With 25 years of experience caring for others as an optician and partner in the family home building centre, Linda brings passion and tenacity to Imagine Citizens Network. She has a can-do attitude, keen organizational skills and firm understanding that you can, and need to, take ownership of your outcomes (whether these are for your business or health).
Linda became involved with ICN when she had an introductory conversation with Troy Stoke about Healthcare 101. Linda was going through family health issues and ICN’s mandate appealed to her. She knew she had the skills to help and as she has many times before, she jumped in. The Med Wise Alberta pilot project came to life and was carried out in September in three communities near her home base of Cold Lake. She and the team from University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences plan to roll out workshops across Alberta in spring 2020.
A member of the provincial Chronic Conditions and Pain Management Committee, she is proud to be among 16 people “who all have very impressive titles.” She recalls introducing herself, “I’m from Imagine Citizens, I’m a citizen and I have a chronic condition – that’s why I’m here.” Her voice made a difference. The committee listed 10 chronic conditions but missed arthritis. There was a misconception on the committee that arthritis is a natural part of aging. She brought to light the need to recognize this disease and it was added to the survey.
Her hope is Med Wise can help empower people throughout the province, in both rural and urban settings, to gain the benefits of taking an active role in their health.
It will take many people’s experiences and backgrounds to keep our health-care system evolving, and Albertans are fortunate to have Linda Kolewaski’s clear and sincere voice part of this movement.