(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Christina Camilleri: Making holistic health care accessible

Christina Camilleri founded and operates Healthy Essentials Clinic

In this edition of Women in Business, women were interviewed who are employed in typically male-dominated industries or in a position that was historically filled by a man.

These women share their stories of being underrepresented in their field and leadership roles – in the hope that their perseverance and success become the guiding light for the next generation of women in business, so they continue to break glass ceilings and meet their goals.

Women in Business shows who the movers and the shakers are in Kelowna and that there is always a space to share stories of successful women.

Clinics, in general, usually only offer one type of health care but not one particular clinic in Lake Country. Healthy Essentials Clinic offers access to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, counsellors, a pediatrician and even registered dietitians.

Founder and director Christina Camilleri said the mission is to make holistic health care more accessible, instead of making people jump through hoops by keeping the care they need under silos.

Camilleri opened Healthy Essentials in June 2019 and has been thriving through the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the community’s support.

“It’s a young clinic, but the dream of opening such a clinic has been a long time in the making,” she said.

With 30 years of experience in counselling and dietetics, Camilleri has seen the effects of having people go from one place to another to get their various health needs met, which then inspired her to envision a facility that had everything patients needed.

The clinic is available for individuals as well as families who struggle with mental health, substance use and other health issues, including injuries and physical impairments.

Once they take a patient in, the various health care practitioners at the clinic then work together based on what the patient has expressed they need or what their doctors have prescribed for them.

Camilleri said her journey from being a dietitian and counsellor to owning and operating her own clinic has been an interesting one.

“As a woman in business in a traditionally male-dominated industry, you’re met with ambivalence. You’re also met with skepticism,” she said.

“There were a number of people who told me directly that they expected me to fail during my first two months. But I’m so glad we followed through with opening when we did and that we are now here, when mental health services are much needed due to the stresses of COVID-19.”

But despite the pushback and the hurdles, Camilleri said she thanks the community for its support throughout the clinic’s first year and for helping them not only survive COVID-19 but thrive.

“Just keep following your dreams. It may be difficult but it is worth the effort,” she said.

“Be curious, be authentic, be courageous and ask the hard questions and don’t be afraid to lead the way, as there are others who will help champion your cause.”


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

women in business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patios, retail shops to expand outdoor spaces in West Kelowna (PHOTO: The City of West Kelowna).
West Kelowna allows expanded patios, retail spaces

West Kelowna allows businesses to expand outdoor service areas due to pandemic restrictions

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Lumby resident Dan Hill was at Vernon’s Polson Park to celebrate 4-20 by giving away free marijuana joints to people of age April 20, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
North Okanagan man back with free joints, cupcakes on 4-20

Dan Hill is trying to help people of age relax during a stressful April with marijuana giveaway

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Most Read