In 2017, we interviewed Imelda Wright, a Registered Nurse of over 20 years and the new owner of Nurse Next Door Kelowna.
Imelda Wright comes from a family of caregivers (think: Nurses, Doctors, Care Aides and owners of nursing homes!) and she followed in their family legacy. Starting off as a Care Aide from the Philippines, she immigrated to Canada to continued her education in care and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at the University of Victoria and became a Registered Nurse, with a specialization in rehabilitation nursing.
It’s been a year and we recently checked-in with her to see what she’s been up to. We learned that Imelda and her Care Team has been working hard collaborating on a remarkable community initiative in Kelowna and we just had to share it!
Community Initiative: Wound Care Wednesdays #wcw
Before becoming a Nurse Next Door franchise owner, I had a vision of what I wanted to do when I retired. Aside from traveling to Europe, I wanted to still do nursing to some capacity.
I’m originally from the Philippines but my family and home is in Canada now and I wanted to give back to my local community.
My amazing Care Designer, Amanda and I were inspired by all the things the churches were doing to help the homeless population in downtown Kelowna. Our office is right in the center of downtown Kelowna. So we are literally, the “Nurse Next Door”, so we figured, why not start giving back?
We started to brainstorm what skills and resources we could offer. Amanda diligently made calls to local medical supply companies and outreach programs—we were amazed by how willing everyone was to help out. Nurse Next Door was donated over $700.00 of supplies. She spoke a local charity Metro Community and learned that they host weekly barbeques on Wednesdays for the homeless. Amanda came up with the concept of “Wound Care Wednesdays” to compliment the BBQ! The concept was to have two organizations collaborate and host a weekly booth in downtown Kelowna for the homeless. One side would offer warm lunches and Nurse Next Door would provide free wound care and wellness check-ups.
Amanda spearheaded this initiative and I was her number one supporter. Whenever we show up on Wednesdays in our branded pink shirts, people are happy to see us. We’ve established friendships with quite a few of them and we’re truly making a difference in their lives. Whether it’s attending to a wound, checking vital signs or just sharing educational health facts, it’s an amazing and rewarding feeling.
Each Wednesday from 11AM to 1PM, two of Nurse Next Door’s nurses volunteer at the booth.
Those who come to the booth can first go get a free hot meal (barbeque right off the grill!) before stopping by and getting a health check-up and/or receive wound care.
We test their blood pressure and check their vital signs.
The unfortunate truth is that a portion of the homeless struggle with drug addiction. Nurse Next Door Kelowna’s team provides supplies such as: disposable syringes, containers for sharp items for safe disposal, Stericups and bandages etc. A goal of the Nurse Next Door booth is to ensure they are taking good care of themselves and properly dispose of needles so they’re not littered everywhere and stop them from needle-sharing, contracting bloodborne diseases.
The main objective is to create a safe space so everyone can feel welcomed. The feedback has been all positive!
Those who visit the booths are grateful they have people to talk to and have professionals to provide them with advice and resources for their health. It’s really nice to have friendships blossom throughout this initiative.
“I feel like charity work and caregiving go hand in hand. Maybe it’s because I’m a nurse and it’s in my blood. The ultimate goal is to build my business and Care Team to have the ability to help people and give back.”
Nurse Next Door’s Franchise Partners come from all walks of life.
We’re looking for like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about making lives better. Are you in?