Very different roles, all fulfilled with greatness

There were 13 nominees for the 2017 Sisters of St. Joseph Awards of Excellence and three recipients.

And the winners are ….a Food and Nutrition Services technician who shares her passion for life’s beauty, is known as the “Dear Abby” of her team, and treats residents like family.

A primary care partner who brings out the best in everyone, makes residents feel special, and is a caring listener that families know can solve any problem.

An electromyography (EMG) technician who puts anxious patients at ease, is a life-long learner and caring mentor, and is considered “the glue” that keeps the EMG Clinic running smoothly.

Three very different roles, yet, as recipients of 2017 Sisters of St. Joseph Awards for Excellence, these individuals have much in common. Established in 1990, the awards honour staff, physicians and volunteers who share the remarkable attributes of the Sisters of St. Joseph - excellence, positive attitude, reliability, honesty, efficiency, creativity, respect, caring, compassion, empathy and appreciation for the work of others.

To date, there have been a total of 167 individual and team recipients – and hundreds of nominations. Individuals and teams are nominated by their colleagues, who have described each nominee’s acts of support, collaboration, caring and innovation. All are nominated by their colleagues. Without knowing anyone’s identity, an awards selection committee comprised of representatives from across the organization selects the recipients. To be nominated and to be a recipient is a distinguished honour.

Pictured: Clara Koczi at work

Pictured above: Clara Koczi at work

The 2017 recipients are:

  • Clara Koczi, food service technician, Food and Nutrition Services
  • Donna Thompson, primary care partner, St. Mary’s 5th Floor, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care
  • Jodi Beswick, EMG technician, EMG Clinic

Clara Koczi

Clara KocziWith a gift for giving, Clara is well known to colleagues, residents and families alike for her expressions of appreciation and genuine caring. Whether it’s bringing in seasonal flowers from her garden and home-baked goods for others to enjoy, or sitting with residents to hear their concerns and understand their needs, Clara is a stand out at Mount Hope as someone who goes the extra mile.

Every September, Clara begins planning the annual Resident Family Christmas Dinner for about 160 guests, a mammoth undertaking akin to planning a large wedding. Clara recruits volunteers, works with residents to plan the menu and takes care of every detail, including ensuring the same special menu is also served in all 10 dining rooms. The night of the event, Clara coordinates staff while ensuring families and residents are seated and looked after.  

Diligent, humble and caring, Clara continually sets up her team for success, as a coach, confidante, and a natural leader. Several years ago she worked with colleagues to organize a social committee that sends cards to staff celebrating special occasions or needing words of comfort. The committee also fundraises for research and other causes. Clara’s leadership has helped the team share the spirit of giving and create a sense of belonging.

Donna ThompsonDonna Thompson

Donna is a primary care partner who “makes life better for everyone around her” say colleagues. “Kind-hearted and generous, her spirit lights the way for the rest of us to follow.”

With wondrous knowledge of residents’ wants, needs and concerns, Donna goes above and beyond to accommodate those in her care. She is the first staff member residents ask for when inquiring who is working and are immediately at ease when they learn she is on the floor.

Donna makes both residents and co-workers feel special on birthdays and anniversaries, sometimes coming in on her day off for special occasions, like the celebration for a resident celebrating 50 years at Mount Hope. She is known to spend extra time with residents who don’t have family, and is always ready with a listening ear and reassuring response to families with concerns. At Christmas, she distributes small gifts and handmade cards to residents, simply to see them smile.

Donna is  dedicated teacher for new staff and students, and goes out of her way for her colleagues, doing what it takes so that unit runs smoothly.

Jodi Beswick

Jodi BeswickThe EMG Clinic located at Mount Hope provides a range of electrodiagnostic services for various programs at St. Joseph’s, such has the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre. Jodi, a technician, is the go-to person for patients, many of whom have suffered traumatic injuries. She puts them at ease, listens to their concerns and keeps the clinic on track, say colleagues. Known for her quick wit, she blends humour and compassion while treating patients with utmost respect and dignity.

Jodi’s compassion extends to colleagues. Always recognizing special occasions, organizing functions and team building activities, and lifting spirits when in need of lifting, Jodi is considered the “optimal” team player.  “We all feel we are part of her extended family,” say colleagues.

Jodi initiated, planned and has run team retreats, seeing a need for improved efficiencies and teamwork. The results were changes that have enhanced care and service. Over and above her role, Jodi is President of the Association of Electromyography Technologists Canada and spends countless hours at home reading and researching new data and testing to ensure the best treatment possible for patients. She is a tremendous resource for her interdisciplinary team in both experience and knowledge. A chief examiner for the specialty of electrodiagnostic technology, Jodi is highly respected nationally and brings that expertise and leadership to the clinic every day.

To be nominated is an honour

Those considered for the Sisters of St. Joseph Awards are nominated by their colleagues. In addition to the four recipients, this year’s nominees were:

  • Cathy Barran, clinical informatics specialist
  • Ela Hrynkiewicz, registered nurse, Specialized Geriatric Services
  • Karen Heys, team assistant, Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team
  • Debbie Marshall, Coordinator, Medicine Services
  • Ruth King-Roes, physiotherapist, Stroke/Neurological Rehabilitation Program
  • Florence Cummings, primary care partner, Mount Hope
  • Amy Scuderi, primacy care partner, Mount Hope
  • Kari Selmes, dietary aide, Food and Nutrition Services
  • Kathy Sumnall, social worker, Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care
  • Janet Dupuis, housekeeper, Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation Centre

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