Client and Community Relations Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay
Jessica Saunders of Thunder Bay, Ontario is the Client and Community Relations Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG), an organization offering services in complex care, physical rehabilitation, long term care, mental health and addictions to the people of Northwestern Ontario. Dedicated to the concept and practice of client-centred care, she has worked with SJCG for the last four and a half years in the areas of public education and facilitating innovative corporate initiatives.
As part of SJCG’s 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, Jessica has led a committee of clients, family members and staff in developing and establishing a Model of Client-Centred Care aimed at fostering a living culture of client-centred care at the organization. Under her leadership, over 100 clients and family members have been engaged in focus groups to share their thoughts and insights regarding what excellent quality care means to them, supporting the development of the Model which focuses on the following four elements: 1) Organizational Leadership; 2) Dignity and Respect; 3) Quality Care and Improvement; and 4) Client and Family Engagement.
Through her involvement with the Model, Jessica has influenced education activities that impact client services in the Care Group’s three spheres of care: 1) Seniors’ Care; 2) Chronic Disease; and 3) Mental Health & Addiction. Recognizing the need to involve clients and families from the beginning of change initiatives (and the need to cultivate these relationships), she has helped to ensure that the Client is at the core of everything SJCG does.
Jessica is a shining example of how passion and commitment can create impact beyond expectations. She has successfully effected positive change within a large organization where limited client and family engagement to impact quality improvements existed before. For those hoping to blaze a similar path, especially within complex organizations, her work serves as inspiration.