The Interview with...Kristi Hines
Full Name: Kristi Hines
Job Title: Founder & Director
Company: Hines Health Services
Years in Wood Buffalo: 38
Q: Thanks for agreeing to this interview Kristi. We’re happy to have such an industry leader in our community participate and spend some time with the YMM team. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for asking me to be a part of this issue. Here is a little bit about me. I’m a local entrepreneur raised in Fort McMurray and I truly believe innovation is at the heart of what it means to be a Fort McMurrayite. Before starting Hines Health Services 6+ years ago, I was an occupational health nurse at Syncrude. These formative years inspired me to create a company that provides optimal occupational health services with a customer-oriented approach.
I’m also a proud mother of three beautiful children and a community volunteer. I was recently appointed to the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and I currently serve as a Director on a number of other Boards and committees.
Q: This edition of YMM focused on innovation and industry, and as a leader in Occupational Health and Safety, can you tell us a bit about what you do within the region?
I lead a diverse team of highly qualified nurses, physicians and support staff. Our entire team is committed to enhancing workplace safety both for the employee and employer. Hines Health Services supports various industries by specializing in pre-employment medical services, occupational health and drug and alcohol testing.
Hines Health is always looking for innovative ways to meet our client’s needs. We have partnerships with over 120 clinics across Canada for pre-employment testing and we offer mobile services, on-site testing, staffing and remote medical services.
We’ve also partnered with occupational physicians, Crown prosecution, and RCMP drug recognition experts to design and deliver Marijuana in the Workplace training, in anticipation of recreational marijuana legalization this fall.
In collaboration with a partner, we are in the proof of concept stage of developing a psychomotor vigilance app. The app is designed to help identify and mitigate possible impairment risks. Now we are looking for help with funding, and working with technology and innovation firms to keep the app moving forward.
Q: Tell us a bit about your day-to-day life as part of Hines Health Services.
I’m passionate about the services we provide, so I see every day as a new opportunity to do great things. No two days are alike for me, but on the best days I start-off my mornings with Brad Karp and our Hines Health Report featured on the Big Breakfast Show on Country 93.3 FM. The show provides community members with access to valuable health information they can use.
Next, I would normally head into the office to check in with my staff and have a look at the clinic appointment schedule. I would then head off to several meetings with clients or deliver a workplace training session, which would normally run through lunch. In the afternoon, I like catching up on emails, reviewing financials and working on business development opportunities. Some days, I head out to site to help my staff conduct medical testing. It depends on the day really, but it’s safe to say I’m always on the move.
Q: Marijuana in the workplace is a topic you have become an expert in. When speaking with members of industry, what are some of the key points you educate them on?
The training module covers everything from important legislation, such as Bill C-45 and the Employment Equity Act, to public health impacts, marijuana impairment and what employers need to know.
Our industry clients are especially interested in how new legislation will impact the health and safety of their workforce. We focus on Fitness for Duty Policies, potential limitations and restrictions for those in safety sensitive roles and recognizing signs of impairment.
Q: What will be the biggest implications of the Cannabis Act on industry, in your opinion?
In my opinion, employees may not be fully aware of what legalized recreational use means for them at work. When cannabis becomes legal, it’s their right to use it for recreational purposes; however they are still responsible for being Fit for Duty and their company’s Drug and Alcohol will not change.
It is important to remember that non-psychoactive metabolites of THC can hang around in the body for days to weeks and is normally detected when testing urine. This means you can have a positive test but not be impaired.
Q: Kristi, you’re also very involved in the community. Tell us about some of the things you’re a passionate supporter of, and how you like to be involved.
I’m passionate about Fort McMurray because I grew up here, my family is here and I’m raising my children here. Fort McMurray has been very good to me and I want to see it continue to be a prosperous place to live, work and play. One of our core values is to support the community through volunteerism. I encourage my staff to get involved and I also lend by time to a number of organizations including: the Alberta Occupational Health Nursing Association, Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation, Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Wood Buffalo and Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo.
Q: If you were to tell the world three things about Fort McMurray that you think they don’t know, or that they get wrong, what would they be?
Fort McMurray is a great place to do business. Setting-up shop here is still worthwhile, because we continue to need access to local industrial, medical and retail services. In terms of the workforce, you will not find harder-working people. Our community understands the value of a hard work.
Fort McMurray is a family community. And if it’s not your immediate family, it’s your work family and or your friends. During the wildfire, the rest of Canada got a glimpse into how closely knit we are and continue to be.
The Interview… Fast Facts
What’s your favourite local restaurant?
What’s your favourite movie?
What’s the best way to spend a Saturday in Fort McMurray?
Relaxing with family or driving my kids to hockey or taking in some type of sporting event.
Who is your hero?
My daughter Clare. She was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s and was sick for over 1 year. I’m amazed at her resilience and bravery.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
This advice came from another one of my heroes, my Dad who’s still working at 78 and rocking it. He is the glue that holds our family together. He told me at a young age, “If you are going to start a business make sure it’s a service. Dealing with retail supplies and ordering is a pain.” I’ve followed my Dad’s advice from a young age and he has never steered me wrong.