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How genuine teamwork can help build a tower

24/10/2022

Vio Geana is a Senior Leader on the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project team. His genuine positivity, diligence and belief that sour gummy bears can fix anything has helped him lead and support a high performing facilities project team. This is his story about how he came to work on this project and why this work is important to him.

My early journey

I grew up during challenging times in a small city in Romania. My family lived through the 1989 civil unrest in Romania and the progressive decline of the country that followed the years after. Although we faced many challenges, our family and community was tight knit and strong. When I was 16 years old, I moved to Vancouver with my Mom, Dad and younger sister. It was a definite culture shock but I fully embraced Canadian life and have always strived to combine the best parts of Romanian and Canadian culture. Looking back, I now understand that everything from this early stage of my life gave me the skills and tools that brought me to where I am today. 

   
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Vio standing near the Rotunda at Richmond Hospital.

How I came to join the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project team

I studied architecture and building engineering and then, jumped right into the industry to learn on-the-job. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career. I worked on many challenging projects with various degrees of risk and, discovered that I loved being the glue that holds all the pieces of the project together. I propelled myself into project management and never looked back.

In 2016, I took on a project manager role at Vancouver General Hospital, where I was part of a team led by our now Chief Project Officer, Sharon Petty. Then, when Sharon took on the role to lead the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project, she asked if I would join the team – I of course said yes and the rest is history.


Vio-future-site-highres-final.jpgStanding on top of the Richmond Hospital parkade, Vio points to the future site of the new acute care tower, the Yurkovich Family Pavilion.

Working on the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment (RHR) Team

We work with Richmond Hospital clinical and facilities teams, contractors, architects, engineers and the municipality. We are a dedicated team focused on building the new acute care tower, the Yurkovich Family Pavilion. From a construction, systems and technologies perspective, the work to plan for the new tower is highly complex. It requires hard work, outside the box thinking and an acute attention to detail.

In love with this work – there is never a dull moment 

I mentor and coach our team and support project leadership while managing and actively mitigating potential issues. I meet with our various stakeholders and plan work to keep the project moving forward. My only set daily routine is making a stop for sour gummy bears and jelly beans – there’s nothing a sour gummy bear can’t fix.


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The analogy often used for planning this project is playing backwards dominos. To build the tower, we have to work backwards to create the necessary space on site. Right now we are in Phase 1 and a lot of our work involves relocating teams and programs so that we can demolish the Rotunda and Park Centre. This then creates the required space needed for the new tower.

I’m proud to be a part of our team

What I’m most proud of so far in my role is this high performing team that we have put together. We all come from different backgrounds and specialities – we are made up of architects, engineers, project managers and software gurus. Everyone on this team is appreciated and everyone’s input is considered. This is a very positive work environment where I can come to the office as my most genuine self and be appreciated for it. There is laughter, there are gummy bears and when we get together, we are all problem solvers and get the work done. I’m very proud of that.

Family and community is what drives me

This work is important to me because I get the opportunity to contribute towards the construction of an outstanding future facility. My hope is this rejuvenated hospital will elevate the experience for teams providing care and for patients receiving care. There is nothing more rewarding than to be able to support people who dedicate their time and energy in providing care for others. My sister teaches nursing students at Richmond Hospital and I want her and everyone in the Richmond community of care to have what they need to provide the best care possible.

Project managers typically measure work with three success metrics – scope, schedule and budget. My personal success metrics go beyond that. To me, it’s about why you are doing the project and who you’re doing it for. If I can help make a positive impact for health care workers and their ability to provide care, I would consider this project a success.

Learn more about the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project at engage.vch.ca/rhr



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