Walk the Talk 2013: President’s Award of Excellence

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Aaron Skillen, Program Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence.
Aaron Skillen, Program Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence.
Aaron Skillen, Program Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence.
Aaron Skillen, Program Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence.

Excellence and Healthcare – Hand in Hand

THUNDER BAY – Living – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) distributes Walk the Talk Awards each year in a number of categories to acknowledge and reward physicians and staff members who go above and beyond in their work. These individuals are helping the TBRHSC turn its vision of becoming a world-class patient and family centred academic health sciences centre into a reality.

The President’s Award of Excellence goes to an individual who demonstrates commitment to patient care, the team and the organization as well as excellence in contributing to the mission, vision, and values.

This year’s President’s Award of Excellence recipient is Program Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management and Medicine Service, Aaron Skillen.

“Aaron consistently demonstrates his commitment to patients and families,” says Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO, TBRHSC. “Above finance and logistics, Aaron prioritizes the level of comfort and safety for patients. Challenged to identify system efficiencies, he has never lost sight of the people who need care.”

Skillen is not only committed to patients and families of TBRHSC. In his office, he is surrounded by pictures of his own family – wife Rhonda, five-year-old daughter Sam and eight-month-old son Shea – framed behind glass, on a wall calendar, mouse pad and even on Skillen’s coffee cup.

“The most precious time of the day is when I get home and spend time with my family,” says Skillen.

That may sound surprising from someone who directs a very large and busy program that includes two medical inpatient units; hospitalist services; the Northwest regional renal program; outpatient chronic disease clinics such as the Centre for Complex Diabetes Care, The Bariatric Care Centre and the internal medicine clinic. He is also responsible for corporate patient flow services at TBRHSC.

“My family keeps me balanced, and they are very supportive when my job requires evening or weekend commitment.”

A Thunder Bay native and Lakehead University graduate, Skillen pursued his Master of Business Administration in Alberta. He worked for ten years at the University of Alberta and Capital Health in Edmonton. In 2007, he and his wife decided to return to Thunder Bay to be closer to family. Skillen then took on a Director role at TBRHSC in the Regional Cancer Centre.

He says it was an honour to be recognized with the President’s Award of Excellence and for his contribution to TBRHSC’s vision, mission, and values. “It’s very humbling, because when I think of patient care, I think of the clinical and support teams – physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, Diagnostic Imaging staff and the Housekeeping staff, among many others. It’s a privilege to work at TBRHSC, and in my administrative role, very fulfilling to contribute to our mission of delivering world-class Patient and Family Centred Care.”

Congratulations Aaron Skillen!         

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