This article is from the May 2014 Issue of Forever Young


 (Left to right) Dr. Curtis Myden, Dr. Jeremy Harris, Dr. Derek Plausinis, Dr. Paul Mick and Dr. Shaun Deen have all just arrived at Kelowna General Hospital as the Interior Health Authority builds out its program for the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre.

An olympian, a cellist, a yoga-loving researcher; there is plenty of talent in Kelowna General’s new surgical hires

by Jennifer Smith

With the mint green front panel of its brand new medical school pointing toward thick rows of scaffolding, one can feel the frenetic pace of progress on approach at Kelowna General Hospital.

Even the thin veneer of dust cannot take the shine off the sense of hope the massive expansion of this hospital has brought to the community.

Yet it’s really the doctors behind the glass walls who offer the best taste of the possibility to come, particularly for the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre.

“We’re trying to build a centre of excellence that’s a resource for people from across the Southern Interior,” says Dr. Paul Mick, an ear, nose and throat specialist who polished his medical training with a master’s degree in public health at Harvard University.

Mick is interested in the big picture problems bringing patients to his door and sought out groundbreaking researcher Dr. Frank Lin as a mentor in Boston.

“I think the problem of hearing loss in older people is sort of under appreciated,” he explained. “It’s looked at as unfortunate, but inconsequential.”

Lin’s hypothesis suggests the cognitive overload a patient whose hearing is failing experiences trying to sort out sounds leaves them less brainpower to take meaning from words. As it was explained in the New York Times, when medical journalists started taking notice, he’s out to prove there is a critical link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia—something to ponder in this era of iPod-loving music fiends and stereos built to blast.

For a yoga enthusiast and culture buff like Mick, finding a new surgical program in a lively smaller city where he too can contribute to the larger dialogue in his field was enough reason to pack up his Nissan Sentra and drive almost 4000 kilometres back to his home province.

He is also one of a handful of new surgeons who have just been hired at KGH and has high hopes for the job.

This article is from the April 2014 Issue of Forever Young



by Habeeb Salloum

“Let’s have something different for our Easter dinner,”my daughter Muna remarked as we discussed the menu for our annual Easter holiday meal. 

I took her words to heart and this year we will have two delicious desserts to accompany our Easter feast. I created my own carrot cake by borrowing ideas from medieval Arab cooking and created my own version of Nashab, a nut-filo wrapped delight originating in the Persian Gulf.

Carrot Cake

This my own take on a carrot cake with a Middle Eastern touch.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup pecan pieces

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 250 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, stir together the eggs, oil, brown sugar and almond extract for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Fold in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves until well combined.  Stir in carrots, raisins and pecans then pour into the baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, or until done.  Allow to completely cool.

In the meantime, prepare frosting by thoroughly combining the remaining ingredients.  Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake, keeping any remaining frosting refrigerated until needed. 

This article is from the March 2014 Issue of Forever Young



For those contemplating an RV for your next snowbird flight, here’s a primer

by Janet Groene

If you are a snowbird contemplating a trip south in an RV, you don’t have to worry about sleeping an entire Girl Guide troop nor worry about a snow load on the rooftop. The recreation vehicle you choose for a Sunbelt trip must provide comforts only for yourself and your partner(s) on the road and in the kinds of RV resorts you enjoy. The first decision is whether this is an RV you will drive or tow.

Motorhomes come in Class A (bus style), B (van conversion) and C (built on a light truck chassis). It is one vehicle to fuel, insure and jockey about the highway. You might tow a small car behind the motorhome or go light and lean by carrying bicycles or a motorized scooter on board.

With a travel trailer you have the hassle and extra costs of towing but once you leave the trailer in a campground you have an agile vehicle for errands and sightseeing. Choices range from featherweight pop-up campers to rolling homes with a couple of bedrooms. Travel trailers also come in “toy hauler” models that are part living quarters, part garage for toys such as an ATV, wave runner or boat. Lastly are a fifth-wheel trailer or a pickup camper. Both make use of the pickup truck you use at home.

It all begins with choosing the right vehicle for travelling at highway speeds. Look at the number of axles, the suspension, the departure angle, power assists, miles per litre, ease of parking, total payload and much more. Next, look at how accommodations will work for you and your partner starting with sleeping arrangements. There is no reason to haul around extra bunks nor, if you prefer showers, a bath tub.

This article is from the February 2014 Issue of Forever Young


Vernon Jubilee Hospital, will open two new floors in the Polson Tower, furnished by the hospital foundation.

By Jennifer Smith

On first blush, when one hears a figure like $2.5 million attached to the words “fundraising dollars”, other terms, like “daunting”, come to mind.

But this is what a hospital foundation does and when a man like George Galbraith steps into the picture, there’s no telling what a small town or city can accomplish.

“I was very, very close to Dr. Tom McMurtry,” says Galbraith as he starts to unwind the tale of how a cable company pioneer became one of the key philanthropists in town, relied on for donations and to spur on others to take up a cause.

The Tom McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre opened in 1998. Named, in part, after Galbraith’s close friend and classmate Dr. Tom McMurtry, fundraising for the centre was a cause that just made sense to Galbraith and he offered to match the area doctors’ contributions toward the project to engender support. It was his first brush with the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and the experience solidified a place in his heart for the charity.

“All of my children were born in Vernon. I was born in the hospital. My kids were born in the hospital. My grandson was born in the hospital. You get a feeling of, a sense of continuity with being involved in the hospital foundation,” he said.

Galbraith’s family is an Okanagan success story. His grandfather started the international harvester dealership in Vernon, J. S. Galbraith & Sons Farm Machinery, and served as mayor of Vernon. The dealership would eventually be bought by the multinational Case IH Agriculture and Farm Equipment, but not before Galbraith’s father, Harold, also enjoyed a career in the business. 

Galbraith replicated the pattern, adding a top-tier education with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree from York University before returning to the valley. In the early ‘70s, he started his cable operation, Vercom Cable Services, bringing television to the North Okanagan, and while the company was purchased by Shaw Cable in 1991, it solidified his position as a business leader in the valley. 

Just as he was a leader in industry, Galbraith is now a stalwart support for the hospital.

This article is from the January 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 2014 Jan Marriott Newport

Tucked into a hillside in Newport Coast, the Tuscan-themed Marriott Villas offer fabulous vistas of the Pacific. Perfect for relaxing or even whale watching as you gaze over to Catalina Island.

Newport is located about 90 minutes north of San Diego on the Pacific Coast Highway, and about 60 minutes south of L.A, and an easy 35 minutes to Disneyland.

By A.J. Williams

We had stopped into Newport Beach a decade or so ago, but just while driving along the coast. This was our first week-long stay and I can’t recommend it highly enough. We chose to fly into San Diego as Highway101 is a wonderful drive, and depending on the time of day you arrive and get your rental car, I’d suggest it as a nice change. The closest airport, however, is John Wayne Airport, which is only a few miles from Newport Beach.

Newport Beach has long been a haven for Hollywood types who wanted to escape the frenetic pace of the movie industry and the community has, over the years, played home (or second home) to many celebrities. John Wayne loved the area, and lived his final years there. His yacht, The Wild Goose, still plies the waters in the area as a charter. Apparently Bette Midler and Michelle Pfeiffer now call the area home and several NBA players, including Kobe Bryant, hang their hats in the exclusive Newport Coast area. I imagine this is the place where Mr. & Mrs. Howell of the famed Gilligan’s Island show would have lived! It’s classy, beautiful and while it’s close to the swirl of Los Angeles, it has virtually no traffic congestion and the air is clean and refreshing. We stayed at the Marriott Newport Coast Villas, which was very comfortable and well equipped. It’s a large, Tuscan-themed complex with something for absolutely everyone to do. It’s a great spot for both couples as well as families, and activities abound. Everything from happy hour at the pool bar & grille to exercise classes in the morning and a multitude of kids activities are available to guests. Offsite, there are plenty of golf courses nearby if you plan to hit the links.

Newport Beach itself has a few distinctive neighbourhoods, including the Newport Coast area where we stayed. In addition to the original Newport Beach, with its wide beach-front, shop-lined boulevard and ‘must walk’ pier, it’s also essential that you visit the Balboa Island area, and Corona Del Mar. The pier is the showpiece of the older area, and while you stroll, you’ll likely see fishermen working to bring in the catch of the day right off the pier, folks below enjoying the massive sandy beach and surfers and paddleboarders all around.

Balboa Island is a charming little finger of land that in fact, isn’t an island at all, but a peninsula. That said, you can take an adorable ferry (it holds 3 cars) from Newport Beach to Balboa, and then drive off ‘the island’ on the highway at the other end. A great little circle trip that makes a lovely day while in the area. You can also take some wonderful boat tours which will show you the area from the water, an entirely different perspective of any waterfront town! In addition to enjoying the ocean breezes, the tour guides will point out celebrities’ homes and famous sights in the area. While on Balboa Island, be sure to check out the many little charming shops & make sure you have a frozen banana or a ‘Balboa Bar’. Both of these frozen confections are claimed to have been first served there, and enjoying them while strolling the shops and flower-lined streets is all part of the Balboa Island experience! Frozen bananas