PHOTO: Chamber president Karen VanDoorne with Julie Bell and Donna Nordstrom of North Stream Rehabilitation Centre
North Stream Rehabilitation Centre, launched here last summer by Atikokanite Donna Nordstrom, an internationally certified return-to-work professional, and Julie Bell, a Winnipeg occupational therapist, won the business excellence award at the Chamber of Commerce gala here May 18.
Nordstrom worked in inspections at Manitoba public insurance for years, and part of her role was to ensure rehab program providers were meeting the requirements and needs of their clients. When she and husband Kevin Stainthorpe decided Atikokan was where they’d really rather live – she started looking around for an opportunity. A stint at the Atikokan office of the Rainy River DSSAB, and a talk with Brad Beyak at the Employment Centre, along with some detailed research, convinced her a rehab centre serving all of Northwestern Ontario could make a go of it here.
Julie Bell also owns and operates Optimize Occupational Therapy Services (2006 – www.optimizeot.ca) in Winnipeg. Since graduating from the University of Manitoba (2002), she has actively practiced in Winnipeg, as well as in rural and northern Manitoba. Julie’s extensive experience and expertise in her field have allowed her to provide services for many prestigious companies, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, MPI, Caisse Financial, UNIVAR, Monarch Industries, Association of MB Municipalities, and Manitoba Provincial Government Agencies (CFS, EIA, Crown Attorneys, Corrections). Her skills in mentoring, teaching and educating have made her a leader in the occupational therapy community.
North Stream has hired four staffers, and employs various health care professionals on contract. It’s primary work is helping injured workers regain their best working form through occupational testing, treatment , and rehabilitation services.
To better reach employers, North Stream has outreach offices in Emo, Ignace, Thunder Bay, and Wawa. They have added employee drug testing to their service list, and hope to soon add pre-employment fitness testing. And by using the best professionals in the business, the company has been able to meet the needs of both employers and employees. And North Stream also offers its services directly to the public – you can book a massage or see a chiropractor or occupational therapist right here in Atikokan.
Rexall Drugs took over at Atikokan Pharmacy in the spring of 2015, and a year later brought in a new manager-pharmacist, Bushra Jabri. Under her leadership, the pharmacy has made some changes – especially appreciated are the open over the lunch hour policy and the home delivery program – but has retained the high standard of service – professional yet friendly and caring – of its predecessors.
Bushra leads a staff of five, and is always willing to review a prescription with a patient, explain what it’s for, how and when to take it, what side effects to watch for, how to know if your medication is working, and what actions to take if it is not.
Like its predecessor, Rexall works closely with the Clinic and Family Health Team, and continues the patient-first approach.
Brette Cain started Brette’s Foot Care here last year. Trained as an RPN, she took some extra training to certify a provider of basic, advanced, and diabetic foot care
“Foot care is very important in maintaining overall health,” she says. “Healthy feet help maintain mobility and allow people to keep their independence.”
Her care is of a fairly intimate nature, and this is the part of the work Brette enjoys. “People aren’t just receiving a health care service that can ultimately save and prolong their lives, [this kind of care also] provides emotional and mental support.
Brette’s business was recognized by the PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise with a New Business of the Year award In November. In addition to working one-on-one with her clients, she also sub-contracts her service through Northstream Rehab, and works the occasional shift as an RPN at Atikokan General Hospital.