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Winners of the Champions of Care Awards
Image of reception of Champions of Care awards

Shining a Spotlight on our “Champions of Care”

This week, Circle of Care was thrilled to celebrate the nominees and winners of our employee recognition program – Champions of Care. The program was launched in February 2018 with the intent of highlighting the big and little ways our employees go the extra mile – whether for a client, a family member, a colleague, or a health care partner.

Showing gratitude in the workplace is one of the key contributors to winning organizations, and we are thrilled by the enthusiastic participation in our program. Over the past year, we have received more than 200 nominations for employees who have gone above and beyond their day-to-day duties to ensure our clients and caregivers receive high-quality care. Among those nominations, there were a number that stood out by the way the examples align with our organization’s values. Here are our 2019-20 Champions of Care award winners:

Image of Marianna

Person-Centred Care

The award for Person-Centred Care goes to Mariana Piwoni, Client Services Coordinator. Marianna received many nominations over the past year, but this one, from a PSW, stands out:

“Mariana is wonderful to work with. If I’m ever out in the community and some kind of issue comes up, she is never too busy to help sort it out and find the best solution for everyone. My clients feel the same way about her.”

Image of Ann Marie


The award for Excellence goes to PSW Ann Marie Roach. Here is a nomination written by one client’s mother:

“Circle of Care should be proud to have such an employee as Ann Marie Roach. She is a model of what a good PSW should be. She is professional, punctual, thorough, respectful, and caring, to name a few qualities. My son has Cerebral Palsy and is totally dependent on others for every aspect of his daily living. It is difficult to find people who will care for him in a way that is intuitive and sensitive to his needs. Ann Marie has established a relationship with Bill where she has his best interests at heart at all times; she really has become and advocate. Ann Marie’s commitment to this job goes beyond professional ethics – she has truly made this job a vocation. We should all be humbled by such dedication.”

Image of Debra


The award for Accountability goes to Debra McLellan, Intake and Referral Specialist. Debra has received several nominations over the year, but this one demonstrates her commitment to advocacy and always going above and beyond:

“Debra received a call from a concerned neighbour of an isolated older woman and provided this caring neighbour with the right tools to advocate on the older woman’s behalf. The isolated older woman went from receiving only two hours of personal support per week to receiving daily support, as well as subsidized housekeeping and social work support. The neighbour called back to say: ‘Your insistence really helped me, as well as your kindness.’”

Image of Natalie


The award for Collaboration goes to Natalie Zabolotsky, Social Worker and Professional Practice Lead. This nomination is especially meaningful since it came from our partners at Sinai Health System:

“Natalie was the main ingredient that derived the success of the ENRICHES program. Her dedication, warmth, empathy, motivation and level of skill have made such an impact on these caregivers and it was an absolute pleasure working with her. We were lucky to have her expertise and clinical knowledge at our side!”

Image of Valentyna


The award for Equity goes to PSW Valentyna Martsenyuk. This nomination from our clients’ granddaughter was very moving:

“Valentyna has been caring for my grandparents for four years. My grandfather always likes when Valentyna comes because she always treats him and my grandmother with respect and care. She asks them about their preferences and hobbies, and they always like talking to her. Valentyna is always helpful and knowledgeable in her work. I will never forget her kindness towards my grandparents.”

image of Harry


The award for Innovation goes to Harry Wu, Transportation Supervisor. This nomination demonstrates Harry’s commitment to advancing the client experience:

“Harry has been instrumental in developing the iRIDE dashboard using Power BI Harry took personal time to learn how to use the tool and applied it to transportation. The end result was an interactive, transparent and informative dashboard displaying a story to the collaborative members. We can now find ways to improve services and find efficiencies while we move toward a full ‘ride-sharing experience.”

Image of Soula

Champion of the Year

Our overall Champion of the Year award goes to an employee who lives all of our values, each and every day: iRIDE driver Soula Berdoussis. There are simply too many nominations for Soula to be able to include them all, but several clients have noted that Soula is an employee who takes great pride in her work and is always pleasant and helpful. Whether it’s reassuring a client during a drive through a snow storm, or providing comfort to a client during a drive to a cancer treatment, Soula is a testament to the kind of impact we should all aspire to.

Has a Circle of Care employee gone above and beyond for you? Share your experience here.