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.

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

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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

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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.

Website helps children of parents with early onset dementia in 3 languages

WhenDementiaisinthehouse

When Dementia is in the House answers many questions for confused teens

Tuesday, June 30, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A website has been launched to help young children and teens who have a parent with early onset dementia deal with the challenges that come with the condition.

The online resource, When Dementia is in the House, was developed by Dr. Tiffany Chow, a behavioural neurologist at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. Chow got the idea for the website after working with young children who had a parent diagnosed with early onset dementia.

Chow identified confusion, anger and frustration in many of these children and wanted to develop a resource to help answer their questions and calm anxieties.

The website addresses the issues Chow finds the children are facing and addresses them in an easy-to-understand manner. This includes how to get help, resources about early onset dementia and even advice from other teenagers experiencing similar situations.

Chow partnered with Montreal-based Alzheimer’s disease specialist Dr. Howard Chertkow and psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Law to translate the website into French and Chinese in order to reach as many children as possible.

“One of the highest compliments I’ve ever had was a call from Dr. Howard Chertkow, who volunteered to translate the website into French and fund its launch,” Chow says. “It’s a supreme endorsement about how important he thinks the messages are and how well we are communicating those messages.

“To have this resource available to our under-served neighbours in Quebec, as well as all francophone nations and territories, is a thrill.”

Chow also worked with Katherine Nichols, a Hawaii-based writer whose husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2005 when he was 59. Nichols provided her insight to help Chow create the website.

Chow is currently seeking funding to have the website translated into Spanish.

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 adopting training management system to enhance educational compliance

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System provides easy access to training tools

OMNI Health Care is introducing an online learning management system to track and record all training programs undertaken by staff members at its 18 long-term care homes in an effort to provide enhanced educational compliance and transparency throughout the organization.

In addition to these benefits, the system, which was developed by Surge Learning Inc., will provide a one-stop shop for family educational tools, information about educational events and even company surveys.

OMNI selected Surge Learning after examining several systems in a process that was started at OMNI a few months ago and implementation of this system was started in June and will carry on through the summer.

The system provides easy-to-access educational tools for staff members to continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge. The education offered includes courses mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as well as those provided by OMNI and Surge Learning.

A major goal of implementing the system is to standardize education across the homes and work towards achieving 100 per cent staff education compliance.

As an accountability measure, the system records every training program completed and worked on by staff members. This is an important function, given increased scrutiny homes face from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, says Shawn Hoyland, Surge Learning’s director of sales and marketing.

All of OMNI’s policies and procedures will also be made available through the new system, eliminating the need to flip through cumbersome binders and file folders.

“The ministry can come in to a home and want to see how many staff members have completed resident abuse education, as an example, and the home can quickly pull a report and hopefully show that they have 100 per cent compliance,” Hoyland says.

In addition to current staff members, the system will contain information on past staff members who have completed training programs.

“(This program) makes training much more accessible to staff members, rather than having to bring everybody in at different times, which is also expensive,” Hoyland explains. “The goal is to track all of the education in one place to make it as simple as possible to get that overview of where (the organization) is at.”

Surge Learning has worked with other long-term care providers to implement the system, and Hoyland says he has seen some favourable results.

“(Providers) with more than 1,000 employees have had 100 per cent compliance with their educational programs — that’s pretty hard to do without a system like ours,” he says.

Rosebridge recognizes ‘caring soul’ and committed manager

Home awards Everyday Hero, Inspired Leader to staff

ORILLIA, Ont. – While both Rosebridge Manor’s Everyday Hero and Inspired Leader recipients possess gentle demeanours, they have a mighty impact on the Jasper long-term care home, managers learned. Read more

Riverview salutes Inspired Leader, Everyday Hero

Pair honoured committed to professional growth: Greco

ORILLIA, Ont. – Becky Dennie has a thirst for knowledge. The long-standing Riverview Manor employee, who has developed and grown significantly in her career at the Peterborough long-term care home, recently earned Riverview Manor’s Inspired Leader award.

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

Read more