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Healing Hands Awards presented to five staff members, one physician

Five Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) staff members and one physician were recognized this week with Healing Hands Awards, in recognition of their outstanding demonstration of the local hospital’s values of integrity, quality, respect, compassion and teamwork.

(L-R) Linda Davis, President and CEO; Shaureen Young, Environmental Services Worker; Crystal Adams, Clerk, Community Mental Health Services; Dr. Michael Barrie, GP Anesthetist; Paula Lawder, RN, Emergency Department; and Michelle Cane, RPN, 2B Medical/Surgical Unit. [Missing from photo, Nina Chernipeski, RN, Intensive Care Unit].
(L-R) Linda Davis, President and CEO; Shaureen Young, Environmental Services Worker; Crystal Adams, Clerk, Community Mental Health Services; Dr. Michael Barrie, GP Anesthetist; Paula Lawder, RN, Emergency Department; and Michelle Cane, RPN, 2B Medical/Surgical Unit. [Missing from photo, Nina Chernipeski, RN, Intensive Care Unit].
(L-R) Linda Davis, President and CEO; Nina Chernipeski, RN, Intensive Care Unit; and Nicole Wood, Patient Care Manager, Critical Care
(L-R) Linda Davis, President and CEO; Nina Chernipeski, RN, Intensive Care Unit; and Nicole Wood, Patient Care Manager, Critical Care

Presented this year at the November CEO/Staff Forum on November 18th, the Healing Hands Awards celebrate the day-to-day acts that have made individual staff members stand out among their peers in the past year. Provided below are excerpts from the nominations for the six 2019 Award recipients. Congratulations to all our 2019 nominees and recipients.

Nina Chernipeski, Registered Nurse, Intensive Care Unit – Described by her peer nominators as an “excellent nurse,” Nina—who joined the hospital team shortly after the 1000 DePalma Drive opening in 2003—is broadly recognized for providing compassionate and respectful care to the patients and families she supports in the ICU. Nina is known as an RN who consistently remains calm, kind and respectful, regardless of the clinical circumstance. Despite the pressures of a very busy unit, Nina’s peers noted that she always makes time to listen to the individual stories of her patients and, as one colleague put it, “Patients are able to maintain their dignity and feel respected and listened to regarding their concerns.”

Paula Lawder, Registered Nurse, Emergency Department – A member of the NHH ED team since January 2012, Paula has become a key member of the team. Paula’s nominators spoke to the passion she has for Emergency medicine, and the way she translates that into actions to benefit care at NHH, updating ED medical directives, participating on the ED Quality and Practice Committee, representing her team on the Safe Medication Committee and playing a key role in implementing the hospital’s facility-wide acute stroke protocol. Committed to lifelong learning, Paula supports orientation of new hires at NHH, and participates in the Professional Practice Design Team, all while working toward her Master’s degree in Nursing. “New hires see Paula as a very knowledgeable and approachable point of care nurse to reach out to when they need support,” said one nominee. “Our ED team feels very well represented by Paula’s involvement in various programs and organizational work.”

Dr. Michael Barrie, General Practitioner (GP) Anesthetist and Service Lead, Anesthesia – “Dr. Barrie—who is known to play the guitar in NHH’s Rotary courtyard—joined the NHH team in May 2005 and we are most fortunate that he did,” said Linda Davis. Known for his team spirit, he is a strong supporter of NHH’s medical trainee program and an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course Instructor. His nominations recognized these contributions to the hospital, and included recognition from a colleague who had the opportunity to see Dr. Barrie from the patient perspective. “My father was recently a patient,” said one nominee, who pointed out that “Dr. Barrie helped facilitate the urgency of care, speaking with the care team, and supporting a smooth transition into palliative….He offered emotional support to both me and my family, as well as professional advice. He demonstrated respect, collaboration, compassion and dedication.”

Michelle Cane, Registered Practical Nurse, 2B Medical/Surgical Unit – Michelle joined the hospital team in 2010 and her peers recognized her this year as a core member of the 2B Medical/Surgical unit, where she works today. Her nominations highlighted her consistent willingness to jump in and help her colleagues. “Michelle will always help out the team, whether it be with brief changes, transfers, boosts, etc. You can always count on Michelle to offer advice if you’re concerned about a patient. She is excellent in a crisis, and a leader on the floor.” Another value Michelle was recognized for is her compassion, particularly for patients whose condition may cause them to sometimes show behaviours that are sometimes difficult for the team to manage. Said one colleague: “I have seen Michelle provide care to many who are confused, angry, combative and frustrated…. She approaches all her patients with kindness and patience.” Whether helping a patient into the shower, or helping lift a patient, these qualities are consistently observed and appreciated, particularly in the very busy environment that NHH is today.

Crystal Adams, Clerk, Community Mental Health Services – Nominated by her peers in the hospital’s Community Mental Health program, Crystal was recognized for her exceptional teamwork and compassion. “Walking into an office seeking support for one’s mental health is a difficult task,” said one colleague. “Crystal’s warm greeting as clients walk through that door or call asking for help is a welcoming invite for those in distress…. She offers compassion to those who enter our office emotionally upset, finding them a quiet space to sit away from others waiting.” Crystal’s colleagues further report that she is often the first to hear a mental health client’s struggles, and that she consistently demonstrates respect and integrity as she provides them direction to appropriate services and supports without judgement. Her co-workers also report that she goes out of her way to ensure that those needing support can access it as quickly as possible, through efforts to find a clinician able to see the person the same day. Appreciated for the consistent support she provides her teammates, Crystal “supports the team in many ways and is quick to offer words of praise when she sees a job well done…. Event creating a board for the office, sharing accomplishments of the team.

Shaureen Young, Environmental Services Worker – Shaureen first joined NHH’s Dietary Services team but moved into her current role approximately a decade ago. Her colleagues nominated her for this award for her integrity and teamwork. “Shaureen is extremely dependable and always quick to help the team,” said one colleague, “particularly when we’re having a very busy day. She can always be counted on to come in early or stay late… and when on shift she is quick to pick up the phone when someone has an emergency that they need help with.” In addition to her demonstration of exceptional teamwork, Shaureen’s colleagues also highlighted her compassion. Recognized for her natural ability with patients, others commented on her willingness to stop to see if she can help or just to listen to a patient’s story. “It’s this act of giving that extra attention to care that makes all the difference to our hospital culture,” said Linda Davis, “and it is greatly appreciated, by your colleagues, and your patients.”

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