We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories.
Name: Ken Zarr (He/Him)
Worksite: Kelowna General Hospital, Okanagan
Ancestral Territory: “Syilx” (Saay-ilks) / Okanagan Interior Salish
Years of Service: 29
Job Title: Coordinator of Volunteers
“Happiness is temporary; joy is eternal.“– Ken’s favourite quote
Upon meeting Ken, you can feel his genuinely kind and welcoming energy. His friendly demeanor puts people at ease and creates a positive place for people to come together. As an IH employee for over 29 years, in his current role as the Coordinator of Volunteers at the Kelowna General Hospital, his passion for helping others has positively impacted the lives of many. His unique ability to recognize the gifts that each person possesses and allow them to shine has played a critical role in his successful career. As an active member of his community, he works closely with others to help coordinate and fund important projects to improve the lives of others.
Prior to embarking on his career in healthcare in 1983, Ken’s career took him to many places, including living in Japan working in a steel mill and teaching English. He explored many career opportunities including radio broadcasting, communications, computer programming. During this time he got married and raised three beautiful girls, including his step-daughter, and continued to explore different career paths including working in occupational therapy at Riverview Mental hospital, care aide, activity coordinator, funeral director, and traveling between Canada and California as a personal assistant.
One of Ken’s proudest moments in his career was in his role as a Rehab/Activity/Volunteer Coordinator, where he raised funds to improve the facility, primarily in the Activity Department. This profound experience of seeing the Summerland community come together to support one another was inspiring for all. More recently, Ken has a couple of other passion projects outside of work, including working as the President of Taco Dog Rescue Society for the past seven years, rescuing and rehoming many dogs from Mexico to the Okanagan, sometimes up to ten dogs a weekend. There are many Interior Health staff members who are proud owners of these sweet pooches. If you’re looking to rescue a pup, learn about Taco Dog Rescue Society here.
Born in Kelowna and growing up primarily in Lavington, British Columbia, Ken greatly appreciates the beautiful scenery of the Okanagan, whether out hiking with his dog pack, or gardening with a focus on creative landscaping. When he isn’t playing volleyball or working out at the gym he is working on a fix and flip renovation project. Looking forward, Ken and his 2nd partner have opened up a Bed & Breakfast in Wilson’s Landing steps away from the lake. After retiring from Interior Health in a few short years, he looks forward to working there, enjoying the water, and exploring the outdoors together. Thank you for all that you do, Ken! We appreciate you and all of our incredible volunteers throughout Interior Health.
Ken’s nomination keeps the We Are IH loop going:
“I nominate Derek Koch, Spiritual Health Practitioner at Kelowna General Hospital. He cares about people; not just because it’s his job. He is genuine, friendly, KIND, and always willing to make this place a better one. He works with staff, patients, and families in assisting with their special needs.“
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