Frontline Worker of the Year Awards
(Home Care Ontario Members Only)

Home Care Ontario's Frontline Worker of the Year Awards recognize excellence in Home Care service provision in Ontario. In particular, these awards highlight the contributions of the Home Care Ontario Members in supporting paid frontline staff by recognizing an outstanding person in each of two categories:

  1. Care Provider (PSW, Nurse, Therapist)
  2. Staffing Coordinator (Scheduler)

2019 Award Recipients

The Hon Christine Elliott presented the Frontline Worker of Year Awards at the 2019 Symposium!

Min Elliott-S VanderBent&Award Winners

From left to right:  Mona Tang, 1to1 Rehab, Shayana Varatharatnam, ProResp-Toronto,
Hon. Christine Elliott and Sue VanderBent, CEO - Home Care Ontario


Care Provider:  Shayana Varatharatnam, ProResp-Toronto

Our Care Provider of the Year award is Shayana Varatharatnam.   Shayana works for ProResp, ProResp, a proud Home Care Ontario member, is a nationally accredited organization that provides professional, innovative and meaningful client-centered respiratory care to communities across Ontario.  ProResp provides oxygen therapy services with the support of a Respiratory Therapist as the front-line care provider and is one of the largest employers of respiratory therapists in the province.  Shayana deserves this recognition for her initiative, her persistence, her empathy and her professional competence as an employee.   Shayana has contributed to the success of ProResp since joining the organization after earning her respiratory therapy degree.

Shayana has proven herself to be an outstanding member of ProResp.

Shayana continually exceeds expectations and our staff value her mentorship. She treats patients like they are family and they in turn treat her the same way. She goes above and beyond expectations to practice with passion and dedication. She is ethical, accountable, honest and holds her self to a high standard. She embraces challenges and has often successfully cared for patients who other providers have not been able support.

Shayana is a mentor to her peers and leads by example even with a full workload.  Shayana helps the team deliver supplies so patients in need are prioritized.  Shayana understands urgency and the need to improvise. She advocates for her clients relentlessly and regularly gives managing physicians insight into how to continue therapy for their patients.  Shayana has a personal relationship with her clients.

For example, recently a patient wanted to make a trip but was concerned that it was not even possible given his significant health limitations and increased difficulties in breathing. Shayana comforted and encouraged her patient to travel because she knew it may not be an option for him later due to health. Thankfully the patient took Shayana's advice and was able to make the trip.   His family was very thankful for her help. It turned out the be our patient’s last trip before he was transferred to hospice care.  This willingness to go the 'extra mile' and support patient and family care is a demonstration of true excellence in the home care world and we applaud Shayana for her professionalism and compassion.

Congratulation Shayana!

 Shayana VaratharatnamFrom left to right:  Vasanta Retnasothie, ProResp-Toronto, Miriam Turnbull, ProResp, Wendy Marks, ProResp and Sue VanderBent, CEO-Home Care Ontario

Staffing Coordinator:  Mona Tang, 1to1 Rehab

Our winner in the “Staffing Coordinator category is Mona Tang. Mona Is a Staffing Coordinator at 1 to 1 Rehab, a proud Home Care Ontario member and a nationally accredited home care provider delivering therapy services in the greater Toronto area.


As an organization, 1 to 1 Rehab has an outstanding reputation, for service excellence, and their staff member, Mona Tang, our Frontline Worker of the Year is one of the reasons for 1 to 1's success.


Mona is the ‘go to’ person at 1to1 rehab and a “master” of all intake, scheduling, maintaining caseloads for therapists and helping to coordinate care for adults and children with special needs.  She has mastered all tasks and learned all the systems so that no client will fall through the cracks.

Mona has the ability to match clients by schedule, geography and needs to the therapist’s time, caseload, skill set and personal requests with such precision that it seems like ‘magic’.  She does this is caring way and is able to connect with all members of her team in a lively and fun way.


Caring comes first for Mona who is always respectful and listens carefully to the needs of others.   Mona is a 'servant leader'.  She will never ask a team member to do something she wouldn't do herself.   She takes a big picture approach to programs and procedures, meticulously calculating any changes.  Mona has spearheaded a number of changes to the intake process at 1 to 1 Rehab and has completed several major shifts in systems and effectively managed the process.  She is sincere in her work ethic and respectful of differences in opinions.  An engaging person, Mona is encouraging and warm to all patients and staff, collaborates continuously with others, and as a 'team player’ shares in the joy of a “job well done”.


Congratulations Mona!

 Mona TangFrom left to right:  Jay Turner, Stephanie Hayes and Mona Tang, 1to1 Rehab and Sue VanderBent, CEO-Home Care Ontario


2018 Award Recipients

Care Provider: Sabrina Valenica, Integracare Inc.

Sabrina has been a dedicated caregiver at Integracare Inc. for many years. Sabrina is detailed, thorough and accurate and her clients and their families can all count on Sabrina to be there both physically and emotionally for each and every visit. Sabrina supports her client’s care team and helps to educate the other caregivers on any changes in her client’s condition or medical care requirements.

Sabrina is kind, compassionate, caring and dependable. She demonstrates great initiative and strives to help her clients achieve a more joyful living experience with every shift. Her engaging positive, patient and pleasant attitude ensures that she can work with clients who have even the most challenging and complex care needs. She has earned the trust of families and has developed great bonds with her clients. One of her clients’ sons recently said of Sabrina, ‘she makes my Father’s eyes light up when she enters the room!




From left to right: The Hon. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Sabrina Valenica, Integracare Inc., Lee Grunberg, Integracare Inc.



From Left to Right: The Hon. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Cecilia Dela Cruz, Home Instead Senior Care, Brenda Enright, Home Instead Senior Care, Phyllis Hegstrom, Home Instead Senior Care.

Staffing Coordinator: Cecilia Dela Cruz, Home Instead Senior Care

Cecelia is not only a dedicated staffing coordinator, but also a caring frontline worker who always provides a high level of quality to her clients, and maintains excellent relationships with family members, residence staff and office staff. She has played a huge role in supporting and empowering our staff. Cecelia understands the “Seniors World “and also relays this knowledge to our caregivers, at the same time genuinely understanding and appreciating their work needs and challenges. Cecelia is aware of the impact her actions have on the care of her clients as well as her caregivers’ happiness. Cecelia is intuitive and able to see the bigger picture which is what enables her to be both a dedicated and successful staffing coordinator and care worker! As many of her clients have said, “Cecelia doesn’t just accommodate our scheduling requests but goes a step further and always asks if there’s anything more we need”.


2017 Award Recipients

Care Provider: Sylvia Bradbury, Companion, Right at Home Canada, Georgian Triangle

Sylvia always goes above and beyond in every aspect of her caregiving. She became a professional caregiver after being the primary caregiver for her late husband in the last few years of his life. She treats all the people she cares for with the same compassion as she did for him. Everywhere she goes she brightens the room with her smile and lovely demeanor. No task is too big or small for Sylvia, she is always able to find the positives even in some difficult situations.

Sylvia is punctual, impeccable and reliable. Her documentation is detailed and accurate. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities. Sylvia is the family when the family is not able to be there.


Sylvia Bradbury


From left to right: Sue VanderBent (CEO, Home Care Ontario), Nancy Esson, (Owner & Client Relations, Right at Home Canada), Sylvia Bradbury, Care Provider (Right at Home Canada), Adrienne Wood,(Owner, Right at Home Canada –Georgian Triangle), Linda Knight, (Board Chair, Home Care Ontario)


Janis Collins

From left to right: Sue VanderBent (CEO, Home Care Ontario), Janis Collins (Staffing Coordinator, CBI Home Health), Tracy Shonk-Lacey (OT Practice Leader, CBI Home Health), Linda Knight (Board Chair, HomeCare Ontario)

Staffing Coordinator: Janis Collins, Staffing Coordinator,
CBI Home Health, Guelph

Janis is a steady, reliable member of the CBI team. Janis coordinates therapy service for CBI’s adult occupational therapy program. Demands on her are high as many referrals are urgent or time specific and are spread out across a vast geography. She is consistently calm and composed and never loses focus on the client experience. She is patient even when required to repeat information for a client. She is respected so much by her team of therapists and callers appreciate her patient and calm demeanour and helpfulness.

Janis has coordinated the Big Bike Ride Heart and Stroke fundraiser for the office team over the last two summers. Her motivation was to bring the team together with a common goal of helping others. She is also an active volunteer outside of work with many organizations including Habitat for Humanity.


Information on this page should be treated as confidential to Home Care Ontario members only.

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