Meet Lillian, our Provincial Project Manager

Lillian has been part of this project from 2014 and works to support the Regional Engagement Leads, the volunteers, the care homes, the survey vendor, and the Office of the Seniors Advocate from downtown Vancouver.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not managing this massive project?

“When I’m not working on this project, I am out and about on some adventure and can hardly sit still. I love the mountains – I love skiing on them in the winter, I love running on them in the summer, and I love dreaming about them when it’s not summer or winter. I also love to run. In fact, I love it so much that one time I ran for 11 hours straight and completed an ultra-marathon. About halfway through that race, I vowed I would never do another one again, but by the time I crossed the finish line I was laughing (I may or may not have been delirious) and signed up for another one.”

What has been your favourite part of managing this project?

“I have two favourite parts. Firstly, the volunteers. I can’t quite put into words what it means to have such amazing individuals dedicate the time, skills, and patience to engage with all 27,000 of our residents. This project, which is fuelled by the volunteers, would literally be impossible without them. To me, the volunteers are the most patient, the most tenacious, and just such a big source of pride. Secondly, I really enjoy working with such a strong team across the province. The Regional Engagement Leads, the survey vendor in Toronto, and the core project team here in Vancouver, have managed to work our way (and continue to do so!) through a very complicated project through supporting and trusting one another. It also helps that the RELs have a wonderful sense of humour and laugh at my jokes 75% of the time. I’ve really enjoyed watching the team learn about one another, grow together, be challenged together, and then take a step back and look at the work that we have accomplished…together!”

What has been the biggest challenge for you?

“The biggest challenge for me is keeping all of the details straight! There are so many moving parts and to be able to remember it all, or at least a large chunk of it, has proven to be a non-stop brain exercise.”

What surprised you the most during this project?

“I have been the most surprised by the sheer dedication from our volunteers who have listened to the voices of our residents in care. This has blown me away. Nearly every week, I hear an anecdote from one of the RELs about one of their volunteers and one of their stories about speaking with residents. The stories range from volunteers spending a little extra time with residents who enjoy the company, to driving out of their way to conduct interviews at remote care homes, to the sheer number of hours cumulatively dedicated to this project (which is, by the way, nearly 21,000 hours). I think both the qualitative stories and the quantitative metrics speak volumes to how much we care for our seniors and the future of long-term residential care in BC.”

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