Islands’ only physiotherapist packs bags

  • May. 19, 2015 10:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverResidents of Haida Gwaii who need physiotherapy will now have to travel off-island for treatment. Chris Mainella, the friendly neighbourhood physiotherapist is leaving Haida Gwaii. Family and other matters are calling Mr. Mainella back east. The position for a replacement physiotherapist has been posted since February, but no replacement has yet been found. Prince Rupert is the closest place with a physiotherapy program. “Unfortunately there may be a gap in physiotherapy on Haida Gwaii,” Mr. Mainella said.People do have the option to go to a registered massage therapist, although it may not always be covered by B.C.’s Medical Services Plan. Other options for people who need physiotherapyon-island are being looked into by Haida Health and other organizations. Along with being Haida Gwaii’s only physiotherapist, Mr. Mainella had also recently completed his training for acupressure while working full time. Mr. Mainella says he is grateful to Haida Gwaii for all the opportunities and adventures he has had in the past two years. The community might remember him most fondly as the resident big-bubble expert at the Edge of the World Music Festival.He is looking to pass the bubble sticks onto another bubble enthusiasts before he leaves.

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