12 December 2019

2020 Quality Award Winners Recognized for Contributions to Patient Care

Vancouver, BC, Dec. 12, 2019 — The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council announced today that eight people and projects have received awards recognizing their impact on quality of care for patients in BC.

“The 2020 Quality Awards honour the passion and commitment of those who dedicate themselves to achieve transformational change in the health care system,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “These awards also recognize projects that showcase innovation and excellence in all areas of care, and I congratulate this year’s recipients for their efforts in improving patient safety and quality throughout the province.”

The Quality Awards are presented annually by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, which provides system-wide leadership through collaboration with patients, caregivers, the public and those working within the health care system to ensure that each British Columbian receives high-quality, person-centred care.

Individual award categories recognize a Leader in Quality, a Quality Culture Trailblazer, an Everyday Champion and a Leader in Advancing the Patient Voice, while Excellence in Quality categories represent the four areas of care: Staying Healthy, Getting Better, Living with Illness and Coping with End of Life. Winners receive a $2,500 sponsorship to support or disseminate learning from their projects or to support ongoing learning and development.

“The BC Quality Awards provide us with the opportunity to put the spotlight on some of the best work in our health care system – work that has made, and will continue to make, a difference in the care and experiences of British Columbians,” said Christina Krause, chief executive officer of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council. “The winners and runners-up are exemplary, and we’re proud to recognize them and support them in advancing their important work.”

Since the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council launched the Quality Awards in 2009, they have celebrated over 100 outstanding people and projects from across the province.

Below are the winners of the 2020 Quality Awards. More information about the winners and runners-up follows.

Excellence in Quality – Staying Healthy
Provincial Overdose Mobile Response Team (Health Emergency Management BC)

Excellence in Quality – Getting Better
Aboriginal/Indigenous Health Improvement Committees (Northern Health)

Excellence in Quality – Living with Illness
The Impact of Long QT Syndrome on First Nations People of Northern BC (University of British Columbia & Gitxsan Health Society)

Excellence in Quality – Coping with End of Life
Whole Community Palliative Rounds (Interior Health)

Quality Culture Trailblazer
Lisa Stewart, Clinical Quality and Safety Director, Vancouver Coastal Health

Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality
Kim Dixon, Regional Manager and FAMILIES Peer Specialist, BC Schizophrenia Society

Everyday Champion
Jeff Harries, Family Physician, South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice

Leadership in Advancing the Patient Voice
Betty Murray, Patient Family Partner, Providence Health Care

Full summaries of the award winners, as well as the runners-up, can be found at https://www.bcpsqc.ca/quality-awards. The winners will be recognized in a ceremony at the Council’s Health Talks event on February 25, 2020.

Quick Facts:

The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council receives its mandate from the Minister of Health to:

  • Bring system-wide leadership and co-ordination in advancing a culture of quality within the province;
  • Facilitate the building of capability and expertise for patient safety and quality in the BC health system;
  • Support health authorities and other health sector stakeholders in their continuing efforts to improve quality;
  • Improve health system transparency and accountability to patients and the public for the safety and quality of care provided in BC; and
  • Identify and promote local, regional and provincial opportunities for engaging the patient perspective in health care transformation.


Descriptions of Winners and Runners-Up

Excellence in Quality – Staying Healthy

  • Winner: The Provincial Overdose Mobile Response Team provides 24/7 short-term crisis intervention and psychosocial support to first responders, frontline workers and people with lived and/or living experience who are impacted by the provincial overdose public health emergency. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: Nanaimo Regional General Hospital optimized barcode scanning technology during bedside administration of medication, improving patient safety and reducing errors. [learn more]

Excellence in Quality – Getting Better

  • Winner: Aboriginal/Indigenous Health Improvement Committees have helped build a collaborative work environment between Northern Health staff, Indigenous communities, the First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous organizations. [learn more]


  • When it was discovered that infusion pumps had unintentionally delivered medication to patients, individuals within Vancouver Coastal Health leapt into action to diagnose what was happening so they could keep patients safe – locally and around the world. [learn more]

Excellence in Quality – Living with Illness

  • Winner: A research partnership between UBC’s Community Genetics Research Program and the Gitxsan Health Society is identifying people predisposed to a rare genetic condition and helping them receive appropriate and effective care. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: Northern Health’s kidney care team has successfully implemented a suite of telehealth service improvements to expand access to best-practice, specialized, team-based kidney care in rural and remote communities in northern BC. [learn more]

Excellence in Quality – Coping with End of Life

  • Winner: This initiative fosters high-quality palliative and end-of-life care for Interior Health’s largely rural population by supporting collaboration among an extended circle of health care providers both within and external to Interior Health. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: When young patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at BC Children’s Hospital require end-of-life care, staff go above and beyond to grant personalized wishes that help bring peace and create meaning for patients and their families during their final days together. [learn more]

Quality Culture Trailblazer

  • Winner: Lisa Stewart has led a movement within Vancouver Coastal Health to embed quality improvement into everyday practice and celebrate the amazing work of staff who make a difference. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: Josh Douglas created new services for patients requiring treatment for infections and developed a novel model for delivering quality improvement to smaller hospitals, while engaging physicians in antimicrobial stewardship. [learn more]

Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality

  • Winner: Kim Dixon has changed the way mental health care is addressed in northern BC by creating innovative peer support initiatives for families whose loved ones experience mental illness and addiction. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: Bruce Forster leads the way for quality improvement and education in BC’s radiology community, not only by launching innovative peer review systems but by changing the culture of reporting and reviewing medical imaging errors. [learn more]

Everyday Champion

  • Winner: Jeff Harries is a family physician working tirelessly to increase awareness of new medical treatment options for alcohol use disorder. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: Motivated by his lived experience, Paul Irving has spent over seven years working on mental health promotion projects supporting children, youth and families in BC. [learn more]

Leadership in Advancing the Patient Voice

  • Winner: With her feisty personality and zest for life, Betty Murray has helped shape a culture of person- and family-centred care across Providence Health Care and prepared many other patient partners to meaningfully participate in engagement opportunities that improve health care in BC. [learn more]
  • Runner-up: After the heartbreaking experience of her mother’s journey with prolonged delirium, Wendy Alston decided to improve the way delirium patients and their families are treated, and in doing so has changed the culture of patient engagement at Eagle Ridge Hospital. [learn more]