We each have unique experiences at CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, but we all share a focus on improvement and the pursuit of excellence. The first-ever Awards of Excellence are a testament to that goal.
The awards, presented at our CIUSSS’s Public Information Meeting on November 2, highlight the exceptional commitment and dedication of our staff. Whether they’re supporting their colleagues, staying after hours to share tea with elderly residents or helping the Digital Health team reach its objectives, our employees go the extra distance to improve the lives of others.
Nine individuals and three teams have been honoured by their peers in the categories of Team Award, Young Emerging Leader Award, New Recruit Award and Outstanding Service Award. They represent a cross-section of employees from a range of directorates, all united by their pursuit of excellence (see sidebar for three examples).
The recipients say they feel the award represents recognition for work they love.
“It’s a surprise and an honour,” said Josephine Johnson, an orderly with nearly 24 years’ experience at the Saint Andrew Residential Centre, who won for Outstanding Service. Ms. Johnson was praised for her dedication to residents even in the face of adversity. “This is not just a job for Josephine,” her nominators said. “These residents have become her family. Her vigilance and her ability to ensure patient safety makes her stand out.”
Ms. Johnson continues to work despite suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19, which she contracted during the pandemic’s first wave. “I was raised by my grandmother in Jamaica who taught me to share and always give the most that you can give,” she explains. She sometimes pays out of pocket to buy residents items they need. “I love my job and I love the people.”
Malek Alhaddad, a project manager in Digital Health who won in the New Recruit category, said that receiving the prize felt like a “proud moment.” Mr. Alhaddad was praised for advancing key projects in digital health while showing engagement and a readiness to listen to other views. “He’s an incredibly valuable member of the digital health team,” his nominators wrote.
And the winners are …
Winners of the Awards of Excellence of our CIUSSS each displayed professionalism and commitment in their individual fields. Here are just three examples of the exceptional work that was recognized in this year’s inaugural event.
* In the Outstanding Service category, social worker Sarita Israel was praised as a “visionary and a pioneer” who has devoted 30 years to fighting elder abuse. “Always ready to share ideas, expertise and clinical support, she’s infinitely motivated and passionate about her work, which aims to ultimately stop the mistreatment of seniors.”
* In the Young Emerging Leader category, Nathalie Maher, assistant head nurse in the Urology clinic at the Jewish General Hospital, was described as a leader, role model and team player who accepts challenges with grace. She volunteered in the intensive care unit during the first wave of COVID-19, working various shifts and on weekends; patients remain at the heart of her role. “She always returns her patients calls, even after her work hours, to ensure their needs are met. She goes out of her way to help ensure patients and families understand the teaching received, follows-up with them, advocates for them. She’s appreciated by so many!” her nominators said.
* In the New Recruit category, Irena Wisniowski from the Constance Lethbridge site of the Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre “really wants to give clients every chance to succeed and takes her involvement in the team to heart,” her nominators said. Ms. Wisniowski, whose tasks include the handling of motorized wheelchairs, is known to spend 10 minutes at a street corner reassuring a client who’s frightened to cross the road, and taking time to arrange the installations in the equipment demonstration room to make it safer and more functional. “Her initiative has really made a difference.”
“I thank the jury for finding me worthy to receive this esteemed award,” says Mr. Alhaddad, who joined our CIUSSS in 2021. “But I didn’t get here alone; I was accompanied by all of the valuable Digital Health staff members who have worked, day in and day out, to improve the data projects in our CIUSSS.” He cited Dr. Justin Cross, Sabine Cohen, Elliott Silverman and others. “They gave me a good working environment, and while this award is addressed to me, their efforts in making this possible should not go unrecognized.”
Melanie Rudnitsky, Co-Chair of the Employee Engagement and Recognition Program of the Human Resources Directorate, says the awards help draw attention to the outstanding contributions of staff in our CIUSSS. Their accomplishments are especially impressive in light of the demands of the pandemic, she added. “Reading the submissions was a humbling experience. Like so many on our dedicated staff, what they continue to do on a daily basis is truly above and beyond.”
The prizes are an initiative of Human Resources’ Employee Engagement and Recognition Program and the Employee Advisory Committee, made up of a cross-section of employees from across our network. Winners were chosen in a rigorous selection process.
Read the full list of winners here.