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Rob Lewis named Executive Director of Youth HQ



Youth HQ is pleased to announce its Board of Directors has appointed Rob Lewis as Executive Director, effective April 6, 2020. Lewis will be leaving the City of Red Deer, where he holds the role of Program Coordinator for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

Starting in the not-for-profit industry with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Medicine Hat and District, Lewis is no stranger to the organization and our programs. As a former Program Director with Youth HQ, as well as his work at the national level as Western Regional Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, his direct experience as well as outside experience in outcome measurement and evaluation will be assets to the organization.

“It will be really great to have someone who is already so familiar with our programs and what we do hit the ground running,” said Randy Nicholls, Board Chair with Youth HQ. “We’re looking forward to seeing his skills put to good use.”

Rob has a passion for people and looks forward to continuing to make a real difference in our community. “I’m grateful to be moving into a position where I can support a team of outstanding staff to maximize their impact with youth across central Alberta,” Lewis shared. “I’m excited to see what the future holds for me in this role.”

The Board would like to take the opportunity to give kudos and thanks to Dawn Flanagan for her leadership as Acting Executive Director of Youth HQ during this period of transition. Her willingness to take on this challenging role at a time when her skills were greatly needed is a true testament to how important she is to this organization. Dawn will continue in the role of Acting Executive Director until Rob begins in April.

About Youth HQ

Youth HQ, along with its affiliates Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer & District and Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer & District, offers numerous programs and services that support children, youth and families. We all need to ensure our children and youth have accessible, low barrier, safe places to go. Youth HQ thanks our community, stakeholders and funders who enable us to do so.


Good information is the miracle drug



Good information is the miracle drug

James had been struggling with diabetes for more than 15 years. His health was getting worse and he was looking at increased medication. He also has high blood pressure and consumed significant alcohol. His doctor connected him with the family nurse in the clinic.

The nurse suggested he use the diabetes libre monitor. This tool tells him immediately the result of his food intake and other lifestyle factors. When you see the result on the chart, it is a strong visual aid and  you have nowhere to hide.  You have to  acknowledge that your choices are affecting your blood sugars. His job with the nurse’s support was first to reduce the peaks and then reduce the range of blood sugars. This tool was key to tying the information his nurse was telling him to his actions.

The nurse helped him to improve his diet and also got a dietitian to help him with certain aspects. He is now much more careful what he eats before going to bed to help with control overnight. The nurse helped him to understand how the medications work. She made it clear to him that the alcohol intake was detrimental to his health, so he stopped all intake. He could see the positive effect of weight loss as well as regular walking. His weight has gone from 206 to 156 pounds. This is back to the weight he was in his twenties. His blood sugars are now in the range of 6 to 9- the first time he has seen that in over a decade. His blood pressure is also significantly improved. At his next appointment, the team will review all of his medications and decide what he needs from here. He feels so much better. One improvement cascades to another,  he was able to immediately identify more energy, better awareness, increased ability to relax, ability to sleep deeper, and better agility and movement.

He states “The libre gave me immediate feedback and the nurse was there to help me understand what it all meant and why, that information made all the difference.”

Click here for more success stories from the Primary Care Network in Red Deer.


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Lunch Run! Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools delivering lunch to 52 families



From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

RDCRS helps feed families during COVID-19

Red Deer, Alberta During this time of school building closures, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) has been working to provide lunches for families in need. To date, the division has supported 52 families with basic lunch items, such as milk, bread, juice boxes, fruit, etc. These food items are delivered to the doorsteps of these families by our staff, while maintaining social distancing.

“During these tough economic times, it’s important that as a school division we continue to support families so they can focus on learning in their homes. We are happy to provide continued support for our families through the Alberta Education school nutrition grant. We online order food from local grocery stores and it is then distributed to those families that need it,” said Superintendent of Inclusive Learning, Dave Khatib at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

Research shows students learn better and are able to achieve the goals of education when they have eaten a healthy meal. For the next 12 weeks, RDCRS hopes to use the school nutrition grant to continue providing basic lunch items for these families.

“Thanks to the strong relationships our staff have already built with many of our students and their families, we were able to quickly identify and connect with families who were likely to require support and even complete a food hamper delivery within the first week of school closures. We also developed ways to connect with our entire school community to reinforce our commitment to supporting students emotionally, physically and spiritually,” said Family School Enhancement Counsellor, Rozalyn Vickery at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools serves over 10,480 students in 21 schools in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail, and Olds. It also supports the learning of over 600 students in a Home Education Program. The Division is committed to serving children and parents with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings and within the means of the Division.


6 more cases of COVID in Central Alberta, 57 in total – (April 1 update)

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april, 2020

fri17apr10:00 am9:00 pmFeaturedOur Best to You Spring Handmade Market10:00 am - 9:00 pm Westerner Park, Parkland & Prairie Pavilions, 4847A-19 Street Event Organized By: Signatures Shows Ltd