With the help and shared vision from Laura Hockman, ED of Independent Living Vernon, and her staff; the only adult assessment clinic in BC opened.
While being in the clinic, there are many accomplishments I am so very proud of. One that I cherish the most was having Dr. Densmore agree to be our lead assessment physician. He not only provided leadership and training for all of the staff, patients, and their families; his incredible regard was demonstrated in the relationship-building he approached each patient with. His tenacity and curiosity resulted in reports that were more than meaningful, they were life-saving, life-altering, and resulted in lives being changed for the long term. Dr. Densmore invested significant hours researching, writing, and driving to locations across the province to complete assessments often on his time. His infectious curiosity and passion to understand FASD changed the lives of all he worked with, including me.Read More
Another accomplishment was building the assessment team: Dr. Kim McGuire PH.D. Neuro-psych and Anne Ross OT and Ashley Reina OT. They provided their expertise and were always available for patients. With their expertise, I am so very proud and thankful that our team facilitated changes in the life trajectory of all those diagnosed.
I am proud of the many ways we supported patients to resolve crises in their lives in 1:1 interactions or through groups. These groups empowered hundreds of participants, even through covid, from across the province to understand their FASD, learn life skills, self-advocacy, and experience a sense of belonging. Some participants have attended groups every week for the last 7 years. That gives me peace.
I am so proud of delivering our FASD workshops and FASD three-day conferences: e.g. “Blown in the Wind”. We had participants from Quebec attend with lead speakers such as Jennifer Charlesworth and Joe Roberts. Over the seven years, well over 3000 people participated in the community-based, national, and international workshops we inspired.
I am proud to be recognized as a professional, educational organization. We hosted over 20 practicum students from UBCO, and the Okanagan College. The students left their legacy by creating: resources now used in Primary Care offices, Dentist offices, and a curriculum for students in grades 8 -11 on Shame, Stigma, and FASD Prevention. This was posted on the POPFASD BC Website for international access. Presently, we host a student skilled to deliver art therapy for our population.
Earning the respect and support of the Canada FASD Research Council (CanFASD) was truly a highlight. Having our clinic being a part of the research, and a part of the solution is the ultimate in success.
I am so proud of the community support base we built across the province. Working alongside the Okanagan Indian Band and supporting the delivery of Welbriety by Mike Ochoa. The Splatsin Indigenous Community and elders provided me with fellowship and mutual regard as we honored those with FASD and their mothers.
The accomplishment that I hold closest to my heart is the education and hope I provided. Working with caring, genuine people who believed in me and trusted me. I am proud of the friendships made and my commitment to bringing change in social justice. I fought the good fight and am proud that I always was true to my purpose: focusing on increasing resilience and reducing harm through knowledge, relationships, and accessing community support.
FASD Okanagan Valley Assessment and Support Society wants to express heartfelt gratitude to Bernadette O’Donnell, our Executive Director, who has recently resigned as she moves into retirement. Bernadette championed our organization with unwavering dedication and commitment to individuals with FASD, parents or caregivers of individuals with FASD, and all our community organizations that we have collaborated with over the past six years. Your consistent hard work, passion, and advocacy for this community will never be forgotten. Thank you for all your hard years of work! We are forever grateful.Read More
With these changes, FASD Okanagan has made the decision to dissolve the society as of September 1, 2023 however, much of our services will remain the same as a program under Independent Living Vernon.
We will remain in the same building, same office, same phone number with a new name. We will continue to provide FASD assessments in our office with Dr. Rod Densmore M.D. as our FASD expert medical accessor and clinical coordinator to support.
Please contact our office to be added to our waitlist or inquire about our assessment fees.
3402-27 Avenue, Suite 104
Vernon, British Columbia
Phone – 250-938-5022