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Q & A - Filomena Machado, director of mission and values

Toronto, November 5, 2013

By Evelyne Jhung

Filomena Machado
Filomena Machado

2013 Values in Action Award winners

The Pride of Achievement Award
Dr. Sharon Straus, director, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

The Community of Service Award
Dr. Philip Berger, medical director, Inner City Health and Chief, Family and Community Medicine

The Human Dignity Award
Jacqueline Judah, clerical assistant, Psychiatric Emergency Services

The Compassion Award
Julie Seemangal, case manager, Respirology/CF Program

The Social Responsibility Award
Geriatric Mental Health Outreach Team

The Excellence Award
Cardio Vascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)

Watch for video profiles of our Values in Action Award winners on St. Michael's YouTube channel coming soon.

Now that St. Michael’s Feast Day is a wrap and the Values in Action awards have been announced, we caught up with Filomena Machado to find out more about her role at St. Michael’s.

What is the history and purpose of your role?

The role was developed in the early 1990s. The Sisters of St. Joseph and our then-president were looking to the future when the sisters’ presence would not be possible since human resources were shrinking. As they moved out of the hospital setting, they wanted to ensure that their history, tradition and heritage would remain as a tribute and legacy to their founders. It was then that the president created the role of the director of mission and values reporting to the president and CEO. For the first few years, the position was held by sisters, then by Chuckie Shevlen, a former nurse and CLM at St. Michael’s, before I was appointed to the role in May 2007.

How do you ensure the sisters’ legacy lives on?

The fact that this role exists gives our mission, vision and values a high profile in the organization. We have a rich tradition of our mission and values alive in our community. At St. Mike’s, the mission statement and values are not simply nice words on a wall. In my role, a concentrated effort is made to keep all staff mindful that these words are only useful if they are visible in the behaviours we demonstrate in our day-to-day work, our relationships with patients, staff, volunteers and the community we serve. As the director of mission and values, my mandate is to work with all to ensure that we are faithful to what we say we value. I have been privileged to witness, or be directly involved in, many situations that confirm the fact we are an organization with a difference. One of the most important aspects of my job is to be available to all staff, assist them when appropriate or simply direct them to the right resources.

What is the best part of your job?

By far, the Values in Action Awards are the highlight of my year. My favourite part is when I notify the winners a day or so in advance of the formal announcement. Their reactions are priceless and confirm for me why they were chosen. They’re always surprised and so humble, usually saying, “I just do my job, I didn’t think I was going ‘above and beyond’ it.” The worst part is having to select just one person in each of the award categories, the stories we hear through nominations are heartwarming.

Many staff know that your family is truly a St. Michael’s family. How are they doing?

That’s right! St. Michael’s Hospital has been a second home to many in my family, beginning with my father who started here in 1966 and retired 25 years later. My brother, Luis, has been here for more than 45 years and the others, including my nieces and nephews, have worked or volunteered here at some point in their lives.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.