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Kelowna nurse recognized for work with vulnerable, addicted

Brenda Epp was among the recipients at the 2018 Nursing Awards by the NNPBC, recognized in the category of Excellence in Nursing Practice. Jeff Martin/ Global Okanagan

It’s a sector that’s ever-evolving, but registered nurse Brenda Epp is said to excel at keeping up with the needs of Kelowna’s homeless and addicted population.

For her work, Epp has been honoured by the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) in the category of Excellence in Nursing Practice.

READ MORE: B.C. drug overdose deaths on pace with 2017’s record tally

“Compassionate, skilled, professional and curious: Brenda sets the standard for her unit,” John Yarschenko, director of recovery and addiction services for The Bridge Youth & Family Services, said.

Epp is the program manager and registered nurse for a 12-bed withdrawal management unit operated by The Bridge in Kelowna.

She leads a team of more than 20 who help deliver around-the-clock care for patients who struggle with substance use issues and require a supported, medically supervised environment for withdrawal.

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Epp also organizes community naloxone training. Naloxone, or Narcan, is the antidote for an opiod overdose.

In accepting her award, Epp said those she helps have taught her what is important in life and that through their vulnerability, emotional and physical pain, she witnesses hope and resiliency.

“I would like to thank The Bridge Youth & Family Services who have given me the opportunity to combine my values with my nursing practice and allow me to be a part of a dynamic, compassionate, and creative organization and the board of directors of NNPBC for acknowledging the good work that is being done in our communities,” said Brenda.

The NNPBC held its 2018 nursing awards in Vancouver on Dec. 17th.

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