Capital Health PATH program wins two national awards

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 1:48pm

Drs. Laurie Mallery and Paige Moorhouse have been honoured with two prestigious national health care awards this year. June 9 they received a 3M Health Care Quality Team Award, in the category of Programs and Processes in a Non-acute Care Environment. Earlier this year they  received a Public Sector Leadership Award - gold in the health category - from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada for their work with the PATH program.

PATH, which stands for Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization, is a  program that helps identify frailty in elderly patients and helps the patient’s families and caregivers  make health-care decisions that  are in the best interests of the patient and lead to the best  quality of life.

"I wish to commend Drs. Mallery and Moorhouse for being such significant contributors to the advancement of these areas of medicine and care of our elderly and, from an organizational perspective, to helping to fulfill our mandate to be a world leader in health, healing and learning," said Chris Power, President and CEO of Capital Health.

The goal of PATH was simple and universally desirable: improve the health care provided to frail, elderly adults. The solution was more complex. Frailty can have numerous negative effects on aging individuals, yet traditional treatment often ignores its impacts. Based on comprehensive assessment and a multi-disciplinary team approach, the project initially had to overcome a number of challenges. These included discipline-related bias among specialists and traditionally weak communications between those who make decisions for frail individuals, including families, physicians, health teams, organizations and individuals themselves. The program, however, is now in place and paying off, with individuals and their families regularly voicing their gratitude and relief. As an additional positive, data to date shows that PATH treatment yields better care at a lower cost, a goal for all health-care organizations. PATH has deepened the understanding of frailty in health care and is achieving results nationally, with initiatives under way in a variety of elder-care facilities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and BC. 

“We saw a good deal of fragmentation in the health-care system, so for us it started with bringing together people from different health backgrounds to learn a common language and work together. There’s so much red tape in health care, but we also saw so much goodwill to break through it. Our approach was simply to start addressing a need that spoke to a lot of people - being leaders by example - and the response was overwhelming. If we’d gone a more traditional route, it’s doubtful the program would have achieved success to the level it has.”

Dr. Laurie Mallery and Dr. Paige Moorhouse, Frailty Centre for Healthcare, Health Sciences Centre, Nova Scotia

The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and Deloitte have partnered to establish the first public sector leadership awards to recognize leading and innovative projects and initiatives. The program was developed to recognize organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking bold steps to improve Canada, through advancements in public policy and management. 

Shown in the photo below, left to right are: David Landry,Nurse Practitioner in Nephrology; Dr. Paige Moorhouse; Paula Bond, Vice President People-Centred Care; Chris Power, President and CEO; Dr. Laurie Mallery and Gayle Ogilvie,Team Leader at Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital who implemented PATH there.