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Safety Expo growing in popularity

A recent buzz of activity within the Cypress Health Region has been centred around one common theme – safety.

In late October, the CHR hosted its fifth annual Safety Expo, which saw more than 400 visitors pass through Swift Current’s Cypress Regional Hospital over the two-day event.

The timing of the Safety Expo coincided with the CHR’s signing of a health and safety charter, an accountability document that outlines employees’ responsibilities to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.

Beth Vachon, CEO with CHR, feels the new policy is more inclusive and maintains its focus on patient and staff safety inside a safe working environment. Basically, anyone who works within or uses the CHR had their safety needs taken into consideration.

“If our staff isn’t safe then our patients aren’t safe, and vice versa,” Vachon said.

This show of initiative received applause from others who take safety seriously.

“I see Cypress Health Region as leading other health regions in supporting and enabling a culture that values injury prevention,” Gord Moker, CEO of Safe Saskatchewan, said of the CHR’s decision to refresh its safety policy.

The Safety Expo was an example of the commitment the CHR has with staff and patient safety.

Information tables set up by CHR staff were sure to touch anyone who has been affected by any number of issues ranging from mental health and addictions to dental health.

More than 400 observers strolled through various display booths and listened to guest speakers at the annual Safety Expo. It was an inclusive affair attracting people of all ages, including elementary and high school students, adults and residents from The Meadows, a new long-term care home. Students in both the LPN and RN programs at the local Great Plains College also attended.

A public health inspector was on hand to share potential dangers surrounding tattoos and piercings. Representatives from the City of Swift Current were promoting its Safe Places Youth Certified campaign – a community initiative with programming aimed to reduce potential risks to children and youth, and to ensure its volunteers were up to date on the appropriate record checks.

“This was something that we wanted to not only educate our staff but our patients, too,” Vachon explained. “It was a good opportunity to engage people in our community in an informal setting with the focus entirely on safety.”

A dedicated core group of six CRH staff are responsible for the planning of each Safety Expo and have already working on next year’s theme and reaching out to community groups with interest.

“The first year we hosted this it was about trying to solidify safety as our No. 1 value in this region,” Vachon explained. “We wanted to raise awareness and wanted to spotlight our safety team and the work they do. It was well-attended and as years have gone by it has really grown.”

Additional highlights from this year’s Safety Expo included:
• STARS had one of its mobile emergency buses on site and staff provided tours.
• A fundraiser lunch hosted each day saw the profits donated to the health care foundation and to STARS.
• Gord Moker, the CEO of Safe Saskatchewan, served as a special guest speaker both days.
• Approximately 195 CHR staff were administered flu vaccinations.

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