Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016 and to help mark a decade of care, we asked for your help to showcase the work of those who deliver it.
We asked you to share your stories of a doctor, nurse or health professional who made a big difference in your life, and wow, did you deliver! We heard from dozens of doctors, patients and other health professionals who wanted to thank their Health Hero for improving the lives of their patients, coworkers and clinics.
Scroll down and enjoy some of the inspiring video and written messages we received:
I am a patient of Dr. Nighat Mahmood who practices in the Ranchlands Medical Clinic. I have been a patient there for about two-and-a-half years and have been impressed with the level of service I have received. A few months ago I was diagnosed with diabetes and more recently referred to a health management nurse, Nourah Chybli. In all the years that I have gone to medical practices I have never received the excellence of care that I have received and can hardly believe this would ever be possible in our medical system. The Primary Care Network is indeed the practice of excellence and I, for one, would love to give you a shining star for the level of performance and care you are dispensing. Thanking you very much.
~ Al Calvez, patient
Dr. Caeley Lorincz is a passionate practitioner of patient-centered care. She is knowledgeable and well-read, ensuring that the care she provides is both progressive and evidence-based. Simultaneously, she respects and empowers my lived experience as an informed patient and works hard to meet my needs as they emerge. After undergoing a spinal fusion, surviving a hit and run motor vehicle accident, and enduring a prolonged and severe infection – I can honestly say that I owe my recovery to Dr. Lorincz. She was a tireless advocate on my behalf. She ensured that I was referred to appropriate specialists in a timely manner and followed up on tests, appointments and set-backs with diligent zeal. Dr. Lorincz embraces a holistic approach to patient care monitoring both my physical and mental health. Likewise, she is proactive and innovative in the healthcare solutions that she embraces. She strikes an excellent balance between erudite expert and compassionate companion. For as long as live, I will forever be in her debt for saving my life last summer. She is truly a Health Hero and I am honoured to have her as my family doctor.
~ Lisa Petermann, patient
I am writing to nominate my family physician, Dr. Sanjeeve Sockanathan as my Health Hero. I am defined as a “complex patient” due to disabilities sustained at the workplace and then a motor vehicle accidents resulted in new and compounded injuries.
Dr. Sockanathan is the best family physician I have experienced in my lifetime. He skillfully refers me to specialists as needed. Dr. Sockanathan has always been my “safe place” to discuss health concerns. He leaves me with a sense of hope for the future. I am unsure if Dr. Sockanathan realizes the impact he has had on my life. There are times a physician may feel discouraged when complex patients are not improving. After I recovered from spine surgery, I walked into Dr. Sockanathan’s office to let him know one of his complex patients was improving!
There were times I felt emotional due to a brain injury and severe neuropathic pain. After meeting with my doctor, I felt content; I realized how fortunate I was to be under the care of a compassionate, proficient physician. I feel privileged to be a patient of Dr. Sockanathan. He is respectful and treats me with dignity. He is empathetic and he also interjects humour at opportune times. This physician is an integral part of my care in terms of advocacy within the health care system.
Dr. Sockanathan truly is my Health Hero. I hope he is recognized for the tremendous difference he makes in the lives of his patients.
~ Joy Reid, patient
I would like to express my deepest gratitude and gratefulness for the exceptional care I have received from Dr. Sanjeeve Sockanathan. From the very first time I met him at his clinic, I was treated with dignity and respect. Dr. Sockanathan took the time to hear all of my concerns and recognized me for the personal research I have done. Dr. Sockanathan is very humble and caring. When you are treated by Dr. Sockanathan, you have very realistic expectations about how to manage your challenge.
Dr. Sockanathan provides a safe place to express concerns and frustrations. Dr. Sockanathan cares deeply about his patients, and is really the only doctor who took the time to truly listen to me, and provide a treatment plan I needed. When I needed referrals, he always made sure they were done quickly so I have been able to get the help I needed as quickly as possible. Dr. Sockanathan is an absolutely exceptional doctor. Thank you so very much, Dr. Sockanathan. I wish you all the most success.
~Brandon Pringle, patient
All of our staff at the Riley Park Low-Risk Maternity Clinic are outstanding, but there is one who really shines. Ann Feliksiak-Smith is our wise and experienced registered nurse, whose knowledge of pregnancy issues is invaluable to our patients. Patients know that they can call our clinic anytime they have a concern, and they will get compassionate, knowledgeable advice from Ann. Her clinical experience and common sense ensure that she always knows when to give reassurance over the phone, when to bring a patient in for assessment at the clinic or hospital, and when to turn to one of our doctors for guidance. We rely on her, and so do our patients. The fact that she does all of this with a smile is just a bonus!
~ Dr. Heather Wrigley, physician
Shirley Sullivan is my Health Hero. When I returned from a doctor’s appointment with a stern lecture to change my diet, I met with Shirley and within 10 minutes she printed off some information for me and followed up later that week to make sure I was doing it and that the information was helpful.
~ Bryan Neill, Calgary Foothill PCN Controller
My whole family are patients of Dr. Lynn Gillis at Crowfoot Village Family Practice. Dr. Gillis has gone the extra mile for my family time and time again. Most recently, a member of our family has been struggling with significant mental health and behavioral challenges. Instead of viewing this as outside the scope of a family physician, Dr. Gillis quickly connected us with a psychiatrist to do collaborative shared-care. She didn’t simply refer us – rather, she meets with us and the psychiatrist to provide comprehensive care. In the last four weeks we have already had two after-hours meetings at Dr. Gillis’ office and have one planned for next week as well. I have never had a doctor stay so late after hours that she has had to help us leave the building because the doors were locked and everyone else was long gone! This is in addition to the phone calls and tremendous social emotional support she provides. My wife and I have never had a physician that listens so well and provides such comprehensive and timely care. We feel like we have won the health care jackpot with Dr. Gillis!
~ Tamara Gordon, patient
I would like to thank Dr Rick Ward. He was the physician who as CDM medical lead developed the web registry for unattached patients program. It was at a time when there was an advertised shortage of family physicians; reportedly 20 per cent of Calgarians did not have access to a family physician. We started it in Calgary Foothills PCN and Rick very quickly saw the advantages of a Calgary-wide service. This was probably the first pan-PCN strategy. It has since become a province-wide application.
~ Lorraine Bucholtz, Executive Director, Calgary Foothills PCN
Our family doctor, Dr. Rodel Cenabre at the Beacon Hill MCI Doctors office, is our Health Hero. He is a great doctor, always smiling and ever so cheerful. He listens patiently and it feels like half our troubles vanish as we step into his clinic. We always have come back satisfied with the quality of professional service that is delivered at his clinic. We are new to Calgary and had many apprehensions about the health care treatments and waiting periods in this city. Needless to say he took care to see that all our concerns were met with the right guidance and approach. Cheers to Dr. Cenabre and his team. A big thank you!
~ Meenakshi Kakkar, patient
Vicki Stooke is a nurse practitioner with the Calgary Foothills PCN, and I have the privilege to work with her at the Access 365 Clinic. She is outstanding in her role, thanks to her knowledge, common sense and excellent interpersonal skills. Patients appreciate her care immensely, and so do I! I look forward to working with her, as she is very collegial and we often learn new clinical pearls from one another. She is an exceptional clinician, and her kindness and compassion are just the icing on the cake!
~ Dr. Heather Wrigley, physician
As a recent transplant to Alberta, I am happy to have landed with an excellent doctor for myself and family in Cochrane. Dr. Mike Thompson has been incredibly willing to answer any and all of my questions (he’s patient with patients). I always feel like I am being listened to with serious contemplation. He has proposed reasonable solutions to healthcare maladies, always accompanied with a solid explanation of the what and why. His friendly demeanor is certainly much appreciated as well, by myself and my children. Thanks Dr. Thompson for making the move so much easier!
~Donald Adam Jamieson
I am writing this after being under the care of Dr. Sanjeeve Sockanathan for approximately one year. At that time, I was experiencing a recurrent anxiety episode, which I have struggled with for about six years now. Dr. Sockanathan invested significant time in not just prescribing medication, but also ensuring I took part in counselling as part of the PCN, using a psychologist as well as having my own.
Over the course of the year, my anxiety worsened as my marriage disintegrated, I attempted suicide on three occasions, and during this period Dr. Sockanathan was the best health care provider I could imagine. His caring manner, extra time provided, and genuine and sincere advice assisted me during the difficult time.
Today I am living alone, have purchased a new apartment, and am in a new relationship. None of this would be possible without the support of Dr. Sockanathan and the Primary Care Network. My me at health journey is not complete, but I feel the worst is over. Thank you.
~ Grant Dyck, patient
I would like to thank Melodie Lau, Calgary Foothills PCN pharmacist as my Health Hero. Mel has been incredibly helpful to me in my transition back to work through integrating me to a new clinic, updating me on the latest health information and practices and has been so patient with me re-learning the ropes. Mel is very reliable, highly competent, thorough, very skilled and knowledgeable. If she is uncertain about something she will find out the answer and get back to you. She is a hard worker, constant learner and a great team player! I have thoroughly enjoyed working together with her — it has been a lot of fun along the way! She cares about her patients and it shows in the patients that we share and the rapport they have built over time. You are awesome to work with Mel!
~ Erica Tam, health management nurse
Dr. Glenn Gould in the Valley View Family Practice has been my doctor for many years. I have found him to be patient-friendly…always carefully listening and then giving his sound medical advice. He does not appear to be rushed and takes the time that is needed to answer my questions. I trust him and hold him in the highest esteem.
~Martha Turnbull, patient
Our health home is Ranchlands Family Physicians. We have been been with Calgary Foothills PCN for the last 10 years. Over the years we have had many valuable members join our extended team. This year, we, and especially our patients, have been privileged to have Nourah Chybli join us. She has been a absolutely positive addition to our team. She is a good listener, knowledgable and effective in imparting her clinical knowledge to patients. This includes chronic disease as in diabetes, hypertension, asthma, etc. She helps manage obese patient by helping them regain their self confidence. We send patients to Nourah who at times have given up on their own ability to move forward, and and bingo! they come back, and say something like, “I’m prepared to start that medication,” or, “Can you make that referral to the behavioural health consultant?” or, “I have been going to the smoking cessation class, and really like your nurse.” Nourah is our Health Hero.
~ Dr. Ahmed Docrat & Dr. Rasheda Motala, physicians
I am writing to nominate Sally Maetche as my Health Hero. I was required to move my family practice last October, after having worked in my same location for 24 years, and having MedAccess as my EMR for 10 years. My friend and colleague, Dr. Michelle Deyholos was kind enough to secure me a practice location at the Foothills Primary Care Centre (FPCC), by speaking with Sally, who was the FPCC clinic manager at the time. Sally was instrumental in getting me established at the Foothills Professional Building clinic. She liaised with Wolf, getting all my necessary forms completed for transferring patient charts, and got me trained and ready to go live. Sally was fantastic ! I felt welcome right away, and I was so relieved that my chart transfer went well, and that I could use a new EMR. My practice move was very daunting, and I was very pleasantly surprised how well it went. My patients have made the transition well, too. That was in huge part due to Sally, (and my buddy Michelle ). I am still feeling lucky to have Sally as my PCN liasion. Thanks SO MUCH, Sally!
~ Dr. Kerryn Roberge, physician
My Health Hero is Tyla Tkachyk. She’s the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. She has made all of my appointments a positive experience. As someone who is chronically ill, I have dealt with many members of the medical profession. She has always taken the time to listen to my concerns, never rush and always make me feel validated. I am grateful and very lucky she is a part of my health care team.
~ Bianca Bauer, patient
I would like to thank Priscilla Fung, Calgary Foothills PCN pharmacist, who is my Health Hero. Priscilla is a wonderful person to work alongside! She has been caring for many of my patients while I have been away on maternity leave and done an incredible job! Priscilla works hard, is very reliable and always punctual. She is very knowledgeable, approachable and explains things very well. I know the patients that we have shared have found her extremely helpful and caring. Priscilla has many skills to offer as a PCN pharmacist and she does her job so well. It is such a pleasure to work with Priscilla on the same team at clinics and in facilitating classes.
~ Erica Tam, health management nurse
My Health Hero is Dr. Wendy Stefanek from Crowfoot Village Family Practice. Dr. Stefanek has helped me with sicknesses and infections. She has also helped my dad, Luis, with his knee after coming from a soccer tournament in Brazil. This helped me because it helped me stay calm and know that he is healthy. Now my dad does not have to stay in bed all day and he can spend more time with me and my family. My sister Ana had strep throat, and Dr. Stefanek helped her get through her sickness. Dr. Stefanek has helped my whole family stay healthy!
~ Marian Garrido, patient
My health hero is our behavioural health consultant, Rhoda Joseph. Rhoda is very professional but also very caring and kind. She is an excellent counsellor and really takes of people. I know so many patients who she has helped and everyone speaks highly of her. She is very easy to work with and I highly trust her opinions. We are so happy to have her in our clinic. Thank you.
~ Dr. Joan Knight, physician
I am Thom Gordon of Calgary and the past few months have been a real painful challenge for me. My family doctor, Dr. Julie Croteau of Crowfoot Village Family Practice finally has me on the road to recovery.
Severe arm pain had been preventing me from getting any sleep for two months. Beginning with anti-inflammatory medication, Dr. Croteau then sent me for imaging; referring me to a sports doctor for evaluation. My shoulder was the source of the problem. Physical therapy should help strengthen non-damaged muscles to compensate for an abused rotator muscle.
At the same time, I have been battling intense foot pain. Walking or even standing has been agonizing. Not one, but three different problems. Through Dr. Croteau’s recommendations, an adrenalin shot conquered the knotted tendons causing my foot to stiffen up; Orthotics will help with my falling arches; And finally, I am getting bone reshaping surgery to prevent excruciating corns from forming again.
I am very much looking forward to being active again. I may not be running any marathons or swooping around the uneven bars but I will be able to walk and sleep again thanks to her exuberant efforts.
~Thom Gordon, patient
I would like to convey a huge thank you to Dr. Marilyn Lee (Mount Pleasant Medical Clinic). Dr. Marilyn Lee has been my family physician for over 15 years and has guided me through many health obstacles I have experienced. In addition, she has been my son’s physician since birth to date (he is 14 years old). Her judgement is so precise, she is very knowledgeable and so compassionate. I’m really sad to hear that she is contemplating retirement and I hope that I will be able to receive the quality of care she provides from our future family physician.
~ Anar Velji, patient
I’d like to thank Dr. Lynn Gillis for being a caring doctor to my family. Over the years you have been through so much with us! Thank you
~ Heather Hendrickson, patient
Dr. Richa Love is an incredibly hardworking and committed doctor. Each day she goes above-and-beyond, whether it is making time for an extra patient who is in need, or even a team member. As a health team member who works at her clinic, I can say she is incredibly collaborative and genuinely interested in the work the health team is doing with her patients. She will always make time to sit down and problem solve with the each one of us to ensure we are doing everything in our power to optimize the health outcomes of patients. Her friendly and caring attitude creates such a warm environment at Thorncliffe. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be working at this clinic. Dr Love, you are such a wonderful person and make a difference in so many lives. You provide the most excellent of care and you are always such a pleasure to work with. Thank you for all your hard work — we appreciate everything you do each and every day!
~ Rosalie Kassen, health management nurse
Dr. Kenneth Cody is an exceptional man and a wonderful, professional physician. I am privileged to have been his patient for over 30 years. Thank you.
~ Calvin Hughes, patient
Ruby Qureshi has been a nurse with our group since we moved from Hawkwood Village to the Pinnacle Medical in the Hamptons in September 2014. She goes above and beyond. It goes without saying she fulfills her formal duties beyond reproach. She is always kind and professional, in good spirits and a good listener. She is not infrequently a personal support to me in dealing with difficult patients and their aftermath. She often knows what I might need before I know it myself, beit a certain form, piece of equipment, vital sign, or a cup of tea with milk. I am so grateful for all the ways she makes my day run more smoothly – for her help with phone calls, blood pressures, and making patients feel at ease as she invites them into the exam room. She has even made an effort to master the pronunciation of the most challenging of Polish names. It is not the same without her there (and I am so glad we planned our vacations for the same time). 🙂
Dr. Agata Nowinka, Pinnacle Medical Centre (Hamptons)
I attend the Riley Park Calgary Foothills Primary Network. My doctor, Dr. Jaco Kruger, has been a great professional support during difficult personal times. I’d also like to thank my very kind and very bright nurse practitioner Vicki Stooke. The chronic disease registered nurses and the registered dietitian were very helpful as well. The class called Craving Change was truly insightful. Thank you to the educators. I feel very supported by all these compassionate, caring health professionals. Thank you!
~ Carla Wilton , patient
We want to say thank you to Crowfoot Village Family Practice and specifically Dr. Wendy Stefanek for their excellent care. When we needed a prescription for an infection that had been bothering my child for, as it turned out, months, Dr. Stefanek followed up on her days off and gave me her cell number (I thought the practice of giving out a personal number was long gone!) to ensure she could get the prescription before the long weekend and start feeling better. We really appreciate that we can count on our doctor and the whole team to help us maintain the best possible health! Thank you!
~ Kristin Raugust, patient
Dr. Sanjeev Bhatla is one of my health heroes. He’s one of the most collaborative physicians I have ever worked with. In addition to his positive, caring and fatherly attitude, he is very supportive of the team and understands and appreciates the benefits to him and his patients that a team can offer. We are in constant communication, and I really appreciate how we are empowered by him to help care for his patients to the best of our ability. Thank you, Dr. Bhatla!
~ Melodie Lau, pharmacist
Dr. Jodie Clark is awesome. Finally, after years of searching, I found a doctor who listens to me, takes my health care seriously, and doesn’t just write me a prescription for this or that and move along to the next room. The stress of not having a doctor who listened or cared was weighing on me more than I thought, and it is such a relief to have a doctor who wants to help me get off medications that I haven’t found helpful as well as improve my overall heath. From the weird twinge in my jaw, to my concussion early this year, Dr. Clark takes it all very seriously and does everything possible to help figure out the causes of my problems and fix me up. I don’t know where I’d be without her and I never want to find out! Thanks Dr. Clark!
~ Leah Nicholson, patient
I would like to recognize my physician, Dr. Maeve O’Beirne. I recently had my first child, who was overdue with a bit of a difficult delivery. Dr. O’Berine was so lovely to my husband and I, and my mother. She made my support systems feel at ease, which was very important so that they could fully be there and present to help me in my recovery. She also takes the time to listen to each of my concerns. She was especially thoughtful and related to how I felt when it came to the recovery of my body and how I looked, which was important to me. This is often diminished by health care professionals and described as something one should get used. Instead, Dr. O’Beirne helped me to understand that it will take time to feel and look more like myself, and that I am not just someone who is there to take care of my newborn. She is a fantastic physician and my family is lucky to have her as ours.
~ Kulvir Badh, patient
I would like to recognize my medical office assistance staff, specifically Mow and Sonia, at Edmonton Trail for doing an exceptional service in finding, booking, and reminding patients of their appointment with the health team. Because of them, my transition as a new team member has been seamless. Thanks!
~Alison Fong, health management nurse
My health heros are as follows: Dr. Simon Arthur – Valley View Family Practice. He has been our family doctor for 20 years. Kind, honest, very professional, just the best there is. Goes out of his way to take care of us.
Gisele Scott-Woo, diabetic pharmacist. Without her I would not be able to get a handle on my diabetes. I can count on her to help me out even by phone. She is always there for my husband and I.
Nadia, receptionist for Foothills Primary Care Centre. From when you walk in to when you leave, she is so helpful. Always has a smile for everyone and really helps with bookings to suit your lifestyle.
These professionals are the best. I feel safe in their hands.
~ Jeanne C. Gearey, patient
We would like to nominate Yasmin Kanany as our health hero at Aspen Medical. She runs our office of eight busy physicians with efficiency, exuberance, kindness and humour. Yasmin greets both patients and staff with a smile and is an absolute joy to work with. She is a hard worker who is very dedicated, and is often the person staying late until everything is done. She is a team player, able to slip in to every role that is needed at the office from triaging, booking, and direct patient care to referrals and working with the EMR. However, the thing we appreciate most about her is that she is exceptionally dependable, a quality often difficult to find in people, but one that makes all of our work so much easier. We appreciate her every single day and feel so fortunate to have her as part of our team and are delighted to nominate her as our health hero.
~ Dr. Anna Stys and Dr. Supriya Goyal, Aspen Medical Clinic
I am thrilled to express my appreciation and respect for Dr Andrew Eddy. It was a tough transition to move from my retiring family doctor of 20 plus years to Dr Eddy, but well worth it. He is kind, professional and extremely efficient. I have been supported in all aspects of my health care and he takes joy in my personal successes (like weight loss). My family all sees Dr Eddy and he has developed a relationship with us all. I find him so approachable, and thoughtful in his communication with me. Thanks Dr. Eddy for being my Health Hero!
~ Kim Riley, patient
I was in the Foothills Hospital recovering from an angioplasty when Dr. Simon G. Arthur entered our lives. He had come into the room to visit a patient in the next bed. My wife and I had recently lost our GP when he relocated to the USA so I dared to ask Simon if he was accepting new patients. Gratefully, he did take us on those many years ago! He has proven to be an empathetic and gentlemanly soul, thorough in his diagnoses and always taking time to explain his findings. We are continually grateful to be in his hands and we want you at CFPCN to know what a treasure you (and we) have in him. Many thanks, Dr. Arthur!
~ Michael and Sandra Prior, patients
I became a patient of Dr. Harjot Singh around 2005. I am a diabetic, overweight, and I smoked. Through Dr. Singh and Calgary Foothills PCN, I quit smoking in June 2008, and I have not craved a cigarette since. I have had problems with my diabetes and my heart , Dr. Singh and her PCN team (pharmacist Noorani Ramji) have set up a personal care contract to lose weight and improve my health. This has made me accountable for my progress. Dr. Singh meets with me once a month to measure my progress. I see Noorani and Dr. Singh every three month to go over my blood work. It has been a slow process but my weight is coming down, my health has dramatically improve, and I have had a reduction in some of my medications. If it were not for Dr. Singh and Noorani Ramji, I believe that I would not be walking around as well as I am. Thanks to them I am enjoying a much better quality of life.
~ Blaine Ruttan, patient