NGH and NHNH staff honoured for their dedication to patient care and teamwork –

(Simcoe) – Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) recently held its annual OSCARS and Dr. George Marshall Award ceremonies to honour the remarkable dedication of its staff members. This event, which took place in December, recognized individuals who consistently went above and beyond in providing exceptional patient care and fostering a supportive team environment.

Jennifer Edwards, Director of Quality, Clinical Practice, and Infection Prevention and Control at Norfolk General Hospital, was honored with the 2023 prestigious Dr. George Marshall Individual Award. Jennifer was recognized for her strong dedication to safety and accountability, as well as her impactful role in nurturing a compassionate hospital environment.

When asked about her reaction to receiving the award, Jennifer expressed her gratitude, stating, “I am deeply honoured by this recognition. It validates the importance of the small gestures I believe in—extending a helping hand, bringing a smile to others by simply dressing up in costume, or spreading cheer. It reaffirms why I’m here and why I do what I do.”

(Photo left to right: President and CEO, Todd Stepanuik; Kim Mullins
Vice-President Clinical and Chief Nursing Executive;
Jennifer Edwards, Director of Quality, Clinical Practice, and Infection Prevention and Control; Dan Bergen, Maintenance.)

Dr. George Marshall Award: Recognizing Outstanding Leadership

The Dr. George Marshall Award acknowledges an outstanding employee’s passion for enhancing care quality, exemplary leadership, and inspirational influence on others. Jennifer, a pivotal member of NGH for 16 years, shared her motivations behind consistently going above and beyond for patients, staff, and physicians.

She emphasized that the sense of family at NGH drives her and highlighted the importance of treating others as they wish to be treated.

“I have always been someone who cares for others, whether blood related or not. I like to help people, do something to brighten their day, even if it is just making them smile. I also feel strongly about health care and how it is provided is extremely important. By trying to be uplifting, share and care as much as I can, I hope that it impacts the lives I interact with, and then has a trickle effect. I like to think, to not only treat others the way that I want to be treated, but how they want to be treated.”

Jennifer’s pivotal role in Quality, clinical development and infection control involves close collaboration across hospital teams, and community members, designing and implementing robust policies, monitoring risk, and maintaining stringent control measures aligned with provincial and national guidelines. Her commitment extends beyond the hospital as she oversees Holmes House, an addiction-based community program affiliated with Norfolk General Hospital, and is Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee emphasizing her dedication to serving the local community and fostering positive change.

Recognizing Excellence at NGH

NGH President and CEO, Todd Stepanuik, extended congratulations to all nominees and recipients of the esteemed Dr. George Marshall Award, emphasizing their exceptional work and dedication in fulfilling NGH’s mission. In his statement, Todd Stepanuik said, “To be recognized by your peers and colleagues for the outstanding work you do every day is a reason to celebrate. Our staff and physicians strive daily to fulfill our mission, which is to relieve illness and suffering, and to help people live healthier lives. I am extremely proud and inspired by the teamwork and dedication that’s carried out every day at NGH.”

Acknowledging Excellence at NHNH

At the Norfolk Hospital Nursing Home (NHNH), Breanna Stone, a dedicated Personal Support Worker (PSW), was awarded the Employee of the Year for her exemplary care and dedication to NHNH residents. Vicky Florio, Director of the Norfolk Hospital Nursing Home, expressed her admiration for Breanna’s commitment and compassion, stating, “Working in a Nursing Home demands a unique kind of sensitivity, patience, respect, and dedication. Breanna Stone exemplifies all of these qualities while she provides quality, compassionate care to the Residents that call NHNH home. Congratulations, Breanna!”

(Photo left to right: Breanna Stone, PSW; Vicky Florio, Director of the Norfolk Hospital Nursing Home.)

Recognizing Longstanding Service and Celebrating Retirement

Apart from recognizing exceptional achievements, NGH and NHNH also celebrated employees and physicians for their longstanding service and retirement milestones. This past year, nearly 100 recipients were recognized with service awards, with four individuals marking 35 years or more of service, amounting to a total of 1,060 years of service. Such dedication and loyalty highlight the commitment of the staff and physicians to the mission of NGH and NHNH.

Investing in Career Advancement

NGH and NHNH also support the career advancement of their staff through initiatives like the Hazel Race Career Advancement Fund. Created by the late John Race and named in memory of his wife, the fund provides financial assistance to staff interested in pursuing additional courses to advance their careers. This year, ten applicants were awarded funding from the Hazel Race Career Advancement Fund, highlighting the commitment of NGH and NHNH to supporting their employees’ professional growth.