Every year we recognize employees and volunteers who truly go above and beyond in their roles to care for patients and support each other. We call them our People First Awards. We ask employees across the organization to nominate someone who they find inspirational, and who puts "people first," and our winners are chosen by a group of leaders and peers.
During an awards ceremony in June, we celebrate the winners in several categories: patient-centred care, the unsung hero, teamwork and collaboration, innovation, leadership and volunteering.
Our People First Award in Volunteering is for an individual or group who has volunteered their time to improve the health care system for their community.
Photo (left to right): Volunteer Laura Gair, VCH President & CEO Mary Ackenhusen, volunteer Amanda Feng & volunteer Polly Ng.
The Pender Women's Clinic volunteers - Laura Gair, Amanda Feng and Polly Ng – won the award of excellence for helping run a clinic for marginalized women in the Downtown Eastside every Thursday evening.
Their nominator said:
"Our volunteers create a welcoming, safe space for vulnerable women. They warmly invite women into the space by offering food and drinks, introduce them to each other and discuss the services available for the evening. If they notice a client is withdrawn or requiring extra care, they will sit with her and chat one-on-one. They are the glue that keeps the group functioning week after week."
Photo (left to righ): CEO Mary Ackenhusen and volunteer Josephine Macdonald.
Josephine Macdonald has made a remarkable contribution to the health care system, volunteering at Vancouver General Hospital and other facilities over the past 50 years! And at 93-years-old, she is still working in VGH's palliative care unit, offering comfort to patients nearing the end of their lives.
Chian-Li Hsu has been volunteering on the palliative care unit at VGH for the past nine years. His nominator said:
“Chian-Li is highly valued for his ability to interact with patients and family members in their various stages of grief. He has a gift for building trust. Whenever we see a patient or family struggling, we ask him to visit with them, knowing he will provide the comfort and support they need.”