Riverview Health Centre Announced as a Top Employer in Manitoba

21 March 2023
A picture of RHC Staff and a patient

We are pleased to announce that Riverview Health Centre is the recipient of a very exciting honour – Riverview Health Centre has been recognized as a Top Employer in Manitoba.

For those who have had an experience with Riverview Health Centre or have worked here, this may be no surprise. Riverview’s 850 employees have one collective mission — providing Manitobans in need with the best possible rehabilitation, palliative and long-term care.

“I just love what Riverview stands for,” says Sheena-Mae Cruz, who joined the organization in 2008 as an aspiring accountant and is now the administrative clerk for education services. “We have amazing staff and a management team who are passionate about the people we care for. You are not just another patient or resident in a room; you mean everything to us.” Sina Barkman, who was once a teenage volunteer at Riverview and is now the facility’s chief human resources officer, concurs. “What we hear from patients and families is that the people who work here truly care,” says Barkman. “Our reputation throughout the community is stellar.”

It’s a reputation built over more than a century. After being founded in 1911 as the Winnipeg General Hospital, the institution became known as one of the best modern hospitals in the world for treating people with communicable diseases such as typhoid fever, diphtheria, smallpox and tuberculosis. In the 1950s, the Centre gained further prominence for treating victims of the polio epidemic, many of whom spent decades confined to iron lungs.

Today, staff at the 387-bed Riverview complex, which was built in the 1990s on the historic grounds of its predecessor facilities, continue to grapple with yet another era-defining health-care challenge.

“One of Riverview’s core values is resilience, which has been particularly important over the last three years as we responded to the pandemic,” says CEO Kathleen Klaasen. “I’ve been in awe and I’ve sometimes had tears in my eyes as I witnessed the willingness of our staff to roll up their sleeves and do everything possible to support our patients and their families through trying times.”

As an organization, Riverview is placing a renewed emphasis on recognizing that hard work and dedication, with gratitude as a central theme. Individual employee actions are noted with “thank you” cards from managers and collectively marked at the end of each year with “12 days of thanks” celebrations. Every manager has a dedicated budget to support staff recognition through a variety of team-building events.

Riverview is also focused on employee wellness and making the workplace fun and enjoyable. In addition to a subsidized staff gym, Riverview supports everything from yoga sessions to snow-shoeing and other sporting activities that can take place during breaks or before or after work. Every employee who is a member of the gym is also eligible for a monthly half-hour massage delivered by an on-site registered massage therapist.

Organized social events include a “February Follies” barbeque held during the depths of the Winnipeg winter, another staff appreciation barbeque in the spring, spirit week, summer games day and an annual long-service/ retirement celebration. Many of these activities are spearheaded by the PEP (positively engaging people) social committee, headed by Cruz. “While we all work hard, the culture here is also about having fun,” says Cruz. “We’re definitely a close-knit community.”

Another key priority is building connections with organizations in the Riverview neighbourhood and across Winnipeg through volunteerism. Among the groups supported in this way are the Siloam Mission, Harvest Manitoba, Salvation Army and Main Street Project. Every Earth Day, Riverview staff also fan out to do a cleanup of the neighbourhood. “We’re rooted in this community,” says Klaasen, “and we strive to bring people together and forge strong partnerships.”

Riverview Health Centre is honoured to receive this recognition as it is a testament to the team that works here and the incredible work that they do each and every day.

What is the Top Employer competition?
Manitoba’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes the Manitoba employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Editors at Mediacorp review employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the project’s inception: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers alike.

Related Links:
Acts of service: ‘Manitoba’s Top Employers’ for 2023 transform communities through local charitable initiatives
Manitoba’s Top Employers Announcement Magazine


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