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NHS recognizes excellence at Interprofessional Practice Awards banquet

Posted Oct 23rd, 2015

The Niagara Health System was pleased to recognize excellence in healthcare on Thursday evening at our Interprofessional Practice Awards.

2015 Interprofessional Practice Awards Attached media release

The ninth annual banquet, which was held at John Michael’s Banquet and Conference Centre in Thorold, is an opportunity for NHS to acknowledge teams and individuals who exemplify the Interprofessional Practice competencies of interpersonal and communication skills, patient client-centred care and collaboration. In an interprofessional team approach, all healthcare professionals are encouraged to work collaboratively in meeting patients’ needs and concerns.

This year’s Interprofessional Practice Awards attracted a record number of nominations in the four categories. The NHS’s Interprofessional Practice Council received 39 nominations, which represents a total of 107 staff and physicians.

NHS President Dr. Suzanne Johnston says the nominees reflect the incredible work happening at Niagara Health.

“This recognition speaks to the important collaboration of our team. Our team’s contribution to healthcare in Niagara is helping us to achieve our one common goal: to create a high-quality, patient-centred healthcare system,” says Dr. Johnston. “I want to congratulate all of the nominees.  We’re also very thankful to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union for sponsoring and supporting the event and to our Interprofessional Practice Council for their magnificent work to organize the banquet.”

Nancy Fletcher, the NHS Director of Professional Practice, said: “Interprofessional Practice Awards helps to bring out the best in our healthcare professionals as we work together and share knowledge and best practices to improve each patient’s healthcare experience.”

Here are the award recipients


Louise Bates (Senior Respiratory Therapist, St. Catharines Site): Louise has been working with the respiratory therapists, physicians and nursing staff for an extended period of time to standardize airway equipment through all of the sites at the NHS.  Louise is very forward-thinking in order to always improve the experience for the patient, as well as for the providers.

Helen Law (Senior Physiotherapist, Greater Niagara General Site): Helen has been a pivotal core member of the Senior Friendly Hospital Initiative. She helped develop the project charter and has provided insightful input into the monthly progress reports.  She has taken initiative to promote the goals of the project and has engaged all the rehab and nursing staff to participate in the education sessions on the learnings of Delirium.


Pat Forster (Renal Dietitian, St. Catharines Site): Pat takes an individualized, patient-centered approach as she counsels patients and families on renal diets.  Pat uses creativity, care and compassion in her interactions, providing gentle, persuasive and professional guidance.  She seeks out education opportunities and shares her knowledge using best practice guidelines and best evidence. 


Lab Test Info Guide Team: Karen Bortolon (Lab Manager), Matthew Costello (Business Systems Analyst), Myuran Sivarajah (Registered Technologist, Lab), Susie Ferrier (Lab Assistant), Lezlie Lambert-Burd (Kidney Care Nurse Educator), Lori Howes (Business Systems Analyst), Andy Naundorf (Supervisor, Systems Administrator), Anna Fedorovitch (Charge Technologist, Lab), Teresa Duguay  (Educator for Emergency and Critical Care), Anna Cobian (Web and New Media Co-ordinator), Bonnie Sipos (Regional Director, Infection Prevention & Control, Diagnostic Services and Laboratories.)

This team took a lab reference guide tool that was essentially a reference manual/static document, and made it come alive as an essential tool for education and improved outcomes in management of laboratory medicine.  The need to call the lab about tests is almost negated. This lab test info guide is the best frontline tool to enhance everyday workflow for nursing, lab, diagnostic imaging, physicians and unit clerks in a long time.


Prostate Diagnostic Assessment Program: Dr. Ian Brown, Dr. Tom Song, Dr. Kamal Mattar, Dr. Jeffrey Shoebridge, Dr. Abhirami Hallock, Dr. Theodoros Tsakiridis, Dr. Tom Corbett, Katie Kells (Registered Nurse), Jen Schafer (Clerk Receptionist ), Krystyna Korczak (Clerk Receptionist ) , Dr. Hagop Mazmanian, Brigitte Canter (Ultrasound Technologist), Lisa Hamel (Ultrasound Technologist ), Vanessa Vaicius (Ultrasound Technologist ) .

The Prostate Diagnostic Assessment Program team has received many letters of praise from patients expressing how the team dynamic has benefited them.  There are many times patients call waiting for surgery and are anxious they have not heard from the pre-op clinic, or they need guidance completing forms for pre-op, or they are anxious about upcoming radiation appointments.  Each of these patients is thankful to have a single contact who is always available as a resource.

Media contact: Lisa Pepperall, Communications Specialist, 905-378-4647, ext. 47576;

Niagara Health System