About Me…

Frozen eyelashes at -60ºC, in Kugaaruk, Nunavut - January 1, 2013.
Frozen eyelashes at -60ºC, in Kugaaruk, Nunavut – January 1, 2013.
So, who am I?

I’m Val – I’m a traveler, humanitarian and nurse practitioner.


I’ve been around the world nearly twice, and my goes is to set foot in as many countries as I can before I die. I am an adventure seeker, and love participating in adrenaline sports like whitewater rafting, scuba diving, etc.

  • Favourite place on earth (so far):  Thailand
  • Least Favourite place on earth (so far): Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Most unexpected place that I discovered I loved: Vietnam
  • Place I expected to love, but didn’t: Japan
  • Most adventurous experience: bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand.
  • Most unexpected experience: petting a tiger at the Tiger Temple, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Best Food: Tied between Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Naples, Italy.


Since 2005, I have been a part of Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT), a not-for-profit organization which responds to disasters.  I have participated in responses in:

  • Koh Phi Phi Don, Krabi, Thailand (2004 Tsunami)
  • Kashmir, Pakistan (2005 earthquake)
  • Dhaka and Gopalganj, Bangladesh (2007 Floods)
  • Beichuan, Sichuan, China (2008 Earthquake)
  • Leogane and Petionville, Haiti (2010 Earthquake)
  • Concepcion, Chile (2010 Earthquake)
  • Jhirruk and Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan (2010 Floods)
  • Ishinomaki and Aikawa, Japan (2011 Earthquake and Tsunami)
  • Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines (2013 Typhoon Haiyan)

I recently completed the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at Laurentian University.

I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, and a Master of Science in Health Policy, Planning and Financing jointly from the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.

Don’t know what a Nurse Practitioner is?

A nurse practitioner provides care to patients of all ages with a focus on preventing disease, promoting good health and curing illness. As a member of the health care team, we offer a variety of health care services including the ability to:

• diagnose and treat illness and/or injuries,
• perform physical check-ups,
• order and interpret diagnostic tests,
• write prescriptions,
• provide counselling and education,
• provide supportive care through illness,
• provide treatments and/or procedures, and
• make referrals to family physicians, specialists and other health professionals.

Currently I work on short-term contracts in the Canadian Arctic and split my time between there and my little house in downtown Toronto.  Previously, I spent a few years traveling and working in disaster zones, specifically relief efforts in far flung places like Thailand, Kashmir, Pakistan, Rwanda, Haiti and Bangladesh.

I’m passionate about travel, culture and helping those less fortunate, and have had the good fortune to be able to combine them professionally. I am most passionate about providing assistance around the globe. And, while my adventures have taken me far and wide to some truly exciting locations, there’s really nothing more appealing than sharing a campfire under the stars with some of my favourite people.
The six things I could never do without:
My passport
Internet Access
My dog Kayleigh
My favorite pillow

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Traveler. Humanitarian. Nurse Practitioner.

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