First Nations Health Directors Association

Member Spotlight

Vanessa Thevarge

Vanessa Thevarge is the recipient of the 2019 Inspiration Award for “Providing Health and Wellness Leadership for the Community.”  Vanessa grew up in Lillooet and says that her path to becoming a Health Director began in 2000 when she completed the Medical Office Assistant program. She was hired at the T’it’q’et administration office as a community health clerk, a position she held for more than 13 years. Vanessa credits her health manager at T’it’q’et, Franny Alec, with modeling excellence in leadership and setting her on course to receiving this award. She learned that the energy you put out is reflected back and is felt by everyone who comes through the door. Vanessa strives to stay positive and approachable as she works to create a pleasant atmosphere for her staff and community. Vanessa has been the Health Director for Bonaparte Indian Band for a year and is grateful to have the support of her Management as she now pursues her Bachelor Degree in Health Administration.

Vanessa’s personal experiences have shown her the value of a supportive manager. She has been in the health field for 18 years. She believes that without the support of her health team leaders along the way she would not be where she is today. She takes these teachings and reflects them back in role as Health Director, and the community is appreciative of the work she does.

One of Vanessa’s notable accomplishments was securing a full-time nurse for Bonaparte. She is passionate about providing services and resources to the community, and filling the gap of two years without a community nurse feels awesome!  Vanessa knows that sometimes it is the seemingly little things that make a huge difference, and describes the great joy she gets from bringing needed services to the people of Bonaparte.

Vanessa is inspired “knowing that you are able to make a difference and be available for the community.” Her nominator is inspired by her “willingness to take on challenges and overcome her fears that there may be resistance.”

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