Congratulations to the four recipients of the 15th Annual North Shore Health Care Awards held virtually at Lions Gate Hospital on Wednesday, February 23rd.
Healthcare staff from across the North Shore attended the ceremony virtually to celebrate and support more than 63 staff members who had won the respect and admiration of their colleagues.

Introducing the 2021 Recipients

Cheryl West, Workplace Inspiration
Ruth Farnan, Dr. Lez Jans Leadership Award
Dr. Anis Lakha, Clinical Practice
Jane Jordan, Spirit of Philanthropy

“We are all inspired to be better when we spend time with her.”

Congratulations to Dr. Anis Lakha, recipient of the 2021/2022 Clinical Practice Award.

Dr. Anis Lakha, a palliative care physician at LGH and North Shore Hospice, is the pioneer behind the Every Day Counts program. She had a vision to create a program that provides psychosocial supports for patients and their families during the most challenging time of their life.

She was instrumental in building the Every Day Counts program from scratch and she dedicated many hours to raise awareness within the community and ensure the success and longevity of the program. It has grown from a few sessions scattered across several locations on the North Shore to a central part of local palliative care services with its own facility right alongside the Hospice.

The Every Day Counts program provides a wide range of activities and assistance for patients living with life-limiting illness in their homes, in the community and at the hospice.

Dr. Lakha colleagues describe her as a compassionate advocate for patients and a champion of accessible palliative care for all who need it. Thanks to her extraordinary efforts, our community has the most comprehensive palliative care support services in the province.

“Jane is a true friend of the Foundation and is always willing to go the extra mile to support our fundraising work.”

Congratulations to Jane Jordan, this year’s recipient of the 2021/2022 Spirit of Philanthropy Award.

Jane Jordan, Coordinator of the Every Day Counts palliative care program, has devoted time, energy and financial support to the fundraising efforts of the Foundation.

Not only has she worked tirelessly with us to raise funds for Hospice & Palliative Care, she has given her time generously to support the wider mission of the Foundation.

As well as organizing popular local events such as Hike for Hospice, Honour a Life and the Hospice Easter Egg Hunt, she is a regular contributor to Foundation campaigns through the Employee Giving Program.

Whether it’s organizing a donor tour of North Shore Hospice, participating in promotional activities, or giving up her lunch time to support hospital events, Jane is an amazing ambassador for and supporter of LGH Foundation.

Watch Jane receive her award below.

“Ruth is a person who gets things done – not an easy task in our department and she has earned the trust and love of the Emergency Team.”

Congratulations to Ruth Farnan, RN, recipient of the 2021 Dr. Les Janz Leadership Award.

Ruth, who is a Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) is described by her colleagues as “the unsung hero of the Emergency Department at LGH.”

Ruth, spent time at the Emergency Department at LGH when she was a student nurse and she knew she wanted to return once she had consolidated her skills and experience.

Before arriving in Emergency at LGH she spent two years in a High Acuity Unit and she has now spent a decade in various roles.

She took on the role of CNE in 2020, and focused her attention on strengthening orientation procedures, creating a more nurturing environment and increasing educational opportunities for staff.

Emergency departments are busy and chaotic and can be disorienting for new staff members. Ruth collaborated with her colleagues to create enhanced professional support systems, in-class orientation sessions and opportunities for clinical development to ensure that new recruits have a strong foundation for success.

Ruth has also worked to deepen departmental knowledge by increasing training opportunities, working with experts from other hospitals and expanded education programs in a number of areas including advanced life support, trauma care, emergency palliative care and mental health and substance use.

“What I like most about the team that I work with is that it really is like a family,” says Ruth.  “It’s a very close team, and although Covid put a bit of a wrench in socializing, we are a team that works and plays together. We support one another not only during busy shifts, but also in all aspects of our lives.”

Learn more about Ruth and watch her receive her award below.

“She is truly dedicated to the patient’s wellbeing and she inspires us every day.”

Congratulations to Cardiology Technologist Supervisor Cheryl West, recipient of the Workplace Inspiration Award.

Cheryl has worked in the cardiology department for an amazing 20 years. She’s unflappable, upbeat and accessible to all who need her help and expertize.

When the pandemic created supply chain issues she dedicated extra time to ensure that no one went short of the equipment and supplies they needed.

Technology is an important part of cardiac care but integrating new technology can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Cheryl was the driving force behind the introduction of a set of wireless ECG carts at the hospital. The innovative carts allow techs to carry out ECG tests while the cardiologist in different location look at the results in real time.

This was a huge change for the department that had been using decades old equipment and it was made possible by a long and complicated collaboration between Cardiology team and IT department. LGH was the first hospital in BC to introduce this technology and its successful implementation was assured by Cheryl’s hard work.

Cheryl’s energy and dedication is infectious and the team of confident and skilled technologists that she manages are inspired every day to lead by her example.

As her manager said: “Every department needs a Cheryl!”

Learn more about Cheryl and watch her get her award below.

The delivery of a very special care package* of panda stuffies to the Palliative Care Unit at LGH has had a significant impact on patients and their families.

Staff report that the pandas have become a comfort item to young visitors and have brought moments of joy during challenging and emotional times for the families under their care.

For a young grandfather, the bears provided positive new memories for his grandkids. When he was first admitted to the unit in December he was worried about being too sick to buy Christmas presents for his grandkids. Despite the fact that he was dealing with his acute symptoms, his family were foremost in his mind. When staff gave him two of the pandas, he was overjoyed and so thankful by this generosity. He was able to focus on his self care and he kept the pandas in his bed to pick up his scent before gifting them to his grandkids to remember him by.

When a shy eight-year-old boy arrived at the unit to visit his grandmother, staff were able to break the ice with the gift of a panda. They weren’t sure if he’d be too old for a stuffie but his face lit up and he hugged the panda bear tight when one was handed to him. The scared young boy was now smiling and happy to show grandma the bear he’d just received.

During the final months of a young woman’s life, her daughter was at her bedside every day. After spending so much time on the palliative unit, the daughter was not only distraught at her mother’s death, she found it difficult to say goodbye to the staff on the unit.

Staff gifted three panda bears to the grandkids who had also visited the unit. Now when the daughter watches her niece and nephews grow up, they have the same panda bear that will remind her of her mother, the palliative care team and this monumental moment that changed her life. The grandkids have a gift from grandma and the whole family have a shared symbol of love and loss.

On behalf of the Palliative Care Team at LGH we would like to thank Susan Hilton and the Har El Sisterhood from the Taylor Way Synagogue in West Vancouver for their thoughtful gift and generosity.

*The gift package also included child-friendly furniture from IKEA and activity packs for children who can spend many hours on the unit.