HEABC Announces Winners of Inaugural Excellence in BC Healthcare Awards

    VANCOUVER, June 25 /CNW/ - The Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC)
is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Excellence in BC
Healthcare Awards. The Excellence in BC Healthcare Awards honour excellence
and innovation in BC's publicly-funded healthcare community and recognize
exceptional healthcare employees who provide quality care and support to the
people of British Columbia.
    "HEABC created these awards to identify, honour, and reward excellence
and to highlight some of the many success stories that happen every day across
our province," said Linda Petch, HEABC Board Chair. "I was very honoured to be
able to present these awards today to a group of outstanding individuals from
all areas of the healthcare profession."
    Health Minister George Abbott added, "While this awards program is a
wonderful way to recognize innovative thinking and actions by healthcare
professionals, it is also a great forum for exchanging new ideas and programs.
Congratulations to the award winners and everyone who participated in creating
this worthwhile and meaningful event."
    To be considered for these awards, a nomination must clearly demonstrate
excellence in innovation, leadership, best practices, and measurable results.
The 2007 awards were handed out earlier today (Monday, June 25) in Vancouver.
Five Awards were presented in four categories, selected from 143 nominations
submitted by HEABC members from across BC:

    Top Innovator: Affiliate
    Psycho-Geriatric Care on Vancouver Island, Sandringham Care Centre,

    Ms. Alice Jean Raffan of Central Care Corporation, Victoria and Dr. Holly
Tuokko of the University of Victoria's Centre on Aging were recognized for
their work in the development and implementation of an innovative new
healthcare model that focuses on the treatments of seniors living with
persistent mental illness. Until recently, psycho-geriatric patients could
only be treated at Riverview Hospital; now, at Central Care Corporation's
Sandringham Care Centre in Victoria, 46 patients are receiving care. Under the
leadership of former nurse AJ Raffan, who is the Regional Knowledge Manager
for Central Care, a new model of care was introduced in partnership with the
Vancouver Island Health Authority, Central Care Corporation, and the
University of Victoria.
    For more information: Alice Jean Raffan, Central Care Corporation,
Victoria 250.388.6457, Ext. 247

    Top Innovator: Health Authority - Award Supported by Great-West Life
    Staffing Services Redesign, Interior Health

    Ms. Lee VanMeter was awarded the Top Innovator Award - Health Authority
for Interior Health's Staffing Services Redesign project which standardized
staff scheduling throughout the region, building a system that "gets the right
staff in the right place at the right time." Addressing human resource issues,
this project was designed by front-line staff from across the health
authority, who were brought together to create processes that would provide
better service for managers, casuals, and staff. It improved staff retention,
standardized staff utilization, and reduced costs. Lee is the Project Lead,
and works out of Interior Health's Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
    For more information: Interior Health Communications, 250.870.4768

    Healthy Workplace - Award Supported by Healthcare Benefit Trust
    Participatory Ergonomics in Healthcare Facility Design, Interior Health

    Ms. Leslie Gamble, an Ergonomic Specialist with Interior Health based in
Kelowna, was recognized for bringing ergonomics to the forefront of Interior
Health's facility design process. For the last two years, Leslie has been
working with front-line staff to ensure that better work quality requirements
for employees and comfort for clients were integrated into the facility design
process. Interior Health is one of the first healthcare organizations in both
BC and Canada to adopt this practice. Leslie has presented at conferences
around Canada, and was recently asked to present at the World Congress on
Ergonomics in Holland.
    For more information: Interior Health Communications, 250.870.4768

    Collaborative Solutions - Award Supported by WorkSafeBC
    Care North - Quality in Primary Healthcare Delivery, Northern Health

    Designed by a team of seven healthcare professionals from Northern
Health, Care North is a strategy to improve access and the quality of primary
healthcare services for residents in Northern BC. Working within eight
northern communities, and now expanding to 16 more, Care North's initial focus
has been on chronic disease management and prevention, with a special focus on
diabetes. The guiding principle is that patient health can be achieved through
collaboration between primary care physicians, Northern Health, and the
communities it serves. Many communities joined in, with sports facilities
running programs to assist those with chronic diseases, grocery stores listing
healthy ingredients on their shelves, and community health centres and primary
physicians hosting chronic disease clinics. This collaborative solution was
the brainchild of Care North team members: Dr. Dan Horvat, Dr. Bill Clifford,
Ms. Paula Young, Ms. Alice Domes, Mr. Marvin Barg, Ms. Victoria Stewart, and
Ms. Judy Huska.
    For more information: Mark Karjaluoto, Northern Health Communications,

    Healthcare Hero - Award Supported by Pacific Blue Cross
    Ms. Anita Dickson, Licensed Practical Nurse, Fraser Health

    In 1997, Anita Dickson realized it was time to change careers and fulfill
her dream to work in healthcare and help others. Anita became a Residential
Care Aide, and while working in long-term care, she went back to school,
graduating as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in September 2001. She joined
the Emergency Department at Fraser Health's Royal Columbian Hospital, and has
never looked back. A great advocate for the profession, Anita is recognized
for her extraordinary efforts in supporting both patients and her colleagues
and coworkers.
    For more information: Fraser Health Communications, 604.450.7881 (pager)

    "Winners were selected by an independent group of community, business,
and academic leaders from diverse backgrounds and we are extremely
appreciative of their involvement in our first year to help select such
exemplary award recipients," commented Louise Simard, President and CEO,
HEABC. For a complete list of judges, visit www.bchealthcareawards.ca.
    Giving back to the healthcare community was also a unique highlight at
the award ceremony, where a $4000 donation by gold apple level sponsors was
presented to the BC Cancer Foundation.

    Please visit www.bchealthcareawards.ca for additional information. Winner
photos will be available for download on June 26 on the award website.

    The Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) coordinates the human
resource and labour relations interests of over 300 publicly funded healthcare
employers in British Columbia and represents denominational, proprietary, and
affiliate health employers, as well as the province's six health authorities.

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Carty, Director, HEABC Communications,
Direct: (604) 714-2271, Cell: (604) 209-0956; Melissa Mueller, HEABC
Communications, Direct: (604) 714-2294, Cell: (604) 833-2415

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