Peace region takes home Rhapsody awards for contributions to rural healthcare
South Peace News
A Peace River paramedic has won the 2020 RhPAP Rhapsody Health-care Heroes Award, and a regional Peace area committee has won the 2020 RhPAP Rhapsody Community Award.
The Rhapsody Awards were founded in 2002 to recognize the individuals, teams, and communities that make significant civic and health-care contributions to rural Alberta.
They are awarded by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, or RhPAP, a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Government of Alberta to help rural communities get better access to healthcare.
All three recipients of the 2020 award RhPAP Rhapsody Health-care Heroes Award are from Alberta’s northwest.
Tyne Lunn was selected as a 2020 Health-care Heroes award recipient based on the exceptional work she has done for her patients and her profession – both within her community and nationally.
The other two award winners are the Beaverlodge Health and Wellness Centre Team and the Manning Community Health Centre Nursing Team.
“Tyne is the first individual health provider to receive this award and, as such, has helped to define what it means to be a Rhapsody Health-care Hero,” says Bernard C. Anderson, RhPAP executive director.
Lunn says to her, it’s a very meaningful award.
“I’m quite excited about it,” she says.
Lunn is also quick to give credit to her local colleagues, despite being the first individual to win the award.
“It just really demonstrates and identifies the connections in the community and our region. I really like the award because even though I got awarded it, it really showcases the good work that our paramedics do and our community paramedics do and the teams that we work with,” she says.
Lunn has served as a paramedic on both ground ambulance and fixed wing air ambulance. She was the first Community Paramedic hired into the newly expanded EMS Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program.
Lunn is an active member of the provincial and national paramedic community, providing feedback and serving on a number of working groups and committees, including Alberta Health Service’s Alberta Clinician Professional Practice Council.
“Ms. Lunn has a reputation of being a dedicated and competent practitioner well-known by those in Peace River and beyond. Her drive to improve both the care offered by her profession and the system in which she works, is evidenced by the many volunteer projects in which she has participated and the efforts she had made to enhance and promote these projects,” Anderson says.
Lunn has served as a preceptor for both primary and advanced care paramedic students; been an active advocate and champion for the EMS Palliative and End of Life Care Assess Treat and Refer Program; has instructed Emergency Medical Responder, Advanced Cardiac Life Support [ACLS] and International Trauma Life Support [ITLS] courses in the region, and started the “Nerd Alert Poster” — an educational feature shared through the northwest zone, with educational talking points, clinical tips and “did you knows” directed at EMS practitioners.
She has also volunteered her time to assist with health care and community events, including a local RhPAP Skills Event, the PARTY Program, and serves as a parent school volunteer.
When she first moved to the community, she also served as a junior high volleyball coach. She donates to the local women’s shelter and has offered assistance with promotions and clinical training for the newly-opened Out of the Cold Shelter, which for the first time gave Peace River’s homeless a warm place to stay during the brutal northern winter.
“I guess fundamentally at the very base I just genuinely care for and about people,” Lunn says.
“Specifically to rural health, unfortunately there’s usually easily identifiable gaps in access to care and needs in rural. We just have such limited resources, comparatively. So I feel that it is my public service to find those needs and see if I have a capability to fill them, and contribute to them, and if I don’t, to work on projects and connect the teams and connect the dots that can get people access to care.
“That’s what drives me.”
Lunn says she is also published, contributing professional articles to Canadian Paramedicine magazine.
“I’m currently collaborating with national peers on a research publication to be published in a palliative care medical journal later this year.”
Above all, Lunn wants to express her gratitude to the people who took the time and effort to nominate her for the award.
“There was a handful of people locally who contributed with nomination letters and all that sort of thing to support me for this,” she says. “I just really appreciate that.”