2023 Care Provider of the Year Award in Long-Term Care Nominees (Part 5)

The BC Care Provider of the Year | Long-Term Care Award celebrates the exemplary individuals who go above and beyond in delivering support and care for seniors.

Winners will officially be announced in January 2024 and will be presented their awards at the BC Care Awards ceremony at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. on February 27, 2024.

Below we highlight five exceptional individuals in long-term care who were nominated for their commitment to quality, compassion, and excellence in care.

Dolly McDonald

A Clinical Nurse Lead, Dolly shows an unwavering commitment to the team and the elders at Eden Gardens on a daily basis. She is the first to step up when assistance of any kind is needed, and meets the team and elders with compassion, kindness, and the most magical sense of humor. Dolly is keen to learn and is always willing to step out of her comfort zone and embrace new skills and processes in order to ensure the best possible care is being provided. Her dedication to Eden Gardens and long-term care is unparalleled.


From her colleagues:

“Dolly’s dedication to Eden Gardens and to each and every one of the elders here is extraordinary. No matter how grueling her day is, she always puts the elders first. She has compassion that is unimaginable to most. She is always ready to help wherever she is needed, and Dolly exhibits everything you can think of when you imagine what a nurse should be. She genuinely loves what she does and it shows through each time she walks in the door.”

“Dolly is happy to step out of her comfort zone if it means a positive impact on staff and elders.  She makes immense personal sacrifices to step up and in when there are gaps in nursing coverage – there have been days that Dolly has set up a cot in a classroom and spent the night on site so she can cover a morning shift after an evening shift.  She does all these things with grace, empathy and most of all, genuine care for those in our home. She is an incredible advocate and has earned a title of Care Giver of the year for many years!”


Reah Fernandez

As a restorative care worker (RCW) at Broadway Lodge, Reah provides support to residents through exercise and movement. Reah knows each resident’s preferences and what brings them joy and a sense of purpose and satisfaction through the range of activities she offers. She personalizes every interaction, and tops each off with a dash of fun and a sprinkling of love. For those who are bed-bound, there is love for them too! Reah makes sure her time is spread out for everyone as the RCW’s work in the ALP (Active Living Program) is highly valued by residents, families, and staff.

From resident family members:

“My family would like to share heartfelt gratitude on the impact Reah has made for our mother. Reah’s compassion and skill glows through my mother active engagement in therapy. I myself have witnessed her natural servant leadership bringing residents together. She dances with her and can guide using non-verbal gentle communication. She is dear to our hearts. We are grateful for Reah.

From a colleague (Occupational Therapist):

“Reah is a perfect example of someone who goes above and beyond for the sake of our residents at Broadway Lodge. Ever since the first day I met Reah, I knew there would always be a friendly face around Broadway Lodge to talk to, especially on the more challenging days. […] having a designated rehabilitation assistant, Reah is always eager to help me, and I know I can always rely on her. Reah Fernandez is a kind, compassionate and enthusiastic individual who brings joy to residents, families and staff at Broadway Lodge.”


Rebecca Burr

Rebecca goes above and beyond in her role as a Resident Care Aide working with older adults at AgeCare’s Cariboo Place. She is very empathetic and compassionate towards residents, acknowledging their individual needs, preferences, and concerns. She provides care that is person-centered, tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each resident. Recognizing the significance of comfort items in residents’ lives, she takes the extra step of creating personalized care packages with their favorite snacks, blankets, or mementos, enhancing residents’ sense of well-being and making them feel comfortable and at home. Lastly, Rebecca is committed to building a collaborative team within the AgeCare community – ensuring doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff are on the same page and working together to ensure that residents’ needs are met.

From a fellow colleague:

“She has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional healthcare and support to our residents. Her compassionate nature, dedication, and outstanding work ethic have not gone unnoticed. Rebecca goes above and beyond to ensure the wellbeing and comfort of those under her care, creating a positive and uplifting environment. Her ability to handle challenging situations with grace and empathy sets a remarkable standard for all resident care aids. This recognition is well-deserved, and Rebecca serves as an inspiration to us all, embodying the true essence of compassionate healthcare.”


Marius Mazilu

Marius has been a health care aide for over 7 years at Nicola Lodge. During this time, he has exhibited an unparalleled commitment to providing high-quality care that shines through in every interaction with our residents. He embodies compassion, warmth, and genuine empathy, creating a nurturing environment that fosters trust and comfort among residents. His patience and composed demeanor, even in challenging situations, reflect his exceptional dedication to the well-being of both residents and colleagues. Residents consistently express gratitude for Marius’ kindness and the positive impact he brings to their daily lives. His commitment to excellence in care delivery is truly commendable and serves as a shining example within the Nicola Lodge community.

From a resident:

“Marius is always happy, kind hearted and really good with families and visitors. He will always make an effort to come say hello and see how I am doing.”

From a Director of Care:

“His personality and positive attitude is contagious. He truly cares for his co workers education needs and safety. Is always willing to help all departments and is enthusiastic about all education sessions.”


Debbie Kleu

Debbie, under her compassionate leadership, steered James Bay through an almost seamless transition into AgeCare. As an Executive Director, Debbie has an impactful leadership style that makes AgeCare James Bay feel like a home to both residents and employees. In absence of leadership positions within her home and other communities on the Island, Debbie has never hesitated to step up to the plate and fill in for other roles to support her team or coworkers on the island. Debbie’s caring approach is evidenced by the meaningful relationships she has fostered in James Bay with both residents and coworkers. She keeps her office door open and is always there for a chat with residents, leadership, and frontline team members. She has a talent for holding employees and contracted staff accountable for their responsibilities in a firm but caring way.

From her colleagues:

“Debbie’s passion and pride for AgeCare James Bay and its residents equips her with the resiliency to weather any storm (whether she believes this or not, she is very humble!). She does a great job recognizing and celebrating the wins of the home even during times of difficulty. This creates strong leadership and frontline team relationships that make AgeCare James Bay a lovely place to live and work at.”

“In a home that has many contracted workers, Debbie has great respect for all disciplines and sees herself as a team player amongst the entire leadership team. Her inclusive team approach creates a positive and trusting environment that is mutually beneficial for all.”


Thank you to our generous sponsor for the BC Care Provider of the Year | Long Term Care Award:

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