Leading a workplace health and safety team of 22 people, Danyluk covers prevention activities for workplace health and preventative injuries at Fraser Health Authority, ensuring health and safety compliance and training across 12 hospitals and 27 000 health care professionals.
1. Today in occupational health and safety it’s important to…
Getting down to the basics and making complex ideas simple is important. There is a tremendous responsibility to ensure a staff of 27 000 health care professionals have the appropriate education and training to be comfortable and compliant should the anticipation of a hazardous risk occur.
2. What made you interested in the field of occupational hygiene, safety and prevention?
While working at a pulp mill as a summer student, I began to question the safety program and the work place safety procedures. Later on as a student at UBC, I attended a seminar series on work place safety, which triggered the memory. It appealed to me as an opportunity to change the status quo and make an impact.
3. Greatest achievement to date?
Preparing the province [and country] for the anticipation of the Ebola virus disease in 2014 comes to mind. As a member of the team that developed the original Fraser Health pandemic influenza and preparedness plan, there was tremendous team work and collaboration to bring the province from low level preparedness to very prepared in a small window of time. The ability to develop procedures and train 27 000 staff to have them feel comfortable should a patient walk in the door in such a short period of time was truly monumental. [Danyluk has also been involved with preparedness and response activities for the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks, as well as a member of the public health agency of Canada expert working group to revise the prevention and control of influenza during a pandemic].
4. Person you admire most?
Charles Darwin. He saw an issue, followed up, pushed boundaries and took risks to change the status quo. The fact that his works still stands speaks for itself. I also have a personal interest in evolutionary biology.
5. Name the last book you couldn’t put down.
The Martian by Andy Weir. I enjoyed the combination of science and fiction. It was a quick, fast paced and interesting read.
6. What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
Being flexible is critical. When I first started at Fraser Health, I received advice to not let my health and safety background limit what I will do in my career. After years of training for this profession, I was initially defensive about this comment. However, I have since learned that with so much opportunity in the field, it is important to continuously take on new challenges that are traditionally outside of health and safety. Your field shouldn’t silo you career; there is a wide breadth and scope, and a need to continuously push boundaries and change the status quo.
7. What is your favourite UBC memory?
Looking back, I remember arriving on campus for the first time and the opportunity for learning that presented itself.
8. Favourite UBC Faculty of Medicine professor?
Dr. Kay Teschke, the Director of the Occupational & Environmental Hygiene Program. Her combined mix of knowledge and accomplishment was admirable. It was evident how much she cared for her students and wanted to see them do well.
9. Biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The decision to go into the field of health care was a considerable risk. I knew that going into the field of healthcare would be a challenge and outside of my comfort zone. But it turned out to be a great decision and a rewarding career thus far!
10. What advice would you give to current Occupational Hygiene students about healthcare in the 21st century?
Be willing to push boundaries and take risks. Don’t silo yourself into one area of health care; rock the boat a little bit so you can keep changing the status quo.
11. What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to get outdoors as often as I can get and as far away I can get. I enjoy hiking and camping with my wife and son.
12. Name one item that you would like to cross off of your bucket list:
One bucket list item I have is to be able to speak French fluently – my son’s in French immersion and I want to be able to keep up with him!