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Jennifer Roloson stands beside a picnic table in the outdoor courtyard at McMaster Children's Hospital. She is wearing a tan-coloured top and a black blazer.
Jennifer Roloson is a clinical leader at McMaster Children’s Hospital. HHS has been recognized as a top employer in Hamilton-Niagara.
November 24, 2022

Hamilton Health Sciences named top regional employer

With an organizational vision of “best care for all,” Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) also applies that focus to its own employees, supporting them throughout their careers, which has led it to receive a Top Employers for Hamilton-Niagara recognition.

Rob MacIsaac

“HHS is a community of 15,000 staff, physicians and volunteers who make us the largest employer in Hamilton. Being recognized as a top employer is important because our business is all about the people who work for us, and the people they care for,” says HHS President and CEO Rob MacIsaac. “We are privileged to have a huge team of compassionate people who care deeply about our patients.”

“We work very hard to ensure staff feel prepared and supported.”

Jennifer Roloson, clinical leader for pediatric inpatient medicine and complex care, and Jennifer Watson, pediatric clinical manager, agree. Both work at HHS’ McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH).

“As an employee at HHS, you are a part of a team,” says Roloson, who has worked at the organization for 18 years. “From the clerk who takes your personal information to the porter who takes you to your appointment, to the health professionals who provide your care, everyone makes a difference.”

“MCH is a fabulous place to work,” says Watson.

Teamwork built on trust and respect

Two staff members stand at a CQI white board

Roloson and Watson work together closely to support the nurses reporting to them. Watson believes staff satisfaction and engagement are critical for success.

The two say they spend significant time on scheduling and make every effort to provide last-minute schedule changes when requested by team members.

“We both recognize that life throws unexpected curve balls and feel that work should not be adding stress when that happens,” says Watson. “As leaders, we have developed strong relationships with all staff. Our team is built on trust and respect.”

Supporting employee development

HHS offers a variety of programs to support employees in their growth and development, including in-house training courses and custom onboarding.

“We work very hard within our program to ensure staff feel prepared and supported,” says Watson. “Over the past year, we recognized that our new grads require a different approach to orientation and training and so we revamped the process to allow for more time and a phased approach that ensures success.”

Watson and Roloson have worked with their teams to build several different training streams including new grad, new to pediatric nursing, and extern to Registered Nurse pathways. They say they want their team to know how much HHS supports their professional growth and career development.

Ensuring staff are heard

“We think it is very important to include all staff in making decisions regarding any changes we make to our programs,” says Roloson. “We are always interested in their opinions on how to improve the care we provide.”

“As former front-line nurses, we understand the importance of listening,” says Watson. “We support our staff and work hard to ensure they are heard. Our team knows that we have an open-door policy.”

“I’m grateful to everyone in our organization for their dedication during these challenging times.”

Staff at HHS can take advantage of significant career mobility. As a regional centre for pediatrics, cancer care, trauma, cardiac, stroke and more, there are ample opportunities to work on what’s most important to you. Staff can start their career working at one site, and easily apply to roles in other programs or sites without leaving the organization.

“Working in health care is both demanding and rewarding,” says MacIsaac. “We continue to see outsized challenges during the pandemic, and our team continues to persevere. I’m grateful to everyone in our organization for their dedication during these challenging times.”

HHS is hiring across the hospital, recruiting physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. Great opportunities also exist in IT, research, finance, administration and more. For more information about available roles, please visit our careers page.

This is an updated version of a story originally published in the Hamilton Spectator on November 24, 2022.