A team from the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority was recognized for helping people displaced by the March 15 fire at the Mackenzie Place highrise.

The team received a Premier’s Award for Excellence on June 10 in Yellowknife.

And on June 14, members of the team gathered in the cafeteria of the Hay River Regional Health Centre to be congratulated by Erin Griffiths, the CEO of the authority.

“This represents true commitment and the really hard work that you do every day to help our clients and support those in the community,” she told the staff members.

Griffiths noted the team from the authority worked for 10 days immediately after the fire to help find housing for the evacuees, organize donations, provide meals, offer transportation, keep communications open, take emergency calls and more.

On June 14, the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority and its staff members celebrated receiving a Premier’s Award for Excellence for its work in supporting the evacuees from the March 15 fire at the Mackenzie Place highrise. Members of the response team included, left to right, Ana Strbac, Jennifer Croucher, Alvin Pitre, Maureen Monkman, Sarah Poitras, Kaylynne Mateus, Debra Buggins, Stephanie Biggar, CEO Erin Griffiths, Frances Aylward, Norma Harris, Bonnie Kimble, Jena Lyons and Alex Parkes.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Plus, Griffiths noted employees of the authority are still working with evacuees through their day-to-day business.

The CEO added that, while she and the team were focusing on the evacuees, senior management kept the health centre running.

In a news release, the GNWT noted the Mackenzie Place Fire Recovery Team worked outside their normal scope of duty to answer the call to lend support to the over 100 displaced residents.

“It’s the first time we’ve received a Premier’s Award for Excellence,” Griffiths told The Hub.

The CEO said she is very proud of the organization and its staff.

“It feels fantastic to be recognized for the hard work that we do,” she said.

The Premier’s Award recognizes outstanding achievement of individual GNWT employees or teams of employees who strive for excellence, best practice management and improvements in the workplace.

This year, the awards were presented to three individuals and four teams, plus three awards for collaborations among departments and with non-governmental organizations to improve services to NWT residents.

In addition, the Dave Ramsden Career Excellence Award recognizes outstanding achievements of individuals who have served 20 years or more in the GNWT public service.

This year, that award went to Dr. Andre Corriveau, who is now the territorial medical director with the NWT Health and Social Services Authority.

Corriveau has had a 22-year career with the GNWT, including as the former chief public health officer of the NWT.

Premier Bob McLeod said all award recipients have committed themselves to ensuring the strength, sustainability and prosperity of the NWT.

“Their contributions have helped make our territory a healthier, safer and more connected place to live, and we are all better and stronger for it,” McLeod stated in a news release.


Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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