About Us

Our Team

The people that make up East Kootenay Addiction Services have a passion for helping to transform the lives of those affected by addictions. Our team is located in 6 offices throughout the East Kootenay region in Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Creston, Cranbrook and Kimberley.

Cranbrook/Kimberley
  Dean Nicholson
Executive Director/Substance Use Counsellor  
  Cam Strachan
  Substance Use Counsellor
Deb Sims
Harm Reduction Team
Eleine Gordon
Substance Use Counsellor
Maureen Smith
Substance Use Counsellor
Rob Toller
Substance Use Counsellor
Shayne Bettke
Administrative Coordinator
Stephanie Kress
Receptionist/Administrative Support 
Theresa Bartraw
Regional Youth Substance Use Education Coordinator
Fernie
Deb Martin
Receptionist/Administrative Support
Gareth Webb
Youth Substance Use Counsellor
Kari Mertz
Adult Substance Use Counsellor
Kari Olson
Child and Youth Clinician
Golden
Justin Telfer
Youth Substance Use Counsellor
Invermere
John Meyer
Adult Substance Use Counsellor
Matthew Chapman
Youth Substance Use Counsellor
Creston
Bryce Loughran
Youth Substance Use Counsellor

Our Board

Our Board of Directors helps guide the activities of East Kootenay Addiction Services programs and policies. Our 7 member board is a dedicated group of community-minded volunteers. Our Board meets monthly to address the needs of the organization.   

Annual Audited Statements Annual Audited Statements (349 KB)

Our Mission

We are a non-profit society with the mission to “provide excellent services which promote the well-being of people affected by, or at risk of developing substance use problems.” The Society has a Board of Directors who oversee the operations of the Agency.  We are contracted with the Interior Health Authority and the Ministry of Children and Family Development to provide substance use services in the East Kootenay, and have offices in Cranbrook, Kimberley, the Elk Valley, the Columbia Valley, Creston and Golden.  We comply with Addiction Services Program standards that ensure professional practice and quality services are delivered in all program areas.  Our services are free and confidential.

Our Philosophies

Our philosophy is to respect the integrity of every individual. We believe everyone is responsible for their own physical, emotional, social and spiritual health, and that each person has the right to make informed choices that lead to their health and well-being. Our clinical practice adheres to the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of addictions and we provide services from a harm reduction perspective. 

 


Recent Posts

  • EKASS is Hiring!
  • EKASS is Hiring!

    Posted on: 02-Sep-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 02-Sep-2020 EKASS is Hiring!

    EAST KOOTENAY ADDICTIONS SERVICES SOCIETY

    Youth Substance Use Counsellor - Invermere, BC

    Closing Date: September 15, 2020 

    East Kootenay Addiction Services Society is hiring a permanent part-time 0.8 FTE Youth Substance Use Counsellor for our Invermere location.

    Job Summary:

    Working from a Harm Reduction perspective and a Bio-psycho-social-spiritual model, the Youth Substance Use Counsellor provides screening, assessment, treatment planning and individual, group and family counselling to youth and their families affected by their own or someone else’s substance misuse. In addition, the Counsellor participates in the planning, development and delivery of treatment, education and prevention programs to youth, families, schools and other community groups in the Invermere area; and provides outreach services to youth in non-traditional settings.

    Qualifications:

    • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate discipline suitable for substance use work such as Social Work, Counselling Psychology, and minimum of three-years relevant substance use experience.
    • Experience and training working with individuals, groups and families
    • Experience and training working with youth with concurrent disorder issues
    • Working knowledge of the mental health and substance use system of care, including a comprehensive understanding of current approaches to substance abuse and mental health treatment.


    Skills and Abilities:

    • Be flexible and use analytical and critical thinking to respond to changing work conditions
    • Provide therapeutic counselling services to individuals, groups and families
    • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, and maintain accurate and timely reports
    • Establish and maintain relationships based on trust and respect, and maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries with work colleagues, community partners and clients
    • Develop and implement public education and prevention activities for various community groups with a Harm Reduction focus
    • Work with an inter-disciplinary team approach
    • Demonstrate adherence to professional ethical values
    • Maintain valid driver’s license.  Must have own vehicle
    • Hold a Valid first aid/CPR certification
    • Provide a current Criminal Record Clearance

    Salary: Commensurate with Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and HEABC, Disciplines Allied to Social Work I, Grid Level 8

    Submit cover letter and resume to:

    Dean Nicholson, Executive Director

    East Kootenay Addiction Services Society

    202, 1617 Baker Street

    Cranbrook, BC, V1C 1B4

    Fax:  250-489-1020

    Email:  [email protected]

    Only those selected for interview will be contacted.

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  • International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    Posted on: 18-Aug-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 18-Aug-2020 International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year. The day aims raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death. It also acknowledge the grief felt by families and friend remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. 

    To help reduce the risk of overdose:

    • Buddy up when you are using, stay 2 meters (6 ft) from your buddy to remain physically distanced, but remember using with a buddy is safer than using alone!
    • Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.      
    • Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together. 
    • Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.
    • If you feel you must use while alone, consider using the Lifeguard app www.lifeguardDH.com which can connect you with emergency medical dispatchers in the event of an overdose. Download at the App Store or Google Play.  
    • Test by using a small amount, then go slow.
    • Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it. Naloxone is available at:
      • ANKORS, EKASS, IH Public Health & Mental Health Substance Use Locations
      • Pharmacies located throughout Cranbrook
      • Recognize the signs of an OD: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non-responsive.
      • Call 9-1-1 immediately It is still safe (and important) to use emergency services during the COVID -19 pandemic
      • Open airway and give rescue breaths using face mask
      • Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it
    • Check your drugs. Fentanyl test strips are available at:

    ANKORS #209 – 16th Ave North Cranbrook  250-426-3383

                            EKASS – 202 1617 Baker Street  250-489-4344

    www.drugchecking.ca

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  • Cranbrook Drug Alert
  • Cranbrook Drug Alert

    Posted on: 16-Jun-2020

    Posted by EKASS | on 16-Jun-2020 Cranbrook Drug Alert

    CRANBROOK DRUG ALERT 

    Interior Heath has issued a Drug Alert for Cranbrook due to drug checking results through ANKORS that revealed highly toxic levels of fentanyl and benzodiazepines in a DARK PURPLE pebbly substance. People who use drugs are reporting passing out for extended periods of time after consuming this substance.  
    If you wish to share this alert with others – please note that this alert is localized to the community of CRANBROOK only. If you choose to display this poster, please remove by June 23rd, 2020 as per best practices.
    Thank you for your help in getting this important information out.  
    For your safety:
    ⭐️Buddy up when you are using, stay 2 meters (6 ft) from your buddy to remain physically distanced, but remember using with a buddy is safer than using alone!
    ⭐️Get your drugs checked - available at ANKORS and East Kootenay Addictions Services Society. More info: www.drugchecking.ca
    ⭐️Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.      
    ⭐️Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together. 
    ⭐️Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.
    ⭐️If you feel you must use while alone, consider using the Lifeguard app which can connect you with emergency medical dispatchers in the event of an overdose. Download at the App Store or Google Play.  
    ⭐️Test by using a small amount, then go slow.
    ⭐️Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it.
    Know the signs of overdose and how to respond 
    🌟Recognize the signs of an OD: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non-responsive.
    🌟 Call 9-1-1 immediately It is still safe (and important) to use emergency services during the COVID -19 pandemic
    🌟Open airway and give rescue breaths using face mask
    🌟Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it.
    Naloxone is available at:
    💫 ANKORS, EKASS, IH Public Health & Mental Health Substance Use Locations
    💫 Pharmacies located throughout Cranbrook
    Drug checking is available at:
    ✔️ANKORS #209 – 16th Ave North Cranbrook250-426-3383
    ✔️EKASS – 250-489-4344
    For more resources and links related to overdose and substance use, visit: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/Leadership/MHO/Pages/PHEmergency.aspx

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Upcoming Events

  • International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    Event Date: 31-Aug-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 18-Aug-2020 International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year. The day aims raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death. It also acknowledge the grief felt by families and friend remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. 

    To help reduce the risk of overdose:

    • Buddy up when you are using, stay 2 meters (6 ft) from your buddy to remain physically distanced, but remember using with a buddy is safer than using alone!
    • Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.      
    • Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together. 
    • Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.
    • If you feel you must use while alone, consider using the Lifeguard app www.lifeguardDH.com which can connect you with emergency medical dispatchers in the event of an overdose. Download at the App Store or Google Play.  
    • Test by using a small amount, then go slow.
    • Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it. Naloxone is available at:
      • ANKORS, EKASS, IH Public Health & Mental Health Substance Use Locations
      • Pharmacies located throughout Cranbrook
      • Recognize the signs of an OD: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non-responsive.
      • Call 9-1-1 immediately It is still safe (and important) to use emergency services during the COVID -19 pandemic
      • Open airway and give rescue breaths using face mask
      • Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it
    • Check your drugs. Fentanyl test strips are available at:
    ANKORS #209 – 16th Ave North Cranbrook  250-426-3383
    EKASS – 250-489-4344

    www.drugchecking.ca

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  • New additions to the COVID-19 resource section

    Event Date: 31-Mar-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 31-Mar-2020 New additions to the COVID-19 resource section

    East Kootenay Addictions Services is building and adding to the COVID-19 Response Resources section of the website. Follow the link here COVID-19 Resources for more information

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  • Managing the Covid-19 Virus Update
    Event Date: 25-Mar-2020
  • Managing the Covid-19 Virus Update

    Event Date: 25-Mar-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 25-Mar-2020 Managing the Covid-19 Virus Update

    March 25, 2020

    Dear Clients:

    As part of our ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EKASS has followed the recommendations of the Federal and Provincial Governments, and has closed all our offices effective March 18, 2020.    

    To stay in line with the precautions suggested by the Federal Government of self-distancing, this office will be closed indefinitely.  Please check our website www.ekass.com for updated information and links to resources and supports.

    We are continuing to provide counselling services to our clients via phone or web based options.  

    Clients on the OAT Program will be contacted by the doctors at the Interior Chemical Dependency Office in Kamloops to ensure that they continue to receive scripts.

    Harm Reduction supplies continue to be available as we continue to provide supplies to our community partners.

    We recognize that these are stressful times.  We are here to support you and want people to stay in touch as we navigate this situation together.  If you have questions or concerns, or to book an appointment, please call the Cranbrook office at 250-489-4344 for further information.  We will be checking the phones messages daily and responding as quickly as we can.

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