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Day Job

Day Job

TED reception at the pan

TED is in town this week and last night the pan pacific hosted a special private reception and dinner for the delegates. here’s a few pictures i took of the set up in our oceanview rooms.

boxed water
we served a menu that included sushi, vegetable tempura with yuzu remoulade, classic antipasti, housemade wild bc mushroom ravioli with black truffle pecarino and aged balsamic glaze,braised boneless osso buco gremolata with crispy parsnip, seared snapper with sundried tomato crust, caponata eggplant braised tomatoes with pine nuts and capers, grilled new york steak arugula with fresh shaved parmesan and housemade flat bread.

at the pasta bar, one could top off one’s plate with quattro formaggi, neopolitan, italian meat sauce with pancetta, seafood, vegetables or meats.

and the dessert bar included chocolate dipped cheesecake lollipops, yokan green tea matcha squares, mango lemon spheres and fancy brownie squares.

hopefully the TED delegates enjoyed themselves very much. for more pictures, click here for pan pacific’s flickr.

Day Job

a day in the life of a CSICU nurse

things i thought i’d never see/know about, were it not for my job:

chest tubes and anchoring sutures being removed, cough pillows, happy face non-skid socks, sternum wire cutters (it’s EXACTLY how it sounds), emergency pacemakers to pace patients and give them higher heart rates if needed.

last week, i shadowed a cardiac surgery ICU nurse and live-tweeted her day in my ‘day in the life of’ series for providence/st.pauls.

some sample tweets:

phc 744
phc 746
phc 1008
i am, as ever, in awe of the work that medical professionals do to save lives.

surprisingly, i have not reached the threshold feeling of being sick/faint. click here if you’re interested for my storify wall. nothing too graphic, but if you’re squeamish at all about blood (even reading about it), take a pass.

Day Job

christmas wish breakfast at the pan

there’s not many things in this world that could get me up at the crack of dawn, but being a part of pan pacific’s 28th annual christmas wish breakfast did just that. it helps that i got to stay over at the hotel too.

every year, the pan pacific holds its epic toy drive – one of the largest in canada. vancouverites are invited to come down and donate a new, unwrapped toy to the lower mainland christmas bureau, in order to make christmas special for families in need.  as a thank you, the hotel provides a complimentary, hot buffet breakfast on the house.

this year’s event took place on november 26, between 6am-9am. with a call time for staff being 530am (!)

even though it was hella early, it was worth it, seeing all the generous donations being dropped off and the city of vancouver fire department volunteers stacking the toys into what would become a two-story high christmas “tree.”

the noise gospel choir, the goh ballet, the langley ukulele ensemble entertained the crowd and the whole thing was broadcast live on-site with global bc and rock 101.

this year’s event turned out to be a record-breaking one. here’s what the numbers looked like:

5,000+ vancouverites dropped off 17+ tonnes of toys, 1,000 bikes and more than $22,000 in cash donations, while our culinary team cooked up 11,000 eggs, 11,642 sausages, 1,152 pounds of hashbrowns and 4,600 croissants for the hungry crowd. all in the span of three hours!

some pics:

tree pile
what a great way to kick of the holiday season and get into the festive mood. looking forward to next year.

for an archive of my live-tweeting of the event, click here for our storify wall. for more photos, press play for the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

Day Job

a brilliant evening

every year, my work’s foundation mounts brilliant!, the most spectacular evening of fashion and dance to support much-needed mental health and addiction programs at st. paul’s hospital. the gala event at commodore ballroom sells out weeks in advance, with many of the attendees going all out and dressing up flamboyantly.

this would be my first year live-tweeting it and i found that the brilliant! event did indeed live up to its name. the annual event truly is a labour of love, with over 300 of vancouver’s most fashion-foward designers, hairstylists, make-up artists and performers all volunteering their time and talent.

this year’s theme was fairytales: from darkness into light, featuring thoroughly modern interpretations of classic tales, such as alice’s adventures in wonderland, the gingerbread man, the little mermaid, the swan princes, cinderella, sleeping beauty, little red riding hood, snow white and the seven dwarfs, beauty and the beast, hansel and gretel and robin hood.

some photos:

brilliant trees
the night was a resounding success. the live auction items and donations raised over $1.45M dollars, shattering last year’s record of $300,000. now in its third year, brilliant! has raised over $2M over the past three years.
to see a recap of my tweets, attendees’ tweets, photos and videos, check out the storify wall i created for the event.

Day Job

a day in the life of a resident doctor

ever wonder what it’s like to be a resident doctor?

i found out with my “a day in the life of” initiative at work. last week, i followed a group of resident doctors over the course of a twelve hour shift and gave our followers a candid snapshot into a typical workday at st. pauls’ hospital, a clinical academic teaching hospital in downtown vancouver. i fielded questions from our community, posted photos and video for the behind-the-scenes snapshot.

it was illuminating, especially how many patients they see on rounds and how much the time was needed to report on patient care and treatment. and on top of that, resident doctors attend teaching rounds, focusing on different medical topics and spend 2-3 hours reading and studying every day.

here’s some sample tweets:

phc 1103
phc 317
phc 440
fun fact: when i asked my group of docs what their favourite medical show was, the answer was unanonimously house; grey’s anatomy being the worst.

at 12 hours, it was a hella long day and i was dog tired by the time i got home. i can’t believe these are the hours that doctors work every single day. and with compassion, patience and understanding. now that i know what the doctors have to deal with when a patient is admitted to hospital, i have so much more admiration for them.

for my full day with them, click here for the storify link for all the tweets from the event.

Day Job

diner en blanc at canada place

i may not be participating in this year’s diner en blanc soiree, but i certainly knew where it was going to be held before most of the 4,500+ revelers did. that’s because working for pan pacific vancouver, i got the inside scoop that the location was going to be the north end of canada place. that’s downstairs and right outside the hotel.

and i was tasked to take some photos and post it to the social channels. some pics:

like any crowd-participating event, i liked the concept of it when it first launched in vancouver years ago. i remember i wanted to go, but couldn’t find any friends who were interested. (early adopter, i guess) but now  it’s grown into a monster, with a ridiculous wait list in the thousands and expensive fee to attend (even though most people are bringing their own food, chairs and table)

having been a wedding and event planner in my past life, i’m all for grand productions and small details, but i feel that since diner en blanc, while indeed pretty to look at, has became too show-y and pretentious for my liking. too exclusive and so much try on alot of the attendees’ part.

me personally, i would’ve rather broke bread with people at the counterpart event, ce soir noir.  perhaps it makes me feel like how i did back in high school, when i may have wished to be friends with the popular kids for a hot minute, but came to the realization that i relate more to the outsiders/nerds/artsy-types who much more interesting and more my jam?

Day Job

social media at the pan pacific vancouver

no better day to start working than on canada day.

call me crazy, but i just couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to manage the social media for pan pacific vancouver. double duty! fortunately, this is a part-time, contract position, so i’m thinking slash hoping that this might just work out with my new job at providence.

so why not start on july 1 – a day in which 450,000 canadians descend on canada place for fireworks and festivities? luckily, it wasn’t a throw her in the deep end and see if she can swim day. it was behind-the-scenes orientation, including meeting some of the staff, touring “the bowels” of the hotel and having a get acquainted dinner at the cafe pacifica.

i was even invited to stay overnight in a harbourview room, in order to get familiar with the guest experience.

some photos:

the highlight of the day was, of course, the fireworks. and what better place to watch them than on the 8th floor swimming pool deck with unobstructed view?

what a treat to be welcomed so warmly into the family. i’m thrilled to be a member of such an iconic hotel in vancouver.

Day Job

a new path

this week i started a new job! in this newly created position, i am managing the digital and social media for providence health care, one of the largest faith-based health care organizations in canada. and i could not be more excited.

i’ve always had an interest in medical advances and scientific breakthroughs, especially when technology plays a part of it. as well, with each passing year, i’ve become acutely aware of the importance of disease prevention and living a healthy, balanced life. i’m getting to the time in my life where people close to me are facing illnesses and aging.

as such, i’ve been looking for work that would be meaningful to me, a career that would not only get me up enthusiastically in the mornings, but stoke that fire in my belly and contribute to something that would help people live healthier and longer lives.

providence health care’s populations of emphasis include: heart/lung, kidney/renal, HIV/AIDS, urban health, mental health and seniors’ services. their services include 3 hospitals, 4 residential facilities, 1 hospice, an addiction clinic and a youth health clinic. there are 1,153 medical staff/physicians, 6,675 staff, 1,600 volunteers, 209 researchers at their 4 research centres.

in 2014, they performed 16 heart transplants, 132 kidney transplants and delivered 1,597 babies. they also had 112,277 ER visits, with a total 564,097 patient encounters.

other achievements and work in progress include:

  • along with vancouver coastal health, becoming the first organizations in canada to lauch a pilot program for a rapid HIV test with pharmacies and clinics
  • transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) was pioneered at st. paul’s and its medical director performed his 1000th hearth valve replacement procedure last year
  • transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a ground-breaking laparoscopic procedure, was invented at st. paul’s. the procedure takes less than an hour with a full recovery time of under a week.  it is set to be tested north america wide in a study of 1,200 patients
  • st. paul’s is the only canadian site involved in US pilot study on effects of vivitrol on patients with HIV who also have opioid/alcohol addiction
  • researchers at st paul’s, UBC and PROOF centre of excellence are developing blood tests using genomics to recognize biomarkers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • st. paul’s is the first hospital in canada to use hand-held ultrasounds. with this technology, patients can be diagnosed and treated up to 30 hours faster than waiting for test results from a full ultrasound or echocardiogram

that’s just the tip of the iceberg. for other ways providence health care is pushing the boundaries of medicine, check out their 2014 annual report.

i haven’t felt this excited about work since my time with vancouver opera. to spend 40+ hours out of your week doing something that will contribute to, in whatever small way possible, the betterment of society – whether it be for arts and culture, animal advocacy or health.

having been on the receiving end of medical services, i have been beyond appreciative of the care and attention that was given to me. i also realize i am extremely fortunate, as tens of thousands of people around the world do not have the same level and continuity of care. now being on the other side of 40, i find these things weighing heavily on my mind.

as i’m not a doctor, nurse, paramedic or even a caregiver, i hope that i can still make a difference in my own way.

i have a feeling this may be the right path for me.

Day Job

gather around grasshoppers


i don’t normally like to have my picture taken at work (i’m usually the one behind the camera, taking snaps of my cohorts), but this one i don’t mind. it was for a chapter event for students and i was laying down some social media expertise. always up for a mentoring bit. plus it’s at a healthy distance to hide all the flaws. ha.

Day Job

ready for the zombie apocalypse

zombie kit
have everyone at your work been given their very own zombie survival kit? we have.

my kit consists of:

  • 12 bars of emergency food rations (heavy as a brick and probably a tooth-breaker as well)
  • 6 pouches of drinking water
  • thermal emergency blanket
  • water resistant carrying bag with map packet
  • 24 PDI medical prep pads
  • 4 non-adherent sterile pads
  • 10 fabric band-aids
  • 10 yards of surgical adhesive tape
  • 5 yards of stretch gauze roll
  • triangular bandage with safety pins
  • 1 surgical mask
  • 2 emergency candles + box of matches
  • heavy duty signaling metal whistle
  • travel compass
  • tissue pack
  • emergency instant ice pack
  • multi-function sport knife with scissors, saw blade + can opener
  • am/fm sport radio with flashlight

the office is ready for the collapse of civilization. we may even bust into the food rations just to check out what would be in store for us.