Renal social worker Tammy Rizmayer, of Prince George, is determined to make a difference in the lives of the patients she works with, many of whom live on low incomes.
She was instrumental in creating a $25,000 bursary fund to help patients in the north with travel costs related to their kidney care. She also started a food bank initiative for her patients, and helps them with their tax returns to ensure they claim their eligible health expenses.
In recognition of her dedication to patients through these kinds of efforts, the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council chose Tammy as its Everyday Champion
for 2015. She has also described as “a role model and an inspiration” by one of the leaders of Northern Health’s renal program.
As to her own source of inspiration, Tammy points to her mother, who raised four children as a single parent in Prince George while pursuing a degree in social work. What’s more, Tammy received her own initial training in social work from her mother, who was an instructor at New Caledonia College.
She also finds inspiration from her patients: “I learn as much from them as they do from me,” and from her colleagues. And she is conflicted about the recognition she has received for her work. “It feels odd to be singled out when you are a member of such a great group of professionals.”
Tammy has worked with Northern Health’s regional renal program since 2009. She calls herself an “outdoors person” and enjoys summertime fishing holidays with her husband and snowboarding in winter. She has a daughter and a 16-month-old grandson, and is now eagerly awaiting the imminent arrival of a second grandchild.