Introducing New Tribal Health Social Advocate Kelly Van Der Gang
What are your credentials?
I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a certificate in Human Services, a Masters degree in Theology with a year long residency in spiritual care in pediatrics.
What is your new position?
My position at Tribal Health is TCC Social Advocate at the Hot Springs location.
What are the primary duties of your new position?
My understanding of my role and primary duties are to provide care, listening and presence to Tribal Members and families and then to collaborate with colleagues and with the broader community in order to ensure Tribal Members have the appropriate health care, social, emotional and cultural care and the resources and supports they need for best quality of life possible.
Where did you receive your education?
I studied in BC Canada and Alberta Canada.
What is your prior experience relevant to your new position?
Prior to this I was working as a spiritual care and grief counsellor in a Childrens Hospice and prior to that I worked in intensive care and cardiac intensive care as a spiritual care Counselor, as well as in adult hospice. I was a CNA for 17 years prior to that in both hospice and in-care homes for elders while I put myself through school.
Are you a Tribal Member?
I am not a Tribal member.
Where are you from?
I now live in Lone Pine Montana. I spent my teen years in Eureka, Montana. I was born in Colorado and lived in New Mexico as well as a child. I have lived in Canada most of my adult life and have moved back home to be with and near family.
Why did you choose a career in health?
Caring for others has always been my path. I started out as a Care Aid and that led me to psychology which led me to hospice which led me to spiritual care and grief counseling which led me to today, here with Tribal Health. I have always had a strong desire for advocacy and for meeting people where they are at and helping them tap into their own strengths, values and knowing/tools carried along the way, particularly in times of grief and crises.
What are you excited about in your new position?
I am excited to be a part of the wonderful team and community. I am excited and humbled for all the learning, growth and connections that have already begun and will continue.
What activities and/or hobbies do you pursue in your free time?
In my free time, I love being outside and exploring the beauty. I love especially to do this with my family. Art, reading and music, as well as my pups are also a joy.