The 37th Annual Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award Nomination

We are very thankful and honoured to be nominated for an award at The 37th Annual Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards!

This year the Awards gala will take place on Friday Oct 29, 2021 from the Performing Arts Centre. The winners of these will be revealed to an audience of their peers.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that’s been supporting businesses and non-profits in Greater Vernon since 1897.

If you’re not a member yet, there are many reasons to join! The Chamber offers some great benefits; including advocating on behalf members, communicating with all levels of government to encourage policies that promote entrepreneurship and vibrant communities.

If you operate a business in the Greater Vernon area, it’s simple to join online

We wish the best of luck to all of the nominees!

Meet Ken Jyrkkanen, CD, BA, BSW

Ken Jyrkkanen

A Blue Bomber fan at heart, Ken Jyrkkanen was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Moving to Kamloops in 1979, he has been a British Columbian ever since. Enjoying all the backcountry mountain adventures he can. From hiking and camping, to hunting and fishing. His top outdoor adventure includes hiking in the Rockies with his wife Stacy, their two kids and their Miniature Schnauzer, Finn.

Ken joined Interior Homecare Solutions in May of this year as Manager – Community & Residential Services. It has been a natural transition after spending 30 years working with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. He was also a member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers for 25 years. Ending his stint as the Commanding Officer at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Clearly a person of a strong work ethic and commitment. Ken enjoys building programs suited to an individual’s unique needs so that they can grow and thrive.


“I want to see that we can put value into people’s lives,” he says. “Success takes problem solving and working collaboratively with everyone involved, including the individual, their family, other staff and stakeholders like the Ministry, CLBC, Indigenous communities, etc.”


“It’s our goal and intent to build homecare situations for children and clients who can’t remain with family that are relationship based, compassionate and fun. We want to bring clients and family together to provide opportunities for their growth and self-expression while recognizing family, community, and culture.” He goes on to emphasize that when applicable, “It is extremely important to recognize one’s indigenous identity.”


One final thought Ken would like to leave us with? He loves cooking, new food experiences and enjoys new and fine wines from the Okanagan and appreciates a well-aged whiskey and cigar! Any suggestions are welcome!


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Tips to Keep Your Loved Ones Cool this Summer!

keep loved ones cool this summer

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but the hotter temperatures can create added risk for our more vulnerable loved ones. During the summer, it’s even more important to make more regular check-ins.

We’ve put together a list of ways to keep your loved ones cool and comfortable this summer.

Keep Hydrated!

It’s not always easy to drink the recommended, half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Popsicles, sipping cold teas, and juices are great ways to keep cool and get keep hydrated throughout the day. Here are some great popsicles recipes ideas.

Opt for lighter, lean, and fresh cool foods.

Melon, berries, cucumbers, and other foods with high water content are great to have on hand for snacks – and are a great way to keep nourished and hydrated at the same time! Cold pasta salads, sandwiches, and other foods that don’t require an oven to prepare are also great options.

Keep indoor temperatures safe

According to Health Canada, your thermostat and that of your loved ones should be set to a temperature of 22 – 26 degrees Celsius.

If your home is too hot during the day;

  • Consider spending time during the hottest part of the day at a friend’s home or public space that has air conditioning
  • Prepare foods that don’t require an oven
  • Keep windows, blinds and curtains closed during the day
  • Use fans to keep the air circulating
  • Take cool showers or baths. A cool foot bath, or cool towel/cloth can helpful as well

Watch for symptoms of heat illness (Health Canada)

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused, or has stopped sweating.

Symptoms of heat illness;

  • dizziness or fainting
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • extreme thirst (dry mouth or sticky saliva)
  • decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine
  • changes of behaviour in children (like sleepiness or temper tantrums)

If you have any of these symptoms during extreme heat, move to a cool place and drink liquids right away. Water is best.

While waiting for help – cool the person right away by:

  • moving them to a cool place, if you can
  • applying cold water to large areas of their skin or clothing
  • fanning the person as much as possible


Meet Courtney Marsh

Meet Courtney Marsh Interior HomeCare Solutions

Courtney Marsh, a Client Care Manager with Interior Homecare Solutions, did not take a typical path to her career in nursing.

From a very young age, Courtney wanted to work with animals. Her love of wildlife conservation led her to Namibia, where she worked in a wildlife sanctuary for a year. Although she absolutely loved her experiences there, she realized that if she stayed, her life would revolve around the camp and not involve a family of her own. So, she gave it up to travel through Central America with the hopes that the trip would guide her on a new path. And, as unlikely as it seems, it was there, on a boat off the coast of Honduras, that Courtney met a travel nurse who changed her life forever.

After spending an hour together on that boat, Courtney was inspired that nursing could give her the life she was looking for—a challenging career that combines the science of medicine with a holistic view of a person’s overall health, along with the opportunity to work anywhere.

Courtney has never looked back. She completed the nursing program at UBCO in 2019 and is thrilled to be working with the team at Interior Homecare Solutions since October 2020.

Running the Community Pediatrics Program, Courtney collaborates closely with BC Children’s Hospital to ensure that the children in her program receive the best possible complete care. This complete care is what is most important to Courtney and perhaps it comes from her many travel experiences. Born in Saskatchewan but living many of her early years in the Philippines and Tanzania, combined with her experiences travelling, led her to realize that overall health involves more than one aspect of health care.

Courtney is grateful, “I have an incredible work-life balance. I’m surrounded by empowered women and I have the autonomy to manage my hours and balance my projects. Plus, I’m challenging myself and learning something new every day.”

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Meet Aekam Bal

Meet Aekam Bal Interior HomeCare Solutions

Meet Aekam Bal, Clinical Care Manager for Kamloops Interior HomeCare Solutions

Upon talking to Aekam Bal, it becomes immediately apparent that she is grateful for her life, her family and the amazing group of people that she works with at Interior Homecare Solutions.

Born and raised in India, Aekam moved to Terrace in 2008. Although a bit of a culture shock, she adapted to her new Canadian life quickly and she and her husband soon moved to Kamloops where they have been ever since.

A naturally caring person, Aekam is the Clinical Care Manager for the Kamloops office of Interior Homecare Solutions.

Simply put, she wears a lot of hats. As a direct contact with clients, she meets them for the initial assessment to decide which care worker would be a good fit. She also manages the scheduling, creates the care plan, follows up with the client to ensure their needs are being met, and even provides care including assessments and home care visits.

Working with Interior Homecare Solutions since 2016, she is so thankful for the amazing group of coworkers she has.

“We have each other’s back. We work together to ensure the best possible care for each of our clients. The best way to grow as a person is with a strong group of people around you.”

Aekam’s main influence for wanting to become a nurse came from the dedication and selflessness shown from her older sister who is a nurse in Punjab, India. The way her sister cared for others inspired Aekam to seek a similar career.

After spending her early years in Canada learning English and being a stay-at-home mom, Aekam decided, with the encouragement of her husband, to follow in her sister’s footsteps, so she completed her education to obtain her LPN through Sprott Shaw.

Her free time is spent with her husband and 2 beautiful daughters who are 6 and 8 years old. This means shuttling from one activity to another but she still manages to steal the odd moment to hide away with a good book.

She is extremely grateful to her husband who she describes as encouraging her to be who she is today, “he is so patient,” she says.

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Meet Karen Desormeau

Meet Karen Desormeau, Client Care Manager, Interior Homecare Solutions

The first thing that becomes abundantly clear when speaking with Karen Desormeau, is how much she loves providing care to people in need.

Growing up with a disabled sister who required 24-hour care, Karen quickly learned to advocate for those who require help. Her sister was blind and had cerebral palsy, and so the entire family of 6 cared for her unconditionally day and night. Her sister reciprocated with the kind of love and joy that taught Karen not only how to provide care, but more importantly, that what she received in return, was so much more valuable.

This translated into a career for Karen, starting as a care aid in 1976. Being a small town girl from McBride meant that Karen had to go where the work was and so she spent most of her career between Prince George, Jasper and McBride. Karen trained as an LPN and then went on to become an RN working in palliative care and gerontology.

“Working in all of these roles gives me a complete picture of the care required for a person to live a full life,” says Karen, and she emphasizes that, “each role is as important as the other.”

It is her unique upbringing and full career that makes her a great Client Care Manager—able to balance the demanding combination of nursing and administration. This balance is what makes Karen feel so blessed and grateful for her career, not to mention the fantastic group of staff that Karen works with daily—she feels the full support of the team and Holly (Owner and Director of Operations and Nursing of Interior Homecare Solutions).

While Karen loves to bake and read, her spare time is filled with the joy of family. Married for 43 years, Karen has 3 amazing daughters and 8 adored grandchildren. While Covid restrictions have prevented the number of visits she would like, Karen is extremely fortunate, as a nurse, to be able to visit her 94 year-old mother in a long-term care facility daily.

The most important thing that Karen wants people to know about Interior Homecare Solutions is that the entire team takes such pride in ensuring that clients receive the best care possible with consistent staffing to ensure that the client, their whole family, and the care provider are able to build a strong relationship based on trust and quality care.

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Fitness Videos for Seniors, Beginners and People with Mobility Challenges

Fitness Videos for Seniors, Beginners and People with Mobility Challenges

YouTube provides us with countless fitness videos for all fitness levels. To make it easier to navigate, we’ve come up with a list of YouTube Channels that have been created for seniors, beginners and people with mobility challenges.

Exercise can help with so many aspects of our lives. A regular fitness routine can improve coordination, stamina, elevate mood, maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the channels that you like, so you’ll get notified when they release new videos.

It’s important to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.


Eldergym Fitness for Seniors

Stronger Seniors

More Life Health Seniors

Meet Cynthia Winthrope

Cynthia Winthrope

Meet Cynthia Winthrope, General Manager, Interior Homecare Solutions.

The sunny Okanagan is a great place to live and work for Cynthia Winthrope, a kind-hearted administrator who loves to keep things organized.

Growing up in the small, northern town of Smithers, BC, Cynthia was anxious to explore the world. After graduation, she headed straight to BCIT to enroll in the Business Management Program, which offered a travel and marketing component. After living in Vancouver for 6 years, Cynthia was ready to explore some more so she made the move to Vernon where she worked part-time at BCAA. Needing full-time employment, she stumbled across a job posting with a new company called We Care, now known as Interior Homecare Solutions.

Working for a company that provides support and care for residents seemed like the perfect fit to Cynthia. She hasn’t looked back and has now been with Interior Homecare Solutions for 20 years as General Manager, in charge of business planning and growth development.

Why has she stayed so long?

The answer for her is easy. She loves the people and she loves to be an administrator and manager. But, also important to Cynthia is to work for a company that makes a difference in the lives of others. Even though she’s not hands-on with clients, her favourite moments are when she gets to speak with them.

“I feel good to be part of helping people,” she says, “I often talk to clients who are so appreciative of our services, it makes me feel like I am contributing in some way.”

Cynthia really wants people to know that there are companies like Interior Homecare Solutions who are there to help.

“Things don’t need to get to a desperate place before you ask for help, resources are available.”

Living in this beautiful community, Cynthia and her family take advantage of the outdoors by biking, hiking, and gardening. Although her two children are grown, she and her husband still spend lots of time with them enjoying all that the Okanagan has to offer. And then there is her cat – a Garfield like character who always needs to be on a diet, thus keeping her quite occupied.

Like many of us, Cynthia dreams for the chance to travel again but in the meantime, she takes great enjoyment in her community, her family and her work.

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Meet Holly Malfair

Spend any time with Holly Malfair, and you quickly realize that she is exactly where she should be – running a leading British Columbia Home Health Care company. She is a feisty go-getter who demands perfection and loves to be in charge of the situation (she’s also the first to tell you that she’s a Capricorn). Despite her drive to succeed, Holly’s caring nature shines through as she focuses her energy on making sure her employees are happy and content in their careers. This thoughtfulness carries through her tight-knit team as they in turn focus their energy on providing high-quality home care for their clients.

As the Owner and Director of Operations and Nursing for Interior Homecare Solutions, Holly knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. Inspired by her mom who was a nurse, Holly joined the Candy Stripers as a teenager in Merritt. Her experiences there, coupled with a desire to help people, led to a career that has spanned 31 years.

Graduating from Cariboo College in Kamloops (now known as Thompson Rivers University), Holly’s first nursing position was at the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver, where she is very proud to have worked with some of the most renowned spinal cord specialists in the country. This experience led her to work in a variety of hospitals around the province and her tenacity quickly landed her as the Nursing Supervisor of the First Nations Care Facility in Port Alberni.

Wanting to try something new, Holly decided to shift from public to private care. In 1996 she moved to Vernon where she bought a home health care business called WeCare. This was a great move for her as it gave her the flexibility to spend time with her kids and allowed her to enjoy some of her favourite activities like golf, biking and travelling.

Having now owned Interior Homecare Solutions (formerly known as WeCare) for almost 25 years, Holly is so proud of her team and the high-quality care they provide to their clients. Just as Holly wanted the flexibility to enjoy her free time, she is so glad to be able to offer that to her staff — a happy team makes for a great work environment where the staff is able to provide the personalized care that clients deserve.

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Interior HomeCare Solutions COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures

Updated November 25, 2020

COVID-19 Response

The safety and protection of our staff and our clients is our highest priority as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Deemed an essential service, we are taking every precaution necessary to care for our patients, clients and their families by adhering to the guidelines set out by our Province.

Client Homes: To protect both staff and clients, we ensure that all parties are feeling well and have not had contact with any COVID-19 positive patients. When staff enter a client’s home, they wear gloves, masks and eye protection as per PPE protocols from our local Health Authority. Regular hand cleansing with soap and water and/or sanitizer are done throughout the day.

Vernon Office: Our Vernon location is currently closed to members of the public as well as field staff. Drug tests are still available and clients must call from their vehicle for their scheduled appointments 250-542-9717 . These tests are conducted in the basement of our office which is separate from the main office. For deliveries or payments, the individual must call from the parking lot where we will meet them. All parties must wear masks as per provincial regulations.

Cranbrook Office: All visitors must wear masks. One (1) client at a time is allowed in the office for drug testing. All surfaces and touch points are cleaned between tests.

Kamloops Office: All visitors must wear masks. Up to four (4) people at a time are allowed in the waiting room. All surfaces and touch points are cleaned between tests.


The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the best source for COVID-19 health information.