One of the highlights of our annual Quality Awards program is checking back in with past years’ winners to hear about how they’ve used their sponsorships. Here’s what the 2018 Quality Award winners had to share with us!

If these winners’ stories remind you of a team or individual who’s doing inspiring health care improvement work in BC, why not nominate them for a Quality Award too? We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Quality Awards until July 12, 2019. Click here to learn how to nominate!

The First Nations Health Authority’s First Nations Telehealth Expansion Project was the winner of the 2018 Staying Healthy award. They used their sponsorship to support continued community engagement visits – where they educate First Nations community members and care providers about telehealth and work with them to complete needs assessments – on a larger scale than the engagements they typically host. The funds also supported Eyrin Tedesco, one of the team’s directors, to present multiple guest lecture series about the project to health informatics classes at the University of Victoria.

A team at BC Emergency Health Services won the 2018 Getting Better award for their “Going Beyond the 9-1-1 Call” project, which helped identify 9-1-1 calls that did not require an ambulance and redirect their callers to services that could better support them. The sponsorship supported staff at all three Dispatch Operations Centres (DOCs) in BC to spread and sustain the strategies used in the project. The project team purchased software to produce infographics they could share with staff across the province. They also visited the DOCs and emergency stations to share how quality improvement can help staff provide high-quality, person-centred care.

The Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative received the 2018 Living with Illness award. Although the initiative ended in December 2017, the sponsorship was used to support a key legacy of the Collaborative, the CYMHSU Physicians Community of Practice, by helping to enhance knowledge about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Family and specialist physicians shared their strategies for addressing ACEs and providing trauma-informed care to all patients, and co-hosted a multi-stakeholder gathering on ACEs with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health.

The Camp Kerry Society won the 2018 Coping with End of Life award for their unique Family Bereavement Retreat Program, which emphasizes the creation of a compassionate community where people with shared experiences can connect, learn healthy coping strategies and support each other throughout their healing process. The sponsorship funded five children who had experienced the loss of a family member to attend a Family Bereavement Retreat held just outside of Princeton, BC in September 2018. The children came from rural and/or First Nations communities in BC, where family-centred grief counselling services and supports are extremely limited. The positive impact of the retreat experience was conveyed in the words of a young participant in her program evaluation: “Camp Kerry isn’t just for a little while… Camp Kerry is family and it’s forever.”

Jo-Ann Tait won the 2018 Quality Culture Trailblazer award for her unique “Megamorphosis” approach to culture transformation in long-term care. She and her team are using the sponsorship to create a MegaWish program where people living in care homes can work with staff and family to express their bigger hopes and dreams. If there is anything on their wish list that the team’s current services can’t cover, the MegaWish fund – combined with a bit of creativity – will help make their wishes come true. The team will have extra help from their recently-hired Recreation Coordinator, who has experience granting people’s wishes in his previous role!

Joe Gallagher, Kwunuhmen, CEO of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), was the winner of the 2018 Leadership in Quality award. Joe used his sponsorship to support an inaugural Indigenous student initiative through FNHA, together with UBC Health and UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. Five Indigenous students studying in different allied health professions participated in the International Health Fusion Team Challenge (IHFTC) as part of the 2018 International Indigenous Allied Health Forum in Sydney, Australia. The FNHA-UBC team named themselves “Smoked Salmon” and competed against seven other Indigenous student teams from Australia and New Zealand. The teams worked independently over multiple days to develop and present a health care management plan that included person- and family-centred care, cultural safety and humility, a holistic perspective of health and wellness, and interdisciplinary practice with a focus on cultural and community connections. The “Smoked Salmon” team was awarded first place! Joe and his colleagues report that “the students said this experience was transformative to their individual learning journey and feel equipped to continue their studies as leaders of change – empowered, excited and confident in their work moving forward.”

ShelleyLynn Gardner, the winner of the 2018 Everyday Champion award, used her sponsorship to continue supporting both staff and patients at Fraser Health. Her Engagement Radicals team hosted an educational event for staff about perimenopause and menopause, featuring a lecture from a UBC researcher at Surrey Memorial Hospital that was livestreamed for all Fraser Health staff. They also hosted an outdoor wellness fair for staff that included a vaccination clinic and blood glucose testing, as well as tai chi, relaxation and meditation sessions. For patients, ShelleyLynn and her team continued their work of embedding What Matters to You? in their philosophy of care by talking to patients and using sponsorship funds to help grant their wishes by bringing them experiences that are meaningful to them. Some of the moving stories she shared included two brothers, one of whom had a terminal illness, who wanted to get matching tattoos; and a woman in palliative care and her husband, who ordered in pizza and watched a movie together.

Isabel Jordan won the 2018 Leadership in Advancing the Patient Voice award for her work advocating for patients with rare diseases and their families. She has been using her sponsorship to support her work on patient compensation and patient partnership. She plans to use the remaining funds to supplement partial patient scholarships she receives to attend health care research conferences. “I’m hoping that will help spread the gospel of the benefit of including patients and caregivers in new spaces,” says Isabel!