At Home with VHA: Meet Sandra Li-James, Vice President of Quality, Best Practice & Education and Chief Nursing Executive
At Home with VHA tells the stories of those who make up our team. At every role and at every level, our team works together to champion the needs of our clients and families.
Meet Sandra Li-James, Vice President, President, Quality, Best Practice, Education and Chief Nursing Executive. Sandra was appointed to this role earlier this year. In her new role, Sandra oversees quality improvement initiatives – to achieve the best care outcomes, and Client and Family Voice – to create care that is driven by what is most important to clients and their families.
You have a lot of varied experience in health care. What made you want to work in home care and what brought you to VHA?
I have spent most of my career within acute care and have seen the challenges that clients face when experiencing an acute illness. In acute care we only see a snapshot of our clients when they are most vulnerable and in need of care for that point in time. The goal of acute care is to treat, stabilize and send home to recover and heal. During hospitalization, it is challenging for clients to absorb and articulate what is needed to support their healing and recovery when they go home. I strongly believe that clients are best cared for within their own home environment to promote healing and to optimize their health while also ensuring that hospital beds are available to those who need them most.
The pandemic has highlighted many gaps in client care, especially for our most vulnerable client population. It has also presented opportunities for different care models to keep the clients in their own homes as much as possible. I believe that clients and caregivers are experts in their own health. They know what is needed to promote healing. The role of the health care providers is to promote self-care and self-management. The opportunities ahead excite me. This is the future of health care and I would like to work closely with our clients and caregivers to co-create to continue to evolve and elevate the Client and Family Voice at VHA.
On a personal note, as one of the caregivers and advocates for my own aging parents, I want to ensure that health care is coordinated and seamless and that they stay as independent and functional as possible at home.
What made you want to be part of VHA?
VHA’s vision, mission and core beliefs resonate with me, especially VHA’s commitment to include client and caregiver voices in shaping care and services.
As part of your portfolio, you are responsible for Client Voice at VHA. Can you tell us about your interest in this area and what you are hoping to achieve?
I am passionate about providing the highest quality care and ensuring health care providers are equipped to be the best they can be, and this will continue to guide my practice. VHA’s focus on clients is one of the reasons I joined this organization. At the core, clients and caregivers are the experts and know what is most important to their care needs – as health care providers we are privileged to be a partner in their care to promote optimal health. I am looking forward to learning, exploring and co-creating with the Client and Caregiver Advisory Committee and build upon the great work that has already happened at VHA.
What are some of the specific areas you will be focusing on and how you will get started?
Advancing Client Voice is one of my areas of focus. Listening, understanding and learning will be key to building upon successes and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. This will be the starting point and I am looking forward to co-creating the possibilities.