Currents - June 2014
Junior with stick, courtesy of John Hillis, EHO
Island Health’s monthly newsletter for staff, volunteers and physicians.
Making Telehealth happen for clients at West Coast General Hospital
sland Health’s Telehealth team would
like to give a shout out to staff at WCGH
who’ve embraced Telehealth as a way to
support Port Alberni clients in accessing
health care closer to home.
“We just made it happen,” said Ellen
Brown, site director at WCGH. “Our staff
made a commitment to their patients and
found ways to work within their existing
resources to incorporate Telehealth
services whenever possible.”
“It’s been fantastic to watch Telehealth
take flight, both for staff and patients,”
said Kelly McColm, Clinical Coordinator for
ED and ICU and WCGH. “When we hear
about Telehealth, it’s often described as a
convenience for patients, but for some,
Telehealth can mean the difference
between getting to their next medical
consultation or not.”
This is especially true during the winter
season when driving over the Port Alberni
summit can add to the stress of having to
travel with a health condition.
How’d they do it?
WCGH staff work together to handle
various stages of a Telehealth visit.
Administration and registration staff are
able to meet and greet clients and get
them settled into the Telehealth room,
while therapists and nurses can assess
Telehealth clients requiring
clinical support are booked
onto the WCGH ambulatory
care slate to ensure a nurse is
available. On the day of the
consult, nurses use an
electronic stethoscope to
transmit heart and breathing
sounds, while the client
communicates on camera with
a specialist located at another
What are their clients
saying about Telehealth?
Cardiologist, Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum in Victoria
(foreground), listens to her client’s heart sounds with
help from WCGH RN Ashley Oscienny in Port Alberni.
Port Alberni resident, and
Victoria Heart Function Clinic client, Ron
Boehm enjoys being able to consult with his
cardiologist in Victoria via Telehealth. “My
wife can participate and ask questions
without both of us having to travel to
Victoria, submit travel expenses or worrying
about making the drive in bad weather,”
Telehealth allows clients, their family and
supports to see, hear and talk to their health
care provider on a TV type screen from one
location, while the health care provider sees,
hears and talks with them from another
location. The appointment is like a regular
face-to-face appointment, with two-way
audio and video for the client and care
professional. Together, they determine the
client’s best plan for health.
For more information on Telehealth, visit the Telehealth website or email the Telehealth team.
In this edition:
A splashy Safe Kids Week
Postcard from Port Hardy
Island Health’s 3rd Annual
Aboriginal Week celebrations
Shared care is best care on unit
5A at VGH
Family Safety Day at SPH
Ladysmith NPs honoured
Celebrating our foundations
Run for Life supports NRGH
Comox Valley Nursing Centre
VGH medicine gets kudos for care 8
Making a splash for
Safe Kids Week!
n June 7, Island Health made quite a splash hosting a
dunk tank for the national launch of the 19th Annual
Safe Kids Week. Set to the backdrop of the Oak Bay Tea
Party, local (and brave) celebrities agreed to get soaking
wet to raise awareness about water safety.
Chances to dunk Island Health’s own Dr. Richard Stanwick,
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, CTV sportscaster Jordan
Cunningham, among others, were offered to kids who
could correctly answer questions about water safety.
Question topics ranged from safe boating to bathtubs to
swimming lessons and diving. JACK FM’s DJ extraordinaire
Crash Davis and CTV reporter Scott Cunningham rounded
out the stellar list of celebrity ‘dunkees’.
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen gearing up to get safely soaked.
To everyone’s surprise the mayor took the plunge on the
very first pitch from a young participant who delighted in
her accomplishment, tanking the water-winged and snorkel
clad mayor. At the end of the day, over 150 kids lined up
for a chance to sink a celebrity in the name of water safety.
Special thanks to all of our shivering ‘dunkees’: Dr.
Stanwick, Mayor Nils Jensen, Scott Cunningham, Crash
Davis and Jordan Cunningham. Thanks to Parachute
Canada and Island Health’s stellar Safe Kids Week event
organizers Carla Kane (Practice Consultant, Community
Care Facilities Licensing), Kim Bruce (Regional Manager,
Public Health) and Dr. Murray Fyfe (Medical Health Officer).
Dr. Stanwick gets ready to make a splash for Safe Kids Week.
For more information on Safe Kids Week or Injury
Prevention visit Parachute Canada
To view more images from Safe Kids Week 2014, visit Island
Health’s Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/
Kids lined up to answer water safety questions and
soak a grown-up in the name of water safety.
Postcard from the Port Hardy
Primary Health Care Centre site
blessing and ground breaking
Lunch and cultural dance
celebrations at these sites:
11:00am - 2:00pm
Monday, June 16
Campbell River Hospital
Tuesday, June 17
Calvin Hunt spreads eagle down during the traditional
blessing ceremony at Port Hardy.
unshine and the sound of drumming filled the air as Chief
George Hunt, Calvin Hunt and the Kwakiutl singers and
dancers participated in the site blessing ceremony for the soon
-to-be constructed Port Hardy Primary Health Care Centre.
Stay tuned for more information about this exciting new
health centre slated for completion in late 2014.
We are always in need of photographs
that reflect our natural island landscapes.
This summer, as you’re watching the sunset
from Grassy Point, catching the sunrise from
your campsite at Ruckle Park, or hiking the
West Coast Trail, consider snapping a few
more photos and emailing them to us at
June 16 - 20, 2014
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
You are invited!
Please join our
team in celebrating the
diversity of Aboriginal
employees at Island
Wednesday, June 18
Across from the cafeteria
Cowichan District Hospital
Thursday, June 19
Front lawn area
Royal Jubilee Hospital
Friday, June 20
All Nations Healing Room
in the PCC
Shared care is best care on unit 5A at VGH
mplementation of the new Patient
Care Model has not been without its
challenges on the orthopedic unit at
Victoria General Hospital, but when the
team truly works with a shared care
concept, the benefits are starting to be
Kathy McKechnie has been an RN on 5A
for 17 years, and says the unit has
always had a strong team. But she
believes the change in the patient
population in the last five years
requires a change in how care is
delivered. “Patients are staying longer,
and having Health Care Assistants to
help them walk, assist them to use the
toilet and answer call bells...nurses
need that kind of help.”
McKechnie says the biggest challenge
for nurses has been letting go of the
primary model, thinking they ‘own’ a
patient’s care, and sharing the care.
“When we do that, and when
everyone communicates well, the new
model has benefitted our unit
greatly.” McKechnie says trusting
others on your team to deliver care as
well as you do is key to the shared
care model, and communication is the
most important thing.
HCA Lorena Wallin is proud to be part
of the 5A team and says patients
benefit because team members all
take responsibility for helping them
when they need things, like getting to
and from the toilet. “Sometimes I help
someone to the toilet, and when I
come back to help them get back to
bed – they’re already there. Someone
on the team beat me to it!”
Health Care Assistant Lorena Wallin with some of her 5A team
discussing patient needs in the background. Lorena says the 5A
team is committed to helping patients return home, and
sometimes that means pushing them to do more on their own!
The team on 5A thinks their transition
to the new team model was successful
for a few key reasons:
Staff had input on how they would
work together and how their
teams would be structured;
More consistent use of huddles to
share information; and
Finding a common understanding
of ‘shared care’.
Mckechnie says there are still some
frustrating days, particularly on days
when they are working short. But she
believes when all posted positions get
filled, those frustrating times will be
Families get a fresh perspective during Family Safety Day
at Saanich Peninsula Hospital
eather Nienaber has a new perspective on her
performing common patient repositioning. “It helps
mom’s care in the extended care unit at
families to understand why we need to use a lift to
Saanich Peninsula Hospital after attending Family
ensure the resident’s safety, and the safety of health
Safety Day. She was able to experience what it felt
like to be in a sling and moved using
Health care providers at the safety fair also
an overhead lift, which is how her 92 “The staff were able to
provided information on how residents
year old mom is transferred many
explain nuances I hadn’t are assessed to determine the safest way
times a day. “It felt secure – there
really thought of before, to transfer them, falls prevention,
was no sensation like I was falling
nutrition, adaptive clothing, restraint
through, and that is reassuring for
and that has given me a policy and volunteer services.
new perspective and
Norrese Thompson attended with her
This is the second year the Peer
mom, who has been a resident for two
Resource Team at SPH has organized a
years. “It has been very difficult to see my
day that allows family members of
mom decline, and I have always resisted the use of
residents in extended care to see and experience
lifts and advocated to keep her as active as possible.
the various lifts used to safely transfer residents.
The staff were able to explain nuances I hadn’t really
Safety Coach Rick Guenette used biofeedback
thought of before, and that has given me a new
sensors to demonstrate the strain on muscles when
perspective and understanding.”
MSIP Coach Shelley Davies (left) lets Maria Pedro experience the
feeling of an overhead lift, which is used daily for her husband Eduino.
Safety Coach Rick Guenette (standing, right) shows Heather Nienaber
biofeedback on how muscles are strained while re-positioning a patient.
(Patient played by Island Health Safety Advisor, Evan McKay).
for contributions to
adysmith Nurse Practitioners Sarah
Kis-Toth and Fran Kernachan have been
named Preceptors of the Year for the Nurse
Practitioner Program at the University of
Victoria School of Nursing.
Kis-Toth and Kernachan were nominated by
faculty and students who “spoke highly of the
outstanding guidance and commitment to
inspiring excellence in practice of both of
these fine NPs,” said Barbara Fox, NP(F),
Assistant Teaching Professor in the UVic
Nurse Practitioner Program.
Kis-Toth and Kernachan are colleagues in the
Family Practice Clinic of the Ladysmith
Community Health Centre. “In their roles at
the Ladysmith clinic, they model an excellent
NP team and mutually support our students
and program,” Fox said.
The award recognizes Nurse Practitioners
who have made a consistent and substantial
contribution to NP student learning.
Contributions might include such things as
going over and above expectations in
promoting student learning and achievement,
serving as outstanding role models for NP
practice, promoting the NP role among
colleagues and demonstrating excellence in
teaching/learning as a preceptor.
“Both Sarah and Fran clearly not only met,
but exceeded these contributions to learning
and the UVic NP program,” Fox said.
The awards were presented at the National
Nurses Week, UVic School of Nursing Alumni
Event held at the UVic Faculty Club on
Nurse Practitioners Sarah Kis-Toth (left) and Fran Kernachan
Celebrating our foundations
ow much do you know about the 12 hospital and health care
foundations? We all know that they raise funds for Island
Health’s facilities and programs. But did you know that they contribute
an average of over $15 million per year to us?
To recognize their unwavering support, Island Health decided to try
something different and exciting this year – the first annual
Foundations of Success campaign! All Island Health employees (and
your families and friends too) are invited to learn more about the
foundations. Their efforts, such as fundraising for medical equipment,
new facilities and renovations help us deliver excellent health and care
to more than 760,000 people living in the region. If you are interested
in knowing more about each foundation, stay tuned in June for updates
in The Weekly and homepage spotlight.
Not only is your donation meaningful, it also gives you a chance to win
great prizes! Every employee who donates and registers in June will
receive one entry in a draw. Everyone is eligible, even if you have
donated to a Foundation before.
Aloha! Currents will be
on vacation in August
To ensure your stories don’t get lost
at sea, Communications will be
issuing a summer edition of Currents
in July and will resume publication
in September 2014.
If you have news to share, please
email us at [email protected] and
reserve your space before this ship
sets sail next month.
For urgent, operational information
you can always count on
The Weekly to get the word out.
What are you waiting for? You can make a difference today! Visit us at
Run for Life supports new operating rooms at NRGH
he 11th annual Run for Life enjoyed west coast
weather, but 215 participants raised more than
$36,000 for their community hospital. The fun 5KM
run/walk is hosted by financial institutions on central
Island and this year’s proceeds will help the
Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation purchase
equipment for two new operating rooms at NRGH.
The Foundation has pledged to raise 50% of the cost
or $3 million. NRGH fielded three successful teams
and three of the top five women finishers were RNs
For more information, or to make a donation, visit:
Ahead of the pack. Top women to finish the 5KM Run/Walk
(L - R): Carly Breault with NRGH RNs Elizabeth Manson, Lisa
Beeston and Rebecca Eggers. (One of the top five women
finishers had to dash off to another engagement after the run.)
Comox Valley Nursing Centre celebrates 20 years of
excellent health and wellness programs and services
o mark the happy anniversary, Comox Valley
Nursing Centre (CVNC) staff hosted a community
open house on May 14.
Amid smiles and a few happy tears, community
members, volunteers, clients, Island Health directors
and community partners joined current and previous
Island Health employees to take part in the
celebration, share their gratitude and swap stories
about the wonderful work being done at the CVNC.
The CVNC is one of five Canadian health programs
recognized as a “Gift for a Culture of Peace” by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) in 2009. This designation was
created to inspire other countries to duplicate its
program model around the globe.
Staff at Comox Valley Nursing Centre lined up to welcome the community
to their 20-year anniversary celebration.
Kudos for Care
Congratulations to all staff at Victoria General Hospital’s medicine
department for providing such excellent care!
The Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) often
receives compliments from patients and their
families about the care they receive at Island
Health. This month Kudos for Care features a
compliment from Richard Maclaurin about the
care he received at Victoria General Hospital’s
“I would like to thank all the nurses, cleaners,
food servers, and doctors who looked after me
during my stay at the hospital. From the time I
arrived to the moment I left, I had patient care of
absolute excellence. I have been in hospitals in
many countries, for many reasons, and these were
the very best caregivers I’d ever encountered. The
nursing was quite incredible. I was knocked out by
how thoughtful, endlessly patient and unstinting
every member of staff was at all times of the day
and night, for each and every patient, doing every
kind of care, on all sorts of levels. Generosity is the
word I would choose; everyone was so generous,
always a smile. So, a very big thank you to those
men and women for such professional care, 150%