“Mobility, health, and wellness for the entire family, with a special focus on babies & infants.”

Meet Our Team

Our staff works together to create a warm, professional setting where you’ll be greeted with an open ear and a friendly smile.

Click the photos to jump to a specific bio (or keep scrolling to meet everyone).

Dr. Dave Helmkay

Chiropractor, OwnerAt SouthCare since 2007

Dr. Dave Helmkay

David is a Nanaimo-based chiropractor who serves children and families, with an emphasis on assisting individuals reach their full health potential. He is passionate about helping bring vitality and wellbeing to people’s lives through chiropractic care and a healthy lifestyle.

After completing a biology degree at the University of Victoria, David’s interest in health and the human body led him to study chiropractic at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. While completing his 5 year degree with honours, Dave became fascinated with the role of the nervous system in child development, health, and longevity.

David underwent advanced training in Chiropractic Paediatrics through an Australian fellowship program and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) of which he is a member. Furthermore, he has extensive continuing education and experience in the fields of rehabilitation, exercise, nutrition, maternal health, and wellness.

Of particular note, Dr. Dave is certified by the ICPA in the Webster Technique, a chiropractic adjustment designed specifically for pregnant women.

Upon returning home to Nanaimo, David joined Dr. Ken Pepperdine at SouthCare Chiropractic in 2007, eventually purchasing the clinic in 2009. Together they run a community practice that welcomes a wide variety of clients who range from only days old to 90+ years young.

David and his family live a “wellness lifestyle” that includes a healthy diet, exercise, living life with purpose, and – of course – chiropractic care.

Fun Facts

  • Dr. Dave has 10 fingers and 10 toes
  • Dr. Dave’s favourite meal is whipped cream
  • Dr. Dave believes in Santa Claus

Dr. Ken Pepperdine

Chiropractor, FounderAt SouthCare since 2001

Dr. Ken Pepperdine

Dr. Ken Pepperdine graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 1977. After graduation he spent another year at the college completing a research residency and working as an assistant professor teaching physical diagnosis. During this time he completed papers on the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, the impact of stress on illness, and an audit of clinic procedures.

In 1978, Dr. Pepperdine established dual practice in the towns of Invermere and Golden in the Columbia Valley. As well as practicing during this period, he taught stress reduction courses at the community college, and completed a 400 hour fellowship in Applied Nutritional Education.

Ken and his wife Wendy moved to the West Coast in 1996 to pursue their love of sailing. In 2001, Dr. Pepperdine established SouthCare Chiropractic at its current location, and was fortunate to welcome Dr. Dave Helmkay as his partner in 2007. With Dr. Helmkay now the owner of SouthCare Chiropractic, Ken is excited to watch the practice evolve and grow under David’s tenure.

Fun Facts

  • Dr. Ken can bench press twice his own body weight
  • Dr. Ken’s favourite colour is lavender
  • Dr. Ken has a higher IQ than 99% of the population

Dr. Alex Betts

ChiropractorAt SouthCare since 2016

Dr. Alex Betts

Dr. Betts is a movement-based chiropractor, certified in Active Release Technique with experience treating athletes at the amateur, collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels. He encourages healthy, pro-active, and patient-centred care to try and empower patients and inspire confidence and self-awareness.

A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Alex earned his Bachelor of Arts degree while playing CIS Varsity Football for five years, serving as a team captain for two years. After his playing career, Alex was a coach for the UBC Football program for two years while continuing his studies.

Following his coaching career, Alex furthered his studies at the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and graduating with honours with his Doctorate of Chiropractic.

During his studies, Alex continued his interest in a healthy and active lifestyle, which is evident through his practice today. Now Alex is excited to settle in Nanaimo, ready to plant some roots and contribute to the community.

Fun Facts

  • Dr. Alex asks close friends to call him “The Captain”
  • Dr. Alex is the 2nd strongest person in the clinic, after Jo-Elle
  • Dr. Alex thinks he will live to be 121 years old

Sue Coker

Chiropractic Assistant & Practice ManagerAt SouthCare since 2001

Sue Coker

Originally from the United Kingdom, Susan has 19 years of experience in the finance industry working for one of the “Big Four” banks.

After immigrating in 1999, she decided a complete lifestyle change was in order and began working for a fashion designer. Two years later she began work for Dr. Pepperdine when he opened the practice at Southgate Mall.

Sue loves the outdoors and is an avid rock climber. She loves hot yoga, running, hiking, and camping.

Fun Facts

  • Sue is the one who’s really in charge around here
  • Sue won the clinic’s Hallowe’en costume contest last year
  • Sue has a vertical leap of over 5 feet

Jo-Elle Munro

ReceptionistAt SouthCare since 2013

Jo-Elle Munro

Jo-Elle grew up in Nanaimo and after graduation moved to Victoria. There she started a Business Administration Degree at Camosun College, and transferred to Capilano University a few years later to complete the program. Her husband and children moved to Okotoks, Alberta for five years where she worked at a wellness clinic.

Eventually Jo-Elle moved back to Nanaimo while she was pregnant with her second child so she could be close to family and friends. She later joined us at SouthCare Chiropractic in 2013. Jo-Elle enjoys spending time outdoors, and spends most of the summer months fishing and camping with her family.

Fun Facts

  • Jo-Elle has only ever appeared in 1 photograph
  • Jo-Elle invented a language when she was 7 years old
  • Jo-Elle once caught a rainbow trout with her bare hands

I wouldn't see anyone else for my chiropractic needs.

Stephanie L.