Paula Hann is an admired colleague and friend in BC’s kidney care community. A registered nurse, she began her career in Newfoundland. Over the years, her work led her throughout Canada, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. It also encompassed critical care and pediatric cardiology. However, Paula notes, “I did so many things in my career but was always led back to renal.” After many years of service in BC, she is moving east to be able to spend more time with family.
Paula's introduction to kidney care happened at BC Children’s Hospital in 1987. "I was working in cardiology and the dialysis unit was experiencing a very busy summer with children requiring daily dialysis," she says. "I did some casual shifts to help out and the rest is history regarding my professional journey."
Interior Health has figured prominently in Paula's career. She was a project lead (2011-13) and interim program manager (2013) at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). Following a private consultant role with Impact BC, Paula returned to Interior Health in the permanent renal manager role at KGH (2014-15). After traveling across the globe to work in Saudi Arabia for a year, she returned to Canada in early 2016 and to Interior Health that summer as program director, renal services, a role she held for five years.
Paula’s contributions to kidney care across our province are notable. She was an active member of BC Renal's Executive Committee, the Renal Administrators’ Committee and various modality-specific committees. More recently, she played a role in the development of our patient goal-setting strategy and the vendor selection for the upcoming provincial patient experience survey.
Sushila Saunders, director, home therapies and palliative care at BC Renal, says, “For those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Paula, she is an inspirational leader with a kind heart. We will miss her! Paula is passionate about renal care, mentorship, quality improvement and system change.”
When asked to name a key change in kidney care that she has been a part of, Paula says, “patient-centred care as a practice, not a theory.” She’s positive about the future of kidney care advancements and readily provides a list of positive trends, including: transplant first; delaying kidney failure through pre-emptive kidney care clinic services; mobile and bio-artificial dialysis technologies for greater personal autonomy; supportive and palliative services; and patient-focused care with community links.
On a personal note, Paula says, “I am grateful and appreciative for each connection I have made throughout my career, whether nationally or internationally. BC Renal holds such a place of gratitude for me.”
As Paula moves on to a new chapter in her life, BC Renal executive director Dr. Adeera Leven says, “Paula has been a dedicated, patient-centred leader, with a talent for – and commitment to – innovation and creative solutions. No challenge was too complicated or difficult for her to take on, and she was always able to work with a diverse team to solve it. She will truly be missed.”