We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories.
Name: Penny Liao-Lussier
Worksite: Kelowna Community Health Centre
Years of Service: 13
Job Title: Manager of Healthy Start Healthy Schools (Maternal Child & Youth Health Program), Population Health Services
“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”– John Maxwell
Caring, kind, compassionate, and authentic are just a few words Penny’s co-workers would use to describe her. As a leader, Penny has the rare ability to lead with both her head and her heart. You can see Penny’s passion for helping others as she advocates for the clients her programs serve as well as the staff working under her. As the Manager of Healthy Start Healthy Schools of Population Health Services for the past five years at the Kelowna Community Health Centre over thirteen years at IH, she has positively impacted the lives of so many and brought valuable knowledge to those around her.
Penny’s leadership style of collaboration creates a positive teamwork dynamic that makes people feel valued and respected. Leading by example, she encourages others to show up authentically, practice empathy, and advocate for those they serve. Her unwavering commitment to all children, especially the vulnerable, is evident in all of her work. Inspired by her team, she expresses her gratitude for the privilege to work with a group of passionate and motivated nurses and administrative staff who are dedicated to achieving a vision while fulfilling a purpose to advocate for, support, and empower the maternal child and youth population.
One of Penny’s proudest moments at Interior Health was working on the pilot program for high and low acuity patient transport communication center in British Columbia. As the former Manager, Penny showed ‘proof of concept’ and a operational strategy to ensure patient care and efficient transport services across Interior Health while simultaneously recruiting, training and leading a newly formed multi-disciplinary health care team to run the Patient Transport Office. Recognized in 2010 for all of her hard work with the IH Award of Excellence in “Ensuring Sustainable, Affordable Health Care” for the Patient Transport Office. Thank you for all that you do, Penny!
Born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, shortly thereafter her family immigrated to Burnaby, Canada where she was raised. At a young age, Penny knew she wanted to pursue the nursing profession. She was inspired by the opportunity to help others holistically by caring for the whole person, including their physical, intellectual and social needs. In her role, she feels a sense of pride and reward as she is able to plan strategically to make a positive impactful difference in the lives of the maternal-child and youth population.
Relocating from Burnaby in 2008 to the interior with her husband, they are currently raising two beautiful little girls, Tianna, age five, and Izabella, age two. When Penny isn’t working, you can find her playing coed recreational volleyball, shopping, or exploring the beautiful outdoors hiking with her family. Looking forward to a future where her family can travel to experience different cultures, history, architecture, and languages from other parts of the world. Dreaming of the huge smiles and loud squeals of excitement from her little girls as they experience Disney World at Christmas for the first time.
Always up for an experience, when Penny was six months pregnant they temporarily moved out of their home for three months while they filmed the reality TV show, Love It or List It, Vancouver on the HGTV Network. The surreal experience concluded with the big reveal, moving back into their home, and eleven days later, welcoming their daughter, Izabella to the world. Watch their big reveal here. Fans loved them so much they were cast again to film a Shaw Cable Blue Curve Internet Campaign as a follow up to Love It or List It, Vancouver.
Penny’s nomination keeps the We Are IH loop going:
“I would like to nominate the Healthy Start Healthy Schools Team, Population Health Services, CMHO portfolio as this is a small team of 9 (nurses and admin staff) who are the epitome of “unsung heroes” in the organization. They do not receive the high profile, attention, and recognition like other programs in IH despite having been redeployed to other programs (due to their expertise and skills as Population Health specialists and administration) to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Throughout the pandemic, the Healthy Start Healthy Schools Team has continued to develop policy and guidelines to help inform public health nursing practice, created new communication mechanisms for external partners from the education sector to receive timely support and direction for their schools, and enhanced clinical support and services for newly parenting families and the most vulnerable, socioeconomically disadvantaged families in the region. ” – Penny Liao-Lussier