Skip to main content

CONNECT's New Independence Coach is Ready to Take on Her New Role - and All the Okanagan has to Offer

Karin Schmidt, occupational therapist, says she's thrilled to be in the Okanagan and excited to learn from CONNECT empowering residents to reach their goals.

"I want to spend the first little while observing and to be learning," says Karin. "I am looking forward to meeting the residents and getting into my role here."

Karin is filling in for Independence Coach Brian Hall, who is taking a parental leave for the next year.

"Brian and I have similar philosophies when it comes to OT work," says Karin. "I have been interested in CONNECT and how extremely client-centred it is. When I worked at Hillside in Kamloops, I was an active patient advocate. It seems CONNECT itself and everyone here is a client advocate, which is great."

Karin has interacted with CONNECT through her work in Kamloops and has known Karen Tims, CONNECT's Director of Culture, People and Services, for years, even working together many years ago.

Karin is currently doing her Masters in Rehabilitation Science through UBC and comes to CONNECT from Kamloops. She immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 2003, but has been working in the brain injury field for 26 years.

"All of my Masters subjects right now are brain injury related, with an overall focus on return to community."

She was happy to move to the Okanagan for the outdoor activities, but also to be with her partner, who shares a home with her in Cold Stream.

"Our home is just perfect. Right in our backyard we can do mountain biking, swimming in and paddling on a number of lakes, walking my dog."

Karin, who calls herself a people person, says she appreciates the emphasis CONNECT places on the individual resident and their specific goals.

"It's nice to have a flexible environment so people can feel at home here."