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Dr. Ginette Laverdiere

Recognizing quality and safety at WLMH

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 |

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) recently presented its annual Quality Awards, an event that celebrates the team’s commitment to high quality care and service.

“The continual pursuit of quality improvement and best practice is at the heart of our hospital’s mandate, and it’s something our staff live up to each and every day,” said Rebecca Repa, Vice President, Clinical Support Services and Community Surgery for Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).  “While these awards recognize the special achievement of a few individuals, they really are representative of the high calibre of care and treatment provided by our entire team of staff, physicians and volunteers, and their dedication to our patients and the community.”

Heather Coleman, operating room nurse and Judy Caswell, labour and delivery nurse,  were recognized with the Teamwork Award for spearheading an important quality initiative to create a ‘code pink’ cart which contains vital equipment for the emergency treatment of  babies with unstable vital signs, loss of consciousness or responsiveness, or loss of airway control.
“We are a low risk centre and one cannot imagine that our infants might require resuscitation. It doesn’t happen often, but there are emergency situations that unfold where a baby requires resuscitation and those incidents are cause for reflection.  Part of the reflective process was evaluation of our code pink carts and supplies,” said Heather.
With the support of leadership, Heather and Judy volunteered to create a code pink cart for the operating room that mirrors the code pink cart in the labour and delivery unit, to ensure consistency across the units.  As the plan moved forward, it morphed into a more comprehensive project with the support of Doris Franklin, registered respiratory therapist (see profile below), clinical educators, midwives and counterparts at McMaster University Medical Centre site of Hamilton Health Sciences. 
As a result of this exceptional  teamwork and dedication to patient safety, WLMH has standardized code pink carts that are supplied in a logical and effective sequence, renewed code pink educational practices, and effective processes for restocking and checking equipment.
‘By identifying a need and moving forward with projects like Code Pink, we are being accountable to our patients and families by providing excellent care,” said Heather.
Audra McMaster, site administrative assistant, received the customer service focus award for her professionalism, resourcefulness and willingness to go above and beyond to help staff and visitors to the site.  Audra’s nominators referred to the ‘excellent customer service that she delivers every day.’
Now in her tenth year of service at WLMH, Audra was also commended for her positivity and participation in extracurricular staff events that foster spirit and pride in the site, and community events that support the hospital’s fundraising initiatives.
“I’m part of a community here at West Lincoln and I’m always here to help. If I don’t have the answer right away, I’ll get it. That’s my motto,” said Audra. 
Doris Franklin, a registered respiratory therapist (RRT), received a quality award for excellence and best practice in patient safety. Doris’ specialized expertise involves caring for patients of all ages by evaluating, treating, and maintaining cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) function to keep people breathing.
“The patients that I take care of are my biggest motivators of all.  To see a baby struggling to take its first breath and knowing that I can help so that they can survive, or helping a child with asthma so they can participate in their favorite sport by helping them manage their symptoms; or empowering an adult to have a better quality of life by managing their chronic respiratory illness; or ensuring people facing end of life are breathing comfortably -- it’s the greatest feeling to help people do what is meaningful to them,” said Doris.
As the only RRT for West Lincoln, a key part of Doris’ role is to mentor staff and physicians to ensure that safe, best practice for respiratory care is followed at all times, regardless of whether Doris is present.
“Working daily with staff at West Lincoln Memorial hospital and other Hamilton Health Sciences sites is not only rewarding but also educational as we all learn from each other while collaborating on the best care for the patient,” added Doris.

This holiday season, please support West Lincoln Memorial Hospital’s Trees of Healthy Wishes campaign to support our hospital’s needs and the great tradition of patient care in our community. To make a donation by phone or for more information, please call 905.945.WLMH (9564) or visit

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