Vancouver Island Health Authority Garners Two Excellence in BC Healthcare Awards

June 25, 2013

ISLAND WIDE – The Vancouver Island Health Authority brought home two awards from the Health Employers Association of BC 2013 Excellence in BC Healthcare Awards presented in Vancouver this week. The Health Authority’s Violence Prevention Task Force was recognized for Workplace Health Innovation; this also marks the fourth year in a row the Health Authority has received recognition in workplace safety. Allison Cutler, Executive Director for Population and Community Health, earned an HEABC Gold Apple in the regional Health Care Hero category.

“It is quite an achievement to be recognized by the Health Employers Association of BC’s Excellence in Healthcare Awards,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “I would like to congratulate both the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Violence Prevention Task Force on their out-of-the-box approach to policy-making, and Allison Cutler in receiving the Health Care Hero award for her dedication to improve population and community health across Vancouver Island.”

The awards recognize the efforts of healthcare employees who provide quality care and support, and acknowledge excellence and innovation in healthcare throughout the province.

“We are very proud of the innovative work done by our Violence Prevention Task Force to protect all patients and staff, and the leadership of Allison Cutler whose passion for providing quality care at the community level continues to benefit patients in our region,” said Don Hubbard, Chair of Vancouver Island Health. “On behalf of the Board, congratulations to these professionals for their outstanding contributions and receiving this well-deserved recognition.”

The Violence Prevention Task Force received HEABC’s Award of Merit for Workplace Health Innovation. The Award of Merit is for a project or best practice that improves workplace and worker health and safety.

The Task Force team was commissioned to develop comprehensive policies across the region to consistently handle workplace violence. They undertook a unique approach through a broad stakeholder engagement strategy which sought feedback from 80 frontline clinical staff within the Health Authority. The result is a powerful set of policies for workplace safety created by front line staff. Reviewed by safety professionals to ensure regulatory requirements were met, these new policies provide practical tools to support staff and leaders to effectively achieve a safe work environment for everyone. The team was led by Lesley Moss, Executive Director for Occupational Health and Safety, with team members Dorothy Morris, Tracey Newlands, and Stephen Rose.

Allison Cutler has been named HEABC’s Health Care Hero and awarded the Gold Apple for her outstanding leadership and contributions to population and community health services for the Island’s residents. Her career began 35 years ago as a public health nurse in Terrace, BC. This experience gave her insight into how health needed to be delivered at the community level, and led her into nursing administration and senior leadership roles within the region.

Allison’s commitment for improving population and community health services inspires those around her, and her vision has helped establish many new programs and services. Some of her many accomplishments include leading integrated primary and community care across Vancouver Island, overseeing the development of the new Oceanside Health Centre, creating the Aboriginal Health Council that lead to the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Aboriginal Health Plan, heading the development of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s state-of-the-art Perinatal Unit, and establishing Youth Clinics across Central and North Vancouver Island.

Allison lives in Nanaimo and is an avid gardener. She enjoys boating with her husband and spending time with her two grandchildren Parker and Emersyn.


Media Contact:

Sarah Plank

Media Relations Manager (South Island)

Mobile: 250.213.9926

Email: [email protected]


Val Wilson

Regional Communications Manager (Central and North Island)

Phone: 250-739-6303

Email: [email protected]

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