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Recent News

VHA nurses join Ontario’s Chief Nurse for a Special Roundtable Discussion centred around Home and Community Care

March 24, 2023
collage of VHA nurses

On Tuesday, February 28, Dr. Karima Velji, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice and Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario, held a roundtable with a group of VHA Home HealthCare nurses.

During the event, Dr. Velji spoke passionately about her vision and priorities and shared her appreciation for the important role home care plays in the health care sector as nurses from across the organization shared their personal experiences of working in the community.

“The importance of listening will be ongoing for me. I continue to listen to those at the point of care. It’s very crucial to me because I believe that is where the wisdom is. That’s where the movements of potentials are,” said Dr. Velji as she addressed the group.

The event was moderated by Sandra Li-James, Vice President of Quality, Best Practice & Education and Chief Nursing Executive at VHA Home HealthCare (VHA).

“I would say since joining VHA, I’ve come to appreciate the important role that nurses play in our clients’ healthcare journey. They work independently without colleagues down the hall to call upon. They’re often managing multiple complex medical and psychosocial issues. All of this makes home care nursing a truly unique specialty,” said Sandra in her opening remarks.

During the hour-long event, five nurses had the opportunity to present a story about their profession to Dr. Velji and the group:

  • Chelsea Braun, Palliative Care Nurse and Nursing Navigator on VHA’s Central East Team spoke about opportunities she has observed for improving client care, recognizing the importance of an integrated system where Ontarians can always receive care where they are most comfortable.
  • Leeann Breau, VHA Visiting Nurse working within the University Health Network Integrated Care Program talked about the positive outcomes of hospital and home care working together to meet the needs of clients and families.
  • Sangeeta Maharjan, Internationally Educated Nurse and Adult Visiting Nurse at VHA shared a story about a time she advocated for a client living in transitional care, and the unfortunate outcomes that can follow when sectors are not working together.
  • Barbara McPherson, who works on VHA’s Tactical Healthcare Response Unit spoke about the innovative programming she’s been a part of as part of the nursing-led team.
  • Pessie Shields, Nurse and Clinical Lead specializing in palliative care shared insights about a unique care program she works in and how each and every client and family she works with leaves a lasting memory.

“When I meet with nurses, there is no doubt that they give me advice, but equally they tell me the work that they are proud of and I want to honour that. I want to make sure that nursing does not ever become invisible. Keep portraying the positive spirit of care that is still alive in all of us,” said Dr. Velji.

“We have to be in our full glory as a profession, making a difference to patient care. Community is a great place to unleash the potential for nurses.”

View the full recording of the event below: