Video: VHA CEO Kathryn Nichol talks caregiving and the future of home care with Family Caregiver Tilak Dutta
In March 2021, VHA welcomed Dr. Kathryn Nichol to her new role of President & CEO. Now, Kathryn is connecting with clients, families and staff to learn more about their journey and experiences in home care. In this interview, Kathryn sits down with Tilak Dutta, who is and research partner and the father of a paediatric client who has been receiving care from VHA for over four years.
Click on the video to listen to or read the transcript of Kathryn’s conversation with Tilak about his family’s home care journey below.
[Kathryn]: Tilak, I’m reaching out to you because you have a long and varied history with VHA in a variety of different roles, one of them being one of our research partners, but most importantly you’re a parent of a child with complex medical needs who receives services from us.
What do you want me as VHA’s new CEO to know?
[Tilak]: The most important thing is that VHA has been great to our family it has been fantastic to work with all the nurses and the rest of the team that look after Caden. And things have been very stable, I would say. For the past like two years, Caden’s almost four now, and you know so we’ve been with you for almost that whole time and over the last two years things have been really good. But one of the things that you know it might be valuable for you to consider is doing a survey – doing annual surveys with us where we have an opportunity, an open-ended, you know it could be a very simple one question: How’s VHA doing? You could have a rating of one to ten and then a big just open area where we can type in some thoughts.
[Kathryn]: So as the CEO then what should my top priorities be in my first months and year of the role?
[Tilak]: I think it’s still very strange to me that nurses and PSWs that work in home care get paid less than the equivalent work they do in other sectors, in hospitals, you know. And that feels like, hopefully with COVID, what we’re seeing… what we’re going to recognize is that more and more people will want to stay at home and will start valuing the care at home more. And I think you’re positioned really well to underscore that need. I can throw in one more that’s just in my mind that you know – that transition when you first start home care services. It’s a really scary time as you know. As Caden’s parents, we didn’t know what we didn’t know about the system, the gaps in the system. [I think] having someone that can for the first I first month, maybe, of when someone’s a new client. Having someone they can call, ideally 24 hours a day. Like, when the nurse shows up and they don’t have the updated information someone that can support in those circumstances would be very helpful.
[Kathryn]: If there’s one thing that you’d like to share about your home care team what would that be?
[Tilak]: You know, we’re very happy with our team. Everyone. We know they’re committed, and they provide excellent care for Caden. We’re very happy where things are right now.
[Kathryn]: I’m so thankful and grateful that you feel positive about the stability of your home care team. I would love to stay connected with you and with Tanya and with your family. So, thanks again for your time, Tilak.
[Tilak]: Excellent – thanks for listening. Yeah, good talking to you Kathryn.