We are excited and honoured to announce the winners and runners-up of our 2024 BC Quality Awards, and to celebrate their incredible efforts to improve the quality of health care in British Columbia.

There were many projects that made a difference in BC’s health care system over the past year, and these 18 winners and runners-up are excellent examples of the dedication, leadership and passion that drive health care improvement. Their achievements have touched thousands of patients and families across our province.

We found it especially rewarding to see the wonderful entries for our new category, Leadership in Co-Creating Health with Communities. This award celebrates an individual or team that has shown leadership in partnering with a community in the pursuit of improving health quality. We are inspired by the volume of positive work occurring in collaboration with community partners.

Join us as we congratulate the people and initiatives who stood out to our judging panel in our nine award categories.

Optimizing the Early Years

Optimizing the Early Years - Winner - BC Autism Assessment Network

Streamlined Assessment Program – Advancing Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

BC Children’s Hospital
Provincial Health Services Authority

The British Columbia Autism Assessment Network launched a new strategy aimed at achieving earlier diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Streamlined Assessment Program is now leading to better quality care for affected children in BC by addressing a growing need for timelier assessments, particularly among minimally verbal children aged less than 43 months, who demonstrate clear signs of ASD symptoms. 

Optimizing the Early Years - Runner Up - Newborn Screening BC Program

Newborn Screening BC Program, through the Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services (PLMS)

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services and Perinatal Services BC worked together to implement new newborn screening protocols for three additional treatable conditions under accelerated timelines and an expanded testing program. Since this new protocol was introduced, 16 infants have been identified and received a clinical intervention because of these additional screening tests.

Strengthening Health & Wellness

Strengthening Health & Wellness - Winner - Northern Health Lab Outpatient Improvement Program

Northern Health Lab Outpatient Improvement Project

Northern Health

Northern Health (NH) launched the Lab Outpatient Improvement Project (LOIP) to address long wait times to access outpatient lab services in Northern BC. Through LOIP, they began offering a blended service model of scheduled and unscheduled lab appointments where patients could self-schedule either online using the HealthElife portal or by phone. Patients can also drop-in and avoid long line-ups using NH Check-In for queueing, and they have the flexibility to bring in a requisition or have it sent straight to the lab.

Strengthening Health & Wellness - Runner Up - Fraser Health Frail Elderly-Older Adult Network

Fraser Health Frail Elderly-Older Adult Network

Fraser Health

Fraser Health’s Frail Elderly-Older Adult Network recognized a proactive, community-based change was required to meet the needs of the aging population. They partnered with care providers, patient partners, their families and the community to develop and roll out the Regional Delirium Strategy. By June 2022, a pilot was rolled out across all 12 medicine units in Surrey Memorial Hospital and has since evolved into what is now known as the Regional Delirium Strategy for Fraser Health.

Returning to Health & Wellness

Returning to Health & Wellness - Winner - Reducing Wait Times for BC Childrens Hospital for PICC Lines

Reducing Wait Times for BC Children’s Hospital for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC) Lines

BC Children’s Hospital
Provincial Health Services Authority

Children who are cared for at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) are able to receive timely treatment closer to home – and in some cases, at home itself – thanks to the innovative work of BCCH’s POKe and PIVOT team. The POKe (PICC Opportunities for Kids) and PIVOT (Pediatric IV Outpatient Therapy) team is a combined interdisciplinary team at BCCH, formed to both reduce the waiting time for PICC insertions for IV therapy and increase access to outpatient services.

Strengthening Health & Wellness - Runner Up - Fraser Health Frail Elderly-Older Adult Network

Radioactive Seeds for
Breast Cancer Surgery

Fraser Health

An improvement initiative to find alternative solutions for localizing breast cancers and breast lesions in need of surgical removal has led to the use of a radioactive seeds as a new technique. This has not only increased patient safety and satisfaction but has also resulted in time and cost savings at Fraser Health. The seeds, which are no larger than a grain of rice, are used as an alternative to fine wire localization, and are now the standard across Fraser Health hospitals where breast cancer surgery is performed.

Living with Illness or Disability

Living with Illness or Disability - Winner - RISE Community Health Centre

RISE Community Health Centre

RISE Community Health Centre in Vancouver is a primary care clinic offering services including family doctors and nurse practitioners. But what they offer is much more – and is grounded in a commitment to improve the health and well-being of people with chronic illness and disability. RISE (Resilient, Integrative, Socially Just and Equitable) offers team-based care to local residents with supports available for medical and social needs.

Living with Illness or Disability - Runner Up - Parkinson Wellness Projects

Parkinson Wellness Projects

Parkinson Wellness Projects, located in Victoria, is working to change the quality of life for people living with Parkinson Disease. The non-profit organization is the only one of its kind on Vancouver Island. To date, it has helped more than 600 people throughout their journey with Parkinson Disease and continues to innovate by creating new programs to address patient and caregiver needs and challenges.

Coping with Transition from Life

Coping with Transition from Life - Winner - Cognitive Stimulation Therapy in Comox Valley

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy in Comox Valley

Island Health

What began as an initiative by two occupational therapists with a passion for person-centred, evidence-based care has become a program improving quality of life for people living with mild-moderate dementia in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley. The Cognitive Stimulation Therapy initiative delivers evidence-based, non-pharmacologic interventions for mild-moderate dementia to patients and their informal caregivers.

Coping with Transition from Life - Runner Up - NH Palliative Care Consultation Team

Northern Health Palliative Care Consultation Team

Northern Health

The Northern Health Palliative Care Consultation Team supports people in both palliative and end-of-life care. The team aims to make palliative care more consistent, accessible and equitable, filling gaps that previously existed. They value community-based care and, by engaging with primary care providers, their efforts prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. This innovative approach, rooted in collaboration and quality, has set a pioneering standard, prompting other health authorities to follow suit.

Leadership in Co-Creating Health with Communities

Leadership in Co-Creating Health with Communities - Winner - Clearwater

Shifting Advocacy to Action: Co-Creating Care with Clearwater

Interior Health

In 2022, Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater found itself facing the same severe staff shortages endemic across the health care system. The Interior Health operational team, with support from Communications and Engagement, recognized a solution lay not just in updating the staffing model, but by engaging broadly with the small community of just over 2,300.

Leadership in Co-Creating Health with Communities - Runner Up - IH PCQO

Patient Care Quality Office at Interior Health

Interior Health

To build on the work already underway to make the health care system safer for Indigenous Peoples, Interior Health (IH) hired two Indigenous Patient Care Quality & Safety Consultants as part of the IH Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO). With support from the IH Indigenous Partnerships team and the First Nations Health Authority, the Indigenous consultants began ongoing engagement with the with Indigenous Peoples in the region to build awareness of the PCQO and to invite collaboration and input into the design of the IH Indigenous PCQO process.

Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality Award

Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality - Winner - Kris Gustavson

Kris Gustavson 

Provincial Health Services Authority

Kris Gustavson is well known in health care circles for her compassion and commitment, and for sharing her wisdom. As the Corporate Director of Accreditation and Patient Experience for the Provincial Health Services Authority, she is respected, trusted and admired for her ability to engage at all levels, and for creating an environment that fosters learning and improving.

Cynthia Johansen 

BC College of Nurses and Midwives

Cynthia Johansen is the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM), the regulator for the province’s 67,000 nurses and midwives. She was instrumental in bringing the province’s nursing colleges together as a single regulator for all nursing designations in 2018, and then a further amalgamation in 2020 with the provincial midwifery regulator. Now known as the BCCNM, it is the largest regulator in Western Canada.

Everyday Champion

Everyday Champion - Winner - Shannon Paul-Jost

Shannon Paul-Jost 

Interior Health

Through a long career in nursing and a desire to make her own community better, Shannon Paul-Jost is an Everyday Champion for older adults. She has years of experience working with seniors and is deeply knowledgeable about this population, their challenges, needs and the barriers they encounter. Her experience has served her well as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on the Long-term Care Services team for Interior Health.

Everyday Champion - Runner Up - John Hwang

John Hwang

Fraser Health

John Hwang’s impact at Fraser Health extends much further than the operating rooms at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. The general surgeon is a long-time champion of quality improvement (QI), and he’s become an inspiration for both leaders and frontline staff to make QI a part of their everyday work. 

Leadership in Advancing the Patient Voice

Leadership in Advancing Patient Voices - Winner - Laurie Edmundson

Laurie Edmundson

Patient Voice

Laurie Edmundson has worked tirelessly to advance the patient voice to help improve health care services, both across BC and internationally. Because of her vulnerability and willingness to share her own story about navigating borderline personality disorder and other mental health challenges, she has inspired others and helped shape the way services are delivered. 

Leadership in Advancing Patient Voices - Runner Up - Vivian Tsang

Vivian Tsang

Patient Voice

Vivian Tsang began her journey in health care as a soft-spoken 16-year-old, participating as a patient partner in a research study at BC Children’s Hospital. A decade later, and now a physician, she’s making her voice heard as an advocate for youth advisory voices in research. 

Learn More About the BC Quality Awards and See All the Past Winners