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Noreen Lerch

​Education credent​​ials ​

LPN; RN; BScN; MScN (Clinical Nurse Specialist)​



Current employer​​

​Case Manager, Long Term Care Access, Home and Community Care, Vancouver Island Health Authority

Years in practice​​


Regulatory experienc​​e​​

Volunteer/community involv​​​ement​​ 

​​​​​Served on the board of the Intercultural Association of Victoria (ICA); also on the board of the Victoria German School, and currently the Victoria Good News Choir. Responsibilities were related to function, policy-making, fundraising, completion of government grant applications, a research project for the ICA, strategic direction, and budgets.​​

Candidate statement​​​

Why​​ do you want to be a BCCNM Board Member? ​

I bring the perspective of a Metis woman who came to an understanding of her ancestry late in life. In acknowledging my ancestry I had to overcome a very real fear of discrimination both in the workplace and in society. Discrimination is alive and well in every level of society including the health professions. It is the stated goal of BCCNM to work to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples and to work to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism in the health care system, in every area of the college and make the BC healthcare system more culturally safe for Indigenous people. My graduate work focuses on cross-cultural health and understanding. As a nurse and an elder, I've spent almost 50 years of nursing practice and learning, upholding the beliefs and values of our profession, and promoting culturally safe and appropriate care. It is encouraging to see the valuing of this now and to see other areas of health care following suit. 

Using the Board Composition Matrix as a guide,​​ how do you embody these values in your work and personal life? 

I am a lifelong learner and as such, I take the time to stay current, both clinically and research-based. Throughout my career, there have been opportunities for leadership and management that led to opportunities in strategic development, mentoring, communication, vision and values development and continuous learning. The values articulated for each board member are reflective of our standards of care, and I've been practicing those all of my nursing career. 

Using the Board Composition Matrix as a guide​, what specific skills, practices, and knowledge do you currently have that will contribute to the Board’s work and which do you need to learn? 

Understanding what it means to be anti-racist and what privilege represents is ever-changing and growing. My discussions with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) only serve to remind me of the layers of discrimination, the impacts of colonialism and how much work there is to be done. I'm committed to learning more about the social, legislative and political history of the BC First Nations and Indigenous people; the impact of colonialism in Cana​​da and its enduring traumatic legacy; the effects of widespread Indigenous-specific racism within the healthcare system, My own ancestry is tied to the peoples of the prairies.  My years of membership on community boards has given me insights into the fiduciary duties, good governance principles, and stewardship responsibilities, but I feel that there is a great deal more to know and I look forward to board-supported education.  My practice is grounded in an evidence-based, best practice perspective, which in my Clinical Nurse Specialty was paramount. I anticipate support would be available to new board members for any gaps in technological competence, organizational decision-making, and regulation. 

​What specific knowledge, perspectives and/or lived experience do you currently have that can meet the need to strengthen BC First Nations or Indigenous representation in the Board’s composition and support the Board in its pledge to make the BC healthcare system more culturally safe for Indigenous peo​​ples? 

I am a member of the Metis Nation of British Columbia. I traced my ancestry to the loss of land through the scrip system in Manitoba. My lived experience as a Metis woman is working out for myself where I fit, why and how. Most of my life was lived as a white woman. It is my personal commitment to work to strengthen BC First Nations or Indigenous represen​​tation and to support this board, but it would be a journey that we make together.  In the past I worked hard to advocate for culturally relevant and safe care and I met with many barriers. Nevertheless, what I have to offer is that experience and the academic background of having studied transcultural health and care. ​

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

With great respect, we acknowledge that BCCNM’s office is located on the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking peoples - Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.​