Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Fraser Health Authority was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- Varying by employee group and position, Fraser Health offers its new moms maternity leave top-up payments (from 17 to 27 weeks) and extends parental leave top-up to its new dads for some employee groups
- Fraser Health encourages all employees to stay healthy with free access to an onsite fitness facility that features instructor-led classes for activities such as yoga, laughter yoga and Zumba
- Fraser Health encourages all employees to keep their skills up to date with tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, subsidies for professional accreditation, and through a variety of in-house and online training initiatives
Fraser Health cares for patients -- and its employees
When Cameron Brine's title at Fraser Health changed recently to Vice President of Employee Experience, it was an acknowledgement of the critical role employees play in delivering the best possible patient care.
"We pay a lot of attention to the patient experience and we recognize that the employee experience is just as important," says Brine, whose previous title was Vice President of People and Organization Development. "It's a commitment to our mantra that if we take care of our staff, they'll take better care of our patients.
"A healthy culture in an excellent workplace -- we're very serious about this. We ensure we have healthy people working here by providing supports for their mental, emotional and psychological health, as well as their physical health and safety."
Fraser Health is B.C.'s largest health authority, providing 1.8 million people from Burnaby to Hope with a wide variety of healthcare services. Given its size and diversity, "we need a different kind of teamwork," Brine says, "with all the various disciplines working together collaboratively in a way that isn't siloed or hierarchical, so everyone values everyone else and the patient is the focus."
Physiotherapist Candace Larson has direct experience with this kind of teamwork. Based in Chilliwack, she works at six Day Programs for Older Adults across Fraser Health, with a seventh soon to be added. In addition to her physiotherapy duties, she holds educational sessions for other care providers, including nurses and recreational staff, on topics such as safety, lifts and fall prevention.
"Our teams are definitely multidisciplinary," she says. "I love this part of my job: educating, connecting with colleagues and clients. It's very rewarding and inspiring."
Larson is one of Fraser Health's "engagement radicals" -- employees who make a special commitment to fostering collaboration. "We help organize activities to bring the team together and make the workplace better. If we're happier at work we'll provide better patient care," she says.
Encouraging innovation at the grass-roots level is all part of enhancing the employee experience, notes Brine. "We have an innovation grant program that provides funds for care providers to operationalize their ideas for improving how we do things. If the ideas succeed, we take them across the organization.
"Meanwhile, at the corporate level, we have initiatives like hackathons, where we partner with external agencies, opening up our data so they can create new health technologies. We want innovation to be part of the DNA at Fraser Health."