Innovation is a big deal when it comes to service delivery. Public servants are increasingly being asked to do more with less – so it lifts the spirits to see so many departments and agencies coming up with new ways to deliver service. And it’s even better when they get recognized for their work.

Last week, the province of Manitoba recognized health care innovation by honouring six projects carried out by front-line health care workers and community groups.

The six projects are as follows:

  • Assigning a nurse to improve ER patient flow at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital;
  • The introduction of home teams to help patients continue to live in their own homes, thereby reducing the number of ER visits;
  • A partnership between the Northern Regional Health Authority and Speechworks to provide Manitobans living in remote areas with access to speech pathology services and post-stroke swallowing assessments using Telehealth and iPad technology;
  • Providing better access to care for Winnipeggers who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Providing community-based psychiatric services to mental health patients to reduce the risk of re-hospitalization or suicide; and
  • The introduction of a Winnipeg project that uses new tools and methods to better manage patient flow in the Womand and Child Program at St. Boniface Hospital.

Additionally, the province presented Jeanne Strutinsky with the Enid Thompson Award for Health Care Innovation for her 30 years of service to Manitoba’s children and families.

The Mino Bimaadiziwin Innovation Award for Healthy Living was also awarded to two organizations: the Gambler First Nation Health Centre and the Portage la Prairie Friendship Centre.

More information on the award recipients can be found here.

“We are always looking for ways to improve care and ensure patient safety while maintaining dignity and compassion,” health minister Erin Selby said at last week’s Health Innovation Conference.  “These award-winning projects were initiated by staff members and are excellent new ways to provide innovative care that will benefit patients and ensure a high-quality, sustainable health-care system.”

Amy Allen
Amy Allen is a staff writer with Canadian Government Executive magazine. You can connect with her at