Above photo: Vancouver Coastal Health President and CEO Mary Ackenhusen with Carlile Centre youth care worker Joe Willems, Award of Merit recipient in the Unsung Hero category.
Staff who work with Joseph Willems, a youth care worker at the Carlile Youth Concurrent Disorders Centre, will tell you there isn't a day Joe comes into work without a smile on his face. His positive attitude, unwavering optimism, resilience and impressive ability to help calm patients in stressful situations are just a handful of the reasons Joe is a 2018 People First Award of Merit winner in the Unsung Hero category.
“Joe is a valuable member of our team - he cares about each and every one of his co-workers, from the clinicians to the cleaning staff," says RN Michelle Danda, who works with Joe at the Carlile Centre. “He is caring, kind, empathetic and responsive to each patient's individual situation, recognizing that all youth admitted through our unit's doors are deserving of care. He is also dependable in crisis situations, anticipating the needs of his clinical co-staff and has the ability to be both a leader and a responsive follower depending on the situation."
Joe joined VCH in January 2017 to become part of the development team for the Carlile Centre. He loves his job and each member of the Carlile team, each of whom he describes as a "badass" as as defined by the Urban Dictionary of course. (“Badass: a general term used to describe behaviour that is fearless, authentic, compassionate, and ethical. And B. Well above the social standard for 'normal' behaviour.")
Joe says he was deeply touched and honoured to receive the award of merit.
“With that in mind, I am proud and so very thankful to be a part of a team consisting of such incredible 'badasses'," he says. "I am amazed, empowered, and strengthened daily by their fearlessness, authenticity, compassion and ethical standards."
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