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Transition team presented with Premier's Award for Excellence

Nov 29, 2018

The team of health-care professionals who put together the plan for restructuring the health-care system in Saskatchewan has been honoured by the Premier of Saskatchewan.

At a ceremony in Regina on November 22, members of the Health System Restructuring Team for the Saskatchewan Health Authority were presented with the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service.

Established in 2003, this award is presented to members of Saskatchewan's public service who have made outstanding on-the-job contributions to the government and citizens of the province. The Premier's Award is a way to recognize, celebrate and take pride in the achievements of our province and people, and it is awarded in three categories: emerging leader, individual and teams.

The Health Care Transition Team was presented with the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service at a ceremony in Regina on November 22.

The Health System Restructuring Team was one of four teams honoured with the award. The move to a single health authority, which occurred December 4, 2017, was driven by a commitment to improve the efficiency of the health system, reduce duplication of effort and, ultimately, to improve point-of-care for people across the province. One of the first actions of the Transition Team was to determine the principles that would guide their work, which included a patient-first approach; focus on quality and safety; open and transparent communication; collaboration and engagement; respect for people and culture; and evidence-based decision making.

The work of the Transition Team has laid the foundation for the SHA to continue its transformational journey, including full implementation of all of the Advisory Panel’s recommendations.

“I’m extremely proud of the work the Transition Team accomplished,” noted Beth Vachon, who led the team, and is now the Vice President for Quality, Safety and Strategy for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. “In under a year, our team put together a process and a structure that allowed us to successfully transition from 12 health regions to a single health authority – the largest amalgamation in Saskatchewan’s history – which is now nearly a year old. As a single health authority, we are focused on better coordination of health care services across the province, to ensure patients receive high quality, timely health care, regardless of where they live in Saskatchewan. One organization can also better move forward on system-wide initiatives with the goal of providing a seamless care experience to all.”

“This award from the Premier really recognizes the incredible work our team accomplished. I am so grateful that we were chosen to receive this honour,” Vachon noted.

Members of the Health System Restructuring Transition Team include:

  • Beth Vachon, Vice President, Quality, Safety and Strategy, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)
  • Michelle Schmalenberg, Executive Director, Strategy and Innovation, SHA
  • Julianne Jack, Director of Regional Services, Communications Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Scott Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer, SHA
  • Ted Warawa, Analyst, Transformational Services, 3sHealth
  • Mike Northcott, Chief Human Resources Officer, SHA
  • Mark Anderson, CEO, 3sHealth
  • Suann Laurent, Chief Operating Officer, SHA
  • Robbie Peters, Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, SHA
  • Tina Anderson, Administrative Assistant, Medical Services Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Dr. Kevin Wasko, Physician Executive, Integrated Rural Health, SHA
  • Dr. Bruce Murray, Pathologist

Others involved with the Transition Team include:

  • Ingrid Kirby - Acting Associate Executive Director, Medical Services Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Lesley Hooker - A/Director of Governance, Policy and Legislative Services Unit, Partnerships and Workforce Planning Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Duane Mombourquette – Executive Director, Partnerships and Workforce Planning Branch, Ministry of Health
  • Sheila Mann - Senior Policy Analyst – Intergovernmental and Indigenous Relations, Ministry of Health
  • Tracey Smith – Assistant Deputy Minister, Income Assistance, Social Services
  • Rick Hischebett – Crown Council, Ministry of Justice

Those eligible for the Premier's Awards include employees of ministries, Crown Investments Corporation Crowns, Treasury Board Crowns, agencies, boards and commissions are eligible.

An independent selection committee recommends three to six individual or team recipients per year. This year, four teams and four individuals received awards.

“It is my privilege to congratulate the 2018 recipients,” Premier Moe stated in a press release issued in October, when the recipients were announced. “Public servants strive to improve the quality of programs and services offered to the people of Saskatchewan. The individuals and teams being honoured have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their work, which is reflected in the success of our province.”

The other 2018 recipients were:

  • Khang Nguyen, Public Service Commission (Emerging Leader)
  • Brent Preston, Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety (Emerging Leader);
  • Erin Layton, Legal Aid Saskatchewan (Individual);
  • Kevin Mooney, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (Individual);
  • The Joint-Use School Early Learning Workshop Group Team, Ministry of Education;
  • The Ready to Work – Tourism Careers Team, Tourism Saskatchewan; and
  • The Regina Bypass Project – Phase I Completion Team, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.


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