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Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety 2018 Winners and Honour Roll Members


Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety 2018 Winners and Honour Roll Members

Ministry of Health

The winners and Honour Roll members for the 2018 Minister's Medal awards are:

Team Based Winner:

Putting Patients at the Heart (PPATH): A Seamless Journey for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Mississauga Halton LHIN

Putting Patients at the Heart is a patient co-designed initiative of Trillium Health Partners and Saint Elizabeth Health focussed on improving cardiac surgery patients' journey from hospital to home. The program is now the standard of care at this regional cardiac surgical centre, which has the second highest cardiac volumes in Ontario.

The goals of the program are to be more responsive to the needs of patients, more efficient in the use of health care system resources, and to more effectively address system pressures in relation to hospital occupancy, readmissions to emergency department, and home care capacity.

These goals are being achieved through effective implementation of innovations including standardized post-operative care pathways, a single integrated care team for the entire patient journey, a 24/7 telephone line for patients and providers, and an integrated health record.  

Putting Patients at the Heart enrolled 1,889 patients and realized improvements in quality, access and sustainability. It also provided three and half times more patients with in-home services while still saving the health care system $1.7 million over two years ($835,000 annually).

Individual Winner: Carmen Blais

North West LHIN

Carmen Blais has spent over 30 years working and volunteering in the health care system, and throughout that time has consistently demonstrated a genuine passion for, and dedication to, using innovation and collaboration to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for Indigenous people and communities in the North West LHIN.

Through strong partnerships with patients, families, community organizations, indigenous communities, and government ministries, Carmen's work has resulted in an increase in the number of Indigenous Patient Navigators from one to five. It also helped in the creation of a traditional healing garden at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and the establishment of an Indigenous career experience program to provide Indigenous students with a better understanding of potential career paths within the health care system.

Carmen is currently the Community Engagement Lead with the Matawa Tribal Council.

Individual Patient/ Family Caregiver Winner: Alana Smith

Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN

For the past 18 years, Alana Smith has been a member of Rose Cottage Visiting Volunteers - an organization that supports patients with palliative care needs.

In 2010, Alana created the Legacy Program, which supports patients and families in creating Legacy booklets that record patient's conversations and photos. Legacy booklets have been a powerful tool to support patients and their families, allowing them to capture their loved ones memories and experiences for generations to come.

Alana continues to serve as the program's team lead, supporting and training all Legacy volunteers.

Honour Roll Members:

Individual Category

  • Debra Walko, Senior Director of Complex Care and Seniors Services at LOFT Community Services, Toronto Central LHIN
  • Brian Dunne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Participation House Support Services, South West LHIN

Patient/Family/Caregiver Category

  • Randy Filinski, Central East LHIN

Team Category

  • Brantford Mental Health Crisis Support System, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN
  • Trinity Village - DOCit, Waterloo Wellington LHIN
  • Improving Transitions in Care, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN

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