Eastern Health Announces CEO Awards of Excellence

June 24, 2022 St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual CEO Awards of Excellence. The awards were given today during a special event to celebrate Employee Recognition Week 2022, which runs from June 20 to 24.

“This year’s awards are especially significant given that formal recognition ceremonies were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ken Baird, President and CEO (interim) of Eastern Health. “While the work of our employees, physicians and volunteers was acknowledged in an informal way, it’s rewarding to now be able to officially celebrate their significant accomplishments. They are health-care heroes and their contributions have touched every corner of this organization and made a positive difference to health care.”

The CEO Awards of Excellence were implemented in 2011 to express appreciation for employees and physicians whose exemplary contributions help to achieve Eastern Health’s vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities. There were 110 nominations submitted this year in seven categories: Client and Family-Centred Care – Staff, Human Spirit, Innovation, Leadership, Safety, Service and new this year, Client and Family-Centred Care – Advisor.

The winners are as follows, as described by their nominators:

Client and Family-Centred Care – Staff:  Harm Reduction Team, Primary Care. The Harm Reduction Team’s interactions and ability to provide on-the-spot response to needs, coupled with a judgement-free approach and environment, has significantly enabled our team to develop relationships and build trust so that clients feel safe to engage with members. This approach often leads to clients seeking additional services as well as spreading the word within their community.

Client and Family-Centred Care – Advisor: Long Term Care Resident Family Advisory Council, Long Term Care Program. The members of the advisory council are dedicated to the residents of long term care and are passionate about advocating for the best possible care. The Site-Specific Resident Family Council Policy and its accompanying guidelines will see the transition from facility led to family-led councils. This will modernize the resident family council process and make the councils more family and resident focused to ensure the needs, wants and preferences of the residents are identified and achieved through collaboration with the site and staff.

Human Spirit: Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU) – Critical Care Team, Critical Care. Located at the Health Sciences Centre, the MSICU is the only tertiary care unit in the province. Despite the challenges of the past two years, the focus remained the same: to provide exceptional patient care. All members of this team stood up, volunteered, sacrificed and made a difference. Their integrity in the face of uncertainty was an inspiration, not only to other teams, but to each other.

Innovation: Therapeutic Recreation Discharge Liaison Project (DLP), Mental Health and Addictions. DLP is an innovative program that highlights effective, timely, client-centred care for individuals with complex mental health issues by ensuring a direct continuum of care from inpatient to the community and has resulted in a measureable improvement of the patient’s quality of life. This project was awarded the “Innovative Practice in Therapeutic Recreation Award” by the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Leadership:  Melissa Coish, Primary Health Care. Melissa is an amazing leader and a fantastic human being! She challenges us to dream big, motivates us to succeed, while encouraging life-long learning so we can be more tomorrow than we are today. We appreciate Melissa for her guidance, her passion and her support. She inspires us every day.


Infection Control Coordinators & Practitioners, Infection Prevention & Control Program. Eastern Health’s ICPs have shown steadfast leadership through the course of COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of the unknown, they demonstrated their commitment to safety by keeping staff and patients, clients and residents aware of the ever-changing safe work practices and procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities by educating and advising best practices to all facets of Eastern Health. Their execution as a team ensured Eastern Health was able provide safe and effective services.

Occupational Health Nursing, Workplace Health Safety and EFAP Department. The occupational health nursing team’s position put them to the forefront of an unprecedented time in healthcare. Their dedication, passion, and commitment to their role allowed the organization to contain exposures, ensure employees returned to work safely, and guided affected management and staff.

Service:  4SA COVID-19 Medicine Care Team, Regional Medicine Program. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4SA at the Health Sciences Centre was identified as the inpatient medicine unit for COVID-19 inpatient care. The nursing care team stepped up to the challenge, despite fear and anxiety about this novel virus, to provide stellar nursing care. The commitment of these experts to provide high quality care in a safe and healthy work environment remains strong 18 months into the pandemic response.

“On behalf of Eastern Health’s Board of Trustees, I congratulate today’s award winners, and all those who were nominated,” said Leslie O’Reilly, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “I’d also like to thank all of our employees, physicians and volunteers, for their resilience, their ingenuity, commitment and sacrifice during the last couple of years. You all deserve our recognition – and our sincere thank you.”

In addition to the CEO Awards of Excellence, programs and departments throughout the organization will take part in various recognition initiatives and events during Employee Recognition Week, including but not limited to, pin ceremonies to recognize employees with 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, personalized thank you cards and certificates recognizing an employee’s or team’s accomplishments.

To learn more about the CEO Awards of Excellence, visit the Eastern Health website at https://www.easternhealth.ca/employees-and-physicians/recognition/the-ceo-awards-of-excellence/


About Eastern Health 

Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees, over 700 medical staff, and is supported by approximately 2,000 volunteers, including members of numerous auxiliaries and fundraising foundations. With an annual budget of approximately $1.6 billion, the authority offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Serving a population of over 300,000, Eastern Health’s geographic boundaries extend west from St. John’s to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.

Share This Page:
Last updated: 2022-06-24