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Lisa Grace R., Service Coordinator Supervisor, is the recipient of the 2019-2020 Award for Accountability – one of the highest honours within Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.

Supporting a Complex Team to Achieve Excellent Care

For Lisa Grace R., who works as a Service Coordinator Supervisor, if things aren’t busy on the Coordination team, it means that something has probably gone wrong.

“I get suspicious if it isn’t a busy day!” says Lisa. “There’s always about four different urgent things needing to be done – and they all probably should have been done five minutes ago. That’s just how it is with coordination.”

Circle of Care’s service coordination team is primarily responsible for liaising with clients, family members, and Personal Support Workers and coordinating everyone’s schedules to provide the required home care visits. There are also many conversations required with other departments providing specialized services (such as the Holocaust Survivor Services program), to ensure that clients receive the best possible care.

Lisa is one of two supervisors who oversee the Service Coordinators, and she’s incredibly proud of her team.

“I think sometimes it’s misunderstood exactly how much the Service Coordinators are responsible for within their day, as most clients see their home visit requests as a simple scheduling fix or set up,” says Lisa. “But one request or change can trigger many, many other fixes and require on-the-spot problem solving. To be a Service Coordinator, you have to be on your “A” game all the time; multitasking is so important. I hold a lot of respect for my team and try to help them as much as possible.”

Contributing to change through quality improvement

Lisa’s understanding of her team’s challenging role comes from first-hand experience– she worked alongside them in the same role prior to being promoted to supervisor.

As a Service Coordinator, she was invited to participate in a redesign initiative a few years ago that looked at how the Service Coordination team functioned, and to rethink how the team could work in a more cohesive and efficient way.

“Throughout that process, I realized that I really enjoyed quality improvement,” says Lisa. “Advocating and pushing for change within our department was really rewarding.”

One of the changes made as a result of the redesign initiative was the creation of two supervisor roles. Lisa applied and was selected as one of the supervisors.

She’s extremely proud of her contribution to  the redesign work.

“I truly think that we have done some great work reorganizing the department,” she says. “It’s rewarding to see something new implemented after working so hard on it, and watching the new processes alleviate some of the pressures the Service Coordinators face.”

Lisa is quick to acknowledge that the work isn’t over, and that it hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire way. “We have definitely made changes that haven’t worked out so well. But that’s okay; with some more improvements and tweaks we seem to always be finding ways to make things better.”

“I am extremely grateful to work within a team that is always willing to listen to my crazy ideas, and push me to move forward with them!” says Lisa.

Moving to virtual connections

The most recent hurdle her team has faced has been moving to virtual support due to COVID-19. Back in March, the team of 30-plus coordinators successfully transitioned to working from home within only a couple of weeks.

“It was a pretty stressful time,” admits Lisa. “Trying to coordinate and make sure that our staff could continue servicing our clients in a safe manner took up all my time. I have to give a big shout out to our Service Coordination Team, though. They continue to really show their resilience. It makes me proud to be able to support a team like this.”

Celebrated for her contributions to accountability

In May 2020, Lisa was honoured with the Champions of Care Award for Accountability. She was nominated by her colleague, Matie.

“Lisa is very attuned to our clients’ needs, and goes out of her way to advocate and service these needs,” wrote Matie. “Clients do not always know their options but Lisa will step up when needed to make sure all bases and options are covered. She is especially caring about clients who are out of food and has delivered emergency meals to a client after hours, on her own time.”

The Award for Accountability is given to an employee who is trusted by clients and families, helps to provide them with a better quality of life, and showcases integrity and transparency in their role.

“It’s really great that the Champions of Care program can acknowledge us when we excel,” says Lisa.  “A lot of work really does go on in the background to make sure we are able to provide the care that we do. I think the stories of the Champions of Care winners and nominees truly highlight why we do what we do each day, and that our clients are really at the heart of everything.”