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Emma V., Quality Manager, is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Champion of the Year – one of the highest honours within Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.

Driving Meaningful Change through Quality Improvement

As Quality Manager, Emma V. leads a small but mighty team focused on analytics, risk and safety, compliance, and quality improvement for Circle of Care.

Each day presents new opportunities for Emma to support her colleagues from behind the scenes and drive meaningful change for Circle of Care and for the older adults we serve within the community.

Emma has collaborated on a myriad of projects across the organization, including evaluating advanced technologies used at the Adult Day Program, leading client surveys, facilitating meetings on risk events, and overseeing policy documentation.

“A meaningful day at work for me is a day when we’re able to implement a new process or provide support to a team that helps them meet their goals. I also really enjoy days where we can make important improvements to our policies and processes that keep our teams and our clients safe. In all honesty, every day is meaningful in the Quality Department,” explains Emma.

The Joy of Collaboration

Over her two years at Circle of Care, Emma has had the opportunity to witness remarkable work carried out by her colleagues.

“I see the amazing work that our staff does handling risk events extremely well, the impact the work of our teams has on our Key Performance Indicators, and the ways in which our team advocates for and changes the lives of our clients,” she says.

It is this collaborative spirit that Emma looks forward to each day.

“In this role, I’ve really learned how much I love collaborating! I enjoy sharing parts of projects with other people and working together to achieve great results,” she says.

Emma and her team’s continuous support has not gone unnoticed around the organization. Over the last year, Emma was nominated for Circle of Care’s Champions of Care Awards by ten different staff members, who emphasized her patience, kindness, and attention to detail.

“Thanks Emma for being willing to experiment on processes to make them better,” says Katrina, Holocaust Survivor Services Program Administrative Assistant. “I’ve witnessed you work with your team and other teams to find the most efficient and beneficial ways to track/analyze complicated data. You’re so flexible, creative, and collaborative.”

Accreditation Was a “Crash Course” in Every Aspect of Circle of Care

Emma also played an instrumental role in ensuring Circle of Care was ready for our Accreditation survey in October 2022. Accreditation Canada conducts an extensive audit every four years with Circle of Care. This process gives organizations the opportunity to discover what areas they are doing well in and which policies and/or procedures need improvement.

“There were of course many challenges,” recalls Emma. “I was new to Circle of Care, and I barely knew the organization, let alone how to prepare it for a huge evaluation! This was definitely the biggest challenge, but the thing I was most grateful for. It was like a crash course on every aspect of the organization as soon as I started.”

Despite being fairly new to the organization, Emma did an exceptional job and showcased immense leadership, helping Circle of Care receive Exemplary Standing status from Accreditation Canada. This solidified our status as one of the nation’s highest-ranked home and community support agencies.

With a keen eye for detail, Emma was able to quickly immerse herself in understanding the requirements of accreditation, identify areas that needed improvements, and develop effective strategies to ensure those improvements aligned with the standards we needed to meet.

Moreover, she played a key role in preparing staff for the on-site survey by organizing training sessions and presentations to ensure staff members were knowledgeable about the accreditation process and knew what to expect.

“Emma has exceptional articulation, a calm, pleasant disposition and presents information with ease and confidence,” says Reeshma, Professional Practice Lead. “Her planning and preparation skills were evident in the presentation slide deck, discussion points and relevant Circle of Care examples she gave.”

Emma describes the experience of preparing for Accreditation as a great way to connect with all of our departments and teams.

“I had the opportunity to present at lots of meetings in preparation. I was humbled by the positive feedback I received from our teams and truly felt it was their collaboration that contributed to my success,” she says.

While Emma attributes her success to her colleagues, her hard work and dedication in preparing for accreditation was recognized by colleagues and supervisors alike.

“Emma kept us organized and prepared everyone on all things Accreditation. She kept it fun and interesting throughout the process and made sure compliance standards were met,” says Dara, Vice President of Quality, Strategic Partnerships and Communications.

Celebrated for Being the Champion of the Year

In June 2023, Emma received the Champion of the Year Award through our Champions of Care program. This award is given to someone for embodying all of Circle of Care’s values in their work each day. Emma was nominated 11 times for five different awards: Excellence, Accountability, Collaboration, Equity, and Innovation.

“Winning the Champion of the Year Award was a shock! It was great to be recognized for the work that I have done, but I also have seen the amazing contributions of many others on our teams. I truly feel that my success is partly a result of the collaboration I’ve had with other teams,” says Emma.