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Emergency Department

Health Excellence Grant Erickson Health Centre

In November 2022, Kim Toews (Care Team Manager for Erickson, McCreary and Sandy Lake) applied for the Healthcare Excellence Canada Grant to make improvements to the Erickson Health Centre and she was successful!  “Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC) works with partners to spread innovation, build capability, and catalyze policy change so that all Canadians have safe and high-quality healthcare (To learn more visit: Foundations for QI (

Christa Veitch was hired as the Project Manager and has been working with Kim and the Erickson Health Centre staff to implement simple, evidence-based wellness strategies for staff and residents.  These strategies aim to strengthen the overall wellness of staff on an individual level, as well as improve the team culture and facility atmosphere.  These efforts will not only help the Erickson Staff live a higher quality of life but will also ensure the highest quality of care to residents and patients is consistently provided. 

To kick off the project, Christa held training sessions for the staff featuring the importance of improving one’s mental, emotional, and physical wellness and introduced various wellness strategies. Two main strategies were chosen to implement into the workplace.  One is the practice of deep breathing prior to and throughout the workday, the other is the practice of expressing daily gratitude. Each day, deep breathing is practiced with the staff before they start their shift and encouraged throughout the day. The Gratitude Board was created for staff to write a kind word or statement of gratitude before they leave the building at the end of the day.  The residents are also practicing deep breathing as part of their daily activities.  

On a bi-weekly basis, Christa has been creating a newsletter called “Your Mental Wellness Matters” which features a new wellness topic, self-care tips, and communication for staff regarding the project.

Fun is a critical element of wellness, so the Erickson Elementary students provide a “Joke of the Day” for everyone to enjoy.  Also, there is a monthly challenge for staff (for example “scavenger hunts” where staff investigate which co-worker matches the statements they are given and then provide proof with their colleague’s initials i.e. find a person who wears crocs all year round). This has created a lot of chatting and laughs!

We plan to increase connections with staff by hosting events such as barbecues, a theatre event and possibly other events in Riding Mountain National Park.

To measure the project’s success, Holly Reimer (Decision Support Analyst) created a pre-project survey for all staff to complete that captured current personal wellbeing measurements. This survey will be re-issued to the staff members three more times throughout the year to measure results.  Holly is also measuring financial data related to attendance that may offer additional measurements of staff well-being related to this project.  Additional data is collected on the daily strategies as well.  

We are only 4 months in, and it is safe to say this project has had a positive impact!  Success would not be possible without the support of Tracey McFarlane, Activity Recreation Coordinator.  Tracy has played a major role in helping us reach the project goals.  We also have an excellent leadership group who has encouraged the staff to practice the wellness strategies daily.  The staff members have been open-minded to learning new ways to improve their wellness, and have encouraged each other to participate and have fun with this new way of working. 

We look forward to continuing to make strides in improving the overall wellness of the residents and staff at Erickson Health Centre! Thank you to the Health Care Excellence Grant for this amazing opportunity.   

To learn more about this project, contact Christa Veitch – [email protected]

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