Left photo: On behalf of the Mobile Medical Unit Deployment Team, Peter Hennecke and Michelle de Moor accept an Award of Merit for Collaborative Solutions. Middle photo: Dianna Mah-Jones is recognized as the Health Care Hero for VCH and the province. Right photo: Jessie Rodrigue accepts an Award of Merit for Top Innovation on behalf of the Cardiac Surgery Quality Improvement Team at VGH.

VCH staff honoured at BC Health Care Awards

At the 11th annual BC Health Care Awards, VCH staff and other health care professionals from around the province were recognized for their excellence in providing outstanding care and support. Awards are given in 11 categories to projects improving health care delivery and to people making a positive impact. Three VCH staff members/teams were honoured for their work:

  • Dianna Mah-Jones, Occupational Therapist, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre as the winner of both the VCH and the Provincial Health Care Hero award
  • Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) Deployment Team (a partnership with PHSA) as the winner of the Award of Merit for Collaborative Solutions
  • Cardiac Surgery Quality Improvement (CSQI) Team, Vancouver General Hospital, as the winner of the Award of Merit for Top Innovation (Health Authority)

Dianna Mah-Jones

“I nominated Dianna because she is the heart and soul of the GF Strong spinal cord program,” said Natalie Chan, occupational therapist. “Dianna is approachable, friendly, and creates an environment of compassion and celebration of everyone’s talents.”

Diana’s dedication to sharing knowledge and innovative problem-solving are just two of the reasons why she was named the Health Care Hero not just for VCH, but also for the province. To get the attention of clients receiving education about managing spinal cord conditions, Dianna wrote and choreographed a poetic rap number called “Save the Shoulder.” She’s even produced a successful fashion show with models from the BC Paraplegic Association titled Fashion Meets Function.

Dianna’s creativity extends to assistive devices. One GF Strong client with muscular dystrophy couldn’t see past the rigid collar she had to wear to hold her head upright. Glancing down, reading a book, or preparing a meal was challenging.  Dianna responded by inventing the “Lidia Collar” – an inexpensive, easily made device that even comes in multiple colours to match the patient’s wardrobe. In fact, the client was able to wear a white one to her son’s wedding.

“I could not think of a more deserving person for this award,” said Natalie. “I was ecstatic and overjoyed to hear that Dianna had won.”

To hear a segment of Dianna’s rap song, view images from the BC Paraplegic fashion, or to see the Lidia Collar, watch the video below. Also, you can read a profile on her work.

Mobile Medical Unit Deployment Team

The MMU Deployment Team was a unique collaboration between Vancouver Coastal Health and Provincial Health Services Authority and two affiliate organizations, Providence Health Care and Portland Hotel Society. Formed in response to the overdose crisis in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, the team established and deployed the MMU within 10 days of forming. For their work, the MMU Deployment Team was also awarded a People First award in teamwork and collaboration.

Operating seven days a week, the MMU achieved two goals: to treat individuals who have experienced an overdose and required medical care, and to offer barrier free treatment for walk-in clients wanting to start opioid replacement therapy.

“I am thrilled that our team has won the Award of Merit in Collaborative Solutions,” said Michelle de Moor, Regional Director of Emergency and Trauma Programs, VCH/PHSA. “Every member of the team contributed their ideas, expertise and positive energy to ensure the MMU Deployment was a success. They are truly deserving of this honor.”

The team personified what it means to collaborate within and across health authorities, to capitalize on diverse experiences in order to develop a unique solution to a complex issue and to achieve the best possible outcome for the clients served.

Left to right: Miranda Compton, Regional Director, Prevention, VCH; Krista Golden, Emergency RN, VCH; Michelle de Moor, Regional Director, Emergency, VCH / PHC; Dr. Eric Grafstein, Regional Head, Emergency Medicine, VCH / PHC; Peter Hennecke, Director, Mobile Medical Unit, PHSA; Dara Davies, Clinical Operations Manager, Mobile Medical Unit, PHSA; Alyshia Higgins, Planning and Operations Manager, MMU, PHSA; Caitlin Etherington, Director, Strategy Deployment, VCH; Joe Acker, Director, Vancouver Coastal Districts, BCEHS.

Cardiac Surgery Quality Improvement Working Group

Dedicated to improving the surgical outcomes of cardiac patients at VGH, the CSQI team is multi-disciplinary and draws on the expertise of many health care professionals: front-line nurse champions, infection control practitioners, nurse practitioners, wound care nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, pharmacists, quality coordinators, nursing leaders and educators.

“The Cardiac Surgery Quality Improvement Team applied creativity and resourcefulness to break down barriers, and fostered a collaborative environment that is outcomes-based,” said Mary Ackenhusen, President and CEO of VCH who nominated the team.

The team set a goal at reducing surgical site infections (SSIs), an adverse outcome that is potentially preventable. SSIs negatively impact patients’ experiences, and increase the risk of patients having to return to in-patient facilities, thereby increasing the overall cost of treatment. As a result of the work planned and implemented by the team, infection rates for cardiac surgery patients have nearly halved.

“The team was thrilled to be recognized with this great award and to have our work acknowledged in this way,” said Jessie Rodrigue, CSQI team member and Patient Service Manager at VGH’s Cardiac Care Unit.

To learn more, read more an article about the work done by the Cardiac Surgery Quality Improvement team and its impact.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Write your compliments, best wishes, or greetings to the winners in the comment section of the article.

To see a complete list of winners, please refer to the BC Health Care Awards website.

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