In the words of the late American author and poet Maya Angelou,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Each day, 13,000 Eastern Health employees go to work to make a difference in people’s lives; whether it’s a patient, resident, volunteer or co-worker. Health care providers are there for those who need them, often in the most vulnerable times. They are a tireless force, who thrive on making those around them feel better, both physically and emotionally.
June 9-13, 2014 is Eastern Health’s Recognition Week— a special time set aside to say thank you to all 13,000 of Eastern Health’s employees, physicians and volunteers. We are proud to acknowledge the many outstanding contributions and achievements of our employees, who serve not only the 300,000 residents of the Eastern region, but the whole province, when it comes to specialty programs like cancer, cardiac care, and children’s health.
Read on as we celebrate our employee’s outstanding contributions, and the difference their acts of kindness make in the lives of those within our community.
Dr. L.A. Miller Centre
You didn’t need to be in Sochi to be an Olympian this year!
Eastern Health employees, Karen Penwell, Bonnie Corbett, Paul Hanrahan and Pam Moulton organized an interactive Olympic-style event for patients at the Dr. L.A. Miller Centre. One of the highlights of this two-day event included our very own Torch Ceremony— in true Olympic tradition. At the event, patients from three rehab units lined up in corridors, carrying signs to indicate which community they were representing. They then followed the torch bearer towards the area where they would start “the games.”
Patients competed in many events from a team relay race – to a bean bag toss – to wheelchair races.
Just as Olympians rest before their big debut, patients participating in the games did the same. “I can’t tire myself out this morning. I’ve got to keep my strength up for the Olympics this afternoon!” said one of the participants.
Everyone involved had a wonderful time, especially the patients. Many said: “We should do this every day,” but it was the smiles on their faces that told the real story.
While the event was enjoyable for everyone involved, it was the words of one patient that were particularly touching. “It brought back something in me that I thought was lost.”
Organizing the Olympics is no small task, but the team at the Dr. L.A. Miller Centre truly understands the difference that can be made by going the extra mile to make patients feel special. The Dr. L.A. Miller Centre Olympics are just the latest example of these employees’ determination to make everyone feel like a winner!
Renata Elizabeth Withers Centre for HOPE
A program that truly understands the big difference that the little things can make is the Renata Elizabeth Withers Centre for HOPE.
The Hope Program is an Eastern Health provincial out-patient treatment service committed to helping individuals living with an eating disorder.
The ultimate goal of the Hope Program is to ensure that each client who walks through the door is provided with the care and services he/she needs to take control of their eating disorder.
While the premise for the program is a great one, it’s the team behind the program that truly makes a difference.
This multidisciplinary team spends countless hours each day with their clients. With that in mind, they even adjust their home lives, making sure they are available during meal times, giving clients the option of cooking and eating with the staff.
While being available outside of regular hours isn’t an expectation of the Hope team, it is their passion and commitment to the program that keeps them there afterhours, and their successes make it all worthwhile.
One patient who completed the program described her powerful, personal journey:
“My experience at the Hope Program saved my life and my marriage. I finally began to face some of the fears that I have had, and also to take some chances. The staff is exceptional; they show so much concern. There were times that it was very hard, but I never could be enjoying the life that I am today without the help of this program.”
This team sees the value in providing the program’s clients with a home-like environment and is always looking to add those extra touches that really make a difference.
Building relationships is very important in health care. Helping others is truly a team effort, which is why it is important to be there for one another.
Eastern Health’s LeMarchant House team is a shining example of this.
LeMarchant House is a community based mental health service that provides short term care for adults with mental health concerns and/or mental illness — such as anxiety and stress, depression, anger control, and addictions. The team provides individual, group, couples, and family therapy to adults.
This versatile team aims to create a sense of community, where people feel safe to be themselves, and to explore various treatment options.
“My experience with LeMarchant House was life changing,” said a previous client. “In comparison to other services—well, there is no comparison. The staff at the LeMarchant House is the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
The group is skilled — not just at bringing high quality care to people right where they are — but also at being there for each other — for support, encouragement, debriefing, constructive feedback, and humor! They recognize each other’s strengths and knowledge, and use it to provide the best possible care.
The Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management “Walk the Talk” Program
Most people can agree that the simple act of listening to someone can make a big difference. The Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management Walk the Talk Program is evidence of this.
Walk the Talk provides an opportunity for executive members, directors, program managers, quality clinical safety leaders and occupational health and safety coordinators to discuss clinical safety directly with frontline staff.
During the walk-through, the executive member not only listens — but commits to taking action on concerns brought forward by staff within a six-month time frame.
Recently, Eastern Health executives completed a Walk the Talk with the Medicine and Surgery team at the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre. Employees were excited about the visit; some of them even came in on their days off to ensure that their voices were heard.
“Our employees and physicians care for people; including one another,” said one of the employee-participants. “It’s a privileged opportunity to work for an organization that has an executive team which works so closely with its frontline staff.”
The team has taken an energetic and enthusiastic approach to safety. Members have gone above and beyond to embrace Eastern Health’s model of acute care nursing practice. The group has formed a unit council to provide a forum for clinical nurses to participate in discussion or decision making that impacts specific nursing practice and patient care issues.
Eastern Health’s leaders who completed the Walk the Talk found that the team itself was staffed with natural leaders, who were engaged in consensus building. The senior leadership was both impressed and inspired by this groups collaboration and determination to provide the safest, highest quality care to patients.
Rosalind Clarke, a food service worker on Bell Island is an employee who understands the difference a small act of kindness can make. Take a look at this video.
Despite being an organization made up of 13,000 individuals, our employee’s significant contributions create a constant sense of community for the people we serve — and Recognition Week is a great time to acknowledge that.
In honour of Recognition Week, use the hashtag #ShoutoutEH on Twitter to recognize the contributions of an Eastern Health employee that you feel goes above and beyond! Happy Recognition Week! ■
This story was written by Samantha Flynn, a co-operative education student with Eastern Health.