Jessica worked as a Patient Care Aide at Vancouver General Hospital, where she was known by her colleagues for going above and beyond in providing care and improving the patient experience.
Jessica’s willingness to take on a leadership role, and her enthusiasm for championing change, was exemplified by VGH’s C Diff. Initiative to reduce infections. Jessica took initiative and inspected furniture and devices, ensuring everything was in working order for patients and arranging to have equipment repaired if she couldn’t fix it herself.
Her colleagues speak extremely fondly of Jessica: that she was always attentive to patients, spending her downtime chatting with them and walking them through the hospital’s hallways. She was admired in particular for her interactions with patients who had dementia and cognitive impairments, working to make them feel safe and meaningfully connected to others.
A co-worker observes that Jessica’s rapport with patients and their families not only made them more comfortable, but also allowed her to obtain the information and preferences that are so necessary for care planning. Fostering trust and respect with patients, as Jessica did with such skill, is key to building the relationships that underpin good health care. She elegantly demonstrated that high-quality care requires being attentive to patients as whole people, not just treating their illness.
Those who worked with Jessica point to her as a star player in creating a culture of safety through her consistent professionalism, kindness, and respectful attitudes – despite not holding a formal leadership position. Her daily actions and interactions with patients helped to build trust and confidence in the health care system, and she was a role model to her peers in the positive and empathetic way she supported patients.
In the words of her nominator, “We need more people like Jessica. It is only when we live the values and dreams we believe in, consistently aligning our sense of deeper calling with our practice that we undertake every day, that we can collectively make the world a better place for everyone.”
Jessica sadly passed away in July, but her colleagues at VGH wanted to honour her extraordinary contributions.