Horizon Star - January 2019

DECRH security officer’s keen awareness and fast action helps save woman’s life

unresponsive, limp in the wheelchair, her feet dragging on the floor. Two of the nurses working in triage that day, Billie-Jo Bear, LPN, and Nicole Ward, RN, quickly responded. They called a Code Blue, started compressions and provided care that saved her life. “As a nurse working in the Emergency Room it’s our job to recognize and take appropriate actions to provide patients with the care they need,” said Nicole. Even though he wasn’t part of the medical team, they credit Mike for playing a large part in a critical situation. “He went above and beyond,” said Nicole. “He noticed this woman to be in distress and that she needed immediate medical attention. Without his actions the outcome could have been much different. He played a big role in saving this woman’s life.” Mike’s quick to minimize his actions - “I played a very small part,” he said. “It was just good timing.” – but it was much more than that. He’s been at the hospital two years, and previously worked as security/bodyguard in Vancouver. Working in a health care facility, Mike and his fellow SOs are very conscious of the environment in which they work. “People are here battling stuff, so you should always be aware,” he said. Mike later checked in on the woman, at 11:45 a.m., according to his detailed log book,

It was more than a case of being in the right place at the right time – thanks to the keen awareness and fast action of a Horizon employee, a woman’s life was saved. At 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22 Mike LaPage, a security officer at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, was on his regular rounds, not far from the Security Office. In the hallway near the X-Ray Department he noticed a man with his arms around his wife. As he got closer, he noticed the woman wasn’t responding to her husband. He stopped by the couple, asked if they were OK, and then knelt down to be closer to the woman. She didn’t respond to him, either. “Her eyes were glazed and she had a grey parlour with beads of sweat,” Mike said. His first thought: she’s having a heart attack. He had a decision to make: call switchboard to announce for a Med Stat, or bring her directly to the Emergency Department, about 100 yards away. “She hadn’t fallen, so she didn’t have any spinal or head injuries, so I thought I could get her to Emergency quicker than if I called,” he said. He sprinted to the end of the hallway, got a wheelchair and safely put her in it, and yelled for people to get out of his way. As soon as they went through the Emergency Department doors, Mike said she was all but

Dear Staff, Physicians and Volunteers, I hope your 2019 is off to a great start! This year will be another big one for Horizon as we will join together to discuss and develop our new strategic plan. Some of you may be asking, “What is a strategic plan?” In simple terms, it’s our organization’s five-year plan. It’s often said that everyone should have a five-year plan, and a regional health authority is no different.

A welcome note from the editor

Happy 2019, and welcome to the 15th edition of the Horizon Star! This month marks the start of my fourth year with Horizon, and the cycle of giving back within this organization never ceases to amaze me.

and found out she had a double pulmonary embolism, which has only a four to six per cent survival rate. He also checked in with his boss, Bob Gibson, security manager for Fredericton and Upper River Valley, to go on the record about his actions and make sure what he did was OK. The following week, Bob shared the story of Mike’s heroic actions at a Horizon-wide security meeting. Security officers at DERCH, as well as Horizon’s Oromocto Public Hospital and Upper River Valley Hospital, are Horizon employees; in all other areas, security services are contracted from an external company. “There is a family out there who will not be mourning the loss of a loved one due to Mike’s awareness and life-saving actions. A life was saved because doing rounds put him in the right place at the right time,” Bob said. “Regardless of what our job titles say, we work in a hospital. We can and do make a difference.” There are 20 security officers at the DECRH, and two or three on each shift. Mike is the traffic officer, so during any given day he is usually moving around the facility and parking lot. “He’s rarely in the office,” said Bob, adding Mike regularly goes above and beyond. His actions also highlight the importance of being “out and about” as much as possible, Bob said, and not only monitoring cameras in the office. Mike first learned the signs of a heart attack in anatomy and physiology classes in university, and all security officers are trained in Emergency First Response CPR and AED. “I think all of us feel lucky to have this job because we get to help people,” said Mike. “Yeah, we have to deal with problems, but we do get a chance to help.” Mike LaPage, security officer at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, is photographed outside the Security office at the hospital.

Developing a strategic plan is an opportunity to evaluate if our mission, vision and values are still the right fit for our organization. It’s when we look at the realities of today, such as health care trends, population and community needs, financials and our current work force, and determine how to optimize. The cornerstone of everything we do is delivering safe and quality care – and this will not change. Our current strategic plan, introduced in 2015, was a solid step in the right direction in putting more emphasis on improving our community services. There is also an addendum to the strategic plan on Skyline on how to move the priorities forward, based on conversations I had with you during my CEO tour.

Let me explain.

Throughout the month of December I heard many stories of how Horizon employees and teams give back to their communities. We shared some of those stories on Horizon’s social media accounts, and feature some in these pages, too (flip to page 9 for an example). You experience firsthand the difficult and emotional journeys your patients, clients and their loved ones are going through, and your care doesn’t stop when they’re discharged or successfully finish a program. Your care continues beyond the walls of your facility or outside your program, and reaches many aspects of your patient or client’s home life and beyond. What a profound effect this must have on their journey to recovery. Often the way you give back doesn’t even involve anything physical or of monetary value. For this issue, you shared advice for someone starting in your field of work. You can read 11 of the best pieces of advice on page17, all of which are applicable, no matter how long you’ve been in your job. And then there are people in the community, be it individual citizens, community groups or large organizations, such as Accreditation Canada, who recognize your empathy, your attention to detail and your desire to provide safe and quality care and want to give back to you. Sometimes it’s in the form of recognition or awards, other times it’s donations to help your patients while in your care (read more about two examples of this on pages 9 and 14). I know you’ll be inspired by all the stories in this month’s issue, and maybe even inspired to give back. As always, it’s an honour to share your stories, and I hope you’ll continue to reach me at HorizonStar@HorizonNB.ca



Karen McGrath President and CEO

This work will continue, but developing a new strategic plan is an opportunity to design what our health care services will look like in the years to come. For future success it will be important to build on the excellent work of our Human Resource team in terms of improving staff engagement and recruiting more health care professionals to Horizon. In the months ahead I look forward to traveling across Horizon to meet with as many of you as possible to discuss Horizon’s future. I am really looking forward to these discussions and learning your ideas. We’re all part of One Horizon, and regardless of what facility you work at, or what you do, everyone contributes to improving the safe and quality care we provide. If you’re interested in sharing your ideas regarding the new strategic plan in advance of my next CEO tour, please contact me at President@HorizonNB.ca.


with new ideas. Happy reading,

Karen McGrath President and CEO Horizon Health Network

Mike LaP age, security officer at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, is photographed in the hallway where he noticed a woman in distress and quickly brought her to the Emergency Room for medical care. The woman was having a heart attack, and members of her medical team credit Mike’s actions for saving her life.

GinaBeth Roberts Editor, Horizon Star

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