Over the past year, Oak Valley Health has been working to launch a new role on its medicine units that will enhance the model of care and clinical staff workflow to provide optimal patient care.

Manny is one of the first people at Oak Valley Health to lead the charge in the new, optimized role of support services attendant (SSA), one that evolved from the environmental services attendant (ESA) role.

Manny has been at Oak Valley Health for over three years, beginning his career at Markham Stouffville Hospital as a part-time ESA and casual worker in the linen department, and now full-time as an SSA.

Manny stocking PPE outside of a hospital room.

As Oak Valley Health looked for opportunities to increase efficiencies for patient care on the units, they re-evaluated how the clinical and support services staff worked alongside each other. To enhance the workflow to be more seamless and effective, the SSA role was created and piloted on one unit before being rolled out more widely within the hospital.

This new role maintains the existing SSA job duties, such as housekeeping functions, but now also incorporates non-clinical tasks and activities – such as room setup for admissions and stocking nursing cart supplies – that support the clinical staff to dedicate more time at the bedside.

For Manny, the SSA role is a new experience that allows him to develop a wider skillset, and have the ability to better support the units with additional responsibilities. He is more integrated into the patient care process, from daily patient rounding to assisting with some patient needs such as getting them water or a blanket. 

Manny stocking PPE outside of a hospital room.

In this new role, Manny feels empowered to support clinical staff with some additional work that he wasn’t able to before.

The SSA role has been closely observed since its implementation and it has improved workflow efficiencies on the units, increased capacities for personal support workers (PSAs) and nurses to focus more on clinical work, improved daily cleaning and rounding audits, and there has been much positive feedback from staff and patients alike.


This article appeared in the July 2023 issue of The Link. To receive Oak Valley Health’s community newsletter, subscribe now.