So many words come rushing up when trying to describe Jacqueline Turvey: nurturing, reflective, talented, dauntless! There is no doubt that she was born to be a healer – she exudes warmth, compassion and caring – but she is also a visionary who wants to build solutions to the complex problems she sees around her in healthcare services.
Jacqueline took on the Empowered Nations journey with her hands already full: two teenage boys in middle and high school, a full-time job working with Interior Health and a variety of contract projects in health-related areas. In her work, she is a strong believer in empowering people through their own learning and self-care. She does education around smoking cessation, and is a Facebook moderator for QuitNow, answering questions and offering support to folks in need. She has delivered workshops for the College of Physicians to school age children around air quality, the air quality index and emergency preparedness for respiratory health.
In her ‘day job’, Jacqueline works as a respiratory therapist with Interior Health seeing patients in physician’s offices but knows that there are so many other people out there who need treatment but can’t access it. “Many communities don’t have services in place, especially for testing, so patients have to travel, sometimes hours, to get to testing sites. Ideally we would be able to screen people ahead of time to save them traveling or bring machines to them.”
Jacqueline is drawing on her innovative spirit to develop a solution. It’s not an unfamiliar journey to her. “I think that I must have always had a little bit of the entrepreneur in me. Right from the beginning I was always creative. I wanted to get on a sewing machine when I was 6 years old, but my grandmother wouldn’t let me so I eventually started selling jewelry. I went through a phase of sewing fleece. I must have made 400 fleece hats one winter!”
Jacqueline’s idea for JT Respiratory Therapy is to build a business offering consultation and respiratory services accessible in community. She is creating a much-needed solution for community members, while providing freedom and financial benefit to her own family. Jacqueline is taking on a big task but has the perseverance and passion to see it through.
“I’m not scared of what’s ahead. I’m doing this. This business is happening!”
Jacqueline is a member of the Secwépemc Nation and also a person of Métis heritage. She grew up in Kamloops but in a period where her Indigenous heritage was known but not celebrated. As she and her sisters came of age, they wanted to embrace their history and set to investigating their family’s roots. Jacqueline has found her sense of belonging and place in the Clinton and Whispering Pines Indian Band.