Options has the most caring, capable, and competent staff, and over the years, we have had the privilege of guidance and leadership from physicians who have stepped into the role of Medical Director. These individuals have been broadly responsible for supporting Options for Sexual Health to achieve and maintain the highest medical standards, contributing to the organization’s leadership in exemplary healthcare delivery. In short, they are very much our clinical ‘rudder’ providing medical advice that supports not just service delivery but policy and program development.
For more than 6 years, we had the honour of working with Dr. Marisa Collins. Anyone who knows Marisa is aware of her great passion for clinical care in rural and remote settings, how research informs practice, and her commitment to education and training for folks specifically related to sexual and reproductive health. A champion of the biannual Sexual Health Conference, Marisa’s tenacity for excellence was reflected in the level of presenters and consistent, positive experience of attendees. 
Some people won’t know that Marisa is involved in mindfulness and its practice as well as the exploration of its application in her work. Looking to expand this component of her work and also expose the role at Options to other physicians, Marisa worked with the leadership team to transition out as Medical Director in mid-March of this year. We are so very grateful for her vision, compassion, and insights, and know that she will continue to be part of the Options’ family as an ally and colleague. In these unusual times, we are waiting for a time when we can all be together to honour and celebrate Marisa in a way that befits her contribution to Options – stay tuned! 
So, who joined the team at Options as Medical Director you ask?  It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Dr Blanka Jurenka who has been working as a physician in Vancouver for many years.  Blanka has experience with young people, still delivering services at a local youth clinic weekly and has provided leadership as Medical Director at BC Women’s Hospital with their Sexual Assault Team.
She is excited about the work at Options and sees it as part of her ongoing commitment to activism and education. Blanka joined our team earlier this year and has had a somewhat unusual beginning with us due to the COVID-19 changes and regulations! Getting to know an organization while also entering a new role is challenging, however, Blanka is phenomenal, and has taken it all in stride.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Blanka and have a conversation about everything from what made her throw her hat in the ring for the role at Options, to who she looks up to, and whether she goes black or red on the liquorice question. These and more are answered in the audio clip located below. I hope you have as much fun listening and getting to know Blanka, as I did interviewing her.
Listen to the Interview
COVID Comfort Corner
In keeping with Options' Some Good News, we're starting a segment we like to call
'COVID Comfort Corner'.
Here are some of the things making the pandemic a bit easier for me - enjoy!

Not your average benny!

These start with a nutty bread base, then have a homemade, perfect avocado and cambazola sprea
d with a touch of chili oil. Next is the halved piece of Applewood smoked bacon and thinly sliced tomato topped with my perfect poached egg.  Salt and pepper to taste and it’s a treat for your mouth!

COVID Cocktail

Shared by a good friend and inspired by the Corpse Reviver #2, this has been my Zoom with friends go to cocktail:
  •  Equal parts of Gin, Lilet, Triple Sec, and lime juice
  • Shaken on ice for 30 seconds (a la Stanley Tucci)
  • Pour into what you consider the perfect glass. 
  • Mine is topped with a skewer of sour bar cherries.

Topping my isolation playlist at the moment are Lizzo, Gregory Porter, and Nina Simone.
And my books on the go are “
Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng and re-reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”,
Cheers to making it through with grace and strength!
Looking for COVID-19 resources?
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