Honouring community health workers

Today, on Health Care Assistant Day, we recognize and celebrate the important but often overlooked work that more than two thousand UFCW 1518 members serving as community health workers perform every day.  They provide front-line care for seniors, patients with mental illnesses and other vulnerable community members in their homes, where many people prefer to be.

In 2011, the provincial government proclaimed October 18 as Health Care Assistant Day to acknowledge the critical role that these caring professionals play in our universal public health system. From personal care to the administration of medication, community health work is complex and ever-changing, offered around the clock and customized to the individual needs of patients. Importantly, this work allows people to remain living in their homes, surrounded by the things they know and the people they love.

That is why today we honour you. “I am so proud of our community health workers and the essential service they provide,” says Kim Novak, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW 1518. “Our health care system wouldn’t be as compassionate without the option for people to convalesce, live independently, or live out their remaining days at home. Our members help make that happen. They care for people when they need it the most.”

It’s nice to be noticed, says Tamara Hammell, UFCW 1518 member and a community health worker at Kelowna Home Support. “I’m very happy that there is a day that speaks for us, because when we go to work, we work directly with our clients, not coworkers. So it makes me feel good to be recognized by other people.” To Tamara and of our community health members, we want you to know that we appreciate you and celebrate your commitment to making the lives of those in need of care better and brighter.

Happy Health Care Assistant Day!