Making Zero Harm Possible: Shyann Topel, Buffalo Lake Health Care Center

Shyann Topel, Safety Director and Safe Care for Seniors Champion at Buffalo Lake Health Care Center, is the most recent recipient of the Make Zero Harm Possible Award from LeadingAge Minnesota. The award recognizes staff in aging services settings who demonstrate their commitment to safe, quality care and to treating the people they serve with respect and dignity – always. 

“Shyann is a champion for safe, quality care and a strong advocate for staff and resident engagement in Safe Care for Seniors. She sees safety as a core value of her work and goes above and beyond in her daily work to ensure a safe environment for all who live and work at Buffalo Lake Health Care Center,” said Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota. 


In addition to her role as Safety Director at Buffalo Lake Health Care Center, Shyann serves as the Safe Care Team Committee Chair and kicked off the organization’s prevention efforts by creating an interdisciplinary team of safe care advocates. The team designed goals and plans that would help prevent harm in the course of caregiving, and now meets twice a month to review concerns and identify solutions that will improve the life of the residents and staff at Buffalo Lake Health Care Center. 

In addition, Shyann created Safe Care Boxes that are located throughout the organization to encourage staff, residents, families and visitors to share their concerns; created a Safe Care for Seniors wall that highlights work being done by the organization; and is working with her organization’s leaders and Board of Directors to address ways to better support the mental health and wellness for their caregiving team.  

“Shyann actively seeks staff, resident and family engagement with our safety efforts. Through her leadership and committed to safe, quality care, Shyann is helping create an environment that prevents harm and supports respect and dignity for all we serve,” said Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing, Buffalo Lake Health Care Center.    

Thanks to Shyann’s efforts, residents and families at Buffalo Lake Health Care Center are aware of the time and effort staff are putting into addressing safety concerns and many have expressed gratitude and interest in learning more about ongoing projects. 

The Make Zero Harm Possible award is one component of LeadingAge Minnesota’s Safe Care for Seniors initiative. To nominate someone for this recognition, see Make Zero Harm Possible.

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