Oct 23, 2023 | Faces of HDGH, Spirituality
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare prides itself on our long-standing history of providing person-centred, value-based care to the Windsor-Essex community and beyond. Since 1888, is has been our mission to care for our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized, today, that mission stands and is provided in a number of ways.
When a patient or client at HDGH, your care team may consist of numerous individuals from various disciplines, including nurses, physicians, and allied health team members, who care for your physical recovery; social workers and mental health practitioners to care for your mind; and spiritual health practitioners to care for your heart and spirit.We believe that our bodies, mind, and spirit are all parts of us that deserve healing. That is why we believe that Spiritual Care is integral to our patients’ and clients’ recovery, a part of their health. As we move forward with care provided at HDGH, you will now see us refer to our Spiritual Care team as our Spiritual Health team, a name reflective of the invaluable work that our Spiritual Health Practitioners do each day as members of the care team.As we celebrate this new department name, as part of the larger Communications and Mission portfolio, we must also celebrate the team. In this special Spiritual Care Week blog, we are pleased to share a bit about our Lead Spiritual Health Practitioner, Hilton Gomes, and Spiritual Health Practitioners Sarah Stockford, and Olfat Sakr. Read as each member shares what guided them to work in Spiritual Health.“When I became a priest in 1999, I used to volunteer in a hospital in Brazil. In 2007 I came to Canada. One of the first things I did when I arrived in Leamington was to volunteer at the hospital there, because I saw so many people looking for somebody that was not the doctor or family member, that could share some of their feelings, some of their dilemmas, even some family dynamics; they wanted to talk to somebody that could perhaps help them reconnect with family before they died. And so the hospital would start calling me to come see other people.When I moved to Windsor in 2010, again I applied to be a volunteer at Windsor Regional, and also here at HDGH. One day I came here to see a patient from one of my churches, and the former Chaplain said to me, ‘Would you mind coming to visit somebody that does not have a religion or church, but has a very strong connection with God?’. So I came to see this person and after that, the Chaplain was calling me all the time for ‘unchurched’ people or people that had a connection with the church and God but lost that connection and at the end of their life, they want to reconnect. So I started coming here two-three times a week to see these patients, spend time with them, their families. The opportunity came to be a full-time Chaplain, Spiritual Health Practitioner here, I applied for the job and here I am, almost 6 years later.It’s more than praying, it’s more than talking about God. It’s creating a safe haven where people can be themselves without being judged. And we are able to help them understand that that is what God is. He loves you the way that you are, with everything that you have done in your life, God loves you and He is there for you. I truly believe that He will never turn His back on anyone for any reason. So I want to make sure that we continue to build this bridge between people and God instead of creating barriers for them to access God, to access Heaven. I think that’s why we are here.”- Hilton Gomes, Lead Spiritual Health Practitioner“My Mom is a Registered Nurse so I definitely grew up at the hospital, I was always there. So I always had a huge respect for the work that healthcare workers provided to their patients and the different challenges that they went through. I grew up hearing lots of different stories and always felt like I was very much involved, even though I was just a kid. As I got older, I felt called from God to work in the church, or provide some way to work with Him. As I’ve gone on this journey, I stumbled upon this job [at HDGH]. I wasn’t sure what it was going to lead to, but I had taken some classes in my schooling on Spiritual Health and Spirituality, and had really grown to understand how spirituality is where we go to make meaning in our lives, where we go to find some sort of comfort; to find answers, something that helps us go to sleep at night, to find some sort of peace. My Mom always spoke about how she so appreciated the Chaplains at her hospital. They no longer have Chaplains there and she always shares how she misses them so much and the impact that they had, not just on the patients, but on the staffs’ lives as well - they were able to process the things they had seen or gone through. I always feel like it’s such an honour to be welcomed into our patients’, our staff, and our families’ lives during this time, it’s such a difficult time for so many people and so it’s an honour to be welcomed in and to be able to help them make that mean, to find that process, to be that non-judgmental ear. I always say ‘I’ll listen to you, and you can tell me whatever you want to share with me. There are no rules, no set check list that we need to go through – the doctors and the nurses, they have the wonderful things that they need to go and do, but I don’t have that, I have this freedom, this ability, to just be with you during this time, whether that be in silence or in conversation. We can talk about God and religion and do that meaning-making, or we can talk about cats and dogs if that’s what you really want to talk about, and just be there for you.’”- Sarah Stockford, Spiritual Care PractitionerIn July 2023, we were thrilled to welcome Olfat Sakr as the newest member of our Spiritual Health Team. “I think it started way before I read the terms ‘Chaplain’ or ‘Spiritual Care’. When my great-Aunt was sick and bedridden, she was widowed and had no children, and so it was basically her nephews – my Dad and Uncles – who took care of her. At some point she had to be placed in Egypt’s equivalent of a retirement home. My Uncles and my Dad would go check in, see what she needed, checking in with the doctors, nurses, but it was always a quick in and out, 5 minutes to see how she was doing. I remember prior to that, when her brother had talked to her about potentially needing more care, that we can’t offer you, and she didn’t even let him finish his sentence. She was very offended and hurt, and I remembered that. And so every other day after work I would go sit her with for a bit, to kind of be that compassionate presence to let her know ‘we did not abandon you, we love you, we are still here’. No agendas, just showing up.It was interesting, many years later, I was looking into Chaplaincy, I didn’t know that there were Chaplains in hospitals, I thought it was just in the community, universities, and then when I did my Master’s program, they said my placements were in hospitals. I thought, ‘Huh! I did that a long time ago without realizing it.’ There is a quote that I came across recently, it says, ‘there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you’. Nurses, doctors, they are all there to support patients in different ways, but there is what is going on inside. Showing up to let them tell their stories, to be witnesses and companions on their journey, there’s healing in that too. And sometimes with the business of needing to get things done, we may forget that that is just as important.I spoke to a patient as few weeks ago and we were talking about some heavy stuff. He suddenly, abruptly stops talking and looks at me, and he says, ‘I’m not in as much pain as I was!’ And this was not prompted. I asked him how would he rate his pain usually, and he said ‘at a 10 and now it’s at a 7! Can you come back and see me?!’. And so when that space is given, there is healing in that that also helps with the care that they are getting at the hospital. As Spiritual Health, we are part of the whole team.”- Olfat Sakr, Spiritual Health PractitionerIn addition to routinely visiting patients and clients at HDGH, our Spiritual Health team offers a number of services:
HDGH has a beautiful Chapel for quiet reflection and prayer. The Chapel is located on the second floor of the Emara Building, to the left when getting off of the elevators. The Chapel is open 24 hours a day.
HDGH also offer two Multi-Faith Quiet Rooms which are available 24 hours a day:
Sep 11, 2023 | Faces of HDGH
Environmental Services Week (September 10-16, 2023) is a time to appreciate and honour our Environmental Services (ES) workers who ensure our facilities are safe, healthy and clean for all of our patients, clients, their families, staff and physicians. We are so grateful for our dedicated ES workers for their outstanding services.
The management team and all of HDGH thank you all for your hard work and dedication. The work you do is always recognized, as we receive constant feedback from patients, clients and families about how clean our hospital is and how happy they are to be here because of the level of cleanliness they see. Thank you for showing up each day and doing such amazing work for those that we serve. You are essential to helping our hospital run smoothly and are valuable to our organization!
Accreditation Canada even proclaimed HDGH as “The Cleanest Hospital in Ontario!” in their report out after surveying our hospital in early June. I hope every single ES team member is proud of this and continues to strive for excellence every day.
We recently spent some time with Heather Kirkness, Environmental Services Worker, to find out what it takes to be part of the Environmental Services Team and keep our hospital and everyone in it, safe and healthy.
My journey began 18 years ago in 2005 when I joined the Environmental Services team with Windsor Regional Hospital. During the realignment of our hospitals 10 years ago I decided to stay here at HDGH.
Every other day my morning starts with a team huddle. I find out about any important items I may need to know about and ask questions and have discussions with the team. Then, I’ll go to the floor I’m working on and stop at the Nursing Station or talk to the Charge Nurse to find out if anyone is being discharged or leaving the unit, so that I can plan out my day. Next, I’ll set up my cart and grab my booklets that helps me prepare for my cart for the day. If there are discharges, those are my priorities and I take care of those first and then go about my regular cleaning routine.
When a patient is discharged, their room is completely cleaned from top to bottom – this includes hanging new curtains, walls and floors being washed, furniture and equipment sanitized and even the toilet bowl brush gets replaced.
Once the discharged rooms are completed, I start cleaning patient rooms. If possible, I try to clean patient rooms while they are out, perhaps while at their rehab appointment, so that I cause little disruption.
After room cleaning, other areas such as lunchrooms, physio rooms, washrooms, offices, and touch points like elevator buttons, are cleaned next. Stairwells as also checked for cleaning during the week and given a deep clean on the weekend.
At the end of every day, the last thing to do is clean is my cart and hand in my keys.
I believe I am a friendly face for people to talk to about anything. I am not there to give them any medical attention or advice. I am just there to clean their room while they relax and talk about whatever they like. I have many great conversations going from room-to-room, which is one of the things I like about my job. I have met a lot of fantastic people.
Because I am in the room 15-20 minutes at a time consistently, I become a familiar face, so patients feel comfortable talking to me and I get to brighten up their day.
I enjoy talking with patients and I also like that I am helping in their recovery process by keeping their area clean, organized and sanitized. I have met so many people and have seen amazing things – people who could not walk have left here walking again. Our teams are fantastic! The nursing team, physio team and management team all make me feel part of the process. I feel so supported by them and lean on each other for help when needed. If I’m having a busy day, with multiple discharges and they know a new patient is coming in, for example, they will help me out and make up the bed. And in return, I try to help out where I can also – by stocking something up that they normally do and being a team player on the floor.
I have two wonderful boys in Gr. 8 and Gr. 5, a great husband and I’m very close with my family, especially my siblings and cousins. I’m also an animal lover and currently have a dog and bird. I try to keep a positive attitude at work and in my personal life!
Aug 31, 2023 | Mental Health, Leadership, Community and Partnerships, Faces of HDGH
Every August 31st, we recognize Overdose Awareness Day, and I can’t help but reflect on the impact and stigma surrounding substance use. It’s crucial that we talk about these issues and shed some light on harm reduction and how individuals can access available supports and services.
Substance use continues to be a growing problem within our community, but it’s important to remember that we are not alone in this struggle. Communities across Canada and beyond face similar issues. Discussing the collective impact of substance use is vast and worthy of a blog in itself!
Let’s take a moment to remember the lives we have lost in our community from overdose. It’s heartbreaking to think about the lives we have lost as a result of overdoses. Each number represents a human being, a life, each with a unique story to be told, heard and remembered. These individuals are loved and deeply missed by their families.
While there is a delay in confirming overdose data, it is estimated that there were nearly 100 overdoses in 2022. It will unfortunately be a similar number for 2023. If the current trends continue, in 2026 it is forecasted that there could be 150 annual deaths from overdose in our community.
Overdoses can be intentional or unintentional and 98% are accidental. They can be fatal or non-fatal, with a staggering 70% of overdoses occurring in private dwellings. It’s essential to note that most overdoses can be reversed and prevented from death by using a medication called Naloxone.
I’ve had the opportunity to speak with families who have lost loved ones and each story is devastating. Some cope with their loss by giving back and becoming advocates for change. They develop a strong moral duty to do better and prevent others from experiencing the pain and suffering they have endured.
It’s important to understand the stigma addiction plays and the effect it has on individuals with addiction. The stigma is rooted in the misguided belief that addiction is merely a personal choice; that someone lacks willpower or has failed morally. Despite addiction being recognized as a treatable medical condition, it’s frustrating that the stigma persists. The stigmatization inevitably leads to feelings of shame and hopelessness, making it less likely for individuals to seek help and creating a major barrier for access to care. It’s important we work together to educate and influence those around us to end the stigma around addiction.
It’s important to understand that individuals with addiction can vary in their motivation to change. The best indicator of achieving recovery is the motivation for change. We know there are many individuals living with substance addiction and have no plans or motivation at the present time to change their behaviour. For this group, harm reduction methods are important because it offers methods for reducing known harms associated with substance use. For example, taxi cab and designated driver programs help reduce the harms associated with alcohol consumption. Similarly, providing clean supplies for medication use and distributing Naloxone can reduce harm for opioid users.
Mental health and addictions are often associated with one another, but there are unique elements with each disorder. If an individual has both a mental health and addiction issue, they should ideally be treated for both simultaneously.
The addiction system is designed in a way that there is no “wrong door”. This means that individuals should be able to access services independently, or get connected to other services through any various local addiction service providers. There are a variety of addiction treatment and service options available, ranging from less intensive treatment, such as a digital tool like Breaking Free Online, which uses cognitive behavioural therapy, to a more intensive treatment such as live-in addiction treatment program like those offered by the House of Sophrosyne and Brentwood.
Treatment options include inpatient or bedded treatment, outpatient counselling, day treatment, medication-assisted treatment, withdrawal management services, harm reduction, family and/or group counselling, mutual aid/self-help, and digital resources. The best addiction treatment strategy is one that is mutually established between the individual and their care team. I’ve spoken to many individuals in recovery. Each journey is unique, as is the treatment and services that aid them in achieving and maintaining recovery.
For an individual with an opioid use disorder, the best practice supported by medical evidence is the use of medication-assisted treatment, prescribed by an addiction specialist or primary care provider, along with psychosocial treatment. The most common medication used for opioid addiction is suboxone. A lot of people are hesitant to have to take medication to address an addiction. It’s important to understand that suboxone will satisfy the body’s dependence on opioids without the euphoric or “high” feeling. It is also possible to slowly stop using the medication as the individual becomes more resilient in overcoming relapse through psychosocial care, changes to their environment and supports.
Please take the time to reflect on the impact of substance use and the stigma that surrounds addiction. It's important that we recognize harm reduction strategies and the availability of support services. By working together, we can create a more compassionate and understanding community for individuals struggling with addiction.
There are many local resources available to help an individual access addiction treatment and services. At Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the Withdrawal Management Services (WMS) program is often a natural access point for adults aged 16 years or older who are driven make healthier lifestyle changes, and are looking for support in their recovery process. Individuals who access WMS are offered brief supportive motivational counselling, case management, and positive client-centered discharge planning that supports holistic, positive life changes.
HDGH’s Addiction Assessment and Referral Program (AAR) is also a good non-urgent service that’s available on a walk-in basis. AAR helps individuals, aged 16 years or older, navigate community resources for addiction.
Patrick is HDGH’s Director of Mental Health and Addictions, overseeing inpatient Mental Health and Addiction (MHA) beds, bedded and community Withdrawal Management Services (WMS), inpatient (provincially accessible) and outpatient problem gambling and digital dependency services. Since 2017, he has been the Chair of the HDGH Mental Health and Addiction Patient and Family Advisory Council (MHA PFAC). In 2022, he received HDGH President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership Award. Outside of HDGH, Patrick is the Co-Chair of the Windsor Essex County Opioid & Substance Strategy (WECOSS) Leadership Committee and most recently a participant with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s (WECHU) Stakeholder’s Advisory Committee for the proposed Consumption Treatment Services (CTS). Patrick continues to be actively engaged in various opportunities to discuss, raise awareness and improve mental health and addictions services in our community.
Aug 11, 2023 | Patient Stories, Faces of HDGH
With the bright sunshine, warmth of summer days felt on our skin, and nature blooming around us, there is no surprise that the month of August is designated as Happiness Happens Month.
Over the years, we have shared what has inspired happiness in us at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, what brings happiness to our employees and physicians, and how they share happiness with others.
This year, happiness and inspiration comes from a young mind who is capturing happiness in their own, creative way.
A client of HDGH’s Regional Children’s Centre Intensive Treatment Services program began taking photographs of the world around them, things that inspired them and brought them joy. Recently, their muse was HDGH’s vibrant 33-acre campus.“What inspired me to take the pictures is I like flowers, plants and the scenery looked relaxing,” they said.Capturing blooms in our Healing Garden and commemorative stones throughout, they wished to share their images with others.“I thought it would be nice for people who cannot visit around the campus to see what it looks like. For example, people who are in their rooms and can’t go outdoors.” They hope the beauty in their photos will inspire others to visit the HDGH grounds, saying, “If people see how relaxing it looks, they may want to come here in the future.”It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we are grateful that this client shared the beauty and happiness they saw with all of us.
Jul 25, 2023 | Leadership, Faces of HDGH
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of changes and improvements made in our healthcare system. Notably, the realignment of Windsor Regional Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. HDGH transitioned to being a specialty hospital, catering to patients with complex medical needs and caring for those struggling with their mental health or addictions. Through all the developments, HDGH has remained committed to its mission, to provide physical, emotional, social and spiritual care, and vision of being a trusted leader transforming healthcare and cultivating a healthier community.
Recently, HDGH was awarded Exemplary Standing, the highest award from Accreditation Canada, marking the second consecutive time the organization has achieved this designation. This is a testament to HDGH’s dedication to providing the best, high quality, person-centred care possible to our patients, clients and their families. This is a great accomplishment that all the staff, physicians, volunteers and the entire community can take immense pride.
Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They survey a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs by thoroughly evaluating the quality and safety of those organizations. We’re proud to share that HDGH consistently met 100% of the Required Organizational Practices (ROPs) as well as 98.99% of Accreditation Canada standards, the criteria and guidelines required to provide high-quality care and service.
The Accreditation process involves measuring HDGH’s health services against standards, to identify what is being done well and what needs to be improved. Accreditation Canada Surveyors were onsite from June 5-9 to examine and engage with frontline staff, leadership, physicians, our Patient and Family Advisory Committees, community partners and my fellow board members who were also able to participate. During the visit, they evaluated over 1300 criteria from governance and leadership to infection control and clinical care.
A few of HDGH’s strengths recognized by the surveyors include our:
Thank you to Accreditation Canada for their invaluable dedication to upholding rigorous standards. Their commitment to quality improvement has pushed us to continuously strive for excellence and deliver the highest level of care possible. I also want to extend a heartfelt appreciation to the staff and physicians at HDGH whose dedication, compassion and expertise shine through in every interaction, ensuring that our patients, clients and their families receive exceptional care and support on a daily basis.
Dr. Ken Blanchette is the current HDGH Board Chair, and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2015. He is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. Ken previously served as the Associate Vice President (Academic) and Chair of Health Sciences at St. Clair College and more recently as the Executive Director at ConnexOntario.
Prior to joining St. Clair College, Ken spent 12 years as a health care professional providing chiropractic patient care including neurological EMG, MRI and interdisciplinary referrals, spinal decompression as well as spinal x-ray diagnostics.
Ken is actively involved in the Windsor and Essex County communities. He has over 10 years executive level leadership and board governance experience. He has served as the Vice Chair of the board of directors for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Co-Chair for the Health Standards Organizations Academic Health Centers and Clinical Research Technical Committee, Co-Chair for the Southwestern Academic Health Network (SWAHN) and a CMA accreditor.
Jun 13, 2023 | Leadership, Faces of HDGH
In an ever-changing world, healthcare continues to play a vital role in our lives. As a specialty hospital and trusted healthcare provider, we understand the importance of adapting to the changing landscape to meet the needs of our community. With that in mind, we are thrilled to introduce Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s 5-year strategic plan—a roadmap that encompasses our Mission, Vision and Values, with initiatives focusing on driving Culture, Care and Connections.
As we prepared for this new journey, we sought input from our staff, physicians, patients, clients, their families and the public. We also engaged with other health care and system partners to help shape our future. As you learn about our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan, we hope you see that the needs and priorities of our HDGH community and the Windsor-Essex community are reflected in the plan.
As we embark on this new journey, our Mission, Vision and Values stay with us and guide us every step of the way. At HDGH, we aspire to be a trusted leader in healthcare, cultivating a healthier community. By embracing innovation, collaborating with partners, and focus on patient-centered care, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.
In keeping our values of Kindness, Teamwork and Expertise at the heart of everything we do, we ensure our staff and physicians work together, ensuring our patients, clients and their families receive the highest quality of care, and are shown compassion and empathy throughout all interactions. Our Social Responsibility compels us to give back to our community and address the health needs of society.
Our first driver is Culture. We recognize that our staff is our most important asset because without them, we can’t do any of the work here at HDGH. We want to ensure that we provide a positive and safe environment for all and a culture that supports the growth and development of our staff. To do this, we have identified strategic initiatives such as the Health Human Resources (HHR) Strategy, Leadership Development, Culture of Kindness and Staff Development. These investments in our people give them the skills and tools to provide exceptional care to our patients and clients.
Our patients and clients deserve to receive the best care possible. With Care as one of our drivers, we strive to ensure they feel safe and comfortable throughout their journey with us. Our strategic initiatives focusing on Patient Transition and Navigation, Optimizing Resources to Patient Outcomes and Best Service for Patients and Clients are a few of the ways we can achieve this.
We believe that we have a responsibility to the community we serve. Our last driver, Connections, is about working with community partners to create a more equitable and accessible healthcare system for all. Our strategic initiatives, including System Partnerships, Patient Transition and Navigation, and Embedding an Equity Diversity and Inclusion Framework, are just some of the ways we can collaborate with others to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for those we serve.
Overall, we have 12 strategic initiatives that will help us achieve our goals. We invite you to explore our strategic plan further by visiting our website and watching our video to see highlights from the last few years and where we’re going. Together, let us live our mission and strengthen our legacy.
If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to me at [email protected].
Bill Marra is the President and CEO at HDGH and brings his 23 years of honourable leadership experience in health, public affairs, and community service to the HDGH executive team. Since joining HDGH in 2011, Bill has been steadfast in his goal to make HDGH the safest hospital in Ontario. He created an in-house security team to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers. Bill took on the role of President and CEO in January 2022 and in just one year, he led a person-centered model of care change in the Complex Medical Care and Palliative Units, introduced Personal Support Workers to the healthcare unit, established a HDGH Wellness Committee, and formed an EDII Alliance.
May 16, 2023 | Faces of HDGH, Road to Recovery – Restorative Rehabilitative Care
May is National Physiotherapy Month and a time to celebrate all that our physiotherapists do for the health of our community. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has a long history of physiotherapists working in our hospital. The rehabilitation centre at HDGH has been providing care to patients since 1972. Back then it was part of Windsor Western Hospital’s 36-bed Regional Rehabilitation Centre, and has since undergone significant changes. It’s more than 50 years later and what hasn’t changed is our commitment to patient care.
We came across a Windsor Star news article from 1982 that celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Rehab Centre. The physiotherapist featured in the article is Sheila Anzolin (nee Scott) who currently works in Geriatric Rehabilitation at HDGH. We recently caught up with Shelia where she shared with us some history of physiotherapists at that time and her career over the years.
Sheila immigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1981 and was hired along with several UK physiotherapists to work at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre. She was trained at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, one of the oldest functioning acute hospitals in the UK that opened in 1794.
After Sheila’s first time working at Windsor Western Hospital, she went on to work at a variety of other places, including in home care, part-time contract services to General Motors Transmission Plant, and teaching the Physiotherapy Assistant program at Trios College. She also worked in long term care and retirement homes from Windsor to Sarnia.
She eventually returned to the hospital setting and joined Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in May 2012, working as a casual employee at HDGH and part-time at Windsor Regional Hospital (MET campus) before taking a full-time position at HDGH in geriatric rehabilitation to finish her career. Her return to the rehabilitation centre at HDGH is a testament to the organization's reputation for providing excellent patient care and a supportive work environment.
Sheila’s story is just one example of the many dedicated professionals who have worked at HDGH over the years, making a difference in the lives of countless individuals and helping them overcome their physical challenges and regain their independence. At HDGH, our physiotherapists focus on both rehabilitation and prevention through movement, exercise and education.
Thank you to all of the hard working physiotherapists who are committed to improving the lives of people in our community and helping us to live our best lives!
May 8, 2023 | Faces of HDGH
No matter which path has led each of us to choose nursing as our career, it is clear that nurses are a breed of their own.
Each and every day is an adventure filled with unexpected moments and accomplishments. Witnessing a patient progress towards their goals. Encouraging and supporting them through the challenges and adversities they may face. Providing care and support to them when they are perhaps at their most vulnerable.
Over the past several years there have been instances of uncertainty and hardships to overcome. Times that were just plain hard, both personally and professionally. However despite all of this, our nurses continue to prove time and time again how compassionate and caring they truly are - shining brightly through the uncertainty. Trenching on through staff redeployment, community support and outreach, swabbing clinics, long term care and retirement home support, opening and closing of units and programs during each wave, the compassion and care we showed our patients and families was unwavering.
Although the last several years have displayed its fair share of challenges, it has also revealed how truly amazing our HDGH team is. Not solely our nursing staff, but each member of our team who rose to each challenge with grace and support for one another and our patients.
When I first started my nursing journey as a Registered Nurse (RN), I don’t know if I would have fathomed I would be where I am today. This role is truly a passion of mine. To educate and assist our clinical teams is such an honour and a privilege. Nursing has endless opportunities for development, growth and vast specialty areas. At HDGH, this includes Complex Medical Care, Palliative Care Unit, Long Term Mechanical Ventilation, Rehabilitation, Toldo Neurobehavioral Institute and Withdrawal Management Services. I am truly delighted with my chosen career and the impact and supports I am able to provide.
National Nursing Week (May 8-14, 2023) is a time for us to celebrate our nurses – those just beginning their journey and seasoned alike. As nurses, we are provided such a meaningful opportunity to be a part of our patient’s journey. By being truly present, listening and offering support, we leave little ripples on this chapter of their life. The smallest gesture can be so impactful. Each little moment throughout a patient’s day, day in and day out, we are all woven through.
Thank you and cheers to all of our amazing HDGH nurses!!
Jennifer has a background in community nursing and long term care before starting her career at HDGH 10 years ago as a Registered Nurse (RN). The first several years of her career at HDGH were spent on many of our inpatient units prior to transitioning to a Clinical Practice role within Complex Medical Care (CMC) and Palliative Care.
May 2, 2023 | Leadership, Faces of HDGH
It’s National Safety and Health Week from May 1-6! At HDGH, we promote a culture of safety and wellness and believe that everyone shares the responsibility for Occupational Health and Safety.
HDGH is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment. We strive to provide and maintain a work environment that exceeds acceptable industry standards and complies with legislative requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and other specific Regulations for Health Care Facilities.
It is HDGH’s priority to be the safest hospital in Ontario. To achieve this everyone at HDGH must commit to considering health and safety in everything we do. This commitment forms the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) – a key concept of the OHSA that says everyone has a direct responsibility for health and safety as an essential part of their job.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is a set of laws that define the duties of employers, supervisors and the rights and duties of workers. It requires HDGH to provide awareness of actual or potential workplace hazards, provide training and personal protective equipment and to take every precaution reasonable for the protection of a worker. These are all good things.
In Ontario, the OHSA is enforced by the Ministry of Labour, Training, Immigration and Skills Development (MLTISD). (Formerly called the Ministry of Labour - MOL.) Inspectors from the MLTISD can show up for an inspection at HDGH at any time, while on site they can gather evidence, question anyone, order tests, take photos, take samples, and issue orders to HDGH to address any hazards that they identify.
When inspectors show up at HDGH it’s a big deal. The Occupational Health and Safety Department meets with them. Our goal is to ensure the inspectors have all the information that they need and that they are satisfied with our organization’s health and safety programs. If the inspectors find something they don’t like, we commit to fixing it!
Prevention is the most important concept we practice in Occupational Health and Safety. We focus on identifying any potential risks in your work area that could result in a physical injury or an act of workplace violence. We want to have control measures in place that eliminate the chances that you could be injured or harmed while at work.
We let you know about risks that you might encounter in your work, provide you with training, personal protective equipment and can assist if you do become injured or ill from or at work. We ensure that our Leadership is trained and understands the importance of Occupational Health and Safety in their departments and the importance of prevention.
We are here to provide First Aid if you need it while on shift and can provide medical consultations and support if you are injured or ill with a non-occupational issue.
We want you to be well, to be safe and to maintain optimal health here at work, so that when you’re enjoying time with friends and family after your shift, you’re at your best.
We really do want to be the safest Hospital in Ontario.
Why do we read rules and regulations that are boring and complicated and sometimes difficult to understand? Why do we fill out forms and paperwork and keep records of everything? Why do we create sign-off sheets, training modules, policies, procedures and safe operating procedures? Why do we ensure that workplace inspections are being completed and that control measures are put into place? Why do we audit to ensure departments are following recommended health and safety and violence risk procedures? Why do we make sure your N95 mask fit is correct? Why do we monitor your immunization and bloodwork? Why do we create mandatory reports? Why do we audit what we do as a department and make more work for ourselves?
Why do we do it?
We do it for you! We do it because we want you to be safe, to go home after a day at work well and unharmed. We want you to have quality time for yourself doing the things you enjoy with those that you love.
We do it because we care and because we are passionate about prevention!
Yes, we also do it because it’s the law. But, we really just do it because it’s what we do. We do it for you!
Heidi Petro joined HDGH as the Manager of Occupational Health and Safety in 2021. She is a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE) and Registered Kinesiologist (R. Kin.) with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario with over 29 years of professional experience. Heidi graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor’s of Human Kinetics, Honours Movement Science degree in 1994 and has continued to pursue certifications in the areas of Industrial Job Analysis, Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics, Functional Assessment, and Office and Industrial Ergonomics. Heidi has had extensive experience as a Consultant to both private and public sector organizations and has been a speaker at numerous professional conferences and seminars regarding the development of best practice Disability Management, proactive Return to Work Programs, Ergonomic Design Standards, and Occupational Health and Safety.
Heidi, her husband Jason, and their family, have been organizing fundraising events to support hospital rehabilitation programs since the year 2000. They look forward to organizing the final Heart Breaker Challenge event on May 27, 2023. In her free time you can usually find Heidi outdoors being active in some way, shape or form, or indoors baking, cooking or watching anything related to Formula 1!
General Info: (519) 257-5111
1453 Prince Rd.
Windsor, ON N9C 3Z4
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