Canadian Security Magazine

Virtual Summits
Focus On Healthcare Security 2022
December 6, 2022 at 1:00pm ET

Session 1: Violence prevention training with real life applications for health care teams

Speaker: Victoria Schmid, CEO, SWITCH BC.

SWITCH BC CEO Victoria Schmid believes that everyone working in health care has the right to be safe and healthy, to thrive on the job, and to return home safely to family and friends.

SWITCH BC stands for Safety, Wellbeing, Innovation, Training and Collaboration in Healthcare. It is a new organization focused on workplace health, safety, and wellbeing. SWITCH BC’s unique organizational structure brings healthcare employers, unions, and physicians together to make consensus decisions on provincewide programs to support more than 300,000 people working in B.C.’s healthcare system.

The Province of BC has asked SWITCH BC to update the Provincial Violence Prevention training program. It was last updated in 2016 and was previously only offered to health authorities’ staff and medical staff. The program will be expanded to include physicians, affiliate/private care workers, students, and contractors.

The refreshed violence prevention program will reflect the changes that we’ve seen in the healthcare workforce and environment in the past six years, and will include a focus on trauma-informed principles. It will take into consideration how different kinds of health work requires different, situation-specific violence prevention strategies and will endeavour to support greater access for the diverse healthcare workers across the province.

SWITCH BC’s first ever CEO Victoria Schmid will share the devastating toll that violence is taking on health care teams in BC, and how by working to create system-wide training strategies, B.C. plans to better support people working in health care.

Victoria Schmid
SWITCH BC’s governance model is unique in B.C. and in Canada with representatives of unions, employers, physicians, Ministry of Health, and WorkSafeBC on its board of directors, making consensus decisions to support positive change in healthcare workplaces.

Before joining SWITCH BC, Victoria was Vice President of Pandemic Planning and Executive Lead, Experience for Island Health where she led the COVID response and immunization efforts of 30,000 staff, medical staff, and volunteers to support a population of more than 860,000 people.

Victoria is a certified dietitian with a passion for change leadership. Early in her career at the Saskatoon Health Authority, Victoria was the provincial lead for safety and created a provincial safety alert system that brought staff safety and patient safety together. She supported the development of a provincial health safety management system (HSMS) that’s now implemented across Saskatchewan. Victoria is using those learnings to implement B.C.’s HSMS through SWITCH BC.

Outside of work, Victoria is a mom, a coach, the vice-chair of the United Way of Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) Board, and an early riser who listens to podcasts while her dog takes her for walks.