Mary Van Schyndel

After completing high school, I graduated from McTavish Business College in Edmonton, Alberta. For several years after this time, I had the privilege of working with the Mayor of Edmonton both as his administrative assistant in his small business ventures and personal secretary for the City of Edmonton.

In 1981 after my 2 children were in school, it was time to go back to work and learn a new career. I was introduced to the chiropractic profession in the Okanagan Valley and hired as a “receptionist.”

I quickly learned 2 things: 1. My work was much more than that of a receptionist and 2. Practitioners needed to focus on their patients and not worry about their “day to day” business at the front desk.

After a few days into my new “job,” I knew there was a lot more to learn about this career but courses were far and few between! Medical Office Assistant courses were not really appropriate as I was now working with the alternative side of health care, not mainstream medicine. I learned what I could from the United States but decided we Canadians had our own ways of doing things, and that we needed a course of our own.

I put together a company called Backbone Consulting and Health Education Systems. Backbone has 4 divisions –a training division for office staff, an in office consulting department, a night school training program and a hands-on, in office training program for people wishing to learn to be a para-professional in the alternative health care field. I have trained more than 2000 people and consulted in many offices across Canada and as far away as England.

In 1988, Dr. Linda Drake called me and asked if I could help her set up her new office in North Vancouver. Our contract was for 3 months. 32 years later I am still trying to get my work done!!!!

Dr. Drake and I worked together from 1988 – 1991 when she sold her practice to Dr. Leigh. He and I worked together for 13 years. In 2001 Dr. Drake returned and the chiropractic clinic expanded into a multidisciplinary one. This was a great education for me because I learned how important it is for patients to learn about and use the services of different types of practitioners. I watched patients get better so much faster using chiropractic and the leading edge work Dr. Drake does, massage therapy, acupuncture and naturopathy. My philosophy is “IN A PERFECT WORLD ALL PATIENTS WOULD BENEFIT FROM MANY TYPES OF SERVICES. “ During this time we also set up a “direct billing” department for patients who have extended health care.

I love working with people and watch them reach their optimum health potential. I am here to manage the clinic to the best of my ability, make your experience here as pleasant as possible and most importantly, allow the practitioners to focus on what they do best, taking care of you.