2012 Collaboration Award Recipient
Patient Care Manager, Villa Caritas
Leader demonstrates collaboration through transition and change
Some may have thought it was a recipe for concern when there was a mandate to move 106 geriatric mental health patients along with over 100 staff members from Alberta Hospital Edmonton to the newly built Villa Caritas. Add in a dash of media attention and political involvement, shift in some concerned family members, heat it with a little fire that destroyed a unit in the old facility just months before the move, and moving senior, mental health inpatients into a community facility looks fairly challenging.
However a year after the doors closed at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, everyone is thriving in the new environment as planned. It was that planning, led by Gail Tricker, Patient Care Manager, that made the project so successful. It was a project firmly rooted in “the belief that this was the right thing to do from the beginning,” says Gail. Today patients have better privacy, seniors with mental illness are no longer stigmatized, and family members have better access to loved ones.
Upon reflection on how she led the transition Gail laughed and said that she “sometimes looks back and wonders how she didn’t go crazy!” It boils down to good communication while listening to other people’s ideas and concerns in order to make an informed decision.
It was those skills that Gail brought to the senior management table, the steering committee meeting with AHS and Covenant Health, and the staff room.
“She is a forward thinker,” says Arlene Kulay, Clinical Educator. “Unlike others who may ask for feedback and not act on it, Gail receives everyone’s opinions and takes what she has heard, considers it and makes a solid decision.”
“She’s open and honest,” adds Clinical Educator Heather McKay. “It’s easy for Gail to collaborate with everyone, she’s spunky and has lots of energy.” Perhaps it’s because “she makes a point to go out to the units every day to say hello and greet everyone by name,” says Arlene.
“Although it was a massive project, the support from Covenant Health and AHS made it that much easier,” says Gail. “Despite the concerns from the public, we’re already seeing benefits.” With more than 30 years of leadership experience Gail is most proud of the team that has developed at Villa Caritas. “The support from my colleagues and the executive is phenomenal—I am just so happy to be a part of the team!” concludes Gail.