Island Health recognized at 2017 BC Health Care Awards

Vancouver Island – Island Health is thrilled to announce it has earned two Gold Apple awards and an Award of Merit at the 2017 BC Health Care Awards.  An independent panel of 18 judges made up of community, academic and business leaders selected the winners from more than 100 submissions. The BC Health Care Awards celebrate excellence and innovation by recognizing teams and individuals whose achievements and actions inspire others.

Here are Island Health’s winners:

Health Care Hero – Island Health (Gold Apple)
Griffin Russell – Regional Harm Reduction Coordinator (Public Health)

Award description - A Health Care Hero goes above and beyond to make a difference in health care. Their passion and dedication is evident in everything they do. Whether it is a long-time employee being nominated for a lifetime of achievement or a fresh face who has made a difference in a short time with their dedication and enthusiasm, a Health Care Hero is someone who colleagues can look to for inspiration.

Award Recipient - Griffin Russell was in charge of ensuring that more than 600 Island Health staff members at nearly 60 sites were properly trained to administer naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose antidote. “This was a team effort,” says Russell. “Our response to the opioid crisis was coordinated and supported throughout the organization and among our community partners.”

Top Innovation - Health Authority (Gold Apple)
Project: Integrated smartphone communication technology (ISCT) 
(Island Health/Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Campbell River Hospitals)
Project Lead: Dr. Sean Spina – Clinical Coordinator - Pharmacy Services

Award description - The Top Innovation award goes to the health authority for a project or best practice that has brought fresh ideas, ingenuity or superior problem-solving skills to the health field, and has resulted in positive and lasting change, making the top innovation a model for others to follow.

Award Recipient – The ISCT program involved using a secure smartphone app or desktop computer to send messages between pharmacists, nurses, doctors and switchboard. The system saw quicker response times than traditional paging and allowed for more information sharing to better convey the level of urgency of the message.

Collaborative Solutions (Award of Merit)
Project: Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic (Victoria General Hospital)
Project Lead: Janet Calnan – Forensic Nurse Examiner Coordinator, South Island Trauma Services

Award description - The Collaborative Solutions award recognizes the collective efforts of a team that has yielded positive outcomes. This collaboration could be within one site or across multiple sites and with non-health partners, interregional projects or team collaborations. The project should demonstrate how an integrated approach yielded better outcomes for staff and/or patients.

Award Recipient - The Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic provides confidential and accessible medical exams and support to recent survivors of sexual assault. Services include forensic and medical exams, crisis support, options for reporting to police, and connections to community supports and resources.

“Congratulations to all award recipients,” said Kathy MacNeil, Island Health Executive Vice-President. “We are very proud of our talented and innovative award winners whose boundless pursuit of excellence in care delivery inspires us all.”

For more information, please visit

Central/North Island media inquiries
Valerie Wilson
Director, Communications and Engagement

South Island media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton
Media Relations