Healthy Living in the North

Celebrating our values in action: Northern Health’s staff-award winners

Northern Health (NH) strives to make its values – empathy, respect, collaboration, and innovation – the core of our way of being at work, and the basis for every interaction with our patients, residents, clients, and their families, as well as with each other. On April 3, 2019, NH celebrated individuals and teams that live these values every day, with the 3rd Annual Dr. Charles Jago Awards. Named after NH’s last Board Chair, “the Jagos” award one staff member, physician, or team for each value, and recognize many nominations along the way.

“Every year, I’m honoured to present these awards and inspired by the stories of staff living our values,” says Cathy Ulrich, NH’s President and CEO. “Health care environments are often challenging. The Jago Award nominees and winners demonstrate how to bring your best self to work despite these challenges. To see Jago Award nominations from across all levels and regions of the organization speaks to the dedication and commitment of Northern Health’s staff and physicians. I hope NH staff, physicians, and community members will join me in congratulating the 2019 winners.”

The 2019 Jago Award winners are:

Empathy: Jennifer Haas – Manager, Specialized Mental Health & Addiction Services (Terrace)

A plaque award presentation.

Cathy Ulrich, NH President and CEO (left) and Colleen Nyce, NH Board Chair (right) present the Jago Award for Empathy to Jennifer Haas.

“The clients we work with at the Intensive Case Management Team are individuals who face complex challenges, such as: housing, poverty, barriers to accessing health and social services, and have problematic or chronic substance use. These people are some of the most marginalized in our community, yet Jen has consistently shown that people with an addiction are human beings who, with the right support, can make a contribution to society. For example, when Jen begins work in the morning, it is not uncommon to see people sleeping on our ramp or in the backyard with a tent set up. Rather than tell them to ‘move along,’ she provides them with a welcoming space inside the building and invites them in for a cup of tea. With each interaction, she is able to authentically listen and relate.” – Jessica Gaus, Social Program Officer/Support Worker, Intensive Case Management Team

Respect: Theresa Healy – Lead, Capacity Development & Education, Indigenous Health (retired) (Prince George)

A plaque presentation.

Cathy Ulrich, NH President and CEO (left) and Colleen Nyce, NH Board Chair (right) present the Jago Award for Respect to Theresa Healy.

“Theresa has been a dedicated and thoughtful employee of Northern Health for ten years. Broadly speaking, Theresa’s work has been with communities to address social determinants of health and improve the well-being of residents in the North. For the past year and a half, Theresa has worked with the Indigenous Health team developing a training curriculum aimed at fostering cultural safety within Northern Health, and the health system at large. Through this work, Theresa consistently demonstrates and lives Northern Health’s value of respect.” – Victoria Carter, Lead, Engagement and Integration, Indigenous Health

Collaboration: Dr. Anthon Meyer (Stuart Lake & Fort St. James)

A plaque award presentation.

Cathy Ulrich, NH President and CEO (left) and Colleen Nyce, NH Board Chair (right) present the Jago Award for Collaboration to Dr. Anthon Myer.

“Since he began work in the community of Fort St. James, Dr. Meyer has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving health care in the rural and remote communities we serve. Every day, his passion, vision, and expertise draw excitement and guide processes that build partnerships and improve the health outcomes to a level the community has never experienced. The foundation of his leadership is built on strong values that encompass empathy, respect, collaboration, and innovation. As the Medical Director, he leads by example and fosters these values in the group of physicians, inter-professional teams, and administrative staff that he works with. He has built partnerships with First Nations leaders that are based on honesty and respect and, as a result, the care model honours cultural diversity and focuses on improving health care inequities for our First Nations people. Dr. Meyer has dedicated his career to working in Northern, rural, and under-served communities, and, through partnerships, has drastically changed health outcomes for these communities.” – Kathy Marchal, Physician Connectivity, Private Physician Office

Innovation: Gene Saldana, Nuclear Medicine Technologist (Fort St. John)

A plaque award presentation.

Cathy Ulrich, NH President and CEO (left) and Colleen Nyce, NH Board Chair (right) present the Jago Award for Innovation to Gene Saldana.

“Gene began working at Northern Health in September 2018. Within the first few weeks, he quickly recognized opportunities for improvement in processes, which would ultimately lead to an increase in patients he could see in a given day, while, at the same time, decreasing the amount of supplies the organization utilizes for these services. Gene’s ability to embrace the Northern Health values comes naturally, and he continues to be a value-added member of the team.” – Allison Smook, Business Analyst, Business Support

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees!

Mike Erickson

About Mike Erickson

Mike Erickson is the Communications Specialist, Content Development and Engagement at Northern Health, and has been with the organization since 2013. He grew up in the Lower Mainland and has called Prince George home since 2007. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with friends and family, sports, reading, movies, and generally nerding out. He loves the slower pace of life and lack of traffic in the North.


Congratulations to NH’s newest Health Care Hero, Barb Crook

Barb accepting her Health Care Hero Award

Congratulations to Barb Crook, Mackenzie’s Health Service Administrator on receiving this year’s Health Care Hero award for Northern Health!

Every year, the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) recognizes some of the outstanding and inspiring health care employees and projects with the BC Health Care Awards. This year, we are pleased to share that Barb Crook, a long-time nurse and current Health Service Administrator (HSA) for Northern Health in Mackenzie, BC, has been honoured as NH’s Health Care Hero!

HEABC created a video that profiles Barb’s amazing career, from beginning her nursing career over 40 years ago in New Westminster and working as a front line nurse in Mackenzie for 26 years to completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and becoming Health Service Administrator for Mackenzie.

I also recently chatted with Barb to offer my congratulations and learn a bit more!

What does this Health Care Hero award mean to you?
I’m very honoured to be recognized. I’ve been at Northern Health for 38 years. I nursed for 26 years and then became manager. I always loved bedside nursing but have enjoyed managing people. If I’m a healthcare hero for Mackenzie, it’s because my staff are just as much a hero as I am. It takes a whole team to keep a place running and give everybody the excellent care that we do.

What’s the highlight of your career?
In recent years, being the manager, I love honouring my staff with long-service awards and staff appreciation. I cook seafood lasagna and a meat lasagna and feed them lunch, and give them their pins and a rose. I always love that day. Everybody loves the lasagna!

It was also exciting in my career to complete my degree and graduate from the University of Victoria when I was 52 years old. I was a nursing diploma girl from the 1970s and always said I would get my degree one day. My son phoned and reminded me the day my youngest graduated. I moved out of acute care to become the health service administrator and signed up at UVIC to do my degree by correspondence; it was a busy first four years in this world!

You’ve been in health care for a long time! What would you say is one thing people can do to improve their health?
I do appreciate the new generation and the boundaries they have in their life. They don’t live to work, they work to live. I struggled with that work/life balance myself. There are many times I should say no for my own health or balance, but I would always jump in the back of the ambulance or work another shift.

On behalf of Northern Health, congratulations Barb!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is the regional manager of digital communications and public engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She manages NH's content channels, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots, or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care. (NH Blog Admin)