We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories.
Name: Dr. Josef Owega
Worksite: 100 Mile House Hospital
Years of Service: 14
Job Title: Physician, Chief of Staff
Quote: “Don’t jump to conclusions. We are in this together. Be kind.”
A true believer in helping others and spreading kindness, Dr. Owega continues to bring these practices into his work at Interior Health as Chief of Staff at 100 Mile House Hospital. As a rural doctor, he thrives in the unpredictability of the emergency department with the opportunity to make a big difference in someone’s life when they are at their most vulnerable.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience spanning decades, he has continued to lead his team as the Chief of Staff through the ongoing pandemic to support their surrounding communities. Choosing to focus on the silver linings of difficult situations, Dr. Owega is proud of how his community has supported each other in the face of the pandemic. These changes have allowed people to grow and find innovative approaches, including working from home, creating new businesses, and expanding the reach of telehealth. His presence inspires those around him as he encourages everyone to do their best, think about others and protect those that we know and love.
Dr. Owega’s experience navigating uncertain times was extremely valuable as he stepped up to the position of Chief of Staff to lead his community through the wildfires in 2017. Bringing his community together to support one another was crucial in these life-changing moments. As a physician and member of his community, he continues to play a crucial role in helping improve the lives of those around him.
Born in Austria, his family moved to Canada when Dr. Owega was just two years old. Spending his childhood on the West Coast of Canada in the lower mainland, he was eager to choose a career path where he could help others, whether big or small. Inspired by his parents who are both physicians, he moved out east to Ontario for medical school at Queens University. After graduation, he relocated to Alberta for his residency and gained hands-on experience that would inspire him to further pursue rural medicine.
His career path led him home to British Columbia where he has spent the past two decades practicing rural medicine from nine years in Elk Valley, five years in McBride, and most recently the past seven years in the Cariboo. Spanning his successful career he has brought his passion for helping others to positively impact the lives of so many. Dr. Owega is known and loved for his down-to-earth personality, kind demeanor, and helping hand in his small community. His open mind and ability to see multiple perspectives adds great value to his integral role in practicing medicine and teaching others.
After a long shift in the ER, Dr. Owega switches from his scrubs to his beekeeping suit to help his beloved wife who tends full time to their bee farm. Spending most of his time outside on his own farm, hiking scenic trails, or hitting the slopes, he continues to find ways to connect with nature, his family, and his community. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Owega and his incredible wife have grown their family to include four biological children, one foster son, and their awesome adopted niece who joined their family a few short months after they said I do. His family brings him an incredible amount of pride and joy as they embark on new journeys including the online world of University.
Practicing what he preaches, he does his part in helping his neighbors in more ways than medicine. His vast knowledge and thoughtful approaches to situations allows others to feel supported in their tight-knit community.
Dr. Owega shares his message to spread love and kindness throughout his community and asks that we all do the same. We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Owega at Interior Health continuing to help others through his work. Thank you for all that you do!
Nominate your colleagues to keep the We Are IH loop going:
Name: Teressa Allwood
Message: The manager at 100 Mile House and a nurse extraordinaire. She thinks, gets things done, and took on evacuating the hospital during the fires 3 years ago. She just amazes me.
Know an inspiring person? Nominate a colleague or join yourself with the We Are IH submission form.
To read more We Are IH articles view here.
For more information contact EmployeeExperience@InteriorHealth.ca.