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I especially loved seeing the "a-ha" moments on faces in making these connections between behaviour and an animal's psychological and physical health and wellbeing.
And so it was, I became really good at public engagement and consultation over the years. I supported this experience and career progression with a Masters degree in 2001. My career segued into public consultation and engagement work for government in the UK and European Union, and later back home in the Federal Government of Canada. In all, I stayed a public engagement and consultation career path for nearly 20 years, with 12 of those in European and Canadian governments combined.
Never was the health of our environment and our own health disconnected in my mind. Ever. In fact, another deeply rewarding professional experience in this area has been my work in government with Aboriginal people, exploring ways to work together, to conserve, indeed - to heal. Here, I felt the connectedness of our health relative to my engagement work the most richly. Sadly, this too often seems to happen in a system somewhat resistant to it - to such essential effort and critical need to heal in our "modern" world.
My strong government experience in consultation and public engagement has served me well in my deliberate and focused return to healthcare, and to promote healing - a decision I made following my own health challenge in 2012. It was during this time that a "missing link" in our healthcare experience became very vivid - and my personal reaction to it a calling back to where my earliest career began. A full-circle journey back to learning to become a health and healing professional. Where my professional healthcare training in the UK ended, Duke Integrative Medicine stepped in.
I completed training at Duke Integrative Medicine as an integrated health coach in January 2014.
And indeed, I am home.
I'm trained to be your coach by the best - because I wanted the best for me - and for YOU! - The Duke University Health System (Duke Integrative Medicine) who are dedicated to filling a critical missing link in our health care experience: professional integrated health coaches, trained at the very high Duke standard of care and excellence.
My life to date has been about living my passion: Having impact on others - Positive impact. Coming from a family of healthcare professionals - I attended nursing school in London, UK in 1990. Before long, I found myself in a disease management system - not a healthcare one - and needed to follow a different path. In leaving nursing, I left behind people who have grown into some of the best healthcare professionals I have ever known. Their resilience and ability to shine in a system that seemed to fight them to the death at times has been remarkable. But, my journey had to be different.
So I pursued another deep passion: Science. Earning a B.Sc., in 1996 with a specialty in biopsychology and animal behaviour, I studied, worked with and cared for captive marine mammals in my early career. My interest remained in behaviour, health and well-being. Captivity sees many mammals exhibit stress in the form of repetitive behaviour patterns. Behaviours and "bad" habits which, if left untreated, sees them fall deeper and deeper into stress and declining health. You only need conjure the image of the beautiful polar bear in a zoo or the majestic killer whale in exhibition to understand.
As humans, we are little different. We can feel captive and trapped as a result of stress, poor health, unhappiness, repeating bad habits and behaviours, and feelings of being stuck somewhere we don't belong. We damage our health and allow happiness, vitality and our lives to slip away in keeping ourselves in this place.
In this, my early career at a marine science and research facility in Newfoundland, I loved sharing this knowledge about animal health and behaviour and especially engaging the public, interest groups, other scientists and students in this way to share my work and research.
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