– Robyn Cawley, RD. Vernon. BC
I am a Registered Dietitian with 35 years experience and have had the good fortune to know Christina Camilleri professionally for over 20 of those years. I was so happy and relieved when Christina (and colleagues) established the Vernon Eating Disorder Program as our region had no such program specifically dedicated to a coordinated and team approach for the treatment of this fragile and high risk population.
Since those early days Christina has become not only an expert practitioner and advocate for her clientele (and families) but also a highly skilled resource for all local healthcare and education professionals. I have relied on her professional expertise and personal support as we have worked together with many clients. Christina is not only knowledgeable in this area but her years of experience allow her to put this knowledge into practice for her clients. I highly recommend Christina’s services to any individual or group requiring expert and practical nutrition advice, especially in the area of disordered eating.
– Fiona McGregor MB ChB MRCPsych, FRCPC
For over two decades, the North Okanagan Eating Disorder Program operated as a multidisciplinary program. A major part of its success was due to Christina Camilleri who developed and managed the multidisciplinary team program. Christina saw the importance of treating the whole patient. She developed a parents’ group long before family involvement was deemed necessary to recovery; she encouraged the formation of a non-profit support group and worked with the hospital on both psychiatry and pediatrics to develop inpatient programs for the severely ill. She ensured high class education from international authorities for our local physician group and presented her research at international conferences.
She and her colleagues worked tirelessly supporting individuals with all forms of illnesses and were early adopters of new forms of treatment as they became available. She made alliances with our tertiary care centres and supported physician education in the field of eating disorders at all levels.
However most noticeable is her concern and dedication for individuals with eating disorders. Christina worked tirelessly with these individuals. Many of my patients have seen her individually and report how very much she has helped them. I have witnessed patients seen as “beyond hope” by other professionals slowly regain a life with Christina’s unique combination of wide knowledge, superb wisdom and compassion combined with professionalism. I have no hesitation whatsoever in referring my patients to Christina.
– B.Gail Plecash
In every profession, there are a handful of talented individuals who stand out as being truly gifted. In clinical medicine, we refer to these people as “Healers”.
Referral sources know them well, and the results of their clinical work speak to their talents. Christina Camilleri is one of these gifted clinicians, and has an incredible reputation in the north and central Okanagan community as a result. She has a skill set in treating people with “disordered eating” that is superlative. Her results speak for themselves. I feel most honored in being asked to write a reference letter for this talented clinician.
I am a family physician in Kelowna, and have had a busy practice since 1979, with recent practice change to UBC Family Medicine Faculty Development. When I came to Kelowna, there were few female physicians, so I inherited a relatively large female-based medical practice. With it, came adolescents and adults with eating disorders, and these became an area of interest for me. Local referral sources for eating disorder clients mistakenly focused on “taking control” from these individuals. In contrast,,Christina used a far more successful approach of “introducing control” or giving back a sense of control to the clients when they were feeling so out of control. Christina was able to help some of the most complex and critically ill clients because of her clinical skill.
In Kelowna, many of my colleagues have ‘discovered’ Christina as an important referral source, and refer difficult patients to her. Christina has excellent leadership qualities, is definitely a team player, and would serve as a talented, experienced clinician in whatever role she decides to take.
I take pleasure in recommending Christina most highly and without reservation.
– Louise V Roberts (MPCP) B.Sc., M.Sc., (psych) Clinical Counsellor
I have known Christina for fifteen years. First as a passionate advocate in this community for services to those struggling with eating disorders; then as an educator to the community about this specialized field and more specifically, in the Eating Disorder Program she co-ordinated for the North Okanagan community. Christina became a co-worker and now, more recently, I know her as someone I am proud to call friend.
Christina’s work at the North Okanagan Eating Disorders Program has never been acknowledged for all that it was. Without her strong ethics and insistence on a service to be proud of, the Program would have closed the door years before it did. Without her enthusiasm, energy and passion the service would never have existed. Without her continuous support and staunch beliefs in what she was doing, the community would not have understood the need for accessible client centred treatment.
Christina, for 22 years, seamlessly ran the Program, seemingly without any time allotment and with ease. This allowed a small, understaffed program to offer diverse, evidence based treatment locally. She and her working partner Sharon were able to educate the larger community and build credibility within the therapeutic and medical communities. This had not been attempted before and Christina worked at it tirelessly.
Doctors, paediatricians and psychiatrists came together with nurses, therapists, dietitians and other community members to offer a well-researched and wide ranging program for youth and adults. Christina and Sharon’s passion reached into the local hospital and a partnership was nurtured and fostered a client care inpatient program not experienced elsewhere in the province.
I worked with youth at the North Okanagan Eating Disorders Program for eighteen months, and discovered that Christina’s greatest gift was her ability to silently and without great fuss, attend to the millions of details behind the scenes. Her leadership ensured the program succeeded with limited funding and provided the best services possible for clients and their families.
Christina managed the space, appointment times, organization of psychiatrists, liaison with paediatricians, and even ensured paper and pens were there when needed. She followed up every request, every phone call and pushed for continued education within the program and the community, all while carrying a client case load. She interviewed, hired and fired. Details were attended to without anyone knowing or understanding how the program really came together.
Christina did all of these things and more with little money or time. The hours she volunteered to this community are beyond counting. The pay she received minimal. This community was lucky to have her gifts and her expertise as long as they did, and her loss is felt daily.
I not only wish her success in all that she does in the present and future, I thank her for helping me become aware of disordered eating and in offering me opportunities to learn and train in this field before many knew what treatment for disordered eating entailed.
– Elaine Jameson
I am writing this reference at the request Of Christina Camilleri.
I am a supervisor of a Child and Youth Mental Health Program, and have been a Registered Psychiatric Nurse for 25 years. I have known Christina professionally since 1998. She has expertise in the area of Eating Disorders for both adults and youth. She has been involved in developing the Eating Disorder Program in Vernon and worked very a hard keeping up with best practices and adding to a very successful program. She worked in this program for over 20 years.
She initiated consults with her supervisor as needed and consistently upheld the team approach to care. She practices with integrity and diligence. Christina consistently puts the clients’ needs at the forefront. It has been a pleasure learning from her and working collaboratively with her.
– Stephanie Van Slyke, M.D.
It is my pleasure to write a letter of reference regarding my experience working with Christina Camilleri.
I am a retired General Practitioner who worked in the Vernon area for 13 years. As a female G.P, I had many girls and young women in my practice and, as such, had wide experience with eating disorders and other psychological illnesses that often go hand in hand in this group. I often referred my patients to Christina because she had the best education regarding eating disorders of anyone I knew in the Okanagan and my patients almost invariably got better and stayed better. She met the patient where he/she was psychologically, i.e. she had a patient centered practice. This allowed Christina to establish trust quite quickly which, in turn, allowed therapy to proceed more quickly (and affordably) than it would have otherwise. Christina not only dealt with the patient’s disordered eating but, at the same time, she addressed many of the root causes. My patients (and their family members) invariably spoke very highly of Christina.
Christina is not only educated as a Nutritionist but she has sought continuing education in theory and various forms of psychological therapy. She has also been asked to provide education at several Eating Disorder Conferences. This is what makes her particularly skilled in dealing with this subset of the population.
I have also dealt with Christina on a personal basis as my family has not been left untouched by eating disorders and psychological distress. I found her to be extremely well informed, to have very strong personal boundaries and to be compassionate but firm in her therapy. I will be eternally grateful for the help she has given my family and I would recommend her to any family in a similar situation.
If Christina were to leave the Okanagan Valley it would be a huge loss to the medical and mental health communities, one that would be very difficult to replace. I have met very few practitioners in my 20 years of practice who have had such a positive impact on the community.
– David H. Smith, MD
I have worked with and known Ms Camilleri since 2004 and have had the opportunity to see the value and experience she has in working with complex clients with disordered eating. As a Psychiatrist I can say that working with individuals and families with disordered eating takes a very dedicated and specialized team committed to patient recovery. Christina sets a high standard of care for her clients, is a team player, strong communicator and a great advocate for patient care. These qualities have contributed very significantly to the success of the North Okanagan Eating Disorder Program.
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