Annually, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we gather to honour and remember all of those who have fallen. We observe a moment of silence to mark the sacrifice of the courageous soldiers who have served our country.
This year we are honoured to celebrate our very own courageous soldiers who served our country and continue to serve their community through their integral work at Interior Health. To continue with our We Are IH initiative we are honoured to feature three of our staff this week in our Remembrance Day article. A special thank you to Lannon De Best, Richard Harding and Suzanne Gardner-Clark for allowing us the honour to feature you.
Lannon De Best
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. – Lao Tzu
Lannon De Best’s favourite quote
Lannon De Best, has made a significant impact in the world, from his current service as a Captain in the Royal Canadian Medical Service as a Reserve Nursing Officer attached to 12 field ambulances based out of Vancouver to his 4.5 years at Interior Health as the Director of Clinical Operations of Nursing Administration at QVH and SLH. We are honoured to have Lannon continue his career with us at IH. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience coupled with his thoughtful and kind demeanour.
To honour the careers of many in the military he arrives at his local hospital in uniform on Remembrance Day to visit with hospitalized veterans to show his gratitude for their service. He is connected with these individuals through his strong relationships with staff, where the entire clinical team is engaged and helps connect him with those individuals. With Lannon, it’s always a team mentality.
Lannon’s team knows that he is always willing to lend a helping hand to brighten someone’s life. As his team cared for a palliating patient it was important to acknowledge his Armed Forces service and Lannon rose to the occasion. In uniform, he volunteered his time to thank him for his service. It’s moments like this that bring us together that is so meaningful.
Inspired by his desire to be in service to others, Lannon is fulfilled by his community service, quality family time and travelling to new places. Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., he jumped horses at an amateur level, seeing first hand how courageous he really is.
This year has been tough for everyone and Lannon shares how proud he is of his team for stepping up into the heavy workload during COVID. Lannon, we know how much you love Christmas and decorating for the holidays, so we wish you a healthy, happy and love filled holiday season!
At the young age of 16, Richard Harding joined the British Army as a Combat Medical Technician in the Royal Army Medical Corps. As he served his country, he experienced multiple operational deployments, including UN and Nato deployments to Bosnia (1994, 95, 96), Kosovo (2000) Kuwait/Iraq (2002/2003), where he was dual qualified as a Medical Supply Technician from the rank of Private to Staff Sergeant up to 2004. During his last deployment to Baghdad he worked in the Central Palace as a British Army Liaison Officer, with the Coalition Provisional Authority supporting the transition of authority from coalition forces to the newly formed Iraqi Government.
“In recognition of an exceptional contribution to the Coalition mission in Multi-National Division (South East)” – Richard was awarded a Certificate of Commendation in the Queen’s Operational Honours list.
Richard continued his education at the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps as a student nurse completing his BSc (Hons) Nursing in 2007. As a qualified Military Nurse, he worked within the NHS in various areas, including Trauma Orthopedics, Colorectal Surgery, and Cardiac Care Units. In 2008, he deployed again to Basra, Iraq, to the Role 3 Hospital. Shortly after, he completed the Professional Qualified Officer course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned as a Lieutenant, becoming a Military Ward Manager and Professional Development Nurse.
In 2011, he deployed to the Role 3 Multi-National Military Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afganistan, as the British Army Liaison Officer where he worked alongside US, Canadian and Dutch nurses on the Trauma Surgical Unit as a Trauma Nurse Coordinator and Nurse-in-Charge on the Unit. This deployment was extremely challenging both mentally and physically for Richard, due to the high tempo of combat operations and providing trauma care to coalition forces, Afghan Security Forces, and civilians, including children and detainees.
Richard’s hard work continued to pay off as he was promoted to Captain and posted to a Field Hospital as a Troop Commander and Clinical Training Officer. He deployed again to Afghanistan in 2013 as the Clinical Governance Officer responsible for Quality and Patient Safety at the Role 3 Multi-National Hospital at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province. In 2014, he was acknowledged for his distinguished services whist in support of operations as he was named in the Queen’s Operational Honours list.
After 24 years of service in the British Army, he retired to Vernon, BC to start a new career and be with his family. His career in the British Army was absolutely incredible and impacted the lives of so many. We are so grateful for your service and that you chose Interior Health to continue your passion for serving. Richard’s career over the past 6 years at IH grew from the Health Services Director at Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH) to the Health Services Administrator for VJH, expanding to Shuswap Lake Hospital and Queen Victoria Hospital. Most recently in the past year, he was appointed Executive Director for Clinical Operations in the North Okanagan. Congratulations, Richard, well deserved!
A few words from Richard,
“This is always a very poignant time of year for me as I reflect on my military career, places I’ve been, and experiences. I am extremely cognizant of the number of conflicts members of the Armed Forces have undertaken in recent years. In addition to the sacrifices and losses of Armed Forces personnel and their families have experienced and the ongoing physical and Mental Health challenges that Armed Forces personnel continue to experience daily.”
Interior Health is incredibly lucky to have you a part of our team, Richard. You play such an integral role in our organization and we value the tremendous knowledge and experience that you bring to helping us serve our communities. It’s an honour to work with you. Thank you for all that you do, Richard.
“Be the best you can be, be happy and positive.” – Suzanne’s Favourite Quote
Over the past five years at Royal Inland Hospital as the Director of Clinical Operations for Nursing Administration, Suzanne has impacted the lives of many and our organization through her extensive knowledge and experience. Her experience serving her country has provided valuable insight into helping us serve our communities in the best way possible.
Young Suzanne was and continues to be a bubbly and positive person to be around, with an enthusiastic outlook on life and an adventure seeker who loves a good adrenalin rush. Born and raised in England, Suzanne was able to pursue a career in the military where her hard work and commitment were acknowledged on the New Year’s Honors List in 2015 as she was awarded the ARRC medal.
Suzanne has always been inspired by working as a team to be able to provide the best possible care. She is always looking for ways to improve and innovate to surpass expectations. As her worksite at the Royal Inland Hospital expands with the opening of the Patient Care Tower, many are moving to Kamloops to be a part of this incredible tertiary hospital.
Suzanne and her co-workers are looking forward to this expansion and the many opportunities it brings. She loves being outdoors skiing, living in a tight-knit community, and providing acute care. Her proudest moment at Interior Health was the NSQIP team she manages receiving the Quality Award for their hard work. Congratulations, Suzanne and team, we are so proud of you!
We would like to thank every person who has served our country. We are so grateful for your hard work, dedication, and commitment. It’s an honour to have those who have served, such as Lannon, Richard and Suzanne, working with us at Interior Health to continue to serve our communities. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to feature you and for all that you do for Interior Health and your communities. Lest we forget.