THE NEW book Front Lines: Portraits of Caregivers of Northern British Columbia features locals Gayle and Geoff Appleton, a nurse and a doctor, and paramedics Cheryl and Scott Spencer among others.
The book, written by former Terrace resident Sarah de Leeuw and photographed by Tim Swanky, is published by Creekstone Press, an independent press based in Smithers.
Sheila Peters, one of the publishers, said the original idea for the book came from Dr. Dave Snadden, the head of UNBC’s Northern Medical Program, who has a similar book that features physicians from rural Scotland.
“He wanted to take that idea and apply it to northern BC,” says Peters.
Several people submitted names of caregivers for the book and from that list, 44 were selected to represent different types of practice: doctors, nurses, social workers, paramedics, to name a few and from all areas of the north, she says.
“The idea was to reflect how the geography of northern BC, its people and its cultures influenced or shaped the practice of various caregivers,” explains Peters.
Work on the book began two years ago as it took that long to get all of the photographs and essays done and to edit, design and print the book.
“The book is really aimed at three audiences…caregivers already working here, the people they serve and caregivers who don’t live here yet but are looking.”
“For those already working here, I think the book has a lot to say about the commonality of care giving in the north. Things like commitment to community, openness to other cultures, self awareness and creating a complimentary rather than adversarial relationship with the land.
“For health care consumers, I think the book gives them a glimpse into the minds and hearts and lives of the people who care for them. In terms of recruiting potential caregivers to the North, the book takes a comprehensive look at the benefits and the challenges – beauty and isolation, mountains, ocean and prairie, variety of practice, ancient and wise cultures, real wilderness,” says Peters.
De Leeuw will be at the book launch here to read from the book. Those featured in the book have been invited, too. The launch of Front Lines: Portraits of Caregivers in Northern British Columbia takes place at 2 p.m. April 30 at the Elephant’s Ear Bistro.