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Central CCAC named a GTA Top Employer

Better healthcare workplaces equal better care

For the fifth year in a row, the Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) has been named a Greater Toronto Area top employer, sending a strong signal that this is an organization that cares about both patients and employees.

"Attracting and retaining the most knowledgeable, skilled and caring staff is a priority for us, so we work hard to be an 'employer of choice', one that supports our employees as they provide quality, person-focused care," says CEO, Jo-anne Marr.    

Each year, just over 77,800 people in Ontario receive Central CCAC services, around 33,000 on any given day. Community care coordinators like Hazel Desamito-Kathuria make that possible.

A licensed nurse practitioner, Hazel has worked at CCAC since 2005. She moved into community care from the hospital sector because she saw an opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life for patients, most of whom want to remain in their own home, even as their health needs escalate.

"Our patients are people with very complex needs," she explains. "To help them get the right care, I have to understand what they and their families are going through, what changes they are experiencing in the home, and what they really need."

A significant part of Hazel's role is offering guidance to patients and families, who are often bewildered by the complicated health system and unaware of the services available to them. When needed, Hazel says she makes phone calls on a patient's behalf, or even gets paperwork started if it will reduce the time people wait for the help they need. 

One family described Hazel's support as "exceptional" during a difficult and emotional time in their lives. "We were determined to have our mom pass away at home, and Hazel helped us cope with that challenge. She made us aware of which services CCAC might be able to provide, and those it could not provide, and she always delivered on her commitments. This helped to make my mother's last days far more bearable and helped to ease a great burden on the family."

Along with the GTA top employer award, Central CCAC also recently earned a Gold level Quality Healthcare Workplace Award from the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the fourth consecutive year.