Today we are excited to shine a spotlight on Pierre Imlay, a clinical counsellor with Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH) Primary Care Network.
“I enjoy working collaboratively with clients and helping them to develop and strengthen skills to help themselves in their personal and social struggles,” says Pierre. “I also enjoy working with my colleagues and manager who come from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds.”
Pierre worked at a different health authority for 13 years but made the transition to VCH as that afforded him the opportunity to work in his home community. His work experience also included time at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Clinic in Surrey, which provided him with an understanding of what it would be like to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment. “I really enjoy working in a team environment with other health care professionals to meet the needs of our clients.”
Every day and every client inspires Pierre’s passion for his role. “I’ve worked as a clinician for 25 years and yet each client I connect with begins a new journey of discovery for both of us. It never gets boring.”
Supportive Environment to Thrive
VCH aims to provide a supportive work environment where team members can thrive. “I work with a great team of people,” says Pierre. “We treat each other with a lot of respect, recognizing that we call come into this job from different backgrounds, and each bring our unique selves to the work that we do.” He tells us that his manager has been very supportive of his work, recognizing how his background in a previous health authority could be helpful in the building of VCH primary care networks.
Pierre explains how he incorporates VCH values (We Care for Everyone, We Are Always Learning, and We Strive for Better Results) within his role. “For me, empathy and compassion for oneself and others is a critical stating point and from there we can always strive to improve ourselves, as well as make a difference in peoples’ lives,” he says. “In addition, I have always been curious and demonstrated a strong desire to learn to improve, and I try to foster that same philosophy in the clients that I work with.”
So how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way Pierre cares for his clients? “I went from seeing people in an outpatient group therapy setting to changing over to zoom sessions within 2 weeks,” he says. “The context of my work has changed dramatically but the spirit of it has stayed the same. I’ve had to pivot and roll with the changes but this has allowed me to pay more attention to my self-care.”
Fun fact about Pierre: “I’m an avid reader going between fiction and non-fiction. I just finished reading Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits,” and now getting ready to dive into J.A.C. Brown’s “Freud and the Post-Freudians.”
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