Earlier this month David Fry joined VHA Home HealthCare (VHA) in the role of Vice President, Client Services. This role overseas VHA’s large team of personal support workers, nurses and rehab therapists as well as our community support programs and our customer service centre, so David plays an important role helping to make sure VHA’s care is client and family-centred and spectacular. In this At Home with VHA, we caught up with David to learn a little about him and his initial areas of focus at VHA.
David, you have a lot of varied experience in the home care sector. What led you to want to work in home care and what brought you to VHA?
David: I was initially drawn to home care because it involves providing support to individuals experiencing such a range of issues and challenges. From my first role as an Occupational Therapist in the community, I saw firsthand the meaningful impact that was possible when supporting a client and their family in their home setting. Client-centred thinking, creativity and many different strengths are needed to address what matters most to home care clients and families and to achieve their preferred outcomes.
I have long been aware of VHA’s strong reputation as an organization that truly cares about clients, families and team members and works hard to improve the experience of clients and staff. I’m motivated and energized by this commitment and am excited to be working at an organization that has been a consistent trail blazer with a co-design approach to ensure the client and family voice is part of designing new processes and programs.
What are some of the specific areas you’ll be focusing on?
David: One of the goals in VHA’s strategic plan is to address challenges around scheduling and communication to make it easier and more efficient for clients, families and our teams to connect and share information. We’re looking at ways to use technology to assist with this as well as simplifying processes and clarifying roles and responsibilities. I’m keen to understand how we can progress that work in a way that’s effective and clearly makes a positive difference.
VHA has also been a strong leader in many Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) working with other organizations to integrate care in communities to enhance client outcomes, improve the care experience for clients, families and staff and improve the functioning of our health care system. I look forward to the Client Services team working closely with VHA’s Integrated Care, Partnerships and Private Services team to move these efforts forward.
And of course, making sure our teams are able to focus on keeping everyone safe and making care experiences meaningful and focused on what matters most to our clients & families is always my most important priority.
How are you getting started on all of these important areas?
David: I’m spending a lot of time listening and learning from all the different experts both within Client Services and across the wider team at VHA. In particular I’m keen to spend time with our client and carer advisors and frontline team members as well as leaders within Client Services including the Customer Service Centre and the House Calls program.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
David: I am very aware that Ontario’s home and community care system can sometimes feel complicated and it can be difficult for clients and families to feel heard and for staff and service providers to focus on the needs of clients without distractions. I believe client and family-centred care happens when team members ensure they’re listening and spending their time in the most meaningful way. For those of us who may not have the privilege of everyday connection with clients and carers, we play important roles making things easier for our teams and simplifying how care is delivered so those meaningful connections remain at the heart of all we do.