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Board of Directors names GBGH team members as recipients of highest honour

A group of 16 female medical staff outside with trees. Some hold plaques.

June 20, 2023 – During its Team Appreciation Week, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) announced the 2023 recipients of the Board of Directors’ Awards of Excellence. The Board of Directors’ Awards of Excellence are announced annually to recognize staff and professional staff (physicians, midwives, dentists) who have made remarkable contributions to GBGH while exhibiting the hospital’s core values and helping the hospital reach its strategic goals.

“The Board Awards of Excellence are the highest honour bestowed by the hospital for outstanding contributions to the hospital’s strategy and patient care – whether it be through work on the frontlines or in a supporting role,” says Tim Kastelic, chair, GBGH Board of Directors. “As these awards are peer nominated, the recipients’ colleagues clearly think very highly of their commitment to GBGH and we are so fortunate to have these individuals and teams as part of our hospital. While these recipients are outstanding in their own right and so well-deserving of this recognition, I am always inspired knowing there are many other excellent professionals at the hospital who are working together to be there for this community every day.”

The recipients of this year’s awards represent a cross-section of team members throughout the organization and include the following teams/individuals:

Engagement & Inclusiveness Award

  • Danielle Norton – ward clerk, Emergency department (ED)

Danielle is a great team player within the ED and throughout GBGH. She takes pride in her work and helps in any way she can with patient calls, even when they aren’t specific to the ED. Danielle plays a vital role as the point person for the department with her strong communication skills. Danielle’s strong work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond as a ward clerk is clearly evident in all areas of her work. She is a strong promoter of excellent care and it is not uncommon to hear Danielle say, “What if this was your family member?” Danielle is a constant reminder of all of GBGH’s core values.

  • Food Services

Over the last year, the Food Services department has gone through significant change. From implementing the new Freshflex system and other major changes, the Food Services team has had to adapt to many new things. Through all this change, they continued to work on communication, engagement and inclusiveness. The Food Services team completed an internal review, looked at areas for improvement and set objectives as a team. Since then, they have continued to work on their goals and have implemented many changes – all of which have been beneficial to the team, patient care and GBGH. While working through all these changes, the team kept in mind GBGH’s values. By focusing on these values, the team has grown closer, adapted well to change and continue to deliver great things.


 Quality & Safety Award

  • Lindsay McCoshen – Occcupational therapist

Lindsay is very passionate about her work as an occupational therapist. As changes to the program have happened, Lindsay has been on the ball when it comes to collaboration with partner hospitals and organizations to ensure the patient experience for all patients is top of mind. Lindsay ensures that regardless of whether a patient is admitted or transitioning home, they have access to safe and affordable equipment. Lindsay’s dedication and compassion towards patients, their health and wellness – and ultimately their safety – is unmatched.

  • Sam Kort – registered nurse (RN), Wound Care

In addition to her role as a frontline RN, Sam is also the wound care expert at GBGH. Sam provides all team members with education and support when dealing with difficult-to-treat wounds. Through her knowledge and expertise in this area, which she gladly shares with her colleagues, Sam is consistently helping patients improve their outcomes and overall health. Sam’s work continues to inspire and helps the hospital improve the quality of care for all patients.


 Accountability & Sustainability Award:

  • Michelle Blake – manager, Surgery, Ambulatory Care & Obstetrics

Michelle has worked at GBGH for over 19 years, first as a nurse and now as a manager. In her first year as a manager, Michelle has spent countless hours working on ways to continually improve her departments, making them better for patients and staff. Through her work as the manager for the Surgical program, Michelle has advocated for more funding for the program, equipment and staff education. Her level of dedication and compassion has had a positive impact on her teams. This has led to improved team morale and is ultimately reflected in the quality of patient care every Surgical, Ambulatory Care and Obstetrics patient receives.

  • Respiratory Therapy (RT)

The RT team provides 24-hour coverage at GBGH, helping to keep care closer to home for many patients and contribute to the hospital’s Level 3 Basic ICU designation (second highest designation outside of specialty units). The RT team helps ensure fulsome acute care throughout the hospital. During the COVID-19 pandemic, having the RT team’s expertise available 24/7 meant more critically ill patients were able to remain at GBGH, closer to their families and local support system. Being able to bring their knowledge to the GBGH ICU has also helped improve patient outcomes and has also been crucial in helping when critical transfers to other facilities are required.


Vision Award

  • Gail Nielsen – manager, Human Resources

Gail Nielsen is a problem solver, a risk-mitigator, a recruiter, a bridge builder and more. The list of positive qualities Gail brings to the workplace is long, and she exemplifies GBGH’s values every day. She will always go the extra mile to ensure the units have the staff they need, flag for leadership that a staff member needs more support, or suggest considering an alternative option of which no one else had thought. Gail is the epitome of tact, collaboration and compassion, and although she may not work on the frontlines of patient care, it is always at the forefront of her work. Recently, Gail’s leadership in a major electronic time and attendance project was a huge undertaking and she worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this critically important new system. Gail is also known for her dedication and positive attitude throughout the most challenging situations. She remains calm and collected, never showing a sign of stress and is always working toward solutions.

  • Nicole Lefaive – professional practice leader (PPL)

Nicole Lefaive is a dedicated team member at GBGH. Starting at GBGH first as a nurse, she has continued to grow, showing immense dedication and passion in her roles at the hospital. Nicole has now been a PPL for over a year and has helped to transform the experience of frontline staff. Her hard work and valuable efforts continue to improve the onboarding experience of new frontline team members, ensuring they have the support they need to be successful in their roles. Looking to the future, Nicole continues to explore ways we can improve the staff and patient experience – to improve not only patient care, but the morale and experience of the teams she assists.



Jennifer Moore

Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, GBGH

705-526-1300 ext 5177