Individual and Community Wellness for All

Our Mission

ANKORS’ mission is to respond to the evolving needs of those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other blood borne pathogens; and to foster healthy, informed communities.

Our Mandate

ANKORS will work from a wellness model, through support and advocacy; harm reduction, prevention and education; delivery of programs and services that are client-centered and focused on the whole person; and partnerships with others.

Our Philosophy

  • ANKORS’ programs are guided by a belief in holistic care, the right to dignity, respect, personal and community empowerment.
  • We believe in services provided in a non-judgmental manner, without prejudice.
  • Individuals have a right to anonymity and confidential service.
  • ANKORS will actively address the social determinants of health and risk factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, HCV and other blood borne pathogens.

Our Values

  • Respect for all and the provision of barrier free service.
  • The physical and mental health of our clients, staff and volunteers.
  • The primary, secondary and tertiary care of those most at risk for HIV/AIDS, HCV and other blood borne pathogens.
  • Consumer engagement and involvement in decision-making, program development and service delivery.
  • Professionalism; best practice; cross- sector partnerships and community networking and development.
  • Harm reduction as a tool to reduce the harmful effects of a behaviour that places an individual at risk. Harm Reduction means taking action to reduce the harmful effects of a behaviour, without requiring people to abstain from (stop doing) the behaviour.
  • Diversity, compassion, inclusion.


Strategic Plan 2016-2020

ANKORS has a broad vision for its involvement in community, education, activism, and service provision. Check out our strategic plan to get a deep dive on our vision, mission, mandate, philosophies, values, goals, strategies, and actions we are taking to bring all of these to life in our work.

ANKORS has a goal to innovate and take a leadership role; to strategically evolve our organization to best meet the needs of our service users, volunteers, staff, and communities in regard to reducing the risk of transmission of HIV, HCV, sexually transmitted and other blood borne infections; promote testing, treatment and care of those most at risk of and living with HCV and/or HIV and other blood borne infections; and enhance our harm reduction services and strategies for at risk populations including people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people, new comers (refugees) and immigrants, women, youth, those involved in the sex trade and those leaving corrections, detox and treatment.



Cheryl Dowden
Executive Director
Polly Sutherland
East Kootenay Team Lead

West Office

Alex Sherstobitoff
Rise Up
Amanda Erickson
Community Action Teams
Amber Streukens
Street College & REDUN
Chloe Sage
Drug Checking
Dakota May
Prevention Education
David Nixon
Administration and Drop-in
Erin Thomson
Administration and Drop-in
Laura Buchanan
Support and Outreach
Leah Axelson
Milo Leraar
Trans Connect
Robert Livingood
Harm Reduction Distribution
Vera Horsman
Overdose Prevention Site

East Office

Polly Sutherland
East Kootenay Team Lead
Alexis Hekker
Education and Prevention
Amber Schulz
Peer Health Navigator
Jacqueline Roth
Peer Health Navigator
Karen McConnell
Peer Health Navigator
Nicole Martin
Peer Health Navigator
Rosie Benincasa
Harm Reduction Breakfast

Kootenay Boundary Adult Supported Recovery Program

Jasmin McMechan
Program Manager
& Life Skills Worker
Jen Worman
Life Skills Worker
Ryall Giuliano
Life Skills Worker

Our Board

Nora Lilligren (Chair)

Bernice Shewell (Treasurer)

Heather Cameron (Secretary)

Adrian Teneese

Chyanne Pan

Heather Fenner

Karen McConnell

Michele Frensel

Michelle Shewell

Ron Khadikin

Rosanna Benincasa

Tara Woods

Thomas McLeod