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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Recognizes Exceptional Performance with 2015 Alliance Awards of Excellence

CHATHAM-KENT: November 24, 2015 -- The most prestigious honour that a healthcare professional can earn at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is an Alliance Award of Excellence. This annual Awards program, now in its 11th year, honours staff, physicians and volunteers who exemplify performance excellence within and beyond the healthcare environment. 

The 2015 Alliance Awards of Excellence recipients for Mission, Vision, Values and Team awards (top row, left to right) Janet Hunt, Katie Parker, Katie Machina, Becky Preston, Allison Manninger, Chrystal McCorkindale (Team Award), (bottom row, left to right) Lynn Richie (Vision Award), Sheila Embury (Mission Award), JoAnna Olbach-Steele (Values Award). 

Mission Award: Sheila Embury, Registered Nurse, Dialysis - Sheila Embury has been an invaluable, dedicated, passionate employee of CKHA for 44 years. She has recently held the position, "most responsible nurse" on the dialysis unit, in which she was the key collaborator between CKHA and London Health Science's Regional Renal Program. Her consistent work ethic, commitment to the values of CKHA's strategic plan and her amiable, caring personality make her the ideal candidate for this award. She has been a member of many CKHA teams and committees, always eagerly volunteering her time, and participates in regional meetings to ensure partnerships are optimized. All her colleagues and inter-organizational network only have positive accounts when interacting with Sheila.

Vision Award: Lynn Richie, Critical Care Outreach Team Lead - Lynn Richie had a pivotal role in the development and implementation of CKHA's Critical Care Outreach Team (CCOT). As the lead, Lynn has been instrumental in sharing her vision with physicians and staff across CKHA. She was cognizant in developing the CCOT with input from patients and families and is passionate about achieving positive outcomes for all of CKHA's patients. She is an example of someone who takes a patient and family centred approach in everything that she does. Lynn's willingness to provide in-the-moment education to nurses has been well-received, with nurses now seeking her out to ask questions to further their own nursing knowledge. Lynn has taken the vision of a CCOT and turned that vision into a reality.  

Values Award: JoAnna Olbach-Steele, Infection Control Practitioner - JoAnna Olbach-Steele contributes to the positive culture at CKHA by being a champion and leader for the improved delivery of care to patients. As an infection control practitioner she interacts with all staff, physicians and patients to ensure the healthcare environment is safe for the delivery of care.  She is extremely knowledgeable about practices, procedures and processes across the organization and values and respects the input of all CKHA team members. She is very effective at holding people accountable for the required infection control procedures and in very respectful ways helps staff improve their practices everyday. JoAnna maintains a positive outlook and consistently reflects CKHA's values on a daily basis.

Team Award: Patient Menu Revitalization Team - This team has gone above and beyond the call of duty by implementing a service that went from meeting the patients' basic needs, to exceeding their expectations. By developing the Chef's Special meal service, they have added variety, excitement and a little bit of luxury to the longer stays of the inpatients on the Complex Continuing Care and Rehabilitation units. Menus are developed and customized to each individual so that every patient on these units can receive a Chef's Special creation no matter what their dietary restrictions are. The team is now in the process of rebuilding the entire menu for all patients across the organization. The Team is dedicated to patient satisfaction and strongly values the importance of nutrition in healing. 

Awards were presented by Colin Patey, Chief Executive Officer, and Brenda Richardson, Chair, Alliance Board of Directors.  Recipients received a crystal keepsake award, an educational bursary, and a copy of a video in which they were featured.

President and CEO, Colin Patey said, "The Alliance Awards of Excellence recipients and nominees reflect a group of talented, committed and compassionate people that we are proud to recognize for exceptional performance. They serve as role models to their peers and to all of us within the CKHA family, including our patients." He added, "And to everyone who works at CKHA as well as the physicians and volunteers, I thank you for your commitment to compassionate, quality care."

This year's recipients were selected from peer nominations by a panel which represented staff and past honourees. Awards were presented during CKHA's Annual Recognition ceremony last Friday night at Club Lentinas. 

For more information contact:

Colin Patey 
President and CEO
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
519-437-6001

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