Jan Radford (BSN ’79, MSN ’89)

It is the accomplishments between the lines in her resume that make Jan Radford’s professional life so intriguing.

Jan Radford, Regional Director, Child and Youth Services has held various directorships with Fraser Health Authority since 2001. Before taking her current position in 2010, she was Director, Acute Services, Fraser Health Authority (FHA) responsible for the Family Birthing Unit, a 20 bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Child and Youth Services, Rehabilitation Services and Volunteer Services at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Prior to joining the FHA in 2001, she spent eleven years at the Sunny Hill site of Children’s and Women’s Health Centre in Vancouver as Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Department Head and Acting Site Manager.

Currently Jan is a member of The Children’s Foundation Board of Directors in the Lower Mainland and Adjunct Faculty at UBC School of Nursing. In the early 1980s Jan was an instructor in Pediatrics at Douglas College School of Nursing in New Westminster. She has worked at Burnaby Hospital, UBC Extended Care Unit, St Mary’s Hospital in New Westminster, and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and the Flying Doctors Service in Queensland, Australia.

Highlights in her career include initiating discussions and planning for a separate pediatric emergency department to be built at Surrey Memorial Hospital in 2013; she also provided vision within Fraser Health Authority to plan the Maxxine Wright Community Health Centre for substance using pregnant women and their children in North Surrey (Whalley). She collaborated with community partners MCFD and Atira Women’s Resource Society to prepare and jointly fund this initiative. Maxxine Wright Community Health Centre opened in 2005.

One of the most satisfying periods in her career was the six years she spent working in the Downtown East Side with children and women at risk. Jan received an RNABC Award of Excellence in Clinical Practice for this work in 1999.

In 2006, Jan co-chaired the Fraser Health Acute Care Capacity Initiative (Child & Youth Team) which developed a five-year plan for acute pediatric services within the region (pediatric surgery, pediatric medicine, child and youth mental health).

She provided leadership to develop and implement a regional framework for Early Childhood Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Children and Families Development (MCFD) Fraser Region. This led to the joint funding of the Office of Early Childhood Education, Learning and Care with Surrey School District, Fraser Health (Surrey Health Services) and MCFD (Surrey).

Since 2003, she has been co-chair of the Fraser Health Child & Youth Clinical Services Planning and Delivery Team and led regional activities in preparation for CCHSA Accreditation of Fraser Health Child and Youth services (acute and community).

In the mid-nineties, Jan produced several research papers with UBC School of Nursing Director, Dr. Sally Thorne regarding long term gastrostomies in children.

Jan has been a speaker at several international nursing conferences. She volunteers as an instructor for the Adoptive Families Association. Her passion is preventing prenatal drug and alcohol exposure as well as helping potential foster and adoptive parents understand the implications of raising children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

She has been a visionary from the start of her career. After graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1973 (Royal Columbian Hospital School of Nursing), she could see a need for affordable housing and was part of a group that planned and built Eight Oaks Housing Co-op, with its Little Acorn Day Care Centre that still flourishes today.

Jan and her partner Lindsey adopted twin infant girls from Romania, now grown, and recently adopted two (pre-school) siblings locally. Her family has appeared in the video, Open Adoption, produced by the Adoptive Families Association. Their home is designated as a specialized foster home and they have cared for many infants and toddlers with special needs over the past decade.

The family has travelled across Canada and the US, as well as to Romania, Britain and Turkey, and have climbed Macchu Pichu. Each day Jan walks Katie, her West Highland White terrierand practices the accordion.

Coworkers say Jan has a great sense of humour, except when it comes to accordion jokes.

Submitted by Paula Stromberg