Latest Exceptional Healer winners announced

The latest Exceptional Healer: Patient and Family-Centred Award for the Kingston Health Sciences Centre were presented recently.  The EH award competition, which is in its third year, now includes a separate award for nurses.  The two selection were unequivocal in choosing Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and nurse Tracey Froess in the Cancer Centre as exemplars in patient and family-centred care, Susan Bedell shares.

Of Valez, one patient wrote: “She made me feel human in a medical world.” Another added: “I’m so pleased that Dr. Velez works for a teaching hospital as new (and experienced) doctors have much to learn from her in terms of benevolent, flexible, and accessible patient-centred care.”

One patient wrote that Froess’ “passion and dedication to her patients shines brightly!” while another noted she “routinely empowers families to take ownership of their situation identifying what will work best for them and delivering it.”

Over the last three years, the following individuals have been awarded the Exceptional Healer Award:

2017   Dr. Richard Henry – Anesthesiology & Chronic Pain Clinic

            Dr. Tom Gonder – Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist

2018   Dr. Shawna Johnston – Obstetrics & Gynaecology

2019   Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology

            Nurse Tracey Froess – Cancer Centre

Patients, family members, staff, and students learning at KHSC are encouraged to submit nominations each year.

 Here is more about Dr. Maria Valez and Nurse Tracey Froess, from the original blog post from the KHSC site:

Masters in the art of listening

By Christine Maloney

Putting patients and families at the centre of their care has earned nurse Tracey Froess and Dr. Maria del Pilar Vélez Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Exceptional Healer Awards.

Froess and Dr. Vélez were among 22 nurses and physicians nominated by patients, families and staff for the annual award. Originally created by the Patient & Family Advisory Council, it honours those who demonstrate the core concepts of patient- and family-centred care, dignity and respect, participation and collaboration.

For Dr. Vélez, an obstetrician and gynecologist focused on improving women’s reproductive health, her success goes beyond having knowledge, skills and dedication.

“I believe in showing compassion, and especially, to listening to patients and acknowledging the importance of their needs,” she says.

The patient who nominated Dr. Vélez felt supported and empowered throughout her care, writing in her nomination “She wanted to hear what I had to say first.” and “She went at my pace and in the directions and options I wanted to explore. I felt she understood what my values were and did everything she could to accommodate them.”

The winner in the nurse category this year, Tracey Froess works in one of KHSC’s cancer clinic. Her patient’s expressed their appreciation by saying “Tracey always took the time to listen to our concerns and we never felt rushed. We always felt respected and valued. She made the whole experience more comforting.”

“I learned from another esteemed colleague to really listen to your patients,” Froess wrote when asked about her secret to patient-care success. “This advice has always done me well in my career.”

Upon reflecting on what it means to receive an Exceptional Healer Award, both Froess and Dr. Vélez were quick to acknowledge those around them.

“It makes me realize that I have been lucky to work in the right place, with a great team, which has had a positive impact on my care of patients,” said Dr. Vélez.

Froess added, “KHSC is full of exceptional healers. I know… I’ve been fortunate to work along side them every day.”

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KHSC Nominations open for Exceptional Healer Awards

Nominations for the third iteration of the Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) Exceptional Healer Awards are open with a deadline of December 14.

Launched in 2017, the Exceptional Healer Awards are sponsored by the KHSC Patient & Family Advisory Council and was designed to honour a physician who demonstrates in clinical practices the core concepts of patient- and family-centred care: dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration.

Prior honorees include ophthalmologist Dr. Tom Gonder and anesthesiologist Dr. Richard Henry (2017, tie) and urogynecologist Dr. Shawna Johnston (2018).

The award has been expanded this year to include one for physicians and one for nurses.

Physician nominees must, as a faculty member at Queen’s, have a current appointment at KHSC and have been credentialed at KHSC for at least the past two years. Nurse nominees must be KHSC staff members.

Patients and family members can nominate a KHSC physician and/or nurse who have provided care to them in the last two years while KHSC staff can nominate a physician and/or a nurse on a patient care team.

The awards committee is looking for nominees who:

  • Demonstrate compassion as a skillful clinician by displaying personal qualities such as approachability, flexibility and empathy
  • Use novel or innovative methods in attempting to deliver compassionate care
  • Demonstrate a pattern of listening to and honouring patient and family perspectives and choices
  • Exhibit a value of integrating patients and families into the clinical care model to ensure they are equal, informed participants in their health care
  • Honour the uniqueness of patients and families by incorporating their knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the planning and delivery of care

For the 2018 award, patients, families and staff nominated 21 physicians for the award. Thirty-four nominations were receive, with about 25 percent coming from KHSC staff.

Medical students and nursing students are eligible to submit nominations in the “staff” category.

Further information and links to the nomination forms can be found here: http://www.kgh.on.ca/healer

 

 

 

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2018 KHSC Exceptional Healer named

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We wrote about the Kingston Health Sciences Centre Exceptional Healer Award last fall (link here) encouraging nominations for the second iteration of the award which recognizes a physician who demonstrates in clinical practices the core concepts of patient- and family-centred care: dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration. It’s sponsored by the KHSC Patient & Family Advisory Council.

In February, Dr. Shawna Johnston was named the 2018 winner of the award. Dr. Johnston was praised by the selection committee for putting patients and families at the centre of care.

(Left to Right) Patient Experience Advisor Sue Bedell, Chief of Staff Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick and Dr. Shawna Johnston Credit: Matthew Manor/KHSC From: http://www.kgh.on.ca/kghconnect/news/privileged-be-her-patient

Patients, families and staff nominated 21 physicians for the award. Thirty-four nominations were receive, with about 25 percent coming from KHSC staff. (Medical students are included in the “staff” category and may submit nominations). This annual award was created by the Patient & Family Advisory Council to honour physicians of KHSC for demonstrating the core concepts of patient and family-centred care (PFCC) in their clinical practice. These concepts are: dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration.

Dr. Johnston, a urogynecologist and international expert on vaginal health, was cited for providing the highest respect and empathy for her patients who deal with pelvic floor disorders such as organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

One patient wrote: “She took her time and explained the surgical procedure. She was innovative in drawing diagrams for me and allowed time for me to ingest this information and to ask as many questions as I needed. I never felt rushed.”

Dr. Johnston was also praised for treating family members as partners and “an extension of the clinical team.” It was also noted that Dr. Johnston models these behaviours to residents. This, one patient noted “is a gift from her to future practicing physicians and to the communities that will welcome them.”

Dr. Johnston works with Queen’s medical students in MEDS 443, the Obstetrics & Gynecology clerkship rotation. Herself a graduate of Queen’s School of Medicine, Dr. Johnston said that she was trained to be a good listener by the late Dr. Neil Piercy.

“I was taught to always put myself in my patient’s shoes, especially when surgery is involved,” she told KGH Connect. “It’s a big decision, and you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why my patients help me to decide what will work best for them. I’m always open to more questions—I spend a lot of time on the phone—because the patient needs to buy into the treatment. Otherwise, it’s not good care.”

“Families play a big part in treatment decisions because they’re the ones supporting the patient at home,” she added. “The choices we make need to work from both the patient and care provider perspective.”

Patient Experience Advisor Sue Bedell, chair of the award selection committee, was delighted by the staff support for the award. “It shows that fellow caregivers, along with patients and families, deeply appreciate physicians who provide respectful and compassionate health care.

Other physicians nominated for the award were:

  • Dr. Manny Bal
  • Dr. Michael Brundage
  • Dr. Barry Chan
  • Dr. Jay Engel
  • Dr. Michael Flavin
  • Dr. Michael Leveridge
  • Dr. Peter MacPherson
  • Dr. Laura Marcotte
  • Dr. Andrea Moore
  • Dr. David Reed
  • Dr. Michael O’Reilly
  • Dr. Mark Ropeleski
  • Dr. Robert Siemens
  • Dr. Sid Srivastava
  • Dr. Yi Ning Johanna Strube
  • Dr. Benjamin Thompson
  • Dr. Anna Tomiak
  • Dr. Naji Touma
  • Dr. Brent Wolfrom
  • Dr. David Yen

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