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Meet Corrie, a social worker in primary care at Raven Song clinic. She and her team support highly stigmatized clients in the Vancouver area who are not able to access fee for service programs. -
“I love being able to meet these people where they are at, emotionally and physically, by providing a safe, nonjudgmental, and therapeutic environment for them,” says Corrie. “I feel honoured every time a client trusts me with their personal story and allows me to help guide them through their journey to better wellness.”
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Corrie explains that she was fortunate enough to be a part of a pilot project in which they offered team-based care for their clients. “Through this project, I was able to develop stronger personal relationships with my team. Today we share our successes and challenges in a safe space where there is no judgement. And for those stressful days, we are able to rely on each other’s expertise and kindness – occasionally resulting in laughter. We have a great team!”
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Over the 15 years at VCH, Corrie has been able to gain a wide variety of experience and develop her skills. This progression led her to volunteer in Malawi, Africa. "I worked across 5 different programs there,” states Corrie. “The most rewarding of which was supporting a group of local villagers who were HIV+. We provided education and support, as well as aiming to reduce the stigma that was commonly seen in that village.”
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#Vancouver #SocialWorker #MentalHealth #Hiring #MyVCH
Meet Joe Willems - a youth care worker who helps adolescent patients make positive life changes.
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Staff who work with Joseph Willems at the Carlile Youth Concurrent Disorders Centre will tell you there isn't a day Joe comes into work without a smile on his face. His positive attitude, unwavering optimism, resilience and impressive ability to help calm patients in stressful situations are just a handful of the reasons Joe is a 2018 People First Award of Merit winner in the Unsung Hero category.
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“Joe is a valuable member of our team - he cares about each and every one of his co-workers, from the clinicians to the cleaning staff," says RN Michelle Danda, who works with Joe at the Carlile Centre. “He is caring, kind, empathetic and responsive to each patient's individual situation, recognizing that all youth admitted through our unit's doors are deserving of care. He is also dependable in crisis situations, anticipating the needs of his clinical co-staff and has the ability to be both a leader and a responsive follower depending on the situation."
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Joe joined VCH in January 2017 to become part of the development team for the Carlile Centre. He loves his job and each member of the Carlile team, each of whom he describes as a "badass" as as defined by the Urban Dictionary of course. (“Badass: a general term used to describe behaviour that is fearless, authentic, compassionate, and ethical. And B. Well above the social standard for 'normal' behaviour.")
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Joe says he was deeply touched and honoured to receive the award of merit.
“With that in mind, I am proud and so very thankful to be a part of a team consisting of such incredible 'badasses'," he says. "I am amazed, empowered, and strengthened daily by their fearlessness, authenticity, compassion and ethical standards."
#MyVCH #NorthVan #Vancouver #MentalHealth #VCHPeopleFirst​​
Felicia Granger (second from the left) and members of the Employee Engagement team have been working on a project focused on supporting our VCH-wide shift to a culture that's more caring through enabling more acknowledgement, appreciation and recognition for one another.
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The idea was identified after the “My VCH” survey done in the fall, which showed that 66% of staff and physicians feel their contributions on a daily basis are not being recognized. “We saw this as a big opportunity to better understand what meaningful recognition could look like, and how it could improve our workplace.”
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After the “My VCH” survey, VCH realized that we needed to do a deeper dive and ask staff and physicians what meaningful recognition meant to them, because it means different things to different people. A cross-discipline team looked at themes and questions to address in a new recognition survey. One of the challenges, Felicia says, “was spreading the message to staff and encouraging people to share their experiences – but more than 1,700 people filled in the VCH-wide recognition survey! It was so inspiring and humbling to hear from everyone.”
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“Our aim is to validate things we heard from the survey, and gather great ideas on what everyday recognition could look like for us,” says Felicia. She goes on to explain that, “The sessions finish at the end of July, and then we'll take all the amazing input and start to create some new recognition pilot programs and enhancements to existing programs.”
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“I think we all have the opportunity to have a real impact and to fundamentally change our workplace and the day-to-day experiences of everyone. We've really had a great team of people working with us and it's been so amazing to have such passionate employees and physicians who have stepped up and have joined us in the focus groups and filling out the survey. This is very, very rewarding work.” #MyVCH #EmployeeEngagement #Healthcare #Vancouver
From 1910 to 1919, the city of Vancouver took over the ambulance service, placing its operation under the Police Department. At this time, automobiles were still rarely seen on the crowded streets of Vancouver. The picture dates from 1910, with driver Charles Graham at the wheel.  The new motor ambulances were an improvement from the previous horse-drawn ambulances. .
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#VGHHistory #VGH #Vancouver #ThrowbackThursday #TBT
Swipe through to meet three of our talented staff / amateur photographers, all entrants to the VGH Elevator Photo Contest. We're seeking soothing, healing images of nature to beautify our elevators and bring the outdoors in for our patients, visitors and all who work at VGH. The contest is open to current VCH-Vancouver staff, physicians and Lower Mainland consolidated colleagues.
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Khristian Pan, RN, UBC Hospital. “As much as I love nursing, I love hiking and taking photographs too.”
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Photo of Brandywine Falls by Khristian Pan, RN. “Seeing and hearing the sound of flowing waters is music to my ears.”
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Georgina Maddern, patient services manager, Access & Assessment Centre. “Images of nature allow people to feel a part of the scenery; this has a positive influence on their thoughts and can even (if just momentarily) relieve pain.”
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“I took this photo on a Whistler Blackcomb summer hike.” Georgina Maddern, patient services manager, Access & Assessment Centre.
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Kimberly Noble, speech-language pathologist, VGH. An outdoor enthusiast, Kim describes B.C.’s natural beauty as “a wonderful reward” at any time of year.
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Kimberly Noble, speech-language pathologist, VGH. “This photo was taken at Watersprite Lake, near Squamish. The water of the lake is glacier-fed and flat calm; it was a very serene and relaxing place to take pause, and I think that those are qualities that are essential for our healing environment.” #MyVCH #VGH
As a new graduate, Jenna moved to Bella Coola at 22 years old, apprehensive and excited at the same time. Most people aspire to move to a big city for change and life experience, however the small Central Coast town of #BellaCoola beckoned.
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In May 2016, Jenna graduated from NAIT with a diploma in Combined Laboratory and X-ray Technology. “I was not interested in veering too far from my hometown of Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan. I worked casual jobs at hospitals and clinics close to home.  A classmate of mine accepted a temporary position in Bella Coola and mentioned to me that there was another position open. She spoke highly of the staff and the community and was quite adamant that I would like it there as much as she did.”
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“Working with doctors can at times feel intimidating, however the physicians I have been lucky enough to work with in Bella Coola have shown me that you are never too important to be nice, and that every profession in health care is valued and important. It was a valuable reminder that that we work as a team. In addition to the amazing doctors, I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards to entire staff at the Bella Coola General Hospital, from all the nurses, management, support staff and patients. You can always count on a smile in the hallway and a how is your day going.”
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She described Bella Coola as such a welcoming place. “I have never felt so accepted and included in a place. I was moving from the Saskatchewan prairies to coastal British Columbia. I shared little-to-no common interests with people who today I am proud to call some of my best friends. “
“I am proud to have been a part of such an incredible community and team.  I will always remember this chapter in my life as a time of growth and experience; these were truly some of the best years of my life. Thank you the Bella Coola General Hospital for this opportunity I will always cherish.”
To learn more and apply to opportunities in Bella Coola, follow the link in our bio.
​For the past six and a half years, Wendy Morrison has been the residential care coordinator (RCC) at Totem Lodge in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. It became clear very early on as RCC that Wendy could handle just about anything that came her way.
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It's not surprising. Wendy's health care career is long and varied. It started in 1979 at VGH where she worked as a staff nurse in neurosciences until 1988 when she left to work in MS research for 23 years at UBC.
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“Wendy is the 'Ms. Fix It, Jill of All Trades,'" says Carol Fisher, a nursing unit assistant at Totem Lodge. “Wendy can multitask better than most and always has a smile on her face. She is extremely approachable with any problem that may arise and has the knowledge to help in any way she can with everyone who comes through her door, which is always welcoming and open."​​ Wendy, a 2018 People First Award of Merit winner in the Person-Centred Care category, is known amongst Totem staff for her unfailing compassion and sensitivity to the feelings of others whether its residents, family members or employees, who all “feel valued, respected and understood… She is a great mentor to all."
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Wendy was “tickled pink" to be nominated and profoundly touched to receive the award of merit. “Acknowledgment by your peers is the highest form of praise," says Wendy. “I heard about the win on a Friday afternoon after a very long week.  It turned the week right around and started my weekend on a high note." Wendy is equally effusive in her praise about her team at Totem. “They are passionate, funny, loving, respectful, frustrating and noisy," says Wendy. “They care for those who live at Totem as if every resident was a relative. They are an amazing group who also take great care of one another and the community." #MyVCH #Healthcare #Nursing #RegisteredNurse
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of VCH staff recognition to bring you this important message: It's "Featured Friday!" Take a minute and scan our updated list of curated health care opportunities across Vancouver Coastal Health. Follow the link in our bio.
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#FeaturedFriday #MyVCH #VCHCareers #Hiring