by Susan Hanna

Heather Garnett says her new position as Almonte General Hospital’s Vice President, Patient/Resident Services and Chief Nursing Executive is her “dream job.”

“This organization has a wonderful reputation for providing patient and family-centred care and a truly caring environment for patients, residents, staff, volunteers and the community,” says Ms. Garnett, who joined the management team on January 21, 2013. “It is an absolute dream job for me in terms of the organization’s focus on strengthening the continuum of care to address the needs of the community, from primary care and regional obstetrical services through to long-term care and supportive end-of-life care and services.”

Before coming to Almonte, Ms. Garnett spent 11 years with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group in a variety of roles, including, most recently, Director of Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management. Her range of experience as a health care administrator is well informed by her former practice as a Registered Nurse, providing care for residents in long-term care homes and patients in specialized mental health hospital-based and community-based care for more than 25 years.

“I’ve spent much of my career in long-term care and other community health-care environments, so being part of a community-based environment here in Almonte is incredible,” says Ms. Garnett.

As Vice President, Patient/Resident Services and Chief Nursing Executive, Ms. Garnett oversees all aspects of patient and resident care at Almonte General Hospital and Fairview Manor, as well as Occupational Health and Safety, Infection Prevention and Control and Pharmacy Services.

“We are delighted to welcome Heather to the organization,” says Almonte General Hospital President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider. “She has extensive experience in patient and resident care and safety, quality improvement and risk management, making her a very valuable addition to our team.”

Raised in Ottawa, Ms. Garnett attended the University of Ottawa, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree. She is also an Accreditation Surveyor with Accreditation Canada, which assesses the performance of health organizations against national standards of care. Ms. Garnett is a qualified project management professional and is certified in psychiatric/mental health nursing.

Ms. Garnett comes from a family of nurses. “I’m a third-generation Registered Nurse and I’m passionate about being part of an organization that is dedicated to providing compassionate, safe, quality care for patients, residents and their families,” she says.

A Stittsville resident, Ms. Garnett is very familiar with the Ottawa Valley. “I spent my childhood camping at White Lake and married into a family with a cottage on White Lake,” she says. “I am very fond of and familiar with many of the Valley communities.”

Ms. Garnett says she is very impressed with the Hospital and Manor, including the fact that the campus is also home to the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team. “It’s a wonderful working model of integration,” she says. “I have been overwhelmed by the caring, compassionate staff, right across all departments. Everyone has been so welcoming. I look forward to getting out there and getting to know everyone in the organization.”