Iridia Medical Comes to Life

March 11th, 2013.

A day much like any other for most, but a day unlike any other for us. With the arrival of this day comes a mix of emotions for our entire team.

On the one hand, it is time to say goodbye to the name Global Medical Services (GMS) and the familiar heart rhythm logo to which we have grown so accustomed over the years. No longer will the GMS name and logo adorn our employee manuals, our educational handouts, or any other documents that our team produces. Indeed, the final paramedic daily report with a golden oval has been completed, reviewed, and filed for safe keeping.

On the other hand, we have cause for emphatic celebration! We are blessed with an incredibly rare opportunity to breathe life into a fresh new brand identity. But not just any brand identity – one into which we have poured our hearts and souls to develop over the past year and a half. One that we feel perfectly reflects who we are and what we represent. And, best of all, we have the chance to shape this new brand with the very same people that have made Global such a success.

So, while it is not easy saying goodbye to the GMS name which has served us so well over the years, we will forever be grateful for the memories and successes realized under it. And, as we look forward, we enthusiastically embrace a bright future under the Iridia Medical banner.

To kick things off, here are some of the biggest changes you’ll see:

  • The Iridia Medical name and logo, as pictured in this blog, will feature prominently on everything our team produces.
  • Enabling Peace of Mind is our new company tagline. 
  • We also have four new divisional taglines: We have a snazzy new website at that is filled with fresh new content, has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, and allows for online purchasing of AED accessories and course registration. 
    • Tools to Save Lives (Products), 
    • The Right Care at the Right Time (Paramedics), 
    • Facilitating Practical Healthcare Solutions (Consulting), and 
    • Empowering People to Save Lives (Education).
  • Our Social Media accounts have been given a facelift. View these on the the menu to the right.

Beyond today, the year ahead will be exciting and frenetic as we write the first of many chapters in the story of the Iridia Medical brand. There are vehicles to be branded, divisional launch promotions/events to be held, and a great many more things to come. Stay tuned!

As we embark on this new journey, we invite you take it with us. Please let us know how we are doing. If any of our team members or a product/service we provide has made a difference to you, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve made it as easy as possible to get in touch — on every page of our website there is a blue banner along the bottom with a “Feedback” button. Simply hit it and fill in the form that pops up!

Here’s to a great first year with Iridia Medical!

October is…Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month

While some people (okay, the majority of people) are already planning Halloween events, here at Iridia we are planning to celebrate Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month throughout the month of October.

These days it’s as though there is a theme day or month for everything – National Puppy Day (Mar 23), National Hot Dog Month (July), Bubble wrap Appreciation Day (Jan 31) and so on. There are fun months and there are also important ones like Healthy Workplace Month that promote awareness and taking action.

healthy workplace month

Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month

This month at Iridia, we are aligning ourselves with the goals of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month by improving and building upon healthy lifestyle practices, workplace culture, occupational health and safety here in the office.

While we’ve already taken a number of steps to encourage healthy living such as providing fresh fruit to snack on, enacting a Fitness program and taking weekly brainstorming walks, there is always room to try new things.

As a company providing many services in the realm of healthcare, this is a great opportunity to ensure staff are living healthy and rewarding lifestyles at work and home.

Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month website provides a number of excellent resources to get started on healthy living at work. Each week of October has its own theme and focuses on a different aspect of workplace health.

 Accompanying each week are suggested activities to help you channel your inner healthy-working self.

workplace health

We’ve chosen a number of these activities and are encouraging our staff to do at least one activity a week to make positive changes at the workplace and in their personal lives. For starters, we are  revealing our activities for Weeks 1 and 2 so keep posted for our favourite activities for Week 3 and 4!

Week 1: Mental Health 

  • Compliment a Colleague: Co-workers feel great when they’re recognized for a job well done. And you’ll feel great about making them feel good
  • Play a game with co-workers: Play a game during your lunch break to exercise your mind
  • No-screen Night: Turn off the television, video games, computers, smartphones and iPods. Read a book or go for a walk with a family member, friend or neighbour.
  • Prioritize Your Resources: Priorities are always changing. Sometimes you may need to put personal and family needs first. At other times, work may take a front seat.
  • Assess Your Accomplishment: Ask yourself, “What felt meaningful today?” Feeling pride in accomplishments can make you feel happier.

Week 2: Workplace Culture 

  • 5-Minute Desk Clean Up: Take five minutes to clean up the clutter around your workstation 
  • Massage Days: Run a program that offers relaxing in-chair massages. (Already have a massage therapist come in bi-weekly!)
  • Workplace Walks: Walking and talking is a healthy pleasure on many levels and can be done all year long. (Just implemented a weekly walking and brainstorming group!)
  • Desk Stretches for a Week: Practise workstation stretching each day. Focus on performing them regularly and completely so you have more energy at the end of the day.
  • Lend Your Skills: Donate your skills to a charitable project that demonstrates community care and good corporate citizenship.

Thanks to Great-West Life for organizing this month and all of the ideas for healthy living. If you’d like more information about Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, visit:

What’s Your Mindset?

This past summer, Iridia moved its offices to a new location; a newly renovated office space that gave employees a better, brighter, more functional space. When staff arrived on the first day to unpack their boxes and settle into their new space, they found a gift on their desks – a book by Carol S. Dweck called Mindset (subtitled, The New Psychology of Success).

The leadership team at Iridia, felt that the concepts in this book were important enough to pass on to everyone on the team. This book has become Iridia’s “theme” for the year, and not only has everyone been encouraged to read it, but at every staff meeting, one staff person is asked to comment on what they have learned from the book.

With dozens of studies and experiments, which are cited in the book, Dweck has discovered a ground-breaking idea – the power of mindset. In a nutshell, Dr. Dweck identifies two different kinds of mindsets with which people approach life – a fixed mindset, and a growth mindset.



A fixed mindset is focused on outcomes, results, achievements, and scores. A growth mindset is focused on just what it says – growth. Instead of asking, “What mark did I get on that test?” it asks, “What did I learn from my studies?” Instead of saying “I blew it. I’m a failure; I’ll never try that again.”, it says “How can I learn from this and do it better next time?” Overall, fixed mindset people tend to be governed by fear of failure, take fewer risks, are quick to condemn themselves and opt for easier tasks in which they know they will excel. Growth mindset people see every situation as a growth opportunity, therefore they take more risks, learn more, have more confidence, and accomplish more than their fixed mindset counterparts. The fixed and growth mindsets are seen very early on in life and the studies in this book, from children to corporate CEO’s, are fascinating.

Dweck applies mindset to business, sports, relationships and child-rearing, and suggests that developing a growth mindset is paramount to success in life and in work.

This little book has made quite a splash at Iridia as we continually try to find ways to apply the growth mindset principles at work. It’s not so much about creating lists of things to do or ways to be, but about creating an environment that encourages questions, welcomes mistakes, and asks people to be accountable for their own growth experiences. Pick it up from your local bookstore and see whether Mindset has some things to teach you.

Iridia’s Take on Fedex Days

I recently read Daniel Pink’s new book, DRIVE, and was intrigued by an idea he talked about that has led other companies to great innovation. An Australian software company called Atlassian offers what they call “Fedex days” to their employees.

Basically the staff has the opportunity to work for 24 hours on projects not directly related to their daily duties. The only requirement for employees during these events is that they have to make a presentation to the company describing what they worked on (erego the name “Fedex Days” because it has to get there overnight). They have had incredible success with this program, and the projects and tools that have been developed during these day-long work marathons have helped to spur innovation and creativity throughout the organization.

On Friday, December 16th, Iridia held its own version of Fedex Days, only instead of 24 hours, the staff were given an afternoon (we had to start somewhere), and the presentation of the idea came after the weekend at our monthly staff meeting on Monday Morning. Eight Iridia employees were divided into two teams and were tasked with two assignments.

The first was to come up with a story that demonstrated Iridia in a pictoral way – one that would resonate with people as to the kind of company Iridia is and how we demonstrate our core values (following up on a corporate storytelling session we held in November).

The second assignment was to create an idea for a new division for Iridia. The parameters were that it had to be some how related to our current mission and offerings, and it had to connect to at least one or more of our core values. The process was energizing and engaging and the staff who participated were enthused about the process and about their ideas.

Fedex Days

Interestingly, both groups came up with a “story” that demonstrated Iridia’s high commitment to customer service.

For the idea, Team 1 came up with a program to provide both clinical and consulting services to rural and remote communities to assist with challenges faced by those communities as a result of being remote. Many communities don’t have access to the medical care they need, to education and an understanding of what’s required to live a healthy lifestyle, and even to how to maintain healthy, safe living environments. Services would include risk assessment, disaster/emergency planning, education, and clinical services.

Team 2 came up with the idea of developing a recycling program for medical equipment. The idea is to take non-working medical equipment and ensure it is safely recycled, and to take working but no longer used medical equipment and donate it to people/communities in need both locally and abroad. This new division would solicit used equipment from health authorities and hospitals and ensure they got to the right places (recycling or new owners). It would reduce waste and provide much needed medical equipment to people in communities and countries around the world who could never otherwise afford it.

Again, interestingly, both ideas centred around the same values – corporate responsibility, teamwork and innovation.

We felt the day was a great success and plan to hold more of these sessions throughout the year.

JPOCSC – A New Kind of Care

How does the new state of the art Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) differ from a traditional hospital? The key is in the title, the JPOCSC provides “outpatient care” only. Outpatient care describes any medical care that does not require an overnight stay in a hospital; for example visits to the doctor’s office, clinics and a day surgery centre are all considered outpatient care.

So why build the JPOCSC, isn’t it just a very large doctor’s office, why is this different?

The answer is that typical hospital stays are very expensive. Each room that is in use is very costly and takes up limited hospital resources. These rooms are often filled with individuals who need surgery, but many of these surgeries are procedures that do not require a hospital stay. In today’s age up to 65% of surgeries do not require an overnight hospital setting.

Outpatient care is a divide and conquer tactic that is meant to keep costs down, as well as free up rooms in traditional hospitals. 

JPOCSC The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre has a vision of creating better health in the community by providing an integrated and seamless network of outpatient care services for residents of the Fraser Valley.

The facility embodies a new care delivery model by offering a one-stop approach to patient care, integrating both traditionally acute and community services and various clinical services.  Day surgery, diagnostics, specialty services and community health clinics will all be under one roof for the first time.

The JPOCSC is at the forefront of clinical service models, use of technology and green-space design.  As a state-of-the-art facility and the first of its kind in the Fraser Valley, the experience of working in the facility is new to all physicians and staff. 

Fortunately for us at Iridia, we have had the pleasure of working closely with Fraser Health on this project. Our president and founder has recently been appointed the Medical Coordinator of the JPOCSC. To read about about this appointment please see our post from earlier in the month: Leading the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre



Professionalism is not an option, it is a must


Professionalism can be difficult to define because it’s about so many things. It’s not just about knowing how to do a job well, it’s about attitude, behavior, and how you present yourself and represent your company. It’s demonstrating a willingness to learn, working collaboratively with others, and living up to commitments. It’s also about avoiding the kinds of behaviors that cause trouble in the workplace, like gossip, negativity, and one-upmanship.

A professional is open to the views of others and the possibility that there might be a better way – they are not threatened by the good ideas of others. They make decisions based on the best interest of the company. They are fair and treat everyone with respect, even people they do not particularly like. Professionals evaluate their own performance, have high expectations of themselves and others and constantly strive to improve.

At Iridia, we don’t just ask for professionalism, we expect it of everyone, at every level of our business. We expect people to live up to their commitments, to treat people with respect, to be skilled at what they do, to do their work well and with enthusiasm, to give 100% to their work, and to represent our company with pride and integrity. Is it a lot to ask? Sure. Is it an option to be any other way? Not according to this core value!

Professionalism is what sets one person, one company, apart from another. We want to be known for having high expectations in this area, and for delivering to our customers and to each other, the very best of ourselves.

Our AEDs delivered a shock to the BC Hospitality Expo

BC Hospitality Expo

The results are in; the 2011 BC Hospitality Expo was a great success! Tom and Julie had a blast as they met people from all over the hospitality industry. Fascinated faces looked on as they gave Automated External Defibrillator (AED) demos and enlightened people on sudden cardiac arrest… Apparently our branded pens were a huge hit as well; with some taking a many as they could get their hands on.

Global Medical Services definitely had some “wow!” aimed our way. “People were amazed at how small and portable AEDs are,” said Julie. And it’s true, if you have never seen an AED in action before it will really surprise you on how simple and easy it is to use. Our display was a real eye opener for quite a few individuals. It was not just the ease of use that turned heads, but also the maintenance of the AEDs as well. With 8 year warranties and batteries that last up to five years, we offer the full package.

During the two day event, Tom and Julie were asked numerous questions about AEDs but a few came up quite a bit:

Q – “Why do I need this device when I can just call 911?”
A – The answer is simple, on average it takes up to 9 minutes for EMS to arrive at the scene. By that time, survival rates can drop to nearly 10%. With an AED on hand a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest can be defibrillated almost immediately, which will give them a much higher chance of survival.

Q – “What kind of training do I need to use an AED?”
A – You don’t need any training whatsoever to operate an AED. The voice prompts will guide you and tell you all you need to know.

Q – “What about lawsuits, can I get sued for using this AED?”
A – Our Good Samaritan law protects bystanders who serve and tend injured persons from being prosecuted for wrongful death, unless they are found grossly negligent in their care.

AED education still has a ways to go. But hopefully we opened a lot of minds during those two days. Global Medical Services is dedicated to the promotion and expansion of AED programs. They are a very simple way to save lives, that’s the bottom line. Keep your eyes peeled for this sign: