As a former Vancouver Police Officer, Mary Charters is no stranger to emergency management. Today, she celebrates three years at PHSA where she works as a director for Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC), supporting Northern Health. This past November, she was awarded the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award for outstanding contributions to emergency management from the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM).
“I’m very proud of Mary,” says John Lavery, executive director, HEMBC PHSA. “This award is a testament to her hard work and dedication. I’m honoured to have her as a member of our team.”
In her role with HEMBC, Mary and her team support Northern Health with preparing for emergencies, including developing emergency management strategies, leading planning, and supporting emergency response and recovery activities. Of her many contributions to the pandemic response, Mary partnered with the First Nations Health Authority, Northern Health, and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC in the creation of the Rural, Remote, and First Nations Framework. Mary was also instrumental in leading the development of the new provincial colour code: Code Silver.
“Working on the development and rollout of Code Silver has been my proudest piece of work to date. It was a collective effort but to see this come to fruition has been amazing. It’s changing the way we look at threatening events in health care and the importance of our staff in their preparedness to respond effectively.”
For Mary, winning the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award is a reminder that hard work really does pay off.
“At HEMBC, we live and breathe helping and when you can see all of the work we are doing coming together and making a difference, there’s no greater satisfaction. Our work keeps the health-care system safe. There are a lot of folks involved in this and I'm honoured to be recognized and bring that recognition to our programs.”
As Mary’s grandpa would often say: “do something you love or you’ll never be good at what you are doing.”
Congratulations to Mary on her wonderful achievement!