Jackie Marsh has worked with Interior Health for 23 years. Image: Dr. Mark Masterson

40 Under 40: Jackie Marsh

A special honourary mention of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020.

This is the Kelowna chamber’s sixth year of searching for the city’s high achievers and bringing their stories to the public.

In the past months, hundreds of healthcare workers and first responders responded quickly and willingly to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have had to change their daily routines and time with their own families, cancelled vacations and other plans, and missed out on activities at home with their loved ones, homemade meals, and a sense of normalcy.

Dr. Eric Li, Associate Professor, Faculty of Management at UBCO – who is also a previous Top 40 Under 40 Honouree:

“While many of us are staying safe and healthy at our own homes, we are thankful for our frontline workers who are confronting new risks from this virus at work, while keeping our community safe and sound. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of our frontline workers, both under and over 40, you are our saviors and thank you so much for serving our community and protecting us. Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated.

Housekeeping Services Manager, Jackie Marsh, started her career with Interior Health 23 years ago at the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) . She began as a casual housekeeper in 1997, and from that point forward accepted every offer to expand her knowledge, leading to a deep learning and understanding for emergency and intensive care cleaning procedures and best practices. In 2001 she accepted a supervisory role, which she continued for ten years until she began her role as educator for the department in 2011. At this time, Jackie realized more education was required to teach new and existing staff. From that realization, she created the Housekeeping School to help develop a greater understanding of best practices and practical skills for all staff within her department.

Continuing to pursue a challenge and learning opportunities, Jackie went on to take on various roles within her department as a Coordinator in 2016, and Manager in 2018; these moves allowed her to continue building her knowledge and develop relationships with other leaders at KGH. Jackie now manages a team of 285 staff, including housekeepers, material porters, a coordinator, and multiple supervisors. A total of 120 positions sign into work each day within her department. Her role requires her to ensure effective communication with all departments and staff within KGH, including external vendors. In addition to this the department completes cleanliness audits quarterly to ensure standards are kept at a high level. She participates in regional standardizations and projects, as well as various committees within KGH.

This tireless team looks after cleanliness of all patient rooms, operating theatres, emergency rooms, intensive care, treatment and common areas, as well as the removal of all waste from the site.

She is incredibly supportive of her department and continues to highlight the great work of her team, “Our team is dedicated to ensuring that patient safety is always kept at the forefront. My team of supervisors are committed to supporting all staff with guidance, coaching and mentoring. This amazing group of people are dedicated to patient safety, and I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

Jackie has lived in the Okanagan most of her life and feels grateful every day to live in such a beautiful place. She enjoys hiking or kayaking with her family on the Westside or in Peachland, as well as gardening in her yard. She is looking forward to exploring local this year, hiking Spion Kop, or adventuring to Revelstoke. She has been married to her husband Glen for 29 years, with two sons, Nolan (27) and Travis (19), as well as two beautiful grandchildren.


What started your career in healthcare?

I started as a casual housekeeper in 1997, thinking it was just a good paying job. I soon realized how very important cleaning in a hospital setting is. Cleaning in healthcare became my passion. In 2011, as the housekeeping educator at the time I developed the “Housekeeping School” to ensure all housekeepers were properly educated and up to date with all procedures and processes. In 2018 I accepted the manager position. I still love all aspects of this very integral part of healthcare. We now have a team of over 250 staff members.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I especially love the people. I enjoy working with all of the other disciplines within the hospital and realizing how we all work together as a larger team.

The honourary mentions came about from Dr. Eric Li, Associate Professor, Faculty of Management at UBCO – who is also a previous Top 40 Under 40 Honouree.

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