Our Practitioners

Christina Camilleri
Founder & Director

Christina Camilleri is described as “one of the best kept secrets of the Okanagan”, well-known by reputation amongst health professionals in the field of nutrition, disordered eating/eating disorders. Many colleagues in various health disciplines around the province speak highly of Christina’s professional contribution and expertise. With over 30 years of clinical nutrition and behavioral counseling experience, extensive training and teaching opportunities, Christina’s vast knowledge and leadership is evident in all she does.

Christina graduated in 1987 from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Applied Science, Honors in Applied Human Nutrition. In 1988 she attended her clinical dietetic internship at Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario. During her internship, she focused on electives that included disordered eating, sports nutrition and cardiology. In June 1988, Christina was hired as a clinical dietitian for the Western Counties Wing War Veterans at Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario. In working closely with this patient population, it was evident to Christina how the trauma of war correlated strongly with the veterans’ quality of life. As a clinical dietitian, her focus was to manage symptoms of illness through therapeutic meal plans. However, this was only scratching the surface. How do you support someone in trauma to make the necessary dietary changes to improve wellness and quality of life if they really don’t care or feel they have anything to live for?

As a new graduate and someone who had her own life experience with trauma, Christina’s energy and passion to help others sustain a love of life no matter the tragedies or circumstances, prompted her continued education towards behavioral counseling. At Parkwood Hospital, Christina worked closely with the multidisciplinary team. This team consisted of medical doctors and pastoral care, recreational and horticultural therapy, and nutritional support for prevention of illness, disease management and early intervention of disease. This unique treatment approach transferred into her private practice at the Fitness Forum, a high performance fitness facility where she worked with elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and individuals suffering from disordered eating and eating disorders.

Sports Nutrition has always been one of Christina’s passions, following naturally from her own enthusiasm for many sports both competitive and recreational. Christina is dedicated to helping athletes become the best that they can be in their sport, and she has often been a pivotal member of an athlete’s support team. She has worked with major league baseball players, CFL football players, junior hockey players, elite ski racers, junior varsity basketball, volleyball, soccer, rugby players, triathletes and more. To be a part of any athletes’ journey is a privilege and honor. The combination of nutritional and behavioral counseling is essential for every individual who pursues the athletic dream!

In 1991, Christina relocated from Ontario to the Okanagan Valley where she used her unique nutritional, behavioral counseling and educational background to support the development of disordered eating programs in both Kelowna and Vernon. Christina became a strong advocate for client centered care and professional development of multidisciplinary teams. She worked tirelessly to ensure that clients and their families could stay closer to home during their treatment process. Liaison with the multidisciplinary hospital team was necessary in developing inpatient eating disorder protocols for youth on pediatrics and adults on psychiatry. Christina’s drive to remain current with best practices through varied educational opportunities, committees, conferences, literature searches, media interviews, international presentations, mentoring and training opportunities contributed to some of the best multidisciplinary outpatient programs in the province.

Since 1992, as founder of Healthy Essentials, Christina’s private practice has remained under the radar, receiving referrals by reputation and word of mouth. The flexibility of being a business owner allowed Christina to enjoy the benefits of raising her family while fulfilling her desire to work in her specialized fields of practice both at her home office and in Vernon. In 2013, Christina resigned after 22 years as Coordinator of the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) North Okanagan Eating Disorder Program. Christina will continue her leadership role in the community as Director of Healthy Essentials Clinic (HEC); an integrative team of experienced professionals who  provide person-centered care for clients and families who seek our unique services. Christina will continue to mentor, train, educate and consult with professionals to help lead the way in community health. She looks forward to growing and building Healthy Essentials Clinic into a larger community of care providers who will help to make her dream of serving all people who desire health, wellness and personal excellence a reality!

For more information on Christina’s professional experience you can review Christina’s CV (curriculum vitae)

HEC Doctors & Psychiatrists

Heather Derry BSc, MD, FRCPC
Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Graduated from McMaster University in 2006 in Medicine and pursued Psychiatry residency training at the University of Toronto, graduating in 2011. Heather has been working
in Kelowna, BC from 2011 to present. Heather specializes in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Eating Disorders. When asked why she wants to work for Healthy Essentials Clinic Heather says, “I love to be part of a multidisciplinary team and look forward to incorporating holistic
modalities to provide comprehensive care to clients and families”. 

Hobbies: Skiing

Lindsay Blair,
General Adult Psychiatrist

Originally from Alberta, Lindsay graduation from her Psychiatry residency in 2012 and has been working as a General Adult Psychiatrist since. Initially working 6 years in Whitehorse providing both in-patient and out-patient care. Now living in the Okanagan since 2019 and has been working at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and Vernon Mental Health and Substance since then!

“I wanted to work at HEC so I can see more mild/moderate illness when I feel we have the most chance of helping patients with reduction of symptoms and improve their function. I hope to intervene before their symptoms become chronic and severe. I am also excited to work in a team-based environment where the clinic staff seem excited about their work and dedicated to their patient’s overall wellbeing.”

Hobbies: I love spending time with my family exploring the Okanagan. We enjoy hiking, swimming, and paddle boarding throughout the summer and skiing/snowboarding in the winter.

Dr. Sarah Riedlinger, MD, FRCPC, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Physician for Healthy You Program

Originally from Edmonton Alberta, Sarah graduated from UofA MD in 2015, followed by UBC Pediatrics in 2020, and UBC Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2023. Specializing in Pediatric Endocrinology Sarah has a passions for obesity prevention and diabetes in children.

Why work at HEC: “I am excited to come on board with a team of like-minded professionals, where we can approach childhood chronic illness with a multi-faceted approach, and in a family-oriented manner.”

Hobbies: Running after my two toddlers! In my spare time I can most likely be found at one of the amazing parks throughout the Okanagan.

Dr Michele Gingras MD, FRCPC

Michele grew up in Kelowna B.C., had moved away but returned to the North Okanagan in 2006. She completed her residency at BC Children’s in 2005.  Since then, has worked 15 years as community pediatrician and Vernon Jubilee hospital pediatrician.  Since 2012 Michele has been focusing on outpatient behavioral and developmental pediatrics.

Why work at HEC: “I have always treasured the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment and Healthy Essentials Clinic provides that in a beautiful location with excellent colleagues.”

Hobbies: As my children begin to leave the nest I have enjoyed exploring my more creative side with crochet. 

HEC Counsellor’s

Sandra Martinson
M.A. Accredited Clincial Supervisor with British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors
HEC Counsellor

Originally from Minnesota, Sandra now resides right here in the Okanagan. With over 19 years of experience, Sandra specializes working with Couples, Youth and Families experiencing relationship issues, mental health challenges and varied struggles. Most recently she works with families experiencing Eating Disorders.

Why work for HEC: “I have always been impressed with the vision and practice model exhibited by HEC.  I also love the location.”

Hobbies: In the summer I love gardening and hiking.  In the winter I love knitting.

Pearce Hahn
PiMA Counselling Psychology (MACP), Yorkville University 2020; Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), BCACC
HEC Counsellor

Pearce grew up in southern Ontario but moved to the Okanagan in 2005, and has been calling Lake Country home since 2009.

Pearce has been practicing as a counsellor for 3 years, since completing his clinical practicum in 2020.

He specializes in working with youth, adults, and couples (relationships of all kinds) who may be suffering from the impacts of trauma, grief, loss, anxiety, depression and disconnection upon their lives and relationships.

While he mainly practices from a narrative and emotions-focused approach, he also integrates solution-focused, cognitive-behavioural, and somatic approaches as well. “It’s ,my intention to help clients move beyond coping and techniques to better understand and connect with themselves and others in new and meaningful ways.”

Why work for HEC: “I am drawn to the HEC’s shared vision, commitment, and collaborative approach to holistic, client-centred care. (Finding the right support within a fragmented healthcare system can be difficult and overwhelming.)”

Hobbies: If I had to choose one hobby it would be woodworking! I like to build and play musical instruments as self-care. (Runner-hobbies are hiking, camping, mountain-biking, cooking and adventuring with my wife and son.

Linda Brattinga, B.Ed, Masters of Education in Psychology and Counselling
HEC Counsellor

Linda grew up and graduated in Devon, Alberta. She moved to BC right after graduation and settled in Richmond initially before moving to Lake Country in 1992, and now calls this home.

Linda Graduated with her Counselling Degree in 2016 and has been working in the field since, specializing in teens / adolescents, women of all ages (50+), job related stress and fatigue, relationship issues and families of special need children.

When asked why she wants to work for Healthy Essentials Clinic Linda says: “I believe in what the clinic stands for, a holistic approach to healing. I feel I have a great deal to offer the clinic and look forward to being a part of a team that will make a difference when it comes to mental illness”.

Hobbies: Camping and hiking

Mike Shaw
HEC Practicum Counsellor

From the Okanagan, Mike Shaw brings a unique background in freestyle skiing to his role at HEC. Formerly the coach of the Canadian Olympic development half-pipe ski team, his life took an unexpected turn on December 16, 2013, when a severe accident left him with a broken neck and incomplete quadriplegia.

Despite his adversity, Mike’s determination and resilience propelled him forward. Mike’s experience of overcoming significant challenges was a profound catalyst for his transition into counselling. 

Grounded in a trauma-informed approach, Mike is passionate about supporting individuals through difficult times. He utilizes evidence-based practices to help clients navigate their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours toward achieving healthier well-being.

Why work for HEC: “I firmly believe in the unity of our minds and bodies in the healing process. Joining the HEC team provides me with invaluable resources and a collaborative environment to better support clients in achieving their treatment goals.”

Hobbies: Enjoys Skiing, hiking, camping, continuous learning, working out, and contributing to the community

Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)

Tracy Jacques
HEC Registered Massage Therapist

Tracy has a diverse background, a 20+ year journey with rehabilitation and overcoming chronic pain. She combines traditional massage techniques including Fascial; Visceral; Lymph and Craniosacral Therapy to create better circulation, movement and decrease tension and holding patterns. Her training includes a 2 year study in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy as well as many other courses/workshops in Osteopathy; Breath; Movement & Pilates. Tracy takes professional development  and a “whole body & systems” approach seriously.

Physiotherapists

Janet Sprague
BHScPT

Janet is a Physiotherapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist (LANA) with a strong interest in providing physiotherapy to patients recovering from cancer. This includes treatment for de-ceased range of motion and function, radiation fibrosis, cording, scar tissue management and lymphedema. In 1997 Janet became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and received her. Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) Lymphedema Therapist designation. In 2020 after over 30 years in private practice Janet completed a 14 month temporary position at BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver as sole physiotherapist. Janet is on the Medical Advisory

Board for the BC Lymphedema Association and is a Clinical Assistant for the UBC Physiotherapy Program Adult Oncology Lab. Janet is currently in the process of relocating to Kelowna and will be working in private practice establishing a cancer rehab program.

Why work for HEC: Excited to offer physiotherapy to all cancer patients and lymphedema patients in the Okanagan Valley as it is currently an under serviced area.

Hobbies: Walking and running in the trails with my golden retriever. 

Sabina Janet Viktorija Lee
MscPT, BSc.HK, FDN/IMS, Women’s Health

Sabina was born in Calgary, but grew up here in the Okanagan. She has been working as a Physiotherapist for the past 8 years and has been loving every minute of it.

Sabina specializes in Orthopaedics (weekend warrior/life injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle related injuries) which integrates manual therapy, modalities and therapeutic exercises, as well as dry needling/ intramuscular stimulation,( FDN/IMS), and Women’s Health.

Why work for HEC: “I came to HEC to be surrounded by like minded professionals who are passionate about the well being of their clients. In addition, this will be the first time Lake Country will offer a physiotherapy integration with Pilates for advancing rehabilitation and health. HEC provides a platform to bring motivated clients together and offers a variety of treatments. The ultimate goal is to make impactful changes and empower clients with the knowledge and tools maintain those changes independently.”

Hobbies: Wake surfing. When I’m not working you will find me on the lake soaking up everything Okanagan has to offer. 

Pilates Instructors

Heather Booi
Pilates Program Manager & Certified Instructor

FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms),
Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist (PCES)

Born and raised in Kelowna, but now calling Lake Country home since 2010.

Heather switched from a career in insurance to movement in 2018 after becoming a mother; initially through yoga, then Pilates not long after, and Heather continued to expand her trainings and certifications every year.

“What brings me the greatest fulfilment in this work is witnessing the transformation in someone the moment a new brain/body connection is created.  I am passionate in creating strong foundations to allow for these connections to be made through proper breath patterning, working on functional mobility, and seeking balance throughout the kinetic chain, from the inside out.  With these focuses, specialized trainings I’ve done, and through my own journey in motherhood, I have naturally gravitated to working with pre- and post-natal women looking to heal from abdominal wall and pelvic floor dysfunction—though I have found everyone can benefit from applying this foundational work to whatever level they’re at.”

Why work for HEC: “I was thrilled to learn about the holistic and forward-thinking intention of this space and the vision of creating powerful, positive change in healthcare through a multi-disciplinary team approach of meeting the person as a whole.  This aligns completely with me and my beliefs, and I’m excited to play a part in offering Pilates and other movement therapies as yet another valuable piece in tending to all layers of the Self, on this path to wholeness.”

Hobbies: Anything together with my family, ideally outdoors.  In a rare moment of solitude, you can likely find me reading, writing, meditating, moving my body, or anything else that offers growth, grounding, and expansion.

Mira Hahn
Pilates Instructor
Certified TPC Advanced Classical Pilates & STOTT Merrithew Pilates

An Okanagan local, Mira has been a Pilates Instructor for 15 years and specializes in deepened body awareness, Surgical Prehab & Rehab.

Why work for HEC: “HEC’s multidisciplinary offerings endeavour to facilitate meaningful change in all areas of wellbeing. I’m excited to offer the benefits of Pilates to people who may be facing challenges beyond my scope of care, knowing that they have access to relevant support right alongside their Pilates journey.”

Hobbies: Textile design!

Nicole Whiddington
Pilates Instructor

Nicole found Pilates at age 17, after a car accident. Her chiropractor recommended core and spine  strengthening exercises. At the time she was living in a small town in Alberta where Pilates classes weren’t very common, she bought gaiam dvd’s and did workouts from her Mom’s living room. 

At the age of twenty, Nicole moved to Vancouver and discovered Pilates on the Reformer. Starting a regular Pilates regim was life changing, she noticed a big difference in the reduction of low back pain through strengthening core and spine and this was her first real introduction to the mind body connection.  A few years later the curiosity of teaching arose, when she discovered her inner teacher’s voice and a passion toward guidance others through movement. This inner voice was a calling for her to take a new direction into the path of health and wellness, which started off with a wonderful opportunity as Ambassador for Lululemon in 2007.

Throughout her teaching career of 20 years, Nicole has taught many different types of classes, from Aqua fit, TRX, Spin, Barre, Kickboxing, SUP, Bootcamp, Group fitness, Yoga, Mat Pilates & recently Pilates Reformer.

Why work for HEC: “I was first drawn to the clinic a couple years ago, while taking private pilates classes. I absolutely loved the warm, welcoming atmosphere in the professional setting. I am thrilled to be part of this Multidisciplinary team, offering a forward thinking approach to Health care. My beliefs in Holistic Care, align with the vision of HEC and I am honoured to teach Pilates as a practice of movement for clients among all the services offered by practitioners at HEC.”

Hobbies: Hiking, exploring with my family, creating essential oil blends, art & cooking