President’s Awards

The President's Awards for Leadership

St. Joseph’s congratulates this year’s recipients of the President’s Awards for Leadership – individuals who have made extraordinary efforts to advance the roles and values of St. Joseph’s. Established in 2009, the President’s Awards recognize leaders, both formal and informal, who have made outstanding contributions to the mission, culture and performance of St. Joseph’s.

There are two President’s Awards for Leadership – the Aspiring Leader Award and Leadership in Mission Award.

Aspiring Leader Award

The Aspiring Leader Award is designed to recognize an individual who has shown significant skill development, has recently risen to the challenges of a leadership role or activity, and has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to the organization. Already a well-respected team player, the recipient demonstrates effective leadership and performance in service delivery and relationship building.

2017 Aspiring Leader winner: Erin Watson, Coordinator of Specialized Geriatric Services (SGS) at Parkwood Institute

Erin Watson

Pictured right: Erin Watson: Winner of the Aspiring Leader Award, Erin Watson, Coordinator of Specialized Geriatric Services at Parkwood Institute.

Erin was identified as an informal leader early in her career, often helping colleagues learn new skills and implementing quality improvement strategies. When provided with leadership opportunities, Erin always jumped in. As the SGS health care undergoing optimization champion, for example, Erin spent endless hours coaching, supporting and leading staff and physicians through the transition. 

Leaders clearly remember Erin’s interview for her role as SGS Coordinator. At the end of the interview, she thanked the panel members but in a unique twist, she handed them a thank you note and read a poem from her very first patient. 

“I thought it would either land me the job, or have me quickly escorted out the door,” said Erin.

Land her the job it did. 

Erin’s team describes her as a hands-on leader who leads by example. She is always “living and breathing our vision of earning complete confidence in our patients, families and staff every day – from her quiet recognition of a staff member’s success, to rounding with patients and families, and her delight in learning from them on how we can do better.”

Past Aspiring Leader winners

The Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission Award

The Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission Award recognizes a St. Joseph’s leader or volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the hospital’s mission. Given each year, the award celebrates extraordinary efforts to exemplify and advance St. Joseph’s roles and values as a Catholic, academic and community-oriented health care provider.This leader is an effective change agent and a forward-thinker – the type of leader others want to follow or work with in partnership. At the same time, they lead in keeping with the example of our founders, upholding our rich history and traditions.

2017 Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission winner: Julie Gagliardi, Coordinator of Regional Rehabilitation and the Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation Centre

Julie Gagliardi

Pictured: Julie Gagliardi: Winner of the Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission Award, Julie Gagliardi, Coordinator of Regional Rehabilitation and the Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation Centre.

In all she does, Julie upholds the essence of the St. Joseph’s mission. The examples are many, such as Julie’s propensity to motivate her team members with personal and inspirational notes of recognition. She recently initiated a Wordle™ word cloud project so that staff could describe positive aspects they recognize in each other. 

With a leadership style characterized as open, creative, respectful and transparent, Julie encourages her staff to think outside the box and models and encourages continuous learning. Outside the hospital, she has “an unflagging passion for making a difference in the lives of the people we serve – patients, families, colleagues, and the community,” says clinical nurse Jean Sommerdyk. 

In her free time, Julie regularly leads and participates in fundraising activities, including rallying more than 50 colleagues and their loved ones to run in an international event in Niagara Falls to raise funds for spinal cord injury research. She has participated in the Big Bike for Heart and Stroke for more than a decade, led a team in Bust-a-Move for Breast Health, participates in 7 am Saturday yard sale fundraisers, and always contributes to bake sales to raise money for patients’ needs. 

“Julie is a remarkable leader who truly personifies the qualities of the individual for which the Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission Award was created,” says Jean.

Past Kathy Burrill Leadership in Mission winners

Sandra Letton Quality Award

Launched in 2011, the Sandra Letton Quality Award is named in honour of former St. Joseph's Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive Sandra Letton. Sandra dedicated more than 25 years at St. Joseph’s in various roles, always in the pursuit of continuous improvement and excellence in the quality of care provided to our patients and families. The award recognizes St. Joseph’s teams who have made an outstanding contribution toward improvement in quality patient care.

2016/17 Sandra Letton Quality Award Recipients

In an effort to reduce diabetes-related amputations caused by foot ulcers, the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program (PCDSP) team has developed a standardized screening, assessment and referral tool called the “Harmonized Diabetic Foot Ulcer Risk Stratification and Referral Algorithm.” The tool is fast, simple and reliable. It allows clinicians to quickly look for red flags before foot ulcers develop so that referrals can be made for preventative care, education can be provided to the patient, and close monitoring can be initiated. It is now being used by the PCDSP, located at St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre (FMDC), where it has led to 50 per cent more patients being screened and a 10 per cent increase in patients being identified with diabetic foot complications who would have otherwise been missed. The goal is to introduce the tool to family physicians at the FMDC and across the city and provide training on its use.

St. Joseph's Primary Diabetes team

Pictured above: Primary Care Diabetes Support Program staff smile with their Sandra Letton Quality Award in front of St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre.

2015 Sandra Letton Quality Award Recipients

The 2015 award is jointly shared with the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Team and Veterans Care Team for enhancing the food and dining experience for veterans at Western Counties Wing (WCW) at Parkwood Institute. In August 2014, veterans and staff brought their concerns including menu selections, food quality, customer service, food preferences, special events, and safety and workflow to Heather Tales, Director of Veterans Care. Albert Ste. Marie, Percy Toff, and Jack Smith spearheaded the effort on behalf of their fellow veterans. Jack, 90, explained how he, Albert and Percy found scientific material to help them support their concerns about the food changes needed.To resolve these concerns, Heather engaged FNS and a Food Council formed with representatives from FNS, Veterans Care, veterans and family members which led to 26 menu enhancements. Further improvements are continually emerging, and a working group is finding solutions to support safety and workflow concerns in the dining area. 

Photo of Veterans Care and Food and Nutrition Services teams

Veteran Jack Smith, top row, fourth from left, joins representatives from the Veterans Care and Food and Nutrition Services teams and others involved in the Sandra Letton Quality Award celebration. 

Accepting the Sandra Letton Quality Award, from left, Heather Tales, Director of Veterans Care, veteran Jack Smith from the Food Council, and Trina Smith, Director of Food Services.









2014 Sandra Letton Quality Award Recipients

Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation and research teams 

spinal cord injury rebhab and research teams

Above: SCI Team

For patients with a spinal cord injury (SCI) pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are a serious and lifelong issue. Pressure ulcers happen when skin and tissue is injured because of prolonged pressure. People who have a medical condition that limits their ability to move, or has them in bed or a wheelchair often get pressure ulcers. Through a quality improvement project the SCI rehabilitation team and SCI research team at St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital worked to prevent pressure ulcers through improved assessments of patients and patient education. 

Stroke rehabilitation and research teams

Stroke and research teams

Above: Stroke rehabilitation and research teams

Through a quality improvement project the Stroke rehabilitation and research teams at St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital set a goal to become a world leader in rehabilitation for patients who have suffered a stroke. Their project focused on improving care through best practice in areas such as the assessment and management of depression, blood pressure monitoring, and oral hygiene.

2013 Sandra Letton Quality Award Recipients
St. Joseph's Breast Care Program team

Over a two year period the Breast Care Program team reduced the wait time for breast cancer patients at St. Joseph's Hospital from abnormal screen to surgery from 16 weeks to eight weeks. They achieved this quality improvement goal through various strategies including investing in equipment, expanding hours of the program and streamlining the patient booking process.

5BS Alternatives to Restraints team

The 5BS veterans care team at St. Joseph's Parkwood Hospital set out to dramatically decrease physical restraints use for patients with dementia. Strategies implemented to achieve this goal included increased communication with patients and families, increased opportunities for staff and patient interaction and enhanced safety protocols.


Last updated: Thu, 2017-08-03 10:56