Public Health Director and Health Equity Advocate
Tara is a strategic leader for Island Health whose approach integrates upstream solutions and innovative responses to complex problems on Vancouver Island. Her vision is strong, healthy communities that support children, families and seniors to live vibrant lives.
Tara believes that the best way to support and strengthen our communities is by addressing inequities in health. In British Columbia, the current crisis of toxic drug poisoning (overdose) deaths colliding with the chaos of a global pandemic has magnified the need for collective action to reduce barriers and resilient communities. Lately, what excites her is developing her voice as a writer, weaving in her personal experiences with her professional learnings. The beat of Tara's drum, and the story she wants to tell, is about raising two strong little girls (who happen to be twins), in these complex times.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT IF ADULTS HAD RECESS?: Some of the most interesting and thought-provoking conversations in my day happen around the breakfast table with my daughters, twins of age 8. We bought the girls smart watches for their birthday this year; - they are now pumped to take pictures, play games, and track their activity every day. This morning my daughter Stella was saying that she gets the most activity points during recess and complained that they have to sit at desks in school for most of the day.
FILLING MY BUCKET: Sometimes, when things are hard, I feel lost….like I don’t know which way is up and every direction feels down. I feel like I have a dark cloud following me around...like an unfriendly companion. I feel heavy, weighted down by worries that press on my shoulders and make me feel small. When I feel lost, I start to search...I try to look for things to make me feel safe and secure. I try new things to reinvent myself into a better version. Sometimes, when things are really bad, I just lie in bed and watch the clouds pass by, taking big breaths for a minute until the lost feeling gets a little less powerful. Sometimes, I just need a few minutes to breathe.
SOMETIMES I FEEL SMALL: Tell us a story mama, Ella and Ava asked….
Okay, snuggle in and I’ll tell you a story, their mama said the three of them tucked into bed for their favorite time of the day.
A time when the rest of the world disappeared and all that was left was the gentle glow of the fishtank, the snores of their dog, and the faint light from the lamp. The bed was warm and cozy - two little girls and their mom snuggled in tight….
Are you listening?
Here we go….
MORE ABOUT TARA FITZGERALD
Tara weaves lessons about life, growing up, and protecting the magic of our youthful curiosity with a deep appreciation for nature. Tara is a mom of twin little (big!) girls, and she writes stories that pull on our heart strings to make us reflect on the joys and challenges of parenting. As a leader in Public Health, Tara brings her experiences into these stories by tying in social lessons, teachable moments, and a reminder that we are all connected. Her first collection was penned during the global COVID-19 pandemic and as such, they speak to our worries, anxiety, isolation and stress of this time, encouraging us to look within ourselves and the natural world around us for strength and peace. From lighthearted and silly to reflective and thought-provoking, you’ll be sure to find these stories relatable and impactful, regardless of your age, and always best enjoyed when snuggled in bed with little people or a fur baby at your side.
Tara's Leadership Pillars
Tara is a boldly curious public health worker, committed to a health-systems approach that strengthens the well-being of the whole population. Lately, what excites her is developing her voice as a writer, weaving in her personal experiences with her professional learnings. Tara is creating a collection of stories about being a parent in complex times, raising two strong little girls (who happen to be twins) who are often her greatest teacher.