Oct. 7, 2019
Former UCalgary Nursing Alumni co-president pursues nursing passion on the west coast
Vancouver native, Dominic Chan, has returned to his roots and is loving every second of it. 2019 has seen three new roles for Chan – professionally, as Patient Care Coordinator, Ambulatory and Inpatient Adult Mental Health at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and personally, as homeowner and, in late August, as husband.
“Living in North Vancouver and being outdoors every day after work, whether it’s biking, hiking, paddle boarding or skiing, is awesome,” says Chan of his life with wife Chrystal (Benedek, BN’14, pictured above) after leaving Calgary in 2018.
The balance of a career you enjoy with personal pursuits you also love characterize Chan’s credo of connection. In a 2014 issue of UCalgary Nursing’s Alumni Connections, Chan spoke of choosing nursing for that very reason. As an undergraduate student at UCalgary, he was actively involved in leadership activities, including the Nursing Guys Club and peer mentorship. He continued that involvement as UCalgary Nursing Alumni treasurer and then co-president, allowing him to remain engaged with friends and colleagues in Calgary. But the lifestyle in Vancouver eventually called him home and he and Chrystal have both happily settled into nursing careers in mental health.
Tell us about the work you do and what drives you to do it.
"I currently oversee and manage day-to-day operations of adult mental health services at Lions Gate Hospital in psychiatric emergency and inpatient mental health. Much of my role includes providing ongoing education to all staff, ensuring patient flow through emergency and the inpatient unit, and also developing initiatives to improve patient care. Every day presents a new challenge: there is always more work to do so I'm never bored. I also really enjoy connecting with many colleagues within the health-care organization and some who live miles away."
Share a memorable experience you had at UCalgary Nursing and why it's significant in your life or career.
"One of my most memorable experience was returning as an instructor for a year after I graduated. In a sense, I went full circle. I was — and still am — very passionate about sharing my experience as a student through teaching!"
What most excites you about the future of nursing or changes coming in the profession?
"The building of nursing leaders."
Is there a nursing issue you are especially passionate about or you would like to change?
"The need for nursing leaders is very strong. I am an advocate of nurses seeking additional training/education to improve on their abilities to manage and direct the future of our health-care system."
What piece of advice would you like to share with aspiring nurses?
"With all the areas a nurse can work in, it’s important that you stay in an area that you are passionate about. Find your passion and you will have a fulfilling career!"
All through 2019, we'll be highlighting 50 Faces of Nursing and profiling nursing members in celebration of our 50th anniversary. If you know someone noteworthy (faculty, staff, alum, students, partners, etc.) who you would like us to feature, tell us more with this short online form. For more, visit nursing.ucalgary.ca/50