Going ‘above and beyond’ every day nets Chiara Van Galen Everyday Hero Award

OMNI director of western operations Aimee Merkley (far left) is seen here with Wildwood Care Centre’s 2017 Circle of Radiance award recipients. From left to right, Holly Williams (Inspired Leadership), Pat Hill (Lifetime Achievement) and Chiara Van Galen (Everyday Hero).

Wildwood Care Centre dietary staff member described as ‘a person to be admired’

The first thing Chiara Van Galen’s colleagues notice about the Wildwood Care Centre cook is her dedication to residents and co-workers, and her willingness to go above and beyond her job description to enhance everyone’s quality of life.

This is why colleagues Sara Hillier and Wendy Pearson nominated Chiara for the St. Marys, Ont., long-term care and retirement home’s 2017 Everyday Hero Award. Chiara was presented her award at a ceremony in September.

“Chiara is an amazing worker and a great person,” says Sara, who works with Chiara in Wildwood Care Centre’s kitchen.

“She always performs her duties, plus goes above and beyond on a regular basis, even if this means she has to come in early or stay late.”

Sara notes that sometimes work builds up in the kitchen and people get behind. When this happens, Chiara is always there to lend a hand.

“All in all, (she is) a person to be admired,” Sara says.

Like Sara, Wendy says Chiara’s willingness to go above and beyond to help others stands out for her. Wendy, a guest attendant at the home, says Chiara always takes time to learn about the likes and dislikes each resident has so she can better accommodate their needs.

“We have a few (residents) on special diets, and she goes to each one and works with them on what their meal could be and has even at times made something different for each (resident) on a special diet,” Wendy says.

The Everyday Hero Award is given out annually by each of OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes to recognize staff members who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to residents and co-workers.

OMNI announced this year’s recipients of the Everyday Hero, Inspired Leadership and Elisabeth Hinton Memorial awards at the Quality Forum in Calabogie, Ont., in May. Managers from OMNI’s long-term care homes were presented with the names of the award winners. Homes are presenting the awards during their own ceremonies.

Personal support worker Holly Williams received Wildwood Care Centre’s Inspired Leadership Award this year. You can read Holly’s story by clicking here.

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