ARICHAT: St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre in Arichat received a Canadian Forces Liaison Council Employer Recognition Award.
Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor and Isle Madame native Arthur LeBlanc made the presentation at Government House in Halifax on March 6. In his remarks, LeBlanc noted how this level of support for military reservists is patriotic.
“It was special for us because the Lieutenant Governor is a native son,” said St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre CEO Annette Fougere. “It was special to receive it from him.”
The awards recognize employers and educators from Nova Scotia who have supported their reservist employees, or student reservists, by allowing them to undergo military training and deploy on military operations without impacting their civilian employment or education.
Ten Nova Scotia-based organizations were recognized for their best practices in reservist employee and student reservist support.
In the Small Organization category, St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre iwas awarded for helping Registered Nurse and reservist, Lieutenant Mark Fitton, fulfill his duties, primarily taking training and volunteering anywhere in the world.
“All of the employers and educators who are recognized went above and beyond to support these folks,” Fougere pointed out. “Some of the challenges employers and educators have is that you have to replace that individual in your ranks. Just because they leave, doesn’t mean that their work doesn’t have to be picked up by other people. For us, our nursing staff has been really good to support him while he’s away in taking extra shifts, or exchanging shifts, these types of things.”
Because she is dedicated to ensuring staff are educated and trained as well as possible, Fougere said she provides every opportunity for their professional development.
“With the reservist, we share education between the two organizations, that benefit both of us,” Fougere said. “For example [Lt. Fitton], works in the outpatient department, as well as long-term care, but we have special courses that we ask the nurses to take and we support them in taking that, both financially and with time, so that they can be as well prepared to manage emergencies in the ER. The reserves do the same thing. They also provide similar education. So whether they’re working for the reserve or for St. Anne Centre, we both benefit by all of that education and training.”
The Canadian Forces Liaison Council is a Canada-wide group of civilian business leaders who volunteer their time and efforts to promote the Canadian Forces Reserves by highlighting the benefits of reserve force training and experience to the civilian workplace and educational institutions. Reservists themselves nominate their employers and educators and the awards are presented every two years.
Fougere added that helping Lt. Fitton fits well with their philosophy and history of caring for veterans in the facility’s Veteran’s Wing.
“By supporting the reservists, we’re helping to support the veterans of tomorrow and the personnel who protect our country here and abroad today,” the CEO noted. “It is a good connection for us given our history with veterans and the forces.”