On January 15, I invited this year’s recipients of the CEO Awards of Excellence to an annual breakfast with our Executive Team. This awards program was developed to recognize the best of the best at Eastern Health, and this year’s line-up was as impressive as all the others.
The awards are presented in June each year, during our annual Recognition Week, but we wait six months before we bring the winners together for a celebratory breakfast. You may wonder why I’d wait so long. Well, it’s not an oversight. We plan it this way to keep the recognition alive all year long, and I like to hear from these employees how the award has impacted them, personally and professionally.
Gathered at our breakfast this year were two big teams – our Excellence in Teamwork and Excellence in Safety award winners. The employees of Stem Cell Transplant team are the 2013 Team Excellence winners. Sitting together, smiling and laughing long after the last winner attendee had left for the morning, I was struck by just how strong a unit this team is. They are multi-disciplinary, from all walks of life, but they recognize the importance that each member of the team plays and they value the work they do for our patients. Joanne LeDrew, a nurse who has recently retired, told the group, “Working on this team has been the highlight of my career.”
Isn’t that wonderful?
And Jeanne Robertson, the 2013 recipient of the Leadership Excellence award, said, “I was nominated by my division managers, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be appreciated by my team. It’s so rewarding.”
That’s truly what the CEO Awards of Excellence are all about – peer recognition. Every year, we receive nominations from across our organization in seven categories: Service, Team, Safety, Innovation, Leadership, Community Capacity Building and Mentoring. I can tell you that reading those nominations is an absolute highlight for the judging panel and me. It’s an annual reminder of the level of excellence in our organization that cannot be understated.
When patients or their family members raise concerns about something that has happened to them while in one of our facilities, I am deeply concerned, too. Although we can’t talk publicly about individuals to whom we provide care, I can assure you that each and every one of those complaints is listened to, addressed, evaluated and felt by each and every person involved. Our employees and physicians care for people and they care about people.
They also care about what people say and think about the service they provide.
Our Recognition Program at Eastern Health focuses on our achievements and successes, but the best recognition that our employees ever get is not from me or from their peers – it is from the public. Your understanding of the challenges our employees face, your respect for their advice and support, and your kind words and thanks are really what matters the most to the people on the frontlines and those supporting frontline care.
On January 15, I was so honoured to be in a room of so many excellent healthcare providers. But then again, I’m proud to be working with this Eastern Health team every day of the year.
What a great group of people working hard for the people of this region and province.
Well done, team. Well done. ■
This story was written by Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO of Eastern Health.