About us

Through awareness, regulation, heart-fullness, and aligning, it becomes possible to connect to, and transform the collective consciousness.

We are an interdisciplinary collaborative who’s joy and commitment is to support individual and collective healing, reconnection and deeply rooted thriving, towards the transformation of human consciousness and our social systems.  The core practices of expanding awareness, self/co- regulation, heart-full and aligned action describe the process of developing into our best and most authentic selves and awakening to live our calling.

Background: While the Roots to Thrive program is for all humans, it began as a program for professional caregivers.  A multi-disciplinary group of caregivers, curriculum, organizational, and administrative experts identified a need among caregivers amid the rising tide of professional burnout and moral injury in healthcare.  Motivated to address this need, we applied for and won a Michael Smith Foundation for Research REACH Award to develop a curriculum that would address the significant developmental factors that could bolster the ability to thrive amid highly individualistic (often disconnected) and stressful environments. Because the requirements of thriving apply to all humans, based on participant feedback, the program has now expanded beyond caregivers to include all people.

The Roots to Thrive Curriculum was developed to fill a gap in resiliency training program offerings. We spend the majority of the course developing inner and outer resources as we cultivate awareness, promote self-regulation, heart-full connection, and alignment with the ‘real’ self.   While based on science, the program focusses on experiential methods over 5-6 weeks with two full days, three virtual sessions, and a final face-to-face wrap-up session.  We cultivate inner and outer unconditional positive regard and develop evidence-informed inner resources that promote reconciliation by bolstering sense of coherence and congruence (the two primary factors that enable us to thrive).  We continue to pilot and evolve the program within a program of research, ensuring it remains relevant and impactful.

As a core value, we honour Truth and Reconciliation principles. We promote decolonization by recognizing conditioned ways of being that contribute to disconnection and oppression. The curriculum has evolved in partnership with Indigenous Elders and continues to be informed by this work. From this aware and heart-full space, we can do the healing necessary to re-connect to self, to others, and to the planet. As we reconcile with self and others, we learn to walk in two worlds, tending to the inner, while navigating the outer. We come to know that while we may move faster alone, we are much stronger, and can go much further together.

The Roots to Thrive Steering Committee

Dr. Shannon Dames was a co-founder of Roots to Thrive and continues to take a lead role in the curriculum development and program of research that informs the program. She currently works as a researcher, professor, and forensic nurse examiner.  Connect via Linkedin

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Marnie Roper works as a Spiritual Health Practitioner and serves as a lead in the ongoing course development and structural roll-out of the program.

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Lori-Anne Demers works as a professional coach, operates ‘Authentic to the Core,’ and serves as a lead for Roots to Thrive training and mentorship.

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Val St. John serves as the Executive Director of Bridges for Women Society in Victoria, BC. Past roles include CEO of the nurses’ professional association Nurses & NPs of BC, Assistant Deputy Minister with B.C. Ministry of Health and Ministry of Citizen Services and VP of Human Resources at Glenayre Technology. She holds a Masters of Arts in Conflict Management from RRU. Val serves a lead in the business development and marketing aspects of ‘Roots to Thrive.’

Patti Telford works as a project manager with the Nurse and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC), and supports the business and marketing aspects of the program.

Phillip Dames comes to the Roots to Thrive team with a long and successful history working with families and corporations, managing nearly every facet of their financial wellbeing. Phillip’s passion surrounds mens health and emotional awareness. He currently facilitates mens groups and is taking a lead role coordinating the virtual Roots to Thrive circles.

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