Photo Caption: Kirsty Cole (right) poses with CEO Mary Ackenhusen at the People First Awards in June 2018.
It's not every day that members of Vancouver Coastal Health staff are described as Wonder Women – but those who work with Kirsty Cole, administrative associate for Richmond's Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) department, say the People First Unsung Hero Award of Merit winner is a superhero.
“Kirsty is Wonder Woman -- literally!" says Karen Barclay, manager of the community mental health and substance use program for Vancouver Coastal Health in Richmond.
“She is always scanning the horizon for issues and swoops in to save the day before the crisis escalates. As soon as the problem is solved she disappears quietly into the background, and bystanders often have no idea how lucky they were to escape disaster!"
Kirsty's role is to support the Richmond MHSU leadership team to run clinical operations, with the goal of helping the group reach the highest possible level of day-to-day operational efficiency.
“Kirsty is our 'go-to' person for all issues, all the time. In the past year, she was instrumental in coordinating the day-to-day aspects of our multi-team move of over 50 staff and almost 1,000 clients into the newly-renovated Alderbridge Site," says Karen.
“If Kirsty was paid based on the number of times her colleagues said 'let's ask Kirsty', she would be VCH's most highly remunerated employee!"
On Sept. 7, CEO Mary Ackenhusen stopped by the Mental Health and Substance Use unit in Richmond to congratulate Kirsty on her award, and meet the rest of her team. Mary also visited with People First Award Winner Dr. Sreedharan Nagendran, who works as an attending psychiatrist at Richmond Hospital.
Kirsty is the epitome of an unsung hero, Karen adds, and extremely deserving of her People First Award.
“Kirsty is the invisible magic behind the success of others," Karen explains. “She has an ability to make those around her shine and doesn't step into the spotlight herself. I don't think anything can break her stride!"