Meet the Community Managers – Zoe
Get to know the people behind the avatar!
“I think social networks have an incredible capacity for helping and supporting people with health challenges. They can easily connect to loved ones for emotional and moral support, and to healthcare workers for all kinds of professional help, without ever having to leave home”
1) Tell me about yourself, how did you find yourself in the position of a community manager?
I graduated from university at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic! I was in a healthcare field but was having trouble finding a job; I knew Lynda, and that she had started Curatio, and I loved the company and what it stood for, so I applied! It seemed like a great way to apply my nursing knowledge and background while expanding my horizons and helping people out – and it was manageable while studying and looking for/holding a nursing job. I started at the end of April and I’ve loved every minute of it so far!
2) Aside from being a community manager, what else do you do, (either professionally or as a hobby)?
I’m a full-time Registered Nurse working in Acute Care/Emergency.I also love to swim (I swam and coached competitively for years), cook and bake, and watch sports – especially NFL football, which my Dad watched every Sunday all my life. And I really enjoy travelling, but obviously that is not happening right now! I’m making do with travelling to see the family I have within Canada, who I can get to by car.
3) What do you enjoy the most being a community manager at Curatio?
It’s similar to what I enjoy about being a nurse, I think. Medical information is both everywhere and nowhere; there’s an abundance of conflicting advice that’s never been easier to access thanks to the Internet. I’ve learned how to research, and how to find reliable information, and I want to help people. Most are overwhelmed or confused by healthcare, and I like that I get to make them more comfortable and less worried or stressed, because I can help them easily find reliable facts and straightforward sources so the whole thing isn’t a huge scary mystery. Also, the personal conversations I have with users. I get to support people, make them feel comfortable, and connect with them, and there’s no better feeling than that!
4) Who/what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
Both my brothers are very active – I was, too – and frankly we were in and out of the hospital like a revolving door. I always remembered the nurses and how they were the ones comforting people, helping them, making them laugh and taking care of them. Obviously I saw healthcare mainly through the lens of sports injuries, and that’s what attracted me – I liked seeing how injuries were dealt with and fixed so people could go back to their lives. I was actually considering athletic rehab, going back to school and taking physio or specialising in sports med, and I haven’t ruled it out. But for now I like being a nurse! And in acute care/emerg, I still get some good injuries every now and then.
5) How do you believe social engagement can help people with health challenges?
For one thing, emotional and social support are crucial to health and to recovery. Being around people who make you feel good, and who can help you, means you feel happier, more motivated, and less stressed out and overwhelmed. Those all translate to better health, both mental and physical. Then there’s the social media part of social engagement. ‘
Traditional’ social media can make people feel terrible and negatively impact mental health, but it can also be used as an incredible tool to connect people with health challenges to the types of people I mentioned before, when they can’t physically be near them. Plus ,obviously you can get social media platforms dedicated purely to that, like Curatio. Especially in times like these, when physical proximity is so restricted, or for people who live in remote areas, I think social networks have an incredible capacity for helping and supporting people with health challenges. They can easily connect to loved ones for emotional and moral support, and to healthcare workers for all kinds of professional help, without ever having to leave home.
6) What or who is an inspiration in your life?
There are lots, but I’ve definitely got to give it up for my grandma. She moved to a remote little town in coastal British Columbia from South Africa as a young teacher, didn’t know anyone, and had to figure out a whole life in a completely different country all by herself. And she killed it! She’s unbelievably loving and generous but she always tells it like it is, and she always reminds me not to hold on to stuff I don’t need or can’t control. She gives amazing advice, and she or my mom are my go-to calls in pretty much any situation.
7) What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
Great question! I think a lot of things I hoped would come back, have (scrunchies, bandanas, high waisted bottoms, denim, crazy windbreakers, overalls. I love overalls.). Thing is, I was a kid in the early 2000s, and a lot of those trends need to never, ever see the light of day again. There were some great toys though- Aquapets, Super Soakers, Webkinz, BeyBlades, Groovy Girls, those would be hilarious to have again!
Also, maybe big curly ‘80s hair. Not because it looked great, but because my hair is really curly and never does what I want it to, so if it being huge was in style that would make my life so much easier.
8) What is special about the place you grew up in?
I grew up all over Alberta- there were special things about lots of the places I lived. Like Rainbow Lake, way up north, so the northern lights were often out, and it was dark a lot of the time in the winter so we’d play on the playground by the school bus headlights when it was warm enough to actually be out. But then it was light a lot in summer, and we never wanted to go to bed because even at 11:30 it was bright outside.
I’ve lived in Calgary the longest though, and it’s got great stuff too- Stampede, close to the mountains, beautiful parks, the river valley to go exploring, Heritage Park (yes, I’m a massive nerd), and Zoo Lights at Christmas, just to name a few.
9) How do you relax after a hard day of work?
Put my feet up for awhile after being on them all day, watch a show (right now I’m watching House, I never finished it) or a movie or read a book for a bit, try out a new recipe, and every now and then have a nice hot bath. I also like to go for a swim, which I find sometimes helps my brain to relax and not focus on anything I’m stressing about, and I’ll go for a run even though it’s not fun because it feels great afterwards!
10) When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with? (in general)
All kinds of things! Sewing clothes back together, helping with homework, proofreading papers, medical questions, an ear to vent into, tech support (hi, Grandma), recipes, moral support, random miscellaneous advice – I just like helping people however I can!