Bryce Walker, Home Support Services Regional Coordinator, was instrumental in centralizing and standardizing home support services to improve both care delivery and patient care.
When Bryce Walker first joined Fraser Health’s Home Support Team in 2004, it was quite a departure from his planned career as a teacher.
But over the years he has found his diploma in adult learning was exactly what he needed to lead his team as he grew in his role, going from administrative support, to scheduler and union steward, to senior clerk to information technology administrator to regional program coordinator.
“I think teaching and leadership have a lot of similarities,” the Chilliwack resident said. “How you read people, approach them, set up expectations, those are all teaching skills.”
In a way, Bryce explained, the Home Support program has served as an on-the-job school. “I started working for Fraser Health fairly soon out of high school,” he recalled, “so I kind of feel like I grew up in home support.”
Today, he’s filled every position in his field, except for providing direct patient care. It was this diverse knowledge of the system that enabled him to take the reins during the incredibly complex centralization of Home Support Services in 2015. Bryce led efforts to standardize service delivery, protocols, and administration between regions. And in so doing he found himself drawing – finally – on his adult education expertise as he trained employees in new centralization practices.
Bryce put in hundreds of hours of his own time on evenings and weekends to establish the new workplace and support employees with the transition. He collaborated with teams across New Westminster, Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission to ease their experience of reorganization and mentored new schedulers and clerks.
His goal, he said was to “ensure we are not doing things differently in one community to another in terms of support structures for community health workers, which really just speaks to the quality of our care. The end result is more consistent services for clients. I kind of looked at it as bringing all the blood to the internal organs – bringing everything into one place to keep those critical systems going.”
His team of 35 home support scheduling employees now organize care for approximately 2,600 patients, connecting them with care from 850 community health workers who provide an average of 109,000 visits every month.
“It’s a lot of work,” Bryce explained.” We’re supporting Fraser Health initiatives like Home is Best, Home First and as well, we’re doing a new initiative called ER to Home, all of which are helping with our shift to community care.”
Dale Wakefield, Manager of Clinical Operations, said Bryce had gone “above and beyond what was asked of him” in his new role. “His support and dedication was invaluable and contributed to the success of the new model.”
Among his efforts, Bryce took on a project in his own time to develop a training guide for an important piece of scheduling software that lacked one, creating a resource for employees across the region.
Colleagues praise him for motivating and inspiring others, leading by example and supporting team development initiatives which have resulted in reduced sick time, and increased employee retention, morale and productivity. His co-workers praise Bryce’s problem-solving and critical thinking and his willingness to mentor team members to achieve their best.
“Bryce’s support of his peers and team members empowers everyone around him to work just as hard as he does,” said colleague Raj Gill, Home Support Team Leader. “I have worked with Bryce for many years and since he accepted the coordinator role he has grown exponentially as an individual as well as a leader.”
And, at last, a teacher.