Manitoulin Lodge employee recognized with Dragon Award from Jarlette Health Services

GORE BAY—An employee of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay has received the very prestigious Dragon Award from Jarlette Health Services Inc. As well, with June being staff appreciation month, the administrator of the Lodge recognized all staff members at a luncheon hosted last week.

“I have to say that I had to trick Pat (Atkins) to go down south to receive award; I told him it was for an important meeting,” said Sue Farren, administrator of the Lodge.

What Mr. Atkins was being coaxed to southern Ontario for was to be presented with a Dragon Award, by Jarlette Health Services. Ms. Farren read the speech by Julia King (Chief Operating Officer of Jarlette). “For those who may not be familiar with the Dragon Awards, in China dragons are associated with strength, health, harmony and good luck. The dragon person has an active mind and shows an unfeigned interest in the world around them. This person is also self-confident enough to know how to create a necessary impression. Because they are larger than life themselves, dragon people like to do everything on a grand scale. They will stop at nothing to get what they want. They are capable of great achievements  if they know how to harness their own tremendous energy, intelligence and talent.”

“They also have a brave and charitable side to their personally,” said Ms. Farren. “If a dragon’s friend faces a problem or dilemma, they will be  there to offer help, and when others leave the field of battle the dragon takes a step forward to solve the problem with authority and dignity. Dragons set a high standard of actions for themselves as well as for other people.”

“The people who are recognized with the dragon awards here at Jarlette Health Services have exhibited great effort in what they do, always going above and beyond and contributing to our core values of, “Everything we do is with commitment and passion, treating people with respect, striving to always do the right thing and being proactively accountable and responsible, they exude these behaviours and they really do make an outstanding difference in the lives of others!”

Ms. King had said in her speech at the awards presentation, ”our first recipient this evening, had to be lured here under false pretenses, because if we hadn’t told a fib or two, we simply would not have been successful in getting him here. Thinking he was coming to meet with David to talk about boiler systems and redevelopment, Pat Atkins has become somewhat of an icon at Manitoulin Lodge providing maintenance services at the lodge for over 25 years. Pat wears multiple hats. Unlike the saying “jack of all trades and master of none,” Pat actually is a master of pretty much everything imaginable.”

“Those of our team members who work in aging buildings know how challenging it can be to keep everything  going day in and day out, but this is even more so of a challenge at times on the Island,” said Ms. King. “In addition to his routine maintenance services, Pat also doubles as the outside winter maintenance guy.”

“Pat believes firmly in doing things himself, avoiding calling in outside contractors whenever possible, which creates not only a  sense of pride and ownership in his handiwork, but obviously keeps additional and unwarranted expenses at bay,” Ms. King continued.

“While some might think that our generator at Manitoulin Lodge resembles more of an old car engine than anything else, Pat tells the generator company and others who may inspect it that there is absolutely  no issues with it and it  will do everything he can to keep it going for years to come. I can tell you that that generator starts without fail each and every time.”

“Pat looks out for the best interest of the lodge and ultimately our residents,” read Ms. Farren. “It is not uncommon to see Pat assisting with portering and transporting residents to the dining room, or stopping to have conversations with the residents.”

“Pat even participates in resident programs,” said Ms. King. “On a weekly basis,  Pat can be found in the dining room with the residents, running the bread making program, which by the way, Pat purchased himself.”

“A believer in the DementiAbility program, Pat has created purpose for many residents in providing jobs for them in keeping with their interests and desires. Pat has been seen painting birdhouses with residents, allowing residents to assist him with maintenance where they can safely do so and creating other activities all which help the residents keep their hands and minds busy,” continued Ms. King.

“Pat is a charmer, both with the residents and staff alike. He is never shy of compliments for both, he has a great sense of humour and keeps the staff on their toes with his practical jokes. Pat, you consistently go above and beyond, emulating the true meaning of a dragon,” read Ms. Farren. “Thank you for not only making an outstanding difference in the lives of others but an extraordinary outstanding difference.”

“Please join me in congratulating Pat,” said Ms. Farren. The Dragon Award is the highest honour that one can receive from Jarlette Health Services.

“The month of June is staff appreciation month,” said Ms. Farren. “We really want to honour our PSWs (Personal Support Workers) and all the tremendous work that you do. Thank you.”

“I want all of you to be happy,” continued Ms. Farren. She presented t-shirts to all the employees with the inscription ‘Manitoulin Lodge PSWs Rock,’ on the back.

Reprinted from The Manitoulin Expositor, June 22, 2018, by Tom Sasvari