Inspired Leader a ‘ray of sunshine,’ says colleague

Sarah McAdams demonstrates what Supportive Measures is every day, says Susan Towns

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Pleasant Meadow Manor personal support worker (PSW) Sarah McAdams walks through the door of the Norwood long-term care home at the start of her shifts, she always has a smile on her face, says her colleague Susan Towns.

This is a characteristic of McAdams’ that has always stood out for Towns, who is Pleasant Meadow Manor’s nursing administrative services manager (NASM).

“She’s a ray of sunshine every time she walks through the door,” Towns says. “Her smile lights up the home and she always has a kind word to say for everybody.”

Towns nominated McAdams for the Pleasant Meadow Manor’s Everyday Hero award because the PSW “demonstrates — and is the picture of — what Supportive Measures truly is,” the NASM says, referring to OMNI’s core program that develops individualized approaches to care.

Through her gentle, friendly approach, McAdams has gained residents’ trust and is a favourite team member among the 61 people living at Pleasant Meadow Manor, Towns says.

“She always has a positive approach and manner with them, and approach is the key to working with people when it comes to care,” Towns says. “She always has a smile on her face and that opens the door.”

Towns notes that because of McAdams’ demeanour, residents work well with her when it comes to having their care provided.

“It’s all about approach; it truly is,” the NASM says.

OMNI Health Care hosted an awards presentation at the managers’ forum at Fern Resort in Orillia in early May. Team members from 17 long-term care homes were presented with Everyday Hero and Inspired Leader awards during a special ceremony May 7.

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

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

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

Riverview Manor team raises $5K at MS walk

Staff member living with MS commends co-workers, OMNI for support

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Pietra Lodewyks is commending the support she’s received from her colleagues at Riverview Manor and OMNI Health Care in raising about $5,000 for this year’s Peterborough Mandarin MS Walk.

For the second straight year, Lodewyks, who serves on the board of the MS Society of Canada’s Peterborough chapter, organized a team to represent Riverview Manor at the annual walk, which raises money for MS research and awareness of the neurological disease.

Lodewyks has a personal reason for her passion in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis — she was diagnosed with the disease in December 2009.

On the morning of May 25, Lodewyks and three of her colleagues from Riverview Manor gathered at the Trent Community Sports and Rec Centre for the walk around the facility’s outdoor track.

Since receiving her diagnosis, Lodewyks says OMNI has helped her through some challenging times. OMNI even had T-shirts made for the Riverview Manor team — and home office had them made with very short notice, Lodewyks notes.

“OMNI has been very good to me,” she says. “They have been very accommodating, and they still stick by me. I enjoy working there and OMNI has a lifetime employee in me.”

Lodewyks, a registered practical nurse at Riverview Manor, also has a lot of praise for her co-workers at the Peterborough long-term care home.

“I love them all; they’re a great bunch and I’m a very lucky girl to work with them,” she says.
 
Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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

Christine Schyf ‘an outstanding individual’

Garden Terrace's Christine Schyf, left, accepts the Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award from administrator Carolyn Della Foresta.

Garden Terrace’s Christine Schyf, left, accepts the Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award from administrator Carolyn Della Foresta.

Home recognizes nurse with Elisabeth Hinton award

Monday, May 26, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – While at a bowling party with her children, Carolyn Della Foresta met a woman she was determined would work at Garden Terrace.

The nurse, Christine Schyf, made quite an impression on Della Foresta, administrator of the Kanata long-term care home, during their brief conversation.

“I told her we had a vacant acting director of care (DOC) position and that she would be absolutely perfect for it,” said Della Foresta.  I did my best to woo her.

“She has proven to be an incredibly capable nurse and an outstanding individual.”

Schyf is this year’s recipient of the Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award. The Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award is presented to a registered nurse or registered practical nurse who demonstrates excellence in nursing and exhibits kindness and caring in everything he or she does. Elisabeth Hinton was the DOC at Garden Terrace for five years.

Schyf, like Hinton, is the “the true embodiment of what a nurse should be,” Della Foresta said.

“Her calm and reassuring approach with our residents, our staff and our family members has eased their minds. Christine can step into any situation and assist as a mediator as her approach, personality and capable nature ease tension and restore people’s faith during difficult times,” Della Foresta continued.

From passing medications to assisting with a dressing change, Schyf accepts a variety of tasks without hesitation. She has earned the respect of the nursing staff at Garden Terrace, the administrator noted.

“I feel so blessed to work with her and feel that each resident under her care and each staff member under her guidance can also consider themselves blessed and fortunate.”

Della Foresta presented the honour to Schyf May 7 during OMNI Health Care’s Annual Managers’ Forum at Fern Resort.

“I feel very honoured tonight to have this award and I’m proud to be part of the OMNI team,” Schyf said.

OMNI also recognized two staff members from 17 long-term care homes during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night with Everyday Hero and Inspired Leader awards.

Following the award presentations, managers took in entertainment by Matt Gauthier, a singing impressionist, and played crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

Forest Hill life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Craig Forrest emceed the affair that featured a Viva Las Vegas theme. Staff joined the fun by dressing up in an array of colourful and creative costumes varying from playing cards to pink flamingos.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie(at)axiomnews.ca or call Axiom News at 705-741-4421.

OMNI salutes its leaders, heroes in special awards ceremony

Rosebridge Manor administrator Dot Broeders-Morin, left, presents an Inspired Leadership award to environmental services manager Gary Foster.

Rosebridge Manor administrator Dot Broeders-Morin, left, presents an Inspired Leadership award to environmental services manager Gary Foster.

Riverview Manor’s Everyday Hero ‘a very kind soul’

Friday, May 23, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – From the life enrichment aide (LEA) who captivates residents through mindfulness meditation sessions to the office manager who helps rally the troops, OMNI Health Care recognized its “Everyday Heroes” and “Inspired Leaders” May 7.

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

Forest Hill life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest emceed the affair, which featured a Viva Las Vegas theme. Staff joined in the fun by dressing up in an array of colourful and creative costumes varying from playing cards to pink flamingos.

“It goes to show how much spirit is in the OMNI organization,” Forrest said.

Managers present heard about the contributions of many dedicated OMNI employees, including those of Riverview Manor’s Adam Wicklum, LEA, who was recognized with an Everyday Hero award.

Wicklum, in addition to leading the meditation sessions with residents, writes and reads poetry to those who are palliative at the Peterborough long-term care home.

“He’s a very kind soul,” said Riverview Manor administrator Mary Anne Greco. “He’s also very innovative.” Joining OMNI in 2005, Wicklum “has evolved considerably in his knowledge and his compassion,” Greco added.

Meanwhile, Rosebridge Manor in Jasper recognized environmental services manager Gary Foster with the Inspired Leadership award.

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

Foster, a 28-year employee at Rosebridge Manor, is “reliable, consistent and supportive,” said administrator Dot Broeders-Morin.

“He inspires his manager colleagues with his calm demeanor. He has gained a great deal of respect from staff, residents and families over the years.”

At Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood, office manager Sylvia Sanders, a 23-year veteran of OMNI, was chosen as the Inspired Leader.

“Sylvia is our go-to person,” said Sandra Tucker, Pleasant Meadow Manor’s administrator and director of care. “She keeps us together and tells us all how to keep on track.

“The residents love her and they know they can go to her for anything and they will talk to her when they won’t talk to us.

“We are very proud to (recognize) Sylvia.”

Following the awards presentation, 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 an upcoming story.

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.

Streamway increasing focus on National Nursing Week

Streamway Villa staff members Rosanne Millar, Cathy Nottingham, Terry De Jong and Pam Howard were among the home's front-line recently honoured for their years of service.

Streamway Villa staff members Rosanne Millar, Cathy Nottingham, Terry De Jong and Pam Howard were among the home’s front-line recently honoured for their years of service.

Service awards highlight this year’s celebration

Thursday, May 22, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Streamway Villa has hosted National Nursing Week celebrations for many years but administrator Kylie Szczebonski says the Cobourg long-term care home will continually make the week a bigger event going forward.

“I’m trying to make this a big thing,” Szczebonski says of National Nursing Week. Nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) play valuable roles in long-term care homes and this needs to be brought to the forefront in a memorable way each year, she says.

During National Nursing Week, which ran May 12-18, Streamway Villa hosted events in collaboration with some of the home’s community partners, including Medigas, Smith & Nephew and the Ontario Nurses’ Association. These included lunch-and-learn activities, prize draws and a barbecue.

But the highlight of this year’s Nursing Week celebrations was a service award presentation. Streamway Villa has a significant number of team members who have worked at the home for more than 20 years. Szczebonski says this is a testament to Streamway Villa being a place where people want to work.

“Last year we had someone (Val Foster) who celebrated 35 years, and we have quite a few people next year who are going on 30 years, so, to me, that proves that OMNI likes to keep people and people want to stay with OMNI,” Szczebonski says.

Here are the staff members Streamway Villa recognized for their service:

– Rosanne Millar, PSW, 25 years
– Delphine Robertson, environmental services, 25 years
– Cathy Nottingham, PSW, 20 years
– Jennifer Huras, PSW, 10 years
– Terry De Jong, PSW, five years
– Pam Howard, registered practical nurse, five years.
– Anna Tan-Knox, PSW, five years
– Hailey Murphy, PSW, five years

Held the week of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 every year since 1965, National Nursing Week aims to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions nurses make in our health-care system. OMNI Health Care homes also make a point of including PSWs in their Nursing Week celebrations.

Visit the Canadian Nurses Association website for more information on National Nursing Week.

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

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

OMNI kicks off campaign to showcase top-quality food

Two examples of the fine food being created in OMNI kitchens.

Two examples of the fine food being created in OMNI kitchens.

‘Nursing-home food’ should not be seen in a negative light

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Now Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’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.

The plan is to get OMNI’s nutritional care managers and cooks to photograph their favourite food dishes and then speak with The OMNIway about these meals and what it means to them to cook in a long-term care home.

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

In short, the idea is to dispel the myth that food prepared in long-term care homes is unappetizing.

“Traditionally, the reputation hasn’t always been the greatest when it comes to (long-term care food). With OMNI, and many other long-term care operators, we’re taking food more seriously,” Weber says.

He notes that food is an important part of OMNI’s culture. Being served high-quality meals is important to residents and their families. For several years, OMNI has focused on serving made-from-scratch meals with quality ingredients. Weber now wants everyone to see the passion that goes into meal preparation.

“And we’re putting talented chefs and cooks and dietary aides into positions so they have the chance to . . . have creative opportunities to enhance the resident experience (through their food),” Weber says.

During a meeting at OMNI’s recent managers’ forum at Fern Resort, Weber pitched the campaign idea to nutritional care managers, who he says were taken by the concept.

“Cooks in the homes are pretty excited about this, and I’ve had a few pictures sent in already,” he says.

You can follow OMNI and Weber on Twitter at @OMNIHealthCare and @OMNIfoodDUDE, respectively.

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

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
OMNI kicks off campaign to showcase top-quality food
‘Nursing-home food’ should not be seen in a negative light
May 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Now Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’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.

The plan is to get OMNI’s nutritional care managers and cooks to photograph their favourite food dishes and then speak with The OMNIway about these meals and what it means to them to cook in a long-term care home.

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

In short, the idea is to dispel the myth that food prepared in long-term care homes is unappetizing.

“Traditionally, the reputation hasn’t always been the greatest when it comes to (long-term care food). With OMNI, and many other long-term care operators, we’re taking food more seriously,” Weber says.

He notes that food is an important part of OMNI’s culture. Being served high-quality meals is important to residents and their families. For several years, OMNI has focused on serving made-from-scratch meals with quality ingredients. Weber now wants everyone to see the passion that goes into meal preparation.

“And we’re putting talented chefs and cooks and dietary aides into positions so they have the chance to . . . have creative opportunities to enhance the resident experience (through their food),” Weber says.

During a meeting at OMNI’s recent managers’ forum at Fern Resort, Weber pitched the campaign idea to nutritional care managers, who he says were taken by the concept.

“Cooks in the homes are pretty excited about this, and I’ve had a few pictures sent in already,” he says.

You can follow OMNI and Weber on Twitter at @OMNIHealthCare and @OMNIfoodDUDE, respectively.

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

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

Riverview Manor celebrates Nursing Week

The Riverview Manor team poses with a cake with the inscription "Happy Nursing Week" at a May 16 celebration of front-line staff.

The Riverview Manor team poses with a cake with the inscription “Happy Nursing Week” at a May 16 celebration of front-line staff.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — Deron Hamel

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Riverview Manor celebrated its nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) on Friday with a barbecue in honour of National Nursing Week, which ran May 12-18.

The May 16 event saw OMNI Health Care nutrition and food services manager Chris Weber stop by the Peterborough long-term care home to grill chicken, sausages and hamburgers for front-line staff. The day also saw an array of prize draws for gifts that were handed out to nurses and PSWs.

Home management also presented a cake with the inscription “Happy Nursing Week” to the team.

Held the week of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 every year since 1965, National Nursing Week aims to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions nurses make to Canada’s health-care system.

Video to come soon.

Interim manager nourished by long-term care experience

Leading Frost Manor’s strong dietary care team is ‘awesome,’ Neil MacDonald says

Frost Manor’s interim nutritional care manager says he might very well consider staying on permanently in long-term care because he’s enjoying the experience so much.

“I really enjoy people and I really enjoy being able to do something and immediately see the results, the positive effect. And that comes through with the residents,” says Neil MacDonald, who joined the Lindsay long-term care home in mid-February.

Residents are the best diners, he says. “Every service the dining room is full, they’re always going to be there, and they like to give you feedback. And I want to know if they didn’t like something so I can do it better the next time. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do the small things and impact someone’s life in a positive way.

“That’s something I’ve really learned from this long-term care experience,” MacDonald says.

He brings to Frost Manor past cooking experience at Peterborough’s Riverview Manor, another OMNI Health Care home, and in restaurants. He remembers working in a restaurant kitchen many years ago with two OMNI managers, including nutrition and food services operation manager Chris Weber, and marvels at how they’re all with the same organization again.

“When this opportunity came up, I was very excited,” MacDonald says, adding it’s “awesome” to be leading the team in Frost Manor’s kitchen.

“It’s a great experience, with great learning as far as a career is concerned, and it’s wonderful being able to impact people’s lives by making small adjustments.”

As a Type I diabetic, MacDonald understands the important link between nutrition and health. In long-term care, many dietary requirements have to be met to maintain residents’ health.

“I feel so many issues, especially being in this role in a long-term care home, can be solved through proper nutrition and good food. And residents, as I’ve seen, like their food more when it’s enjoyable, which is very important,” MacDonald says.

He appreciates the opportunity to cook, and to cook from scratch, which he was surprised to learn happens more than one might think. “OMNI is going in a positive direction in the food and nutrition sectors, just by cooking from scratch and getting back to the basics,” MacDonald says.

He is also grateful for the support of his team, whom he says demonstrates strong camaraderie and a willingness to try new things. For instance, they tried one of MacDonald’s dessert recipes for last month’s volunteer appreciation

“What was cool about that was, they did it and it was restaurant quality,” he says, adding it was a memorable team-building and learning experience.

“They’ve been very accepting of me and my style and everything. It’s cool for both of us.”

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)axiomnews.ca.

Mock baby shower engages residents with dementia

Country Terrace BSO team commended for enriching event

A recent mock baby shower at Country Terrace showcased the positive impact the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) program is having on those living with cognitive impairment. Read more

Managers fold their way through quality exercise

Managers participate in a May 7 quality exercise during the OMNI Health Care Managers' Forum at Fern Resort in Orillia.

Managers participate in a May 7 quality exercise during the OMNI Health Care Managers’ Forum at Fern Resort in Orillia.


Processes, not people, often lead to gaps, says Ferguson-McLaren

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – Folding paper was an exercise in quality improvement for long-term care employees who attended OMNI Health Care Managers’ Forum recently.

Managers were charged with making 20 paper fortune tellers during the May 7 session called Quality Matters – Group Exercises at Fern Resort. Eastern region operations director Sarah Ferguson-McLaren moderated the exercise.

In an assembly-line fashion, employees each had a role in the cutting or folding processes and a quality inspector accepted or rejected each item. Each step was timed as was the total time it took from the first fold to each finished product. Each team recorded and shared their data.

Some teams got creative throughout the production process, adding a second quality control check or cutting multiple sheets of paper at one time to improve the end results.

Garden Terrace employees told The OMNIway it was a worthwhile exercise.

Office manager Karen Paquette said she learned about the merits of “teamwork, working together and helping each other out and stepping outside of the box.”

Meanwhile, life enrichment co-ordinator Sylvia Monette said the exercise reinforced “the importance of instructions to begin with.” As the session continued, she discovered “we’re so used to helping one another (at work) that’s what we did (here).”

Nursing administrative services manager Anna Penny also thought the exercise was valuable.

“Sometimes you need a good leader,” Penny said.

“At first we were trying to get it done quickly. It reminded me you need to sometimes slow down and step back.”

Ferguson-McLaren provided a de-briefing after managers completed the tasks at hand.

“It allows us to look at defects in the process by category,” Ferguson-McLaren said about the Pareto chart/bar graph tool managers used during the exercise.

“The whole point today was number one to have fun…and get familiar with some of the tools, like the Pareto chart and the run chart, which are common (quality improvement) reporting mechanisms.

“Also, remember it’s often about our processes, not our people, and really keep that in mind when you’re seeing defects or gaps in your own systems and processes at your home.”

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