The newly launched Community Health Stars program will highlight these exceptional individuals and the impact that they are having in their communities.
“Northern Health knows that there are a lot of people across our region, doing a lot of outstanding work to improve their own health and the health of their fellow community members,” Lead of Healthy Community Development – Local Government with Northern Health, Sabrina Dosanjh-Gantner said. “They’re doing this amazing work on their own time because they recognize how important health is. We want to shine the light on these people to highlight their amazing community involvement, to spread the importance of personal health and risk management, and to inspire others to support building healthier northern communities.”
The first Community Health Star is Myles Mattila, a 15-year-old Prince George resident, who has partnered with mindcheck.ca to promote mental health in youth through delivering school presentations.
Mattila, whose hockey teammate and friend suffered from mental illness, was inspired to try to help his friend after finding out that Vancouver Canuck Kevin Bieksa was involved with the website.
“After going on the website, I was surprised to see how many great things they had to offer,” Mattila goes on to say. ”I wish I could have known earlier so I could have led my friend in the right direction to get help.”
Mattila adds, “I feel like we are on the right path on mental health – trying to end the stigma.”
Wayne Mould, 70, of Dawson Creek is an upcoming Community Health Star who overcame kidney cancer and only one year later ran a marathon, winning in his age group.
Seamus Damstrom of Terrace is also an upcoming Star. Damstrom is the only northerner on the Healthy Living Youth Council, a 15-year old who’s helping to bring healthier foods into his school cafeteria.
One Community Health Star will be selected each month from the list of nominees, winning a Northern Health Fit Kit and highlighted on the Northern Health Matters blog.
An ideal nominee is anyone who is helping to improve the overall health of his or her community.
Nominations can be submitted at northernhealth.ca.