More than 100 people attended the Nov. 22nd LGH staff forum on the My VCH survey results while another 100 tuned in via webcast.

ICYMI: Recap of LGH/Coastal staff forum on results from My VCH survey

More than 100 staff from across the North Shore filled the gym at Lions Gate Hospital while an equal amount across Coastal tuned in to the webcast Wednesday to hear VCH President & CEO Mary Ackenhusen and Coastal COO Karin Olson share the results from the My VCH survey.

The one-hour session was frank, forthcoming and at times emotional. It also provided staff with the opportunity to share with the senior leaders their frustrations (and joys) about working for VCH.  Staff from community, acute and mental health asked tough questions and highlighted challenges in their daily workflow.  (Click here to view the webcast session.)

VCH President & CEO Mary Ackenhusen (right in red) listens to a staffer during the staff forum.

Before sharing the results, Mary prefaced her remarks by noting that promises have been made in the past and nothing changed.

“So why should you believe me this time?” Mary said. “I can tell you that the leadership team and I are committed to doing something bold and making a difference. We wouldn’t have started if we didn’t intend to see it through.”

Overview of results

VCH’s overall organizational health score is 53, which means that 53% of staff “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that VCH is working well across the outcome areas. (Results were consistent across all communities of care, and across all job classifications.)

“We were benchmarked against other health systems/services (33) and hospitals/care providers (26) that have used the same survey tool and VCH’s overall results are consistently lower compared to our counterparts,” Mary explained.

“That said, we know that VCH delivers high quality care and positive outcomes for our patients and clients and it is because we have exceptional people who believe in our mission. Our survey results reinforce that collectively we take deep satisfaction from and are motivated by caring for our patients and clients, and working as a team.  This means we have a strong base to build upon.

Click here if you missed last week’s VCH News story on the key themes that emerged from survey.

“If I was to summarize what we heard, you are very motivated by the mission of healthcare, your patients, and the team you work with, but you do not feel aligned with where VCH is going and you don’t feel that leadership is hearing your voice,” said Mary.

Karin Olson’s pledges

After presenting the results, Mary invited Karin to share her Coastal perspective on the survey. Karin spoke about stepping outside of her “acute” comfort zone, where she has spent the bulk of her career, to spend more time in community. In fact, it was one of three pledges she is making to staff.

Karin pledges to:

Coastal COO Karin Olson shares her three pledges to staff at the My VCH survey results staff forum at LGH.

  1. Not to assume I know everything just because I have been here a long time. I will talk less and listen more.
  2. Direct my focus to community more and invite others to better understand the role of community in the patient journey.
  3.  Review frequency of Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meetings (with an idea to reduce) with the intent of freeing up time for more visible leadership.

“My pledges will be cascaded through the SLT who will also be outlining how we, as a leadership team, will show up ‘differently,’” said Karin.

If you have feedback forms from the forum you’d like to submit, please drop them off in a box just inside the doors to the LGH Corporate Offices  near the 13th Street entrance. Or you can submit your comments here.


  1. I would prefer to see more concrete pledges from a leader. I really don’t understand why you would need to bother to say that you pledge to acknowledge that you don’t know it all. Really? If you only have three pledges, why not pledge to correct disparities and root out the causes of anguish. For one, I see too many people rising to administration levels with out having had managerial training. The Peter Principle Personified. I have asked for staff meetings. There has been one in the last year. Train your managers and then give them support…….and I mean support……Not micromanaging

    1. Karin Olson says:

      Thank you for your comments, Constance. I truly appreciate you reaching out. The forum we held at LGH is just the beginning. There is a great deal more to come as we work together toward making VCH the great organization it can be. And yes, one of the areas we will be looking at is ensuring the right leaders are in the right place and ensuring they are properly supported and trained. I will be travelling throughout Coastal in the coming months to share and talk more about the results and look at concrete steps that we can take together. I would also welcome the opportunity to speak directly with you to hear more about your ideas.
      In the meantime, I will be sending out a message to all staff and physicians based on the feedback from the forum so please keep an eye on your email.

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