LEA organizes luncheon that brings her back to her roots

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.


Country Terrace’s growing Dutch population sparks an idea for Alysha Verhoeven

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

Alysha thought of her grandmother, or “oma,” Margaret Verhoeven, who is an excellent cook. What better way to make Dutch residents feel even more at home than to have her oma prepare a Dutch luncheon for them?

So, Alysha called her grandmother, who has volunteered in other long-term care homes, and asked if she’d be willing to cook some of her favourite Dutch recipes for them. Margaret was happy to help out and recently prepared a Dutch spread of food that included a traditional meatball soup and a cake, while Alysha prepared an array of sandwiches and tea.

Adding to the spirit of the event, Alysha decorated the dining room with red, white and blue ribbons to emulate the colours of the Netherlands’ flag. She also brought in a clog, a traditional wooden shoe that was used as a centrepiece, as well as miniature porcelain gin bottles shaped like houses that are distributed by Dutch airliner KLM.

Of course, no event celebrating culture would be complete without music, so the luncheon was followed by a Dutch singalong that brought out residents’ musical side.

“One woman, who speaks mainly Dutch, was singing the entire time and I’ve never heard her sing like that before,” Alysha says, adding that several residents who aren’t Dutch also joined in.

Alysha says she wants to celebrate a different culture each month on a go-forward basis.

“We have a lot of people here who are of different ethnicities, so it would be nice to celebrate everyone,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Two Woodland award recipients are all about resident focus

Woodland

Linda Gadbois and Keryn Crawford honoured for their long-standing commitment

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When nursing administrative services manager Kim Lama talks about Linda Gadbois and Keryn Crawford, she speaks of two long-standing Woodland Villa team members who give their all for the residents they serve.

And it’s because of their dedication to residents at the Long Sault long-term care home that Gadbois and Crawford were recognized with Woodland Villa’s Inspired Leader and Everyday Hero awards, respectively.

Lama says Gadbois, the home’s environmental services manager, is an “amazing leader.”

“Linda has been here since pretty much the doors opened and she’s amazing,” says Lama, who was one of the team members that nominated Gadbois and Crawford for the awards. “Linda is good to her staff, she’s hands-on and she more than willing to help others.”

The Inspired Leader award acknowledges employees who consistently motivate, inspire and enable others to provide the kind of care that benefits residents in every aspect of their lives.

Crawford, a staff member in the environmental services department, has worked at Woodland Villa since November 1985.

Lama says what makes Crawford stand out as an Everyday Hero is her cheery personality.

“She’s always got a personality on her face and the residents just love her,” Lama says. “She’s got a good rapport with residents. The residents love her and the staff members all love her and if you need something she’s always there.”

The Everyday Hero program is running at OMNI Health Care’s long-term homes. The initiative began nine years ago to recognize employees’ hard work and dedication to residents.

Staff members and managers from OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes were honoured with Inspired Leader and Everyday Hero awards at the organization’s annual managers’ forum in May.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Birru Firew an employee ‘you’d love to clone’

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

‘Genuine’ PSW Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero

Monday, July 14, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – Through his “authentic” and “genuine” ways, Birru Firew brings a sense of peace to the residents of Garden Terrace.

The personal support worker’s (PSW) gifts were on display recently when Firew was named Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero.

OMNI Health Care managers heard about the contributions of the full-time, fifth-floor PSW during the May 7 second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

“He’s the kind of PSW you’d love to clone,” said Annik Donzil, Garden Terrace director of care. “He daily demonstrates a kindheartedness that just can’t be put on — it’s truly who he is.”

Firew’s gestures are not grandiose, glamorous or of high profile. “They are authentic and genuine,” Donzil said.

“Even though the majority of our residents may suffer from dementia, they can still be perceptive and understand things. I believe that our residents see in Birru what each of us would so desperately long for if we were in their shoes. I believe they see comfort and for that he won the award.”

The 160-bed Kanata long-term care home also recognized another employee, clinical care co-ordinator and RAI co-ordinator Vanessa Labrecque, by honouring her with the Inspired Leader award. Click here to read her story .

OMNI acknowledged several staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme and staff members embraced the opportunity to dress in creative and colourful costumes reflecting all-things Vegas.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

CCC’s work ethic ‘second to none’

Garden Terrace's Vanessa Labrecque accepts the Kanata home's Inspired Leader award.

Garden Terrace’s Vanessa Labrecque accepts the Kanata home’s Inspired Leader award.


Garden Terrace recognizes Vanessa Labrecque as its Inspired Leader

Friday, July 11, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – While bedside nursing was her calling, Vanessa Labrecque’s work ethic and leadership traits propelled her career in a slightly different direction.

OMNI Health Care managers heard about the contributions of Garden Terrace’s clinical care co-ordinator and RAI co-ordinator during the May 7 second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

The 160-bed Kanata long-term care named Labrecque as its Inspired Leader.

“Vanessa is a true leader who motivates, inspires, challenges and equips those around her,” said Garden Terrace administrator Carolyn Della Foresta.

“She isn’t afraid to get her hands right into the dirt and work alongside others because in doing so she’s very aware that she demonstrates that everyone’s role is important – that everyone’s contribution is vital to the effective operation of our home.”

Labrecque is a “tremendous” support to those around her, she’s eager and she’s willing. The CCC and RAI co-ordinator is constantly improving her knowledge base and bringing her wisdom back to the home to share with others, Della Foresta noted.

“Vanessa is that leader who not only has the intelligence and the drive to get the job done but she also has the true desire. Her work ethic is second to none and her passion for doing right by each of our residents is commendable,” the administrator said.

“I feel fortunate to call Vanessa a member of the Garden Terrace team as well as my friend.”

The CCC and RAI co-ordinator graciously accepted the Inspired Leader title.

“I honestly have to say this is really a shock, I really didn’t see that coming,” Labrecque said.

Labrecque became a registered practical nurse in 2005. In 2007 she began working at Garden Terrace and later covered a maternity leave for the CCC position. By 2008 she was the permanent CCC and RAI co-ordinator.

“The reason I stand here today is because the management team at the home believed in me, and especially Carolyn believed in me, so that means a lot to me to be recognized.”

OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme and staff members embraced the opportunity to dress in creative and colourful costumes reflecting all-things Vegas.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Check out this unique version of roast chicken

Best Dressed Winner

Meal earns cook Kathy Pratt ‘best dressed plate’ at Frost Manor

Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When it comes to serving meals for long-term care home residents, presentation is almost as important as taste, so kitchen staff must pay keen attention to culinary preparations to ensure meals are appetizing to both the palate and the eye.

Frost Manor cook Kathy Pratt has these areas covered in a dish she created that won top honours for a “best dressed plate” contest at the Lindsay long-term care home. Frost Manor hosted the contest as part of OMNI Health Care’s ongoing Quality Matters initiative.

Pratt’s creation consists of roasted chicken slices lightly covered with a honey-garlic sauce accompanied by roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Neil MacDonald, Frost Manor’s nutritional care manager, is applauding the ingenuity that Pratt put into her roast chicken.

“There’s great creativity with Kathy’s dish,” he says. “She really took a nice approach to the plate, with the protein (the chicken) fanned out in the middle with the potatoes and the vegetables staggered around the dish, which really emphasized the balance of the plate with a nice focal point of the chicken in the middle with the sauce. There was some nice colour balance.”

MacDonald says Pratt’s chicken dish is indicative of the new wave of food served today in long-term care homes. While kitchen staff must follow the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s nutritional guidelines, OMNI encourages creative, from-scratch cooking in its 18 homes.

“Lately, the focus has been on plating and garnishing, and making the food more presentable,” he says.

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, a judge disparagingly remarked that two contestants from the cooking reality show had created dishes that resembled “nursing-home food.”

In response, Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway are collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
 
If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Ont. dementia strategy a would be a great start: King

SpringdaleCountryManor

Springdale administrator applauds recent petition

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A petition was recently launched to encourage the Ontario government to create a provincewide dementia strategy, and while Maureen King says a national strategy is needed, the Springdale Country Manor administrator notes this is a “great start.”

The petition, which was spearheaded by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield and the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County, states that 200,000 Ontarians are living with dementia. The economic impact of the disease is expected to reach $15.7 billion by 2020.

The petition calls for a strategy that addresses primary health care, health promotion, illness prevention, caregiver support and investment research.

King says that while Canada needs a national dementia strategy, an Ontario strategy could serve as a Rosetta stone that other provinces could follow.

“Ultimately, I would like to see that tied up nationally, and wouldn’t it be nice if all the provinces had a basic concept of what a national plan should look like,” King tells The OMNIway.

“What a provincial plan needs to look like is how we’re going to address care as it progresses; community care, day care and long-term care. How that’s going to look (and) how we’re going to move through the system smoothly for people (with  dementia) because of their high needs and their sensitivity to change.”

Canada is the only G7 nation without a national dementia strategy. Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Japan all have national strategies.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Shannon Lynch ‘lives the OMNIway vision’

Forest Hill recognizes LEA as its Everyday Hero

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

On a daily basis, Shannon Lynch personifies OMNI Health Care’s mission, vision and values. It’s the reason Forest Hill has crowned Lynch, a life enrichment aide (LEA), as its Everyday Hero.

OMNI managers learned more about Lynch’s contributions to the 160-bed Kanata long-term care home during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

Lynch has been with Forest Hill for 10 years, almost as long as the home’s inception. She began working in the housekeeping department, progressed to a personal support worker and completed a one-year term as nursing administrative services manager. Lynch currently specializes in dementia care approaches.

“Shannon certainly lives the OMNIway vision, mission and values every day,” said Nicole Fulford, assistant director of care at Forest Hill, during the ceremony.

Lynch is reliable, respectful, kind, dedicated and a team player. “She certainly has her special way with all of the residents and we are lucky to have her at Forest Hill, the residents are lucky to have her and the families are lucky to have her,” Fulford said.

Forest Hill also named Anna Gagnon, RAI co-ordinator, as its Inspired Leader. (link to Gagnon’s story)
OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Anna Gagnon ‘an inspiration to us all’

Forest Hill recognizes RAI co-ordinator as Inspired Leader

Monday, July 7, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

With “a huge heart” and a deep devotion to residents, Anna Gagnon is an inspiration to her colleagues at Forest Hill.

OMNI Health Care managers learned more about what makes Gagnon, the RAI co-ordinator at the 160-bed Kanata long-term care home, Forest Hill’s Inspired Leader.

“Forest Hill is proud to present (Gagnon) with the Inspired Leadership award,” said Susan Bell, administrator of the home.

OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes May 7 during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

Gagnon started her career at Forest Hill 12 years ago, working in the capacity of a registered practical nurse. She has been the RAI co-ordinator for three years.

“Anna truly leads by example with her commitment to our residents by producing high-quality work and she has such a positive attitude to teamwork,” Bell said. “She also has a huge heart, is very kind and has a great sense of humour.

“We’re very fortunate to have Anna as part of our team. Anna is a great inspiration to all of us at Forest Hill.”

The Inspired Leadership award acknowledges employees who consistently motivate, inspire and enable others to provide the kind of care that benefits residents in every aspect of their lives.

“Thank you, I absolutely love my job,” Gagnon said of the honour.

Following the awards presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Garden Terrace cook has scored a winner with unique take on Salisbury steak

GTfood copy

Residents are loving Isioma Okolie’s new version of an old classic

Friday, July 4, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When most people think of Salisbury steak, a plain ground-beef patty topped with gravy likely comes to mind. But if you think you’ll find something like this on Garden Terrace’s dinner menu, think again.

Isioma Okolie, the Kanata long-term care home’s head cook, has used his culinary ingenuity to create a version of this old-time favourite that resembles a dish found in a high-end restaurant. His version of Salisbury steak is a serving of quality ground beef topped with a few roasted potatoes and steamed cauliflower resting in au jus.

His idea behind the dish is simple: present residents with the type of food they enjoy and present it in a way that maximizes appearance. Most long-term care home residents, he notes, have a different palate than younger generations. Chinese food or curries are not what they’re used to; meat-and-potatoes fare is usually their preference.

But a meat-and-potatoes dish doesn’t have to mean boring, as Okolie is proving. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides homes with dietary criteria for residents. Nutritional care managers will create menus, but those working in the kitchens are encouraged to use their creativity to try to make the food taste its best, Okolie notes.

He says presentation is of utmost importance when serving food to long-term care residents. Not only does it need to look appetizing, the portion size needs to be right.

“One thing the residents tell me is that they get very intimidated by seeing large portions of food, but if you make it a more reasonably sized portion people know they can finish it and enjoy it,” he says. “I try to make it the best of both worlds; I follow the guidelines but also make the food so they can enjoy it.”

Okolie’s version of Salisbury steak has been a favourite with residents; a bit of a surprise, he says, because many residents aren’t fans of ground beef. What’s made a difference is the way the food is presented, he adds.

“You eat with your eyes first.”

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Devoted LEA brings serenity, activities to residents

Members of the Streamway Villa management team is seen here at Fern Resort in May.

Members of the Streamway Villa management team is seen here at Fern Resort in May.

Streamway recognizes Everyday Hero Nancy Williams

Thursday, July 3, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – Streamway Villa’s Nancy Williams “is one of those staff members you want to clone.”

The highly-regarded, long-time life enrichment aide (LEA) is the 59-bed Cobourg long-term care home’s Everyday Hero.

Williams has been with Streamway Villa for 24 years.

“I want to give a shout-out to our Everyday Hero,” said Kerrie Chapple, RAI co-ordinator. “She’s one of those staff members that you want to clone. You love it when she’s there because she engages our residents in many different things. There’s always a calm atmosphere and there’s always stuff going on so you know when she’s working.”

OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes May 7 during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

Streamway Villa also crowned its administrator Kylie Sczcebonski with the Inspired Leader award.

The Inspired Leadership award acknowledges employees who consistently motivate, inspire and enable others to provide the kind of care that benefits residents in every aspect of their lives.

Following the awards presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.