www.viha.ca/about_viha/news/publications/peopleplan.htm November/December 2008
Barb Severyn Champions VIHA’s Caregivers
VIHA’s new human resources expert, Barb OUR PEOPLE
Severyn, welcomes people dropping by
her first floor Begbie office. OUR
“I absolutely believe in the open door
policy,” says Severyn, Executive Director of
People and Organizational Development,
responsible for the People Plan. “It takes The People Plan is now moving
teamwork, creative thinking and problem
forward with initiatives
solving but, most importantly, relationships
to build success in any organization.” focusing on six main
strategies as shown in the org
Severyn joined VIHA in September from a chart on page 2.
roller-coaster career managing various
human resources portfolios in the
provincial government in which she These were honed from the
experienced “all kinds of changes and previous slate of initiatives
reorganization challenges…You name it, after a thorough review,
I’ve been through it,” she says, laughing.
“Oh yes, a sense of humour is definitely
including input from the
one of my survival tools!” Barb and her stress-buster Hayley internal People Plan focus
Right now Severyn finds it “challenging and tremendous challenges and stress in their
exhilarating” as she come to grips with her working lives every day.”
A general consensus urged the
new role in health care. “I’m humbled by
people’s dedication, passion and Severyn balances work by spending time with Steering Committee to go
commitment to their jobs, doing the friends and family, hiking and biking. But her “back to the basics” of
utmost for the people in their care.” biggest stress buster is “Hayley,” her spirited
and playful golden retriever.
supporting staff to provide
In return Severyn believes strongly that
her role – and a fundamental tenet of the quality patient care in the
People Plan – is to care for the caregivers: “Honestly, as a puppy, she picked me,” says context of a changing health
“We have to do a better job of looking Severyn. “You know how some dogs resemble
their owners? – Well, I must admit, she’s a lot
after our own staff, many of them face
Inside this issue:
Who’s who of the People Plan’s six main strategies? 2
Project Updates : People Plan introduces a tip top forecaster and some new “STARS” 3
You asked us “Do I have to retire when I’m 65 years old?” and more... 4
Page 1 of 4
Page 2 People Plan
Who’s Who of the People Plan
This org chart shows the six main strategies and the manager for each one. Within these strategies, there are fifteen
various projects and activities. Some of these reflect the suggestions put forward by participants in the People Plan
focus groups. Clearly we can’t do them all – especially not at once. All the input was carefully considered – some of the
ideas are better served elsewhere or in a future phase of the People Plan.
Look forward to future editions of this newsletter where we will be highlighting current strategies and activities.
STAR — Scheduling
Transformation & Redesign
Care Delivery Model
Recruitment & Retention Redesign
Rod O’Connell Glenda Mannix
Rita den Otter
Work Life Support
N e t Steps
Workforce Planners Peer Into the Future
Shawn Robinson doesn’t claim to be clairvoyant – but
predicting the future for VIHA just got a whole lot easier
thanks to a workforce planning tool that he’s developing in
tandem with knowledgeable staff throughout the authority.
“We’re combining hard data, technology and staff wisdom to
predict staffing needs,” says Robinson, manager of the People
Plan’s workforce planning project. “This information is crucial
for Human Resources. It also ties in with other aspects of the
People Plan such as rescheduling and patient care delivery
Instead of a crystal ball, Robinson has enormous charts of the
1100 VIHA employment categories taped to the wall of his
office at the Gorge Road Hospital. His computer screen,
similar to TV weather forecasts, flashes graphics showing Robinson hopes his predictions will prove closer to reality than
where, and in what capacities, new staff will be needed over weather forecasts can be. ”... it will definitely beat a crystal ball,”
the next few years. he says.
New VIHA Staffing STARS
The Scheduling Transformation and Redesign (STAR) project is developing its
team with the recruitment of three “workforce analysts”.
Workforce analysts – new positions in VIHA - will act as the connecting point
between staffing services and operations, supporting managers and directors to
establish and staff effective health care teams in their specific units or departments.
New workforce Analysts appointed so far are Diana Gardner at Campbell River
Staffing Service; Carolyn Knox-Carlson and Debbie Ewart at Nanaimo Staffing Service Centre.
Also joining the STAR team, Alice Forsyth, a registered nurse who has been with VIHA since October 2000, is
now Manager, Staffing Services at the Campbell River Service Area.
“I’m excited to have these people on board as part of the STAR team,” says Cindy Shelest, Director of Staffing
Services. “They’ll play a pivotal role in implementing our improved scheduling processes throughout VIHA.”
VIHA is also currently posting “relief team leaders” positions in each Staffing Service Centre to create and
coordinate mobile and shared relief teams able to respond quickly wherever there are staffing needs.
Further appointments will be announced over the next few weeks.
You Asked Us
The People Plan email box is back in We believe…
business after a short hiatus during staff
transition. Our apologies to members of that our people are our strength and
staff who waited several weeks for replies that it takes a whole team to provide
Manu Ronse, Manger, MultiMedia Services, VIHA to their emails. Please note, all comments excellent patient care.
and suggestions sent to the People Plan
email were part of the recent review (see
Our People Our Strength, page 1). It is a fast-changing health care
environment, where attracting people
Please keep those emails coming. We
welcome your comments and feedback as is an ongoing challenge. Our goal is
an ongoing dialogue in steadily improving to have an appealing workplace where
your working environment for the benefit people are able to fulfill their chosen
of staff and patients.
roles and want to stay.
QUESTION: With an aging population in
Laureen Saggs, Lab Tech, Outpt. Laboratory, RJH which people are staying healthy and active The People Plan is a range of
longer, many would like to stay in the work initiatives that support staff
force. Can employees wishing to work
throughout VIHA in their ongoing
beyond age 65 do so?
commitment to quality care.
ANSWER: Absolutely. If you want to stay
on, we want you! Age is no barrier. In fact
VIHA hugely values the accumulated
knowledge and wisdom of its longtime
employees. In BC there is no longer a
mandatory retirement policy. That’s great ASK.
for VIHA staff, many of whom are heading
to traditional retirement age. Under the
People Plan we are looking at developing
more flexibility in terms of hours and
Brian de Leeuw, Physiotherapist, NRGH
duties. If people wish to continue fulltime,
that’s fine but we want to also look at
opportunities for those employees who The People Plan is for our staff and our
may prefer to scale back their hours or future. Work is already underway in
For more transition to a different role. many areas, but we still want to hear
information on the QUESTION: In today’s world of health from you. Please share your thoughts
People Plan and to care professional shortages, individuals can and ideas on retention and recruitment
access past choose to work where they feel most or any of the articles outlined in this
newsletters visit: welcome and valued. I have applied for newsletter.
VIHA positions and felt like my application
went into a void. What are you doing to
www.viha.ca/ improve that? Email the People Plan
about_viha/news/ mailbox at peopleplan@VIHA.ca
ANSWER: We have heard this before and
publications/ are happy to report that VIHA is doing
peopleplan.htm something about it. Now, through an
initiative of the People Plan, Human
Resources has invested in an applicant “To succeed, we must
tracking system that will enable a faster
response, and will direct qualified applicants first believe that we
to appropriate managers in a matter of
days. Watch for more information on this
in the next People Plan newsletter.
can.” ~ Michael Korda