A speech and language pathologist who collected photos of a patients’ newborn baby when she couldn’t see her due to COVID-restrictions. An activation assistant who created a traveling cart to bring coffee to residents. A nurse whose laughter is recognized across the hospital. A clinical resource coordinator who always speaks up for those around her. An operations leader who builds strategies to support residents, their families and her colleagues.

Those are the recipients of this year’s Our Shared Values awards at Providence Healthcare, recognized for going above and beyond to embody Unity Health’s values of human dignity, compassion, excellence, community and inclusivity.

Here are some of their stories in the words of those who nominated them.

Marnellie Hilao, Operations Leader and Behavior Support for the Houses of Providence

Winner of the Human Dignity Award for an individual or team who affirms that every person has sacred value and is worth of respect.

According to Marnellie’s nominators: When Marnellie looks at each individual, it feels that she can see the person’s past, understand the person at present and envisions the hope and possibilities of a meaningful future.

One example of this was the work she did to eliminate code whites for a resident who was admitted to our secured unit with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Marnellie worked to build strategies between the family and the team. This brought about a change in the family’s view of their loved one. She asupported the team by meeting staff on all shifts and focusing on the feelings, emotions, and fears not only of the resident but also of the staff members.  Marnellie is an inspiration and a true advocate. She is first and on hand and offers support to anybody. She sees each person as a whole. Her holistic approach has been the foundation of a strong dementia program in the Houses.

Marry Ninan, Speech and Language Pathologist

Winner of the Compassion Award for an individual or team that enables health and healing by understanding each person’s needs and by providing care with kindness and sensitivity.

According to Marry’s nominators: Marry goes above and beyond to recognize what is important to enable health and healing during an individual’s inpatient rehab stay. She has trimmed finger nails, gathered photos of a patient’s newborn baby when she could not see her due to COVID restrictions and was the only one to understand that her patient was experiencing pain and wanted to apply her medication for relief. Marry takes the time to truly listen, providing her patients with comfort and support.

One patient was unable to provide information about his family and friends due to his communication deficits. His cell phone contained all the contact information for these important people; however, the stroke affected his ability to remember his phone password.

In addition, Marry found out that he also could not access his bank account to pay his phone bill for the same reason. Marry spent hours on the phone with the patient and his bank and cell phone provider, with the goal of re-establishing these services.

Janet Richards, Registered Practical Nurse on the Geriatric and Medical Rehab Team

Winner of the Excellence Award for an individual or team who strives to achieve the best care and quality through innovation and continuous improvement

According to Janet’s nominators: Janet can be heard before she is seen. Laughter and joy follow her around the unit. Janet encourages patients to call for help no matter how busy they think she is.  Some of our more ambulatory but cognitively impaired patients are often at risk for falls because they feel they don’t need to call for help. Instead of making those patients feel that they are unable or unsafe to walk on their own, Janet encourages them to call for help to give her a break. Janet tells them that because they walk so well, all she has to do is stand there and supervise them as they walk to the bathroom which actually gives her a nice break from all her heavy work as a nurse. She makes the patients feel as if they are doing her a favour by using the call bell, as opposed to making them feel like a burden. Our patients are often made to feel helpless within the hospital setting but Janet flips that narrative.

Niala Dookie, Activation Assistant in the Houses of Providence

Winner of the Community Award for an individual or team that embraces diversity, trust, joy and teamwork to fulfill human potential

According to Niala’s nominators: In the height of the pandemic, residents could not leave their rooms and many missed their trips to the hospital Tim Horton’s. Niala arranged to have Tim Horton’s brought to them. She created a Tim’s Cart that she decorated with Tim Horton’s memorabilia and she even dressed up. She involved the Team of Oak and Willow Houses in her creativity too. Many of the residents are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays and miss going to the games.  As a die-hard Jay’s fan herself, Niala, called the Blue Jays Entertainment Corporation and had them send jersey’s, flags and all sorts of Blue Jays memorabilia.  This was a special event Niala hosted for the Jays Opening Day.  This year, Niala even coordinated a bus outing to the Rogers’ Centre for a game. 

Pamela Rose, Clinical Resource Coordinator in the Adult Day Program

Winner of the Inclusivity Award for an individual or team that fosters an inclusive, welcoming environment where everyone is treated equitably and without judgment.

According to Pamela’s nominators: As a person of color, it is not often that we are given opportunities for our voices/ideas to be heard. At the Adult Day Program, Pamela has always spoken up when others could or would not, even it was uncomfortable but necessary. Pamela also always encouraged me to try things beyond my comfortable zone for the betterment of our clients.

To say Pamela was our Program Coordinator does not do justice to her. From the moment you meet her – whether you’re staff, clients, or family members -her smile fills up your heart, her energy lights up the room, her focus and attention on you is intentional, mindful and sincere.


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