Hannah Varto
Written by Elaine O'Connor, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

“At The Embrace Clinic – an outreach medical service for survivors of violence such as sexual assault or partner violence – I treat women who have never had their sexual health taken seriously. That’s really sad.”

"I listened to the Sunday Night Sex Show with Sue Johanson as a tween: she was my idol. I later met her at Queen’s University, and asked how I could have her job. She said, “Pursue nursing and public speaking.” I applied to nursing the next day, volunteered at the sexual health centre and joined the debate team. When I find my passion, I go for it!  

I graduated with biology and nursing degrees and got my first job with Langley Public Health. I arrived with two suitcases, no car, no place to live. I started my nursing career five days later. I volunteered at Planned Parenthood and became a sexual assault nurse examiner with Fraser Health, which inspired me to become a nurse practitioner. I was part of the second graduating class of nurse practitioners in 2006.  

At The Embrace Clinic – an outreach medical service for survivors of violence such as sexual assault or partner violence – I treat women who have never had their sexual health taken seriously. That’s really sad. There’s still a lot of stigma and pressure on women. People say, “Why don’t you just leave him?” but it’s not that easy, and I understand that.

I used to scuba dive, ride an R6 sport motorcycle and referee for Terminal City Roller Girls. Now, since having kids, I mostly knit “mummu sookies” – socks perfected by my Finnish mother.

- Hannah Varto, Nurse Practitioner, Embrace Clinic, Forensic Nursing Service

Each week throughout 2018 we’ll share a new Humans of Fraser Health story with you. Follow along as we profile some of the amazing people working in our health authority who bring their authentic selves to work every day.

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