Heather Dunne

Heather Dunne named a B.C. Health Care Hero

It takes time and perspective to see trend lines in an occupation as complex and demanding as health care

It takes time and perspective to see trend lines in an occupation as complex and demanding as health care, so when someone like Heather Dunne – manager of Ladysmith Primary Health Care – retires, you want to ask a few questions and listen to what she has to say, especially when she has just  been honoured by her peers as the B.C. Health Care Hero for Island Health.

Dunne was handed her Golden Apple at the BC Health Care Awards June 27 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.

“When it comes to advancing the scope and elevating the standards of her profession, Heather Dunne is a pioneer and trailblazer who is fiercely committed to both quality and her community,” says a BC Health Care Awards release.

“Throughout her almost 50 years as a nurse, (she) has pushed the boundaries of nursing, especially with regards to championing the role of the nurse practitioner and working to improve both access and the quality of health care service provided to remote and isolated communities, including First Nations.”

A North Cowichan resident since 1980, Dunne started her nursing career in 1969. A lot has changed during her long career, and Dunne said she hopes to see continuing advances in health care in the coming decades.

The biggest change in health care delivery Dunne points to is increasing specialization “due to the incredible volume of information needed to care for patients.”

More recently she points to the emergence of teams to deal with health care, which has become less of a “hierarchy of health care providers” and involves patients and families “much more” in a focus on outcomes.

Changes in the system have been accompanied by changes in people’s attitudes toward health and health care.

“The majority of people are much more educated about their health and the impact of their lifestyle on their future,” Dunne said.

“Health care providers are seen as those who can assist. Gone is the notion that the providers always know best; people are vocal about their care and their expectations.”

As for the future, which she will be monitoring from the sidelines, Dunne said she hopes the system keeps on track, and also keeps its heart.

“I feel and hope that health care delivery will become more and more integrated, which is the focus of the Island Health Authority and our care delivery teams,” she said.

“The most important part though, as ever, is that health care and health care providers continue to improve quality and processes, and to consider each of their patients as unique in their needs and circumstances, the need to keep the care in health care.”

Traveling, and time with friends and family are among the priorities for Dunne, as she contemplates retirement. But involvement in the community is right up there, too. “I also have ideas about where I would like to volunteer,” she said, adding that the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary will be high on her list.

 

Just Posted

First Nations leader to try for NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announces intentions

Prominent Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin seeks federal NDP nod in B.C. riding

Bob Chamberlin is the long-serving chief councillor of a First Nation based on Gilford Island

CVRD sets tax increase for 2019 at 7.27%

New water and housing functions make up 3.52 % of increase

Premier makes surprise visit to Ladysmith Art Gallery

John Horgan does an informal meet and greet with Ladysmith arts and community leaders

Memorable weekend of hockey and camaraderie in Chemainus, Duncan

Many aspects of memorial tournament tug at the heartstrings

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read