Archive for June, 2016

Local Drama Group Promotes Mental Wellness

This Sunday, John — who describes himself as “a proud Canadian” — is looking forward to sharing his love of Canada.

John will be performing a “patriotic song” about Canada that he hopes will inspire a sense of pride in the country. “Canada is a land of freedom that celebrates multiculturalism,” he says. “I’m lucky to live here.”

John is a client of the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s (NBRHC) Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACTT) and member of a unique performance group called The Drama Group. A dedicated group of 10 people, The Drama Group produces three shows each year with the next performance scheduled for June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church in North Bay.

ACTT are interdisciplinary teams of mental health service providers who specialize in providing patient directed, highly individualized treatment, rehabilitation and support to people who live with severe mental illness.

Caroline Thompson, a retired ACTT Registered Nurse, was motivated to create The Drama Group in 2012 after working with a number of youth performance groups. She realized an immersion into the world of performing arts would complement the more traditional forms of care offered through ACTT.

She explains The Drama Group works because it provides a more holistic approach to health. “The Drama Group promotes mental wellness by creating space for members to learn and connect through the performance arts,” she says. “By encouraging open, artistic expression with a focus on spirituality, members experience personal growth and learn we all have gifts to share.”

John (top right) and Jeremy (bottom) will be performing this Sunday along with the rest of The Drama Group to celebrate the national holiday.
John (top right) and Jeremy (bottom) will be performing this Sunday along with the rest of The Drama Group to celebrate the national holiday.

The Drama Group is one of the most attended programs run through ACTT. The members explain they enjoy attending the weekly practices because it is fun and gets them out of the house.

One of the newest members is Jeremy. Diagnosed with a mental illness at eighteen, the now thirty-eight year old finds comfort in The Drama Group. As First Nations, Jeremy incorporates chants and stories into his performances that celebrate his background.

“I feel so good when I come here [to The Drama Group],” Jeremy says. “It helps relax my mind and deal with stress.”

On June 26, Jeremy will share a story on Cree warriors called My People the Cree. The other members of The Drama Group will perform a “cheerleading chant” – pompoms and all – to celebrate the national holiday.

The Salvation Army has been an integral part of The Drama Group, opening its doors to both practices and performances.

The doors open at 6 p.m. Another performance will take place at the Empire Living Centre on Monday, June 27 at 3:15 p.m.

NBRHC Birthing Unit Receives MOREOB Patient Safety Award

Prestigious award one of only four presented this year in North America

Today staff from the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) celebrated being the recipient of this year’s MOREOB (Managing Obstetrics Risk Efficiently) Patient Safety Award for Ontario.

This prestigious award is given to teams who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to improving patient safety within their obstetrical unit, and has only been presented to four maternal teams this year in North America. The award was given for the submission “Beyond the Walls of the Birthing Unit” – Maternal Code Blue/Code Pink Emergency Drill in March 2015. 

The Patient Safety Awards Committee recognized NBRHC’s commitment to “education, evaluation, reflective learning, practicing together and practice modification” in their decision. Rhonda Scarfone, Nursing Practice Clinical Nurse Educator explains maternal cardiac arrest (code blue/code pink) is the most complicated arrest scenario. “It is rare, unexpected and devastating for the patient, family and caregivers.”

Birthing staff with MORE ob Award
L-R: Audrey Ten Westeneind (midwife), Amanda Humphrey (Clinical Nurse Educator for Birthing), Melanie Chemery (RN Birthing), Keri Kittmer (RN Birthing, Co chair for MORE ob Committee), Emily Peterson (RN Birthing), Kim Carter (Manager Women and Child), Rhonda Scarfone ( Nursing Practice Clinical Nurse Educator).

The mock code was held on March 12, 2015 and involved the resuscitation of a pregnant woman in labour and also involved the resuscitation of her newborn baby. “Everyone involved agreed it was a fantastic learning experience and there were many take home learnings from the event,” Scarfone says.

Mock 2
NBRHC Staff participate in the Maternal Code Blue/Code Pink Emergency Drill (March 2015.)

Keri Kittmer, RN and MOREOB Co-Chair says the success of the mock code was a result of a number of health care teams working together. “These are teams that do not normally work together, but for this scenario they are required to have amazing teamwork skills,” Kittmer says. The teams involved in this exercise included Birthing, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Operating Room; Critical Care Unit; Emergency Room; Anaesthesia and Respiratory Therapy.

Dr. Julius Agboola, Obstetrician and MOREOB Co-Chair says MOREOB is a comprehensive program promoting patient safety, quality improvement and professional development. “Our involvement in MOREOB ensures that we are at the forefront of obstetrical care, and can be confident that we will meet future requirements for practice.”

Tiz Silveri, Vice President Clinical & Chief Nursing Executive says  “the MOREOB program is an excellent example of how our Hospital teams make quality and safety priorities for our patient care, by facilitating an environment of working and learning together to prepare them for real life situations.”

The MOREOB program is implemented over a three year period and involves evidenced based education, skills drills and simulation. The program consists of three modules, with each module including theory chapters, skills drills, workshops, personal learning projects, case audits, patient satisfaction surveys, and evaluation. The guiding principle of the program is patient safety. More information about the program can be found at


Mock 1
NBRHC Staff participate in the Maternal Code Blue/Code Pink Emergency Drill (March 2015.)


Healthcare Leadership Volunteer Program

This week, five volunteers from the Healthcare Leadership Volunteer Program presented their findings to managers, physicians and senior leaders at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) following their eight-week program.

Oriana Webster, Volunteer Specialist says the program is administered collaboratively by the Medical Affairs Department and Volunteer Department at NBRHC. “This is the second year for the program, which encourages local youth to consider a career in medicine or healthcare leadership in our community,” Webster says.

Healthcare Leadership Volunteer Program

Kristen Vaughan, Quality Coordinator, explains that during the eight-week program, volunteers are given an opportunity to work with local healthcare leaders on real-world projects that support quality patient care. “These volunteers are local youth who are pursuing a career in medicine or healthcare leadership, while also completing undergraduate studies supporting this goal.”

This year there were five volunteers assigned to Quality Improvement Projects with a focus on improving the Patient Experience and/or Process Improvement.

2016 Projects:

We want to thank everyone who helped make this program a success and special thanks to the volunteers for all of their hard work.