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Excellence Awards: Outstanding actions, commitment and compassion improve care for patients

Renée Légaré (à gauche), vice-présidente exécutive des Ressources humaines, ainsi que le Dr Jack Kitts, président-directeur général, participaient à la remise des prix.

Evan Van Zuylen (center), Protection Officer with Security and Parking, won the Respect for the Individual award, recognizing how he keeps his cool in challenging situations, such as his work with Psychiatry Emergency Services. He takes the time to build rapport with patients and makes them feel at ease around him. Renée Légaré (left), Executive Vice-President of Human Resources, and Dr. Jack Kitts, President, and CEO, helped present the awards.

Hidden heroes, outstanding leaders and volunteers, committed academics and educators, and team players throughout The Ottawa Hospital: every year, the Excellence Awards celebrate the work of our exceptional employees, doctors, residents and volunteers.

“They combine their efforts to propel The Ottawa Hospital toward our vision of providing each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion that we would want for our loved ones,” said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO.

“We also celebrate the accomplishments of teams that have contributed to the hospital’s quality goals, who contributed to improving cost efficiencies, showed commitment toward workplace and patient safety, contributed to a better patient experience and outstanding research initiatives and contributed to our healthier populations strategy,” added Lillian Thomsen, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors.

The selection committee faced the difficult task of choosing 23 winners from the 82 nominations received, representing the great work of more than 300 people.

Individual Awards

Vanessa Chaput

Vanessa Chaput
Administrative Assistant,
MAID program Working Together Award


Vanessa is a key contributor to the success of The Ottawa Hospital’s Medical Assistance in Dying program. Her dedication and commitment were noted by the countless nominations for her for this award. She embodies the core value of working together by supporting both the team and patients throughout each step of this sensitive process. She is gracious, kind and compassionate, and seems to have endless patience. Her ability to effectively coordinate the services of multiple care providers, coming from different locations in order to provide exemplary patient care, is truly awe-inspiring.




Nicholas Whelan

Nicholas Whelan
Patient Care Assistant, Psychiatry
Compassion Award


Nick is known among his colleagues and by his patients on D6 at the Civic Campus for his laughter, friendliness, and caring attitude. He always goes out of his way to help a patient or colleague and does his best to make everyone feel included, especially new staff and students. He is always considerate and remembers patients’ preferences. The patient experience is first and foremost for Nick.







Stéphanie Clermont

Stéphanie Clermont
Registered Nurse, Chemotherapy Treatment Unit
Commitment to Quality Award


Stéphanie goes out of her way to make sure patients have the highest quality care and feel safe and welcome on the Chemotherapy Treatment Unit. She is a positive role model for her team and is always helpful and approachable. Stéphanie is not afraid to challenge the status quo. She spearheaded a review of intra-muscular injection practices and provided teaching to all the unit nurses about this technique. She leads the Unit Council and encourages her colleagues to undertake quality improvement projects.






Evan Van Zuylen

Evan Van Zuylen
Protection Officer, Security, and Parking
Respect for the Individual Award


Evan is respectful and professional and maintains his cool in challenging situations. One of his primary responsibilities is maintaining a safe working environment in Psychiatry Emergency Services – and he does just that. He takes the time to build rapport with patients and makes them feel at ease around him. One nurse who works closely with Evan has said patients’ behaviour doesn’t escalate when Evan is involved. He unknowingly sets a high bar for other team members to stay calm and be respectful of this vulnerable patient population.






Karen Stockton

Karen Stockton
Director, Planning and Support Services
Outstanding Leader Award


Karen is highly appreciated for her leadership contributions to the Master Program and Master Plan for the new campus. She maintained a calm and focused presence throughout an intense and complicated negotiation of the land lease. Her drive to successfully achieve a goal by exploring creative solutions, working hard and trusting her team’s ability to accomplish what is required is a testament to her strong leadership. Due to her organizational abilities and tireless commitment throughout the process, the land lease was completed within an impressive timeframe.





Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy
Outstanding Volunteer Award


Erin was recognized for his volunteering contributions and his diligence in keeping volunteers safe from potential hazards. He helped develop best practices and enhanced the volunteers’ auditing and evaluation tools. Erin is always ready for whatever new project or need comes his way. He willingly embraces new ideas and processes. He is flexible and focused on supporting the volunteers to provide the best care to our patients.






Claude Richer

Claude Richer
Medical Device Reprocessing Technician, Central Processing
Hidden Hero


As the senior scope technician at the General Campus, Claude is committed to ensuring that each and every scope is handled with care, precisely processed, and readied for the next patient. His work is critical to operations in numerous departments. Claude’s commitment to providing safe equipment for our patients, as well as his kind, warm and personable attitude, and his undeniable zest for life, are shining qualities of a hidden hero.







Jayne Belanger

Jayne Belanger
Clinical Coordinator, Radiation Medicine Program
Commitment to Academics

Every radiation oncologist who has either graduated or worked in Ottawa in the past 20 years knows Jayne! Since 1983, when Jayne adopted and turned around the struggling Ottawa Radiation Therapy Education Program, her students have had a national exam success rate well above the average. She is an educator who goes above and beyond to ensure her students develop the appropriate technical knowledge, skills and judgment to properly assess and treat radiation therapy patients. As a clinical educator, Jayne is compassionate, positive and aims to instill a patient-centred focus in the practice of radiation therapy. As a true leader, she influences and leads by example.





Amy Geertsma

Amy Geertsma
Manager, Ottawa Health Science Network Research Ethics Board
Inspire Award


Amy has a real “can-do” attitude towards all challenges and takes the time to help others understand any issue at hand. She inspires her staff to approach their challenges the same way. Amy has a terrific thirst for knowledge and she encourages ongoing education for her entire team. She trains and encourages members of the Research Ethics Board and the administrative staff to keep regulatory compliance at the forefront of processes and decisions.





Resident Awards

Shelby Allision

Shelby Allison
Medical Student, CTU Medicine
Team Player Award


Shelby is truly “the whole package,” as her nominators said. She is highly motivated, goal-oriented, enthusiastic, hardworking and empathetic, often going beyond expectations to advocate for patients and ensure exceptional patient care. She is one of the best medical students in more than 20 years.








Dr. Matthew Lipinski

Dr. Matthew Lipinski
Resident Physician, Emergency Medicine
Team Player Award


Matthew was elected by his peers as Chief Resident because he is the definition of a team player. He is a leader and a highly skilled and sophisticated team player with an infectious positive demeanor. Compassionate and kind, he has a strong commitment to caring for his patients. Matthew consistently scored above the 80th percentile on in-training examinations. He is a role model to junior residents, regularly engaging them in teaching sessions.






Grayson Roumeliotis

Dr. Grayson Roumeliotis
Plastic Surgery
Resident Physician Educator Award


Grayson truly embodies the characteristics of a physician educator. His mentorship of medical students and more junior residents, dedication to teaching, and leadership in the program is unparalleled. His positive attitude and love of medicine and surgery are infectious. He manages to bring the best performance out of all those around him.





Physician Awards

Anne Lui

Dr. Anne Lui
Department of Anesthesiology
Physician Clinical Recognition Award


Anne is a true team player in the Department of Anesthesiology. She is always willing to go above and beyond for her colleagues. She is noted for her clinical skills and contributions to

the overall well-being of the medical staff through her activities.









Dr. Dante Pascali

Dr. Dante Pascali
Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
Physician Clinical Recognition Award


Dante is one of those truly rare individuals who combines leadership acumen with a genuine high sense of personal ethics. He is fair and balanced and seeks to elevate everyone he works with, rather than pursue personal gain. This has an immeasurable effect on well-being and morale. “We need more individuals like Dante in the world,” said his nominators.







Ruth Padmore

Dr. Ruth Padmore
Division of Hematopathology and Transfusion Medicine
Physician Clinical Recognition Award


Ruth provides a safe learning environment that is not judgmental to learners. She also inspires ongoing education to medical staff, residents, students and various allied health professions to ensure internal and external clinical standards are met.









Dr. Grant Stotts

Dr. Grant Stotts
Division of Neurology
Physician Leadership Award


Grant is an exceptional leader who engages and empowers each staff member in the stroke prevention clinic. He is always approachable and puts patients first, setting an example for those around him. He makes everyone he works with feel as though they are a valuable contributor to the care system and that their role is important.





Team Awards

The Ottawa Stroke Program

Research Excellence Team Award

Stroke team award

The Ottawa Stroke Program team, led by Dr. Dar Dowlatshahi, has cultivated a world-class research program, establishing endovascular treatment as a breakthrough for stroke. This treatment has reduced the death rate by 50 percent in eligible patients.

The team’s research has had a major impact on patients, not only in acute care, but also in prevention and recovery. Stroke researchers are investigating innovative rehabilitation treatments using new technologies. Over the last decade, their work has contributed to a phenomenal 19 percent decrease in stroke rates in the Champlain region.

Their research is also improving how we diagnose and treat conditions such as intra-cerebral hemorrhage and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). The team also led an innovative project to reorganize clinical care at The Ottawa Hospital and improve flow for patients with neurological diseases.

Volunteers Improving Cancer Outpatient Waiting Room and Symptom Assessment Experience

The Vincent Westwick Quality Award

The Vincent Westwick Quality Award

Clinical Manager Kate Duke and her team in the Cancer Centre improved how patients move through the clinic by enlisting volunteers’ help. This reduced staff stress and boosted patient support. At a time when several peer hospitals have moved towards computer-enabled check-in and waiting rooms, the human touch of the volunteer greeting brings

compassion and connection to our patient experience.

This innovation can be spread in the future to many other hospital units that also need patients to complete symptom assessments. With the coming launch in June 2019 of the Epic digital health network, many areas will be implementing patient-reported outcomes as part of clinic care and will be able to learn from the cancer experience.

Safety Learning System Project Team

Commitment to Safety Award

Commitment to Safety Award

This team created a process and a safety culture and accountability for staff and patients. The Safety Learning System is a web-based incident reporting system that provides 24-hour online access to submit staff incident reports using the same system and interface as patient incidents.

The system encourages users to follow best-practice steps for incident investigation and follow-up. The greatest benefit of the system is the details of the incident reports as well as the ability to track the incident through every step. This will help prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Teamwork between staff safety, quality and patient safety, information systems and technology, and many other stakeholders has helped move the bar forward on Just Culture and better patient and staff experience.

Absenteeism Project Team

Financial Stewardship Award

Financial Stewardship Award

The Absenteeism Project Team, led by Thomas Hayes and Julie Lavergne, has worked tirelessly since December 2017 and saved 8,937 sick hours, which represent a savings of $250,000. This team made significant efforts and used great tact in dealing with our most valued resource, our staff. They worked directly with employees, management and doctors to help the employees get back to their regular duties. The project scope included updating the overall strategy for managing absenteeism for employees as well as implementing and updating the medical leave and attendance management programs and policies. The efforts of this team will continue for years to come, helping The Ottawa Hospital to become financially sustainable.

Patient Safety and Continuous Quality Improvement Team

Patient Experience Award

Patient Safety Awards

This multifaceted team has had a major effect on physician and team engagement by improving patient experience. It is an example for engaging teams in improving patient experience.

The Patient Safety and Continuous Quality Improvement Team has done a phenomenal job of responding to the gaps in care excellence, by implementing various initiatives such as placing the Surgical Patient Notebook at patient bedsides, measuring surgeon empathy via the Consultation and Relational Empathy measure, and mitigating the costly and unpleasant use of catheters by using a validated screening tool.

These initiatives have allowed patients, families and surgeons to better communicate and have allowed patients to recover in the comfort of their own homes.

Master Program and Master Plan Team

Healthier Populations Award

 Master Program AwardThe Master Program and Master Plan team was tireless in its commitment and efforts to direct a complex and highly consultative process to define the requirements for all hospital campuses, and specifically the new campus.

The team conducted more than 200 meetings and toured more than 4 million square feet in the facilities, collaboratively creating 150 master programs. These were supported by the regional programs and endorsed by the Champlain LHIN board and The Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors. A strong public engagement process informed all the work.

Community engagement and feedback is crucial to the success of this project. The team ensured every question was answered and demonstrated The Ottawa Hospital’s values every step of the way in their staff and public consultation. The Master Plan team created a decision-making framework to ensure the Master Plan benefits patients, families and other stakeholders.

Operating Room Dosimetry Compliance Monitoring Team

Innovation and Creativity Awards

Innovation and Creativity Awards

Led by Alex Wolf, this team is a great example of how to contribute to improvement in safety culture among operating room staff.

In 2017, the team launched a project to directly monitor compliance by having the x-ray technologists in the operating room track dosimeter use. As a result of their work and growing support from all groups involved, compliance has increased dramatically from as low as 20 percent at some sites to a corporate average of about 80 percent.

The Ottawa Hospital is now well-positioned to support its x-ray safety policies when new provincial x-ray safety regulations are introduced in 2018-2019, and to take a leadership role among Ontario hospitals during this transition.


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