Claudio G., Transportation Services Representative, is the co-recipient of the 2019-2020 Award for Excellence – one of the highest honours of Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.

Helping Seniors Remain Independent through iRIDE Travel

Claudio G. had enjoyed a successful 30-year career at the Toronto Transit Commission when he retired in January 2018. He took a well-deserved vacation to the Caribbean with his family, and started to settle into retired life.

“I really enjoyed those first few months of retirement,” says Claudio. “But before long, I started getting bored at home.”

His life changed dramatically after his father suffered a severe trauma, and Claudio spent the next six months at Sunnybrook Hospital visiting him. “That experience opened my eyes,” he says. “I saw so many sick people who had no family and needed help desperately. I also knew that I still had a lot to offer, and when I saw the job opening for Transportation Service Representative at Circle of Care, I applied.”

This change in his life was a positive one. “I had lots of experience with customer service in my roles at the TTC and was always engaging, investigating and helping customers in many ways. This continued at Circle of Care.”

He says that it’s easy to find meaning in his role. “The greatest feeling has to be when you help a senior with their medical transportation and social rides. They have a strong desire to be independent and feel connected to society, and Circle of Care’s iRIDE program helps them achieve that.”

Redeployed During the Pandemic

In the past two years that Claudio has worked at Circle of Care, he has been sharing his knowledge and expertise with the department and with the organization as a whole. When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, there was a need to redeploy some employees to different roles to support the immediate needs of Circle of Care.

Claudio was redeployed to the administrative team to assist in the stock room. Over the past few months, he helped prepare personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for our Personal Support Workers, including packing orders of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other required supplies.

“I’ve gained so much more knowledge about Circle of Care after I was deployed to this role,” says Claudio. “It’s been really interesting to see how another department works and how everything comes together, so that in the end we are able to give our clients the best possible care.”

Celebrated for Excellence

In June 2020, Claudio was awarded the Champions of Care Award for Excellence. This award is presented to an employee who relentlessly advances the quality of care within the organization and pursues the highest standards in care.

Claudio was nominated multiple times for the award over the past year. He has been a team player among his colleagues, staying late to catch up on voicemail messages. His colleague Joel, wrote “On one Friday he stayed well into the evening and caught up on the entire backlog. It really was an exceptional effort on his part. Our clients are happy and our department can work on all tasks without being bogged down in one area. Thank you Claudio!”

“I was so proud to receive the Award for Excellence,” says Claudio. “Although, I would be remiss without thanking my colleagues Maria, Harry, Ross and Joel and Shirley who showed great confidence in me. This program makes all our employees strive for their best, and it’s a vital program at Circle of Care!”