating for families and promoting wellness through a holistic approach.  Born and raised on the Westcoast of BC, Liz has a deep appreciation for the Coast Salish and Squamish Nation culture and teachings. Although she has travelled & worked many places, Liz considers Squamish her home, and is proud mom of 2 young boys.  Liz is happiest spending time with her family, and exploring the outdoors ~ fuelled by dark chocolate, podcasts and music!

Karen Jorgenson – Public Health Nurse (North Shore): Karen Jorgensen is a Public Health Nurse working with Squamish Nation families on the North Shore. Karen grew up in a small town in southern Alberta. She began her career as a Registered Nurse after completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1993. She has worked in areas of Long-Term Care, Psychiatry, Postpartum/Newborn care, and Labour and Delivery in the hospital settings. After working in Texas for 10 years, Karen settled into Public Health Nursing in 2005.

Since October of 2019 when she began working with the Squamish Nation on the North Shore, Karen enjoys working closely with families and all age cohorts in both individual and group settings. She engages in Health Promotion and Prevention activities such as providing immunizations, postpartum and newborn support, health teaching, advocating, collaborating with other community service providers, and working with clients to work toward setting and achieving their health and wellness goals.  Karen has special interest and experience in women’s health and supporting clients and families with mental wellness.  Karen feels honoured to work and connect with members of the Squamish Nation.

Karen enjoys her family of three daughters and 4 grandchildren, spending time outdoors, attending art galleries/museums, reading fiction, and exploring.

Laura Tayler-Hanson – Public Health Nurse (North Shore): Laura Tayler-Hanson is one of the Public Health nurses working for the Squamish Nation for the past 2.5 years.   Laura grew up in a small town in Northwest BC and moved to the Lower Mainland to do her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UVIC.   Laura began her nursing career working in Campbell River at the hospital caring for palliative, pediatric and adult medical clients. While in nursing school, she fell in love with public health because of the focus on prevention, building community and working with clients to navigate their health journey in a way that best works for them.   After re-locating to North Vancouver in early 1999, Laura began working in Public Health full time with clients from birth to adulthood.  She also has experience working in sexual health clinics and sexual health education.  Laura loves working with the Squamish Nation community and collaborating with families across the lifespan to provide baby home visits, immunizations, prenatal and postpartum support, health teaching and planning, chronic disease support, contraception and working with other health and wellness professionals to collaborate on supporting community members in their health. In her free time, Laura loves chilling out with her 3 children and husband in nature and playing board games.  She loves reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Herla Dominelli – Medical Clinic Coordinator: I was born and raised in Guatemala City, Central America, and moved to Canada in 1983 with my parents and both brothers.  I have two daughters whom I am enormously proud of. I graduated high school in North Van, and attended Capilano University (college), and obtained my Medical Office Assistant certificate.  I have work in various medical settings, in family practice, urologist office, even with North Shore Eye Clinic as well at a dentist office.  Before making my big move to Squamish Nation Health I had worked with and ENT at a hearing Aid Clinic for nine years, where I was the main MOA, I came in to work as the Coordinator for Home and Community Care for 2 .5 years before making the move to Kal’numet Primary Care.   I look forward to being a part of this team and being able to contribute and assist in my position.

Mirtha Alvarenga – Medical Office Coordinator: I was born in Cordoba, Argentina, our family immigrated to Canada in the 70’s. lived in Sudbury Ontario where I married and had two beautiful daughters. After my daughters were both in school, I decided to go back to school and enrolled in a Medical Administration course. It was quite difficult searching for a medical position while living in a mining community. I moved with my daughters to North Vancouver in the year 2000 where I began working with Vancouver Coastal Health. Love living in North Vancouver. I moved to Langley for a while, I worked for an agency that primarily worked with the community, I then discovered how much I enjoyed being part of the community, and moving back to North Vancouver I  searched for a similar type of agency, which brought me to Yuustway Health & Wellness, I am enjoying learning more about the services being offered and being part of the community.  My family and grandkids are my blessings and enjoy my time immensely with them. I also enjoy my walks by the ocean and walks by the Capilano River.

Rosa Romero – Medical Office Coordinator: Rosa grew up in a small town in southern Peru. She moved to Canada in 1997 and has called North Shore home ever since. After graduating from the MOA program in 2004, she worked in various medical clinics and private practices in the lower mainland. Most recently, Rosa has worked at the local VCH Primary Care Clinic with an outreach team that focuses on community care, participation, local power, barrier removal, and change through collective action. Rosa is honoured to have the opportunity to work with members of Squamish Nation and continue to serve in her community. At home, Rosa loves spending time with her two daughters and her dog Cookie or escaping to the forest to hike, run and explore.

Chitralekha (Chitra) Raut – Health and Wellness Social Worker (KPC):

Namasté (nah-mas-tay – My soul honors your soul) and Haathh Skwayel!

Following her Social Work education in 2004 and licensing, she has worked in rural as well as urban settings supporting population in earthquake-affected areas in India. Chitralekha was born and raised in India and came to Canada in 2007. After practicing in the role of Social Worker with provincial Government in Newfoundland in Canada and living in Texas for a while, she joined Squamish Nation in 2017 with Ayas Men Men Children and Family Services. Chitralekha joined Yuustway in 2021.

She takes her role as an advocate for members needing assistance in navigating resources, programs and services and collaborating for these services within or outside of Squamish Nation.

Chitralekha is passionate about helping people to identify and acknowledge their strengths and areas they struggle in resolving their issues in a sustainable manner. She is grateful to The Creator and Mother Earth for connecting with the Squamish Nation. She visualizes adapting a comprehensive approach for Squamish Community in her role of Health and Wellness Social Worker with Kal’numet Primary Care team.

Chitralekha lives in North Shore and has a busy life with her 2 young sons outside work.  Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, and connecting with nature, within and outside. She enjoys being home with family and close friends. Chitralekha lives through the cultural teachings and traditions received from her family and is helping to pass them on to her children when possible.

Clare Robinson – Primary Care Nurse: Clare was born and raised on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne, Australia) and now calls Squamish home. She is a registered nurse and midwife in Australia and worked in Health Benefits in the Squamish Valley for 3 years while she transferred her nursing over to Canada. Her passion is reducing the health gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people, and she has been part of a large research paper that showed how continuity of midwifery care for First Nations families improves satisfaction and breastfeeding rates. Clare loves her new role at Kal’numet and is looking forward to getting to know more community members. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, whitewater kayaking, roller-skating, and beading.

Gladys Florence Williams – Resident Elder/Patient Advocate: Hello, my name is Gladys Florence Williams, Sulseelsemat, and a proud Member of the Squamish Nation. I was born and raised in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island and taught by my grandmother Thiqulwit. My work life has been as a Certified Medical Assistant/ Office Nurse for 25 years in Washington State. The last 5 years I have worked part time for Native Courtworkers and Counseling Association as a Database Analyst. I am a devoted fan of the Seattle Seahawks and ATP Tennis. Other pastimes are gardening, reading and crafts. I am looking forward to my new journey as an employee of the Kal’numet Primary Care, Squamish Nation.

Eugene Harry – Knowledge Keeper: Eugene Harry is our first Knowledge Keeper to join the KPC Primary Care team. Eugene is a Squamish Minister, Knowledge Keeper, Language and Culture keeper, Kindergarten teacher and spiritual advisor. Eugene now lives on Mission reserve with his wife Wendy Lewis (Harry). Eugene is offering cultural supports to patients and our staff members in the form of one-to-one talks with anyone seeking support in areas such as grief and loss, domestic concerns and spiritual guidance. Candle, cedar and sage brushings, crafts, and group talking circles.

PHNs provide community-based health services and information/education, with the focus on disease prevention and health promotion.  

Services include:

  • Pre- and post-natal education and care
  • Child health clinics and immunization
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention and health information
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Contraception and information
  • Flu vaccine clinics
  • Communicable disease control (including TB skin tests and adult immunizations)
  • Diabetes awareness and prevention
  • School and childcare facilities support and education
  • Advocacy, referrals and liaison services for community members and families.

Recreation (Chief Joe Mathias Centre)

Yúustway understands the valuable role leisure, sports and recreation play in enhancing the lives of Squamish Nation Members. The Recreation team strives to offer a variety of recreation programs and events that meet the needs and interests of our Members of all ages. All of the department’s activities are designed to benefit community members physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

This includes:

  • Sport, recreation, fitness, youth, and outdoor programming.
  • Creating recreation opportunities through building relationships with other Bands, organizations, and sport bodies.
  • Supporting community events that bring our community members together.
  • Supporting the culture and language of the Squamish people through recreation.
Manager: Justine Sobell
Phone: 604-980-6338
Email: rec@squamish.net

Facebook: facebook.com/ChiefJoeMathiasCentre
  • Youth Sport Programs
  • Fitness/Drop-in Programs
  • After School Program
  • Outdoor Recreation 
  • Facility Bookings
  • Program Registration
  • Program & Events Calendar