“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. 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 our original Southgate Shopping Centre 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

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

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

Lynn Ball

Chiropractic Office AssistantAt SouthCare since 2020

Lynn Ball

Lynn is a born-and-raised Nanaimo-ite, happily married with two daughters and three grandsons. She’s spent most of her life here on Vancouver Island, save for a move to Ontario for a very brief time at 18 years old (Lynn admits she soon discovered that was a mistake!).

Lynn loves interacting with people, and has worked customer service/retail for most of her life. She has also worked in care homes as a support worker which she also loved, but unfortunately her body didn’t!

Somewhat ironically (or was it kismet?), Lynn landed at SouthCare Chiropractic after getting to know us as a patient. She claims to have never been happier going to work, and her big smile certainly seems to back that up :-)

Outside of her work life, Lynn loves camping, going on walks, gardening, and of course, spending time with her family.

Fun Facts

  • Lynn was once an audience member on The Price is Right
  • Lynn’s favourite car is the 1971 Datsun 270z in avocado green
  • Lynn has kept a small good-luck charm in her handbag since she was a teen

Louise Duncan

Chiropractic Office ManagerAt SouthCare since 2021

Louise Duncan

My name is Louise Duncan. I’m married with one amazing daughter, and I’ve called Vancouver Island and Nanaimo home for the last 35 years.

My work career has seen me doing everything from customer service, barista, hair stylist, nail technician, esthetics, healing arts, and administrative assistant. Most recently I help with the management of South Care Chiropractic & Massage.

The one thing I know about myself is that I LOVE helping people. For the last 11 years I’ve been (and still am!) a client of South Care. It’s been a pleasure going from listening to the laughter behind the desk to being able to join in!

When I’m not working, I enjoy being outside as much as possible; hiking, biking, and playing at the park and beach with my little one are all at the top of my list. I particularly love getting out to find new hikes and destinations – we truly live in the most beautiful place.

I look forward to many years with the South Care team, and getting to know all of our wonderful clients. Please say hello next time you’re in!

Fun Facts

  • Louise kept peacocks as pets during her rebellious years
  • Louise doesn’t cast a shadow in mirrors
  • Louise has thirteen stars in our galaxy named after her

Excellent Doctor and even friendlier person.

Tyler B.