As an advocate and mentor, his knowledge in occupational health and safety has made a profound impact on the safety and well-being of staff, medical staff and physicians.
Dave Keen, executive director, People Health, Safety and Well-being and Provincial Workplace Health Services has given unwavering commitment, visionary leadership and outstanding contributions for more than 20 years at Fraser Health.
In 2002, Dave joined Fraser Health as the first director of Workplace Health and Safety. Since then, he has stayed true to the organization's values of respect, caring and trust.
His style of leadership is characterized by stability, retention and innovation. "What I have learned through Dave’s colleagues is that the retention rate on his team is exceptional: there are 50 staff who have been on Dave’s team for over 10 years, and 28 staff for over 15 years," noted Amy Sidhu, executive director, Leadership and Talent. "It seems that Dave has fostered a culture where his team members have been able to build careers, not just have a job. This also tells me that Dave’s team members know they are invaluable partners and leaders in their fields, which is partly why they produce such excellent and impactful work."
When Dave looks back on his proudest accomplishment, he states, “It’s building and sustaining my team. They’re so good at what they do, and we stick together. Unless people retire, we’ve stayed together since the beginning [of the team’s creation].”
One of his most remarkable achievements is establishing the Management Centre, which transformed the way leaders access critical information. “We built this specifically for managers, using their feedback and needs to guide us,” says Dave. "Today, this one-stop portal saves managers a great deal of time, putting important information to support critical management functions at their fingertips."
Dave's impact extends far beyond Fraser Health's walls and into the community. His visionary leadership was vital in response to public health crises including SARS, H1N1 and Ebola, and his work laid the foundation for the COVID-19 vaccination effort. One of the most successful campaigns in British Columbia's history, Dave recalls "driving out and exchanging vaccines with a public health nurse in the back of a car in the middle of the night because there were only a few vials right in the beginning and we had to get them to the folks who needed them most."
At the provincial level, Dave has been a trusted advocate and driving force behind the development of provincial occupational health and safety standards and programs. "We have high standards in the team and we're often leading the province with our work,” says Dave. His dedication to data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement through his initiatives has protected health care workers from workplace hazards.
As Cameron Brine, previous vice president, Employee Experience expresses, "Dave has been a tireless and strong advocate for the health and safety of all health care workers in B.C. He has been the de facto provincial leader in this space for decades. Most health and safety leaders in B.C. health authorities have been mentored by or learned much from Dave."
Dave's remarkable journey is a testament to the extraordinary impact one individual can have on an organization and an entire industry. His dedication to employee well-being, innovation and leadership in occupational health and safety have left a permanent mark.
Dave Keen is a recipient of an Above and Beyond Lifetime Achievement Award.