Prairie Mountain HAC invites you to participate in...

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This page will continue to be available for you to look at the great stories from our communities.

Patching our quilt

The Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council is inviting our communities to share your stories of resilience and health! In this eight week event, we will post stories that together with your reflection, inspiration and participation will demonstrate how when faced with adversity, we turn to our community and connections. Join our weekly discussions and engage with our interactive tools. Help us patch our quilt with uplifting and positive stories of our personal and community resilience.

Reflecting on the patches of our quilt

Thank you for joining the Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council on our journey to sew together a quilt of community stories. We have created a compilation of all the stories of the last seven weeks and would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Thank you to everyone that commented, shared and came back each week to check out the new patches. You can view all of the patches from previous weeks below.


Patching our quilt

The Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council is inviting our communities to share your stories of resilience and health! In this eight week event, we will post stories that together with your reflection, inspiration and participation will demonstrate how when faced with adversity, we turn to our community and connections. Join our weekly discussions and engage with our interactive tools. Help us patch our quilt with uplifting and positive stories of our personal and community resilience.

Reflecting on the patches of our quilt

Thank you for joining the Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council on our journey to sew together a quilt of community stories. We have created a compilation of all the stories of the last seven weeks and would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Thank you to everyone that commented, shared and came back each week to check out the new patches. You can view all of the patches from previous weeks below.


This page will continue to be available for you to look at the great stories from our communities.

  • Patching our Quilt

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    Below is a compilation of all the stories and patches of the quilt from the last seven weeks. We hope that you will take some time to look at through the stories. You can also find the compilation, here.

    Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors

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    This patch is from Prairie Mountain HAC member, Vincent Yellow Old Woman

    Neighbors Helping Neighbors

    Indigenous worldviews or “ways of knowing” that date back thousands of years, are learned through storytelling, and are inherently practiced. A core worldview is the concept of “interconnectedness”. It is the belief of indigenous people that everything in the universe is connected. Every creature, plant and even object has a purpose and is respected and cared for. This embraces the notion that people are tightly connected to their communities, ancestors, and future generations. So when immunization access was a problem for rural communities, it was innate for the Siksika Nation to step up and launch a Rural COVID Vaccination Clinic in the spirit of protecting indigenous and non-indigenous brothers and sisters. The clinic was extended to Siksika Nation’s neighbouring municipalities of Strathmore, Gleichen, Wheatland County, Vulcan County and Newell County. And, when Calgary’s most vulnerable needed help. Siksika Nation, once again, stepped up to help its neighbors by providing a mobile immunization clinic to the homeless. You can access the audio of an interview about the mobile clinic here and here.

    Share in the comment box below your answers to the following question:

    What are some of the examples of Neighbors helping Neighbors you experienced in your community?

    Quote from Prairie Mountain HAC member, Vincent Yellow Old Woman

    Photo credit: Ramsey Kunkel Photography



    “It is in our blood to come together in the spirit of caring and protecting one another. Our communities are interconnected – we do not exist in isolation. Covid has reminded us of the need for collaboration when adversity hits our communities. I commend the Siksika Nation for their leadership and extending their hand to a broader community of non-indigeous people and those most vulnerable so we will be a stronger community together.” …Vincent Yellow Old Woman





    Images from Siksika Nation:


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  • Resilience through difficult situations

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    This story is from Rochelle Byiers. Rochelle worked with Prairie Mountain HAC member Joyce McCoy to add another patch to the quilt.


    I ran sled dogs for a little over 10 years and many lessons were learned over this time, from patience, finding the humour in tough moments, adapting to changes and resilience.

    Leading up to this incredibly strange and trying year I lost my mother, my grandmother, a friend and my mother-in-law. Loss was a silent shadow that seemed to follow me. I used my dogs and their companionship to trudge through these sad moments. Then 2020 hit, an incredibly trying time for everyone with no instruction manual on how or what we were supposed to do. 2020 was also the year that I lost all but 1 of my incredible dogs.

    Resiliency is being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. When running dogs, truer words could not be spoken. When out running with my canine companions we work as a team, together we put our trust in each other. I trust the dogs to lead and pull me through various trail conditions and in return the dogs trust that I will keep a level head through any challenges we may face and ensure their safety along with their wellbeing by keeping them fed and comfortable.

    I remember the time that my sled tipped when I was unhooking my team of dogs. They shot forward with me hanging on yelling for them to stop. After a few attempts I was finally able to stop and make it to a standing position to discover that I had not only lost my headlamp, had my coat full of grasses, dirt and snow but that my snow pants were now around my ankles from being dragged. What a vision I was.

    Getting through all difficult situations, brushing myself off and having stories to share afterward with a smile and a laugh, was how I made it through those times. I no longer run dogs but use this philosophy in my daily life and these days it is more important than ever to be resilient. I really had no idea of how I was to keep moving forward, especially when I then experienced the loss of my father in April 2021.

    I still have my one girl, Elly, and along with my amazing husband, they have helped me get through these difficult times.

    To be resilient is getting to the other side of tough times, and it helps when we are not alone. Be it as a team running through snow laden forests or alongside your life partner, they will help you to get through difficult situations.

    Rochelle’s advice is “in difficult situations, brush yourself off and smile or laugh and then share your story”. Share in the comments how you deal with difficult situations.


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  • Capturing resilience

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    Story and photos submitted by Heather Patterson in partnership with Andrew Nguyen, Prairie Mountain HAC member.

    My name is Heather Patterson and I am an emergency physician and photographer. I have been photographing inside of Calgary’s 5 hospitals for the past 7 months. This wellness focused project reminds hospital workers of the value and impact of our work, and respectfully shares the stories of patients and families.

    For me, the human connection with patients and colleagues is why I chose this career and it is what has kept me going during the pandemic. As I photograph, I am able to see with clarity, the importance of kindness and empathy for all those in the hospital – patients and families and also health care workers and non-clinical support staff. This has helped me appreciate the silver lining of the pandemic: teamwork, adaptability, resilience and most of all, a celebration of what we can accomplish when we work together.

    See Heather's photos and amazing stories below.

    Click here to help us honor, document, and remember the past and inspire hope for the future by sharing your favourite COVID-19 photo.


    The Peter Lougheed Emergency Department hallways are filled with messages and pictures from school children in Calgary. Support and messages from the community have brought me joy on the difficult days in the ED.

    This image of a senior nurse holding the hand of a patient prior to intubation captures one of the many ways that we support our patients through difficult times.

    Vaccination has offered hope and relief to healthcare workers. This photo taken in early January shows an emergency nurse vaccinating and emergency physician.


    One of the key times in a resuscitation occurs 5 minutes prior to the patient arrival. Team members coordinate roles and the leader assigns priorities and sets the scene for what will happen during the case. I find images of teamwork in the ED visually staggering – so many people caring for a single individual.


    Moving an ICU patient into the prone position (on the stomach) to improve oxygen levels takes a team of 7-12 people. For me, images like this one, emphasize the amazing teamwork that is seen every day in the ICU.

    Some of the most meaningful images of this project have been ones of recovery. This patient, who I followed throughout his hospital stay, has since recovered and is at home with his family. His story of recovery has offered health care workers hope and inspiration to keep going during difficult times.


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  • Hiking to build resilience

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    Our next patch is from Prairie Mountain HAC member Linda Humphreys. Linda says that being part of the Ramblers hiking group out of Turner Valley has brought improved physical fitness, mental health and friendships for many including young families to octogenarian. See the beautiful all season photos and hear the stories of hope, inspiration and resilience in this video.

    Share your favourite outdoor adventure stories in the comments section below!


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  • Cooking through COVID-19

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    Be part of our community cookbook project! On your own, with your friends, or with your family, help us weave your story of resilience through cooking into a larger community story. We have some recipes and stories started, but we need your unique contribution to tell the whole story of how Albertans faced Covid 19 while enjoying our favourite recipes. Like a quilt, stories and food warm and comfort us. You can also submit recipes to be added to the cookbook by emailing us at community.engagement@ahs.ca.

    Check out the recipes and stories from community members here.

    Share your favourite recipes in the comments.

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  • The role of companion animals in our resiliency

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    Story submitted by Judy Walbridge, Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council Member

    The chronic stress of COVID 19 is not unlike the aftermath of the 2013 High River flood when many of the things we valued were suddenly lost for reasons well beyond our control. Much like the pandemic, the flood was a time of trauma, separation, and grief as well as heroism and community spirit as strangers pulled together in the years that followed with the common goal of bouncing back. As I think back to being rescued with my pets by boat from my front doorstep, I still recall the firefighters’ laughter when they learned that my elderly dog was named Noah!

    Through my work with AHS Addiction and Mental Health and the local animal shelter, many stories of resiliency subsequently emerged highlighting how significant companion animals have been in times of adversity. Pets that survived the flood provided our community with a much-needed dose of normalcy and kept us going when it seemed the world around us was in chaos—one more example of ‘patching our quilt’.

    You can take a look at Judy's presentation, including some wonderful stories and articles, here.

    You can also watch the videos related to this topic here:


    Share your favourite stories of your pets, or how they've helped you get through COVID-19 in the comments below.

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  • Learning in times of change

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    Covid- 19 changed the world for most of us. For many it has meant separation from our families and friends, working from home, masks, social isolation, and sadly for some illness and death.

    And yet, despite all of this, people and communities have rallied to find alternative ways to connect and support one another. Audrey’s quilting story highlights how sometimes, if you are willing to try something new, an opportunity may present itself and could change your life in the most positive way..

    See Audrey’s beautiful quilts and her story here.

    In the comments tell us about the activities or hobbies that you have challenged yourself with during the pandemic.

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