Castor woman honoured with health care award

Jenessa Dunkle, a staff member at Castor’s Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital, has been honoured with a Covenant Health Missions Award. (Photo submitted)

A staff member at Castor’s Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital has received an award for her efforts at the facility.

According to Jenessa Dunkle, she was nominated for one of six awards that are presented by Covenant Health every year.

“There are six different categories for each one of Covenants values, which are, Stewardship, social justice, respect, integrity, compassion, and collaboration,” said Dunkle.

“A total of six mission awards are given out each year.”

For the 2023-24 awards, Dunkle says that 71 nominations were put forward for the six awards, some individuals, and some teams.

In the collaboration category, the one Dunkle won, 20 nominations from across Covenant Health were received.

“I do not know who nominated me,” said Dunkle.

“Our chaplain at the hospital is the one who people go to if they want to nominate people, back in the fall he approached me and asked me if I would be okay with being nominated and I said, of course, I would be honoured.”

Nominations are submitted to a panel that reviews them and then makes a final determination on winners.

Dunkle says that some of the activities that tipped the scale in her favour over the last year include the Twisted Tale trilogy of movies she made with the long-term care residents, the wedding dress fashion show, the Winter Wonderland, and many other themed events she spearheaded with the assistance f other staff.

Since COVID, the Missions Awards presentation by Covenant Health has been online, and Dunkle says she had no idea that she had won the award until her name was announced during the live stream.

“We had a viewing party at the hospital where coworkers came to support me and another employee at our site, who had been nominated for the compassion category,” said Dunkle.

“As they listed off all of the people in the collaboration category, as it was the biggest one, I did not think I had a chance of winning, as I was up against doctors, and emergency department teams from big city hospitals, all of which I’m sure would be very deserving of such an award.

“To be honest I was quite shocked when they announced my name, as I had no expectations of winning.”

Dunkle says that shortly after the announcement, her phone was “flooded” with well wishes and congratulations from those watching the ceremony from home.

While Dunkle feels grateful for the acknowledgement, she says she also feels a little “guilty” as many others go their entire careers without being recognized.

“This award also would not have been possible if I did not have the support of the rehab team that I’m working with, and residents who are willing to act in movies, and join in all of our unique activities,” said Dunkle.

Covenant Health has over 15,000 employees working at several different urban and rural hospital sites across Alberta.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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