Quality Forum 2019: celebrating the joy of working in long-term care

ORILLIA, Ont. – The 2019 OMNI Health Care Quality Forum brought together managers from across the organization for an action-packed three days of learning, networking and, of course, OMNI’s core value of fun and laughter, at scenic Fern Resort near Orillia.

A resounding theme at this year’s forum, which was held May 7-9, was a celebration of the joy of working in long-term care – and a celebration of those people who live and work in OMNI’s 18 homes.


The Kentucky Derby was the theme for this year’s awards night at the Quality Forum. Burnbrae Gardens team members won the award for best costume for their creation: a starting gate with two horses and two jockeys.

The Quality Forum coincided with Mental Health Week in Canada, so it was fitting there were presentations and exercises that focused on promoting positive mental-health discussions and celebrating the joy of working in a sector that strives to improve every aspect of quality of life for people.

Psychologist and human-resources consultant Dr. Bill Howatt gave a presentation on mental health in the workplace on Day 2 that was both thorough and peppered with humour. His presentation provided information to managers about the importance of being aware of mental-health issues people in the workplace may have as well as how to identify those issues and provide support.

Motivational speaker and author Rosita Hall wowed OMNI managers at last year’s Quality Forum with an energetic, engaging presentation, so it was no surprise to see her return to this year’s forum with that same fervour on Day 3. Her presentation this year focused on finding and celebrating joy within ourselves as well as the joy of working with a resident population that can benefit from positivity.

There was also a sombre note among the presentations.

Calgary native Teri Price shared a short film about the struggles her brother, Greg, faced with the health-care system after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Although testicle cancer has a 95 per cent recovery rate, Greg had to deal with delays in both diagnosis and treatment. He died from a blood clot a few days after surgery. The 29-minute film, Falling Through the Cracks: Greg’s Story, details the gaps in continuity of care Greg and his family faced.

The film, which was made with the help of Heartland director Dean Bennett and actor Kevin McGarry, is Greg’s family’s attempt to show the gaps that can exist in health-care delivery and to send the message that everyone can play a part closing those gaps, Teri said.

Quality focus

The Rosebridge Manor team created this year’s Amazing Quest for Quality Care. This event, which was first designed by the Almonte Country Haven team in 2017, is a take on the Amazing Race and is an outdoor interactive exercise where teams compete to perform tasks that align with various points of quality resident care. The OMNIway will soon feature a video of this year’s Amazing Quest for Quality Care.

OMNI operations manager of nutrition and food service Chris Weber and Riverview Manor nutritional care manager Neil MacDonald are a dynamic duo when it comes to presenting their culinary know-how. The pair did an encore performance of their recent presentation at the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s annual conference for Quality

During the Quality Forum, each OMNI long-term care home submitted a video featuring an interview or short documentary about an outstanding resident.

Forum attendees. The focus of their presentation was on maximizing output of high-quality meals for long-term care residents and the value made-from-scratch home cooking delivers to long-term care homes.

Fun and laughter and creativity

The Quality Forum also brought OMNI’s core values of creativity and fun and laughter together at the annual presentation of the Circle of Radiance awards in the evening of Day 2. The theme for this year’s awards night was the Kentucky Derby, and everyone dressed in outfits ranging from horses to jockeys to southern gentlemen and ladies donning colourful fascinators. The Burnbrae Gardens team took first place for their costume design: a starting gate with two horses and two jockeys.

Lifetime Achievement videos

Every year, OMNI homes present the Lifetime Achievement Award to people living in OMNI long-term care homes who have demonstrated commitment to other residents, their home and country. Every resident has their own unique story, and this year OMNI homes created video presentations highlighting residents’ achievements.

Team members interviewed residents about their lives, and there certainly were some interesting stories shared – including that of a former police officer, a British Army veteran who became a volunteer when she moved to Canada, and even a retired rock star.

There’s much more to come, so keep reading The OMNIway to learn more about what happened at this year’s exciting Quality Forum.

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