Rosalee Sears-Ford, the new renal manager at Kelowna General Hospital calls herself a “life-long learner”. That’s a good thing, because since her first day on the job in mid-May, she’s been in fast-track learning mode.
Rosalee has never before worked in renal care. But with 25 years of nursing and health care management experience, she is certainly well prepared for the challenge of her new role.
Prior to moving to Kelowna, Rosalee was a manager at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, with responsibility for two 38-bed units. She also recently completed a Masters degree in leadership at Royal Roads University in Victoria, a learning experience she describes as “exciting” and says she loved.
Although she has lived and worked all her life in Alberta, at this stage of her career a move to the Okanagan was very attractive.
“It was a drawing card for sure, with my retirement years ahead of me,” says Rosalee, whose husband has just retired after a career as a hospital pharmacist in Calgary.
There was also the draw of living closer to her daughter, a student at the Kelowna campus of the University of British Columbia.
But equally important was the chance to try something different. Rosalee says she found the opportunity to work in renal care very appealing, especially as she learned more about the BC renal network.
“Renal care seems to be very well organized in BC,” says Rosalee. “The Renal Agency has done an awesome job of ensuring standardized care across the province, and I think that really helps to build a sense of trust among patients.”
In addition to her daughter, Rosalee has a son who is completing a degree in public health at the University of Lethbridge. She also has lots of other family members in Alberta, and with the appeal of the Okanagan summer she’s anticipating a steady stream of visitors in the coming months.