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Niagara Health honours the extraordinary with return of Awards of Excellence

Posted Jun 23rd, 2022

Niagara Health honours the extraordinary with return of Awards of Excellence

A nurse with a gift for making people feel relaxed before a procedure; an addictions services program worker with a long track record of helping people make positive life changes; a group of staff and physicians who established an innovative online service to increase access to primary healthcare – these are just some of the inspiring people Niagara Health honoured Wednesday, June 22 during the return of its Awards of Excellence.

This is the first year since the start of the pandemic that Niagara Health has hosted the awards, which recognize the extraordinary performance of staff and physicians who are living our CORE values of Compassion in Action, Driven by Optimism and Achieving Ambitious Results.

“One of the things I enjoy the most about my role is the opportunity to recognize extraordinary performance across our organization,” says Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and CEO. “This is my first year experiencing our Awards of Excellence and it brings me great pleasure reading the nominations and hearing the heartwarming stories our team members share about one another.” 

Nine awards were handed out to valued members of our team, including the President and CEO Award for Extraordinary Performance, which was presented to RPN Aaron Screen at our Fort Erie Site for his unwavering commitment and compassion to patients and their families, and his co-workers.

Award winners were chosen after a formal nomination and selection process by their peers.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Awards of Excellence recipients.

View the list of nominees

President and CEO Award for Extraordinary Performance

Aaron Screen | Fort Erie Site Complex Care | Registered Practical Nurse

Aaron demonstrates an unwavering commitment to our patients and their families. He provides comfort during their most difficult times through small gestures that go well beyond expectation. For example, Aaron will offer to bring meals to families who are at the bedsides of loved ones and unable to leave. He often ensures family members of palliative patients are left with a pullout bed or cot to sleep on with fresh linen if they stay overnight. Aaron is also ready with a helping hand for his colleagues, taking on tasks and shifts in different units throughout Niagara Health to ensure enough staff coverage to provide quality care.

A man holding an award stands with a woman. They are wearing masks but smiling with their eyes.

Compassion in Action Award

Marla Manning | Addiction Services | Program Worker

Marla serves patients with a non-judgmental, respectful and caring approach. She shows empathy and compassion to every client and is a natural when it comes to helping them move forward in a positive direction. She shows dedication to her work, her clients and her team members every day, and that’s why you’ll often hear excitement in people’s voices when they get to work with Marla.

Two women stand side by side. One is holding an award.

Driven by Optimism Award

Wilma Alaimo | St. Catharines Site | RPN, Endoscopy

Wilma has a gift for making patients feel safe and relaxed before a procedure. Her kindness, compassion and care leave such an impression that patients often tell her how wonderful she is. She is also a positive, highly respected co-worker, who works hard and helps others. Wilma always adds warmth and fun to a busy department.

A woman smiles brightly for the camera. She is wearing scrubs and stands against a plain background.

Achieving Ambitious Results Award

Dr. Jennifer Frendo | St. Catharines Site

Dr. Frendo is a community leader who helped steer pandemic care, including managing scheduling for hundreds of community physicians at the COVID-19 assessment clinic, vaccine clinic and COVID-19 treatment clinic. She worked with regional teams to provide the best possible care through trying and ever-changing times. Dr. Frendo also advocated to bring vaccines to our aging population, migrant workers and the wider community.

A man and woman stand together. The woman is holding an award.

Extraordinary Care Award

Lisa Skeoch | St. Catharines Site | Ward Clerk 3A Nephrology

Lisa demonstrates limitless patience and dedication to ensuring our patients are happy and comfortable. She has been known to paint patients’ nails, colour their hair and spend extra time with them during her break times to ensure they have a good day. Lisa always looks out for her colleagues and offers a compassionate ear and shoulder to lean on.

Two women stand together. One holds an award, the other holds flowers. They are wearing masks and smiling.

Extraordinary Innovation Award

Virtual Urgent Care Task Force

This cross-functional group exemplifies Extraordinary Caring, teamwork and compassion through the introduction of a virtual urgent care service for patients with non-life threatening health concerns to improve access to care outside of the hospital and reduce wait times. By introducing virtual urgent care, the team responded to the increasing need for timely, urgent healthcare options brought on by the pandemic.

A large group of people stand together in a board room.

Extraordinary Leadership Award

Steven Walker | St. Catharines Site | OR Manager

Steven is a flexible, resilient and strong leader who consistently shows dedication to his team and all of Niagara Health. He creates a culture of trust and collaboration by supporting his staff through regular check-ins. Steven always ensures they have what they need to provide the best possible patient care and is available to listen to concerns. 

A man and woman stand together. The man is holding an award.

Extraordinary Team Award

Environmental Services | All sites

EVS has met every request made of them during the pandemic without exception or fail such as redesigning spaces for social distancing and safety, and organizing a team to reinvent the service model response of local community nursing homes as they navigated the darkest days of the pandemic. EVS has consistently supported the overall operations of Niagara Health, allowing for our clinical teams to seamlessly perform their work.

Two women and one man stand together. A woman in the middle holds an award. They are all smiling behind their masks.

Extraordinary Inter-Departmental Collaboration Award

Ambulatory Care and Surgical Innovation | Welland and St. Catharines sites

The Gynecology Ambulatory Procedures Unit opened in March to provide safe care close to home outside of the main operating room with a care plan that eliminates the need for general anesthesia and reduces patient wait times. Thinking outside the box, gynecologists were trained to manage patient sedation. Sedation-trained nurses also learned minor gynecology procedures and techniques.

Three people stand together. A man in the middle holds up an award.

Niagara Health System