Local Manor employee Claudia Coulas wins inaugural award

Written by Toni Lavigne-Conway | Special to the Valley Gazette

The Valley Manor is well known for its outstanding care team, but it can also now include award-winning among their staff accolades. 

Personal Support Worker (PSW) Claudia Coulas who works as a Behavioural Support Ontario (BSO) Champion at the Manor was recently awarded the Dr. Marie-France Rivard Fund Award Geriatric Mental Health Care in Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) Award.

Five candidates working in long term care (LTC) in the Champlain Region from the Geriatric Psychiatry program of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre were recognized with this award for their exemplary person-centred care to residents of LTCH affected with neurocognitive disorders.

She was nominated for the award by Valley Manor Director of Care, Gail Yantha after hearing about the newly created honour from Mary Prince, who is the Geriatric Nurse Consultant at the Manor. After reviewing the requirements, both agreed that no one was more deserving of being recognized with this award than Coulas, notably for her work with the BSO Program.

In 2012, the Ministry of Health extended funding to LTC homes to enhance their behaviour supports for residents. According to Yantha, the Valley Manor not only welcomed the program, but they also “embraced it.” A team of five staff were chosen to implement the program, including Coulas, who was approached at the time by then administrator Linda Shulist who thought she was a good fit for the program. 

Yantha’ s nomination letter for the award was filled with an abundance of high praise for Coulas. “Claudia embraces change and faces any challenge head-on. She is resident-focused, speaks resident-centered language, advocates fiercely for residents and their family…and somehow, she always does it with a smile!”

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