“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 often (but not exclusively) used with 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. Alex Betts

Chiropractor, OwnerAt 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 football. After his playing career, Alex was a coach for the UBC Football program and continues to be involved with football today, including the V.I. Raiders.

Alex’s experiences with his own injuries led to him to pursue a career in chiropractic. This lead to studies at the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. Alex graduated with honours with his Doctorate of Chiropractic.

Alex continues his interest in a healthy and active lifestyle with his family, which is evident through his practice and day-to-day activities.

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

Dr. Carson Turner

ChiropractorAt SouthCare since 2023

Dr. Carson Turner

Carson Turner is an evidence-based Chiropractor who prides himself on a patient-centred approach. His goal is to tailor every treatment specifically to you and your unique needs.

In practice, Carson employs a combination of Chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue techniques, and exercise rehabilitation to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.

Having grown up on the beautiful southern shores of Victoria BC, Carson attended the University of Victoria where he attained a B.Sc in Biology with a minor in Psychology. His passion for science, athletics, and the capacity of the human body drove Carson to shift his focus towards the field of healthcare.

In order to realize this transition, Carson moved “south of the border” to Portland, Oregon, where he enrolled in the Chiropractic program offered at the University of Western States. After completing the 3 year professional degree with distinction (Magna Cum Laude) – and developing a hankering for food trucks, donuts, and tattoos along the way – Carson returned to Vancouver Island in order to best serve his community and improve their quality of life through his acquired skill set.

Active listening and an empathetic approach to care allow Carson to connect with his patients, while his application of the most up-to-date scientific literature on musculoskeletal conditions, as well as his clinical experience, ensures an appropriate treatment plan to help you recover as quickly as possible.

When Carson is not in office, he can often be found at the local bouldering gym (most likely falling off of the wall), hiking a nearby trail with his partner Jasmine, or playing Dungeons & Dragons with his mates.

As a self-professed “lifelong nerd with a passion for helping others”, Carson looks forward to meeting you and helping you on your own journey towards living your life to the fullest.

Fun Facts

  • Dr. Carson cannot physically prevent himself from stopping at food trucks
  • Dr. Carson found Portland “not quite weird enough”
  • Dr. Carson can jump nearly his own height

Dr. Ken Pepperdine (Retired)

Chiropractor, Founder, RetiredAt SouthCare since 2001

Dr. Ken Pepperdine (Retired)

The photo says it all.

It’s with saddened hearts we announce the retirement of the legend himself – Dr.Ken Pepperdine.

Dr. Pepperdine spent a fabulous 45 year career as a chiropractic doctor. Over his nearly half-century long career, Ken was able to help so many amazing clients, with well over 100,000 total adjustments made.

Ken started SouthCare Chiropractic in 2001. Dr. Helmkay, Dr. Betts, Dr. Hiney, and all of our amazing RMTs and front-end staff will strive to keep his legacy and his commitment to CARING going strong for another 45+ years.

Enjoy your sailing Ken.

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

Sarah Benson, RMT

Registered Massage TherapistAt SouthCare since 2020

Sarah Benson, RMT

Prior to moving to Victoria to complete her 2200-hour Massage Therapy diploma at West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Sarah obtained over 500 hours of formal training and teaching as a yoga instructor, and has been a practicing 12-year master hair stylist.

With years of experience of one-on-one client interaction, Sarah developed her understanding and capacity for empathy as she observed body language and listened to stories of lives unique to each individual. She recognized her deep-seated desire to help support people in feeling better from the inside-out.

With her formal training, professional experience, and a passion for educating, Sarah provides an environment that helps support the nervous system in decreasing defences to perceived threat and disrupting chronic pain cycles. She treats conditions from sports injuries to low back pain, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sarah utilizes a variety of techniques and movement modalities that help in reaching individualized therapeutic goals.

In her time away from practice and studies, Sarah explores the outdoors mountain biking, trail running, swimming, and backcountry camping.

Fun Facts

  • Sarah can touch her nose with her tounge
  • Sarah briefly toured as a roadie with *NSYNC in the early 2000s
  • Sarah’s great-Uncle (twice removed) is an A-List celebrity

Leigh Austin, RMT

Registered Massage TherapistAt SouthCare since 2022

Leigh Austin, RMT

Drawing from over 9 years of experience as a Registered Massage Therapist, Leigh creates a personalized treatment plan for you using a combination of techniques that include deep tissue therapy, myofascial release, and relaxing Swedish massage techniques.

An initial assessment and follow-up home care plan is included in your treatment.

Breath, decompress, renew.

Fun Facts

  • Leigh is very partial to citrus, and in particular pomelos
  • Leigh prefers to write in green-coloured ink
  • Leigh always watches movies with Spanish subtitles turned on (but doesn’t speak Spanish)

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

Adia Kaethler

ReceptionistAt SouthCare since 2021

Adia Kaethler

Adia grew up in Nanaimo and moved to Alberta when she was just about five. After spending most of her childhood years growing up in Edmonton, returning to the Island every summer, she finally made the decision to return home in 2017.

Vancouver Island was the perfect place for her to settle down. From paddle boarding on the ocean to hiking in the woods, Adia is a lover of all things outdoors. Adia is now happily settled in her home here on the Island with her fiancé and makes regular trips back to Edmonton to visit her family there.

After spending many years in the customer service industry, Adia decided to pursue a career in education and is currently in the Bachelor of Education program at Vancouver Island University. Adia hopes to one day teach French immersion at the elementary level.

Adia joined the team at SouthCare Chiropractic in the fall of 2021 and enjoys getting to know all the new and familiar faces that come through our doors!

When Adia is not up at the front booking appointments and answering calls, she is usually spending time with her family, binge watching television shows, or outdoors with the family pups Sadie and Clio.

Fun Facts

  • Adia has double-jointed shoulders
  • Adia has been to the tip-top of the Eiffel Tower
  • Adia believes she could be the next star of her own reality TV show

Dr. David has helped me tremendously over the past few years!