The pediatric diabetes transition team from Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) is among the recipients of the Above and Beyond Awards recently presented by Fraser Health.
The awards are handed out annually to Fraser Health employees, doctors, volunteers, patients, contractors and others who have made exemplary contributions to health care in the region.
Awards are presented in five categories – the Fraser Health Hero Award, the Innovator Award, the Best Collaborator Award, the Service Delivery Excellence Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The team was the only one recognized from Abbotsford and received the Best Collaborator Award for its work in supporting youth who have turned 18 in transitioning from the pediatric diabetes program to the adult program.
The team consists of Dr. Heywood Choi, Dr. Laura Stewart and Dr. Kenneth Anquist; nurses Fay Hopkins, Siobhan Whalley, Angela Johnston and Jaswant Mrar; dietitian Alima Soodeen; and unit clerks Theresa Jongema and Jane Hall.
The pediatric outpatient clinic began at ARH in 2008, but the problem was that youth – especially those with complex conditions – clung to their pediatric providers long after they turned 18, feeling unprepared to move to the adult program.
That’s because while the pediatric program provides close monitoring of the patient, the adult program emphasizes independence and self-management, which can be challenging for youth who may be dealing with other health and personal issues.
So the pediatric clinic, which serves 180 clients at any one time, was reluctant to discharge 45 patients between the ages of 19 to 24 years old, although their caseload and wait times for referrals grew.
The team developed an approach in which each patient attends a series of three appointments shared between the pediatric and adult clinics and employees over nine months.
This approach began in March 2016. As a result, wait lists have been lowered to the three-month benchmark, and positive feedback has been received from patients and their families.
BC Children’s Hospital is now researching the team’s approach as a best practice model of care.
“The teams went above and beyond by showing exceptional initiative, perseverance, accountability in managing these complex clients and commitment to ensuring that these patients did not fall through the gap in the system, said ARH pediatrics manager Surjeet Melu. “Their commitment is extraordinary.”
Visit news.fraserhealth.ca for a complete list of recipients of the Above and Beyond Awards.