“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. Paige Hiney

ChiropractorAt SouthCare since 2022

Dr. Paige Hiney

Dr. Paige has lived in Nanaimo since 2003 after moving from Grande Prairie, AB and is excited to return home to practice on Vancouver Island surrounded by her friends and family. She graduated from VIU with a Bachelor of Arts in Sport, Health and Physical Education. While working on her undergrad she had the opportunity to assist a professor at BCIT with his research project focusing on the use of 3D printed orthotics in treating babies with plagiocephaly. Dr. Paige also spent time volunteering within her community by working with the Boys and Girls club for Pink Shirt Day events, and internationally on a week-long Medical Brigade trip to Honduras.

After completing her undergrad at VIU, Paige took the opportunity to explore Canada. She embarked on a three week road trip through the Maritimes, spending the majority of her time hiking and camping in Newfoundland. From there she went up to the Yukon, backpacking through Kluane National park and completing the Chilkoot Trail. Paige wrapped up this break from school with more traveling, this time to Chile and Argentina, and spent three weeks exploring the countries and completing the Torres del Paine’s ‘O’ Circuit in Patagonia.

Paige’s active lifestyle is part of what drew her to chiropractics, and she opted to continue her education at the University of Western States in Portland, OR. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree of Doctor of Chiropractic and a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology in December 2021.

Paige is passionate about holistic health and helping people return to doing what they love. While Paige enjoys treating patients of all ages, conditions, and backgrounds she has a special interest in women’s health and is certified in Webster Technique.

In practice Paige assesses and analyzes the needs of her patients using a whole-body approach. She then treats them by emphasizing healthy functional movement, using manual and instrument assisted adjusting, and soft tissue techniques. She also utilizes exercise therapy and rehab at home to supplement her in office care and help patients reach their optimal level of health and function.

When Paige isn’t at the clinic you can find her hiking and exploring all over Vancouver Island with her dog, Bo.

Fun Facts

  • Paige used to be able to recite every line from the movie Remember the Titans
  • Paige thinks her spirit animal would be a dragon
  • Paige used to be a tree planter and would spend most of the summer’s up north sleeping in a tent

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)

Linda Utting, RMT

Registered Massage TherapyAt SouthCare since 2022

Linda Utting, RMT

Linda Utting (she/her) recently moved to Gabriola Island from Victoria. She is a graduate of Kikkawa College in Toronto, Ontario, and has worked as an RMT since 2015 in both Toronto and Victoria.

At the age of 34, Craniosacral Therapy (CST) changed the shape of Linda’s head – and her life. A CST session with her RMT released a flat spot on her head and put her on a new path forward.

Linda immediately enrolled in courses to become a CST practitioner and eventually an RMT. In 2018, Linda travelled to Portland, OR, to take infant-specific CST training. Now she works with newborns, children, and adults using CST and Massage Therapy.

Developed by Osteopath Dr. John E. Upledger, Craniosacral Therapy uses only 5 grams of pressure (the weight of a nickel) to release tissues from head to toe. CST works with the body’s natural rhythms to activate healing mechanisms and calm the nervous system.

Linda is committed to providing a safe and supportive space for healing and empowerment. She is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Linda respectfully acknowledges and thanks the Snuneymuxw on whose traditional territory she works, learns and lives.

Fun Facts

  • Linda was a newspaper journalist in Toronto for 15 years before becoming a Registered Massage Therapist
  • Linda played her violin on “Tiny Talent Time” (a TV show) when she was 5 years old
  • Linda completed a Half-Ironman in Muskoka, ON, in 2014 and still likes to swim, bike, and run

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

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

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

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

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

Stephanie L.