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

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