Meet Gail Downing:
Starting a career in nursing was not an easy decision for Gail Downing, Regional Director for Emergency and Paramedicine. Most of her family had opted to study education. Though, Gail was not the first of her kin to break from the tradition. It was her older sister who influenced her most to attend Memorial University’s School of Nursing.
“When I finally enrolled in the program, I knew all about it because of my older sister,” Gail said.
In 1981, soon after she graduated from the program, she was hired in critical care at the Health Sciences Center. She worked there for three years before moving to Carbonear General Hospital to work in its critical care department.
In 1995, Gail took on the role of Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Patient Resident Services, after being promoted to a supervisory role. She stayed in this position for 10 years before Eastern Health was formed.
Gail said that for her, it is all about the people. When an employee is in clinical care they get gratification from helping the people on the front lines. For Gail, gratification comes when a program she creates is used to improve the jobs of everyone in her department.
“I still think my fondest memory was the point at which we, as clinical directors in Rural Avalon encompassing acute care, long term care, community care and child youth and family services – together with our Chief Operating Officer for Rural Avalon – began to see the value of networking and role appreciation that was occurring in our teams,” Gail said. “To us, it was a sign of success of the integration made possible by this structure. With all health programs under the umbrella of Eastern Health, we felt that our mandate of integration and seamless care was being met.”
Gail Downing does her best to do what is right for the staff she manages. She practices respect every day in her job, even if it is just returning a message or appreciating the input that her peers and coworkers give her. Gail Downing truly is Living the Values at Eastern Health.