BPSO Lead Q&A with Ankur Desai, Tabatha Bowers, and Amanda Mowbray

The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) candidate, poised to be officially designated as a BPSO in 2018.

BPSOs are health care and academic organizations selected by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) to implement and evaluate its internationally acclaimed best practice guidelines (BPGs). Evidence from these BPGs will be rolled into standards of practice across the hospital to improve patient experiences and outcomes.

Meet the faces of BPSO at TSH as they share what these guidelines mean for patients, the hospital, and the community through a BPSO Q&A series.

Ankur Desai, Physiotherapist and Professional Practice Leader

Ankur joined the TSH team seven years ago as a physiotherapist. In 2009, he became the Professional Practice Leader for Physiotherapy. He also represents the hospital at the Advanced Practice Leaders forum for Physiotherapy at the University of Toronto, oversees physiotherapy student placements, conducts research projects at TSH, and works as an inpatient physiotherapist on the nephrology unit.

On the Job

Did you always want to work in health care?

Yes. I grew up in India, where I could see the inequality in the health care system. This fuelled my desire to assist with delivering quality health care to all. Health care is a dynamic field that offers the unique opportunity to interact with clients and peers, with a common goal of improving the quality of life for patients.

Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

I mainly work with geriatric patients, many of whom suffer from depression, delirium, or dementia, or who are susceptible to it. Working as a BPSO Co-Lead, I have this great opportunity to make a positive impact on patient care by promoting evidence-based practice in an interdisciplinary setting.

Name a colleague you admire and explain why.

I am very fortunate to work with a bunch of wonderful, hardworking, and sincere co-workers and leaders. They consistently inspire me to be a better therapist and a better leader.

Off the Clock

Early bird or night owl?

Definitely early bird! I accomplish a lot at work and in my personal life by starting early. It gives me an opportunity to spend some quality time with my twin toddlers!

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

I received a note from one of my colleagues that said: “Your high ethical and moral values are a blessing and breath of fresh air.” This compliment really boosted my morale as a leader and therapist.

What is your favourite movie or book?

The book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. It is a fascinating insiders’ account of the 2008 presidential election – a thriller, with some humour, based on real life events. Game Change is a good read, and it helped fill the blanks left by the media.

Tabatha Bowers, Nurse Practitioner, Specialized Geriatrics and GAIN

Tabatha joined the TSH team in May 2000, and consults with the interprofessional team to support senior patients at TSH.  She also chairs the Senior Friendly Care and Falls Prevention and Least Restraints committees.

On the Job

Did you always want to work in health care?

Yes, ever since I was a wee girl.

Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

I’ve been working with seniors my entire career, and I am always looking for ways to improve how we deliver care to this population.

In your eyes, how does BPSO candidacy and your BPG work impact patient care?

BPSO candidacy is a means to make TSH the best hospital it can be by delivering evidence-informed practice. Our senior patients are at risk for dementia, delirium, and/or depression. Knowing how to identify these quickly enables us to mitigate any potential issues that could impact their quality of care.

Amanda Mowbray

Amanda joined the TSH team in 2011 as an Occupational Therapist and Professional Practice Leader for Occupational Therapy (OT). She has obtained Status-Only Appointment with the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, overseeing OT placements, and participating in the OT Professional Practice Network and research projects.

On the Job

Did you always want to work in health care?

I wanted to be an artist and attend the Ontario College of Art and Design. I loved photography and painting in high school but my mother steered me away from art and into psychology; I guess I wasn’t a very good artist! So I pursued a psychology degree at the University of British Columbia. In my senior year, I discovered occupational therapy. I was thrilled to learn about a profession that is focused on the whole person. Helping people to engage in everyday living and participate in meaningful activities truly is an art.

Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

Becoming a BPSO Lead is a great opportunity to ensure we are all incorporating best practice guidelines into our work in order to provide safe, evidence-based, and person-focused care.

What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

I have had an amazing opportunity to work with a mentor to build my professionalism and leadership skills through the Rising Star Program at TSH.

Off the Clock

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

I would spend it, not bury it!

Rules to live by:

Be mindful and keep a positive outlook. Having a positive outlook on life will bring joy and inspiration where you least expect it.

Name the first concert you ever went to.

I saw Michael Jackson on the Thriller tour at Exhibition Place when I was five years old. I fell asleep, apparently.