Apr 21, 2022 | Faces of HDGH
Launched in 2018, The HDGH Green Initiatives Program puts into action our hospital’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the overall reduction of our operational environmental footprint. In this blog, Environmental Services Supervisor Jason Schneider shares 5 Impactful Planet Friendly Projects at HDGH.
Canadians generate 3.25 million tons of plastic waste each year! That’s 140,000 garbage trucks of plastic waste! To reduce our dependency on single-use plastics, HDGH has sought out vendors who supply plastic alternatives. We have substituted: compostable drinking cups for our patients instead of Styrofoam, plastic straws now supplied only upon request, and installing a water refill station to promote reusable water containers.
One of our water refill station has already eliminated over 52,000 plastic water bottles in just over 2 years!!! HDGH is proud to boast we are removing approximately 25,000 plastic water bottles per year from our waste stream!
Over the past few years, HDGH has significantly bolstered our existing recycling program by identifying additional materials that can be recycled beyond the traditional paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum items. HDGH is now successfully diverting high-density plastics, batteries, toner, electronics, light bulbs, and even the blue procedure masks we wear every day!
In late 2019, we introduced composting of organic food waste into the Green Initiatives Program. This project captures all organic food waste from leftover patient meals, food scraps from our retail cafeterias, and some of the client and staff kitchens and breakrooms across our campus. Since the launch, HDGH has diverted over 100 tons of organic waste from our community landfills and removed over 240 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere! Lastly, this organic waste has created over 67 tons of high-quality, nutrient rich compost.
Hats off to our Environmental Services and Food Services departments for their ongoing efforts in making our composting program a success!
The Plant Operations and Maintenance Department has made significant strides in reducing our environmental footprint regarding the physical operations of our campus. Recent and ongoing upgrades to our infrastructure (energy efficient lighting, new chiller system, etc.) will reduce our CO2 emissions by an estimated 324 tons, or 8.5% of the total site greenhouse gas emissions per year. When combining these reductions with those from our composting program, HDGH has removed over 560 tons of GHG from our atmosphere, which is the equivalent of 180 cars removed from our local roads!
HDGH is now a member of the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare – a community of hospitals leading the way in ecofriendly and environmentally sustainable best practices. A benefit of this partnership is the Green Hospital Scorecard (GHS) system. The GHS is an annual report which captures all of our environmental sustainability projects, compares our progress to previous years, and to other post-acute hospitals of similar size. All of our actions as individuals within the organization, beneficial to the environment or not, are captured in the scorecard and make a contribution to our sustainability goals.
Apr 5, 2022 | Faces of HDGH
This month, we celebrate the impactful roles of our nation's volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 24 through the 30th. This is the perfect opportunity to write about volunteering at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. While COVID protocols have required us to pause on most volunteer opportunities, we have recently begun to welcome our volunteers back onsite, making this the perfect time to highlight some of our volunteer opportunities.
For folks in the Windsor-Essex area looking for volunteer experience, we have several options:
Volunteering at our coffee bars is a perfect opportunity for students looking to get their community service hours or for new Canadians and retirees looking to connect within our community.
Recently we have welcomed volunteers back through a phased approach. We started with the Emara Coffee Bar and soon hope to have enough volunteers to open the Tayfour Coffee Bar. Our Coffee Bars operate during the off hours of our cafeterias, making a cup of joe or sweet treat extra accessible for our patients, staff, physicians and Designated Care Partners. Our coffee bars volunteers are a warm welcome to all their customers and the commitment is just one 4 hour shift per week.
To become a coffee bar volunteer or learn more click here.
The patient voice is at the centre of everything we do at HDGH. Established in 2015, PFAC is an advisory committee to the Executive Leadership Team of our hospital. This also included a Mental Health and Addictions Patient Advisory Council, a group of more than 10 individuals who share observations, offer advice and provide input on Mental Health and Addictions care provided by HDGH. These groups are important resources to the organization and are involved in offering ideas on the best way to move forward with changes that affect the patient experience.
If you are a former patient, loved-one of a patient, or have ideas on how to improve local healthcare service delivery, this is the volunteer opportunity for you!
Being a volunteer at a fundraising event is a great way to get involved in the community, meet new people and give back to healthcare by way of our HDGH Foundation. Whether it is by taking part in a committee or being an event day volunteer, we are always looking for creative and outgoing volunteers of all ages to join the fun.
Volunteer for an Event
The Hôtel-Dieu Grace Board of Directors and standing committees are responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction to the Executive Leadership Team. This dedicated group of volunteers from the community brings a wide range of skills and experience. They are committed to ensuring that HDGH is making Windsor and Essex a healthier community and living out its Mission every day.
The Foundation Board is responsible to oversee the activities of the Foundation, and administering funds entrusted to them, ensuring that it is done ethically and transparently.
Be sure to watch the Hospital’s and Foundation’s social media channels for application information.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the resiliency of our HDGH volunteers. The pause on volunteers during the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone. Through phone calls, emails and messages, we continue to experience your eagerness to return to volunteer, signifying your tremendous dedication to our hospital, and ultimately, the health of our community. We cannot wait to see your smiling faces again soon and many new faces as well, as a Spiritual Care Volunteer, a Pet Visitation Volunteer or as one of our many other patient and client assistant volunteers. Thank you to all for hanging in there. Our regular volunteer updates will continue via email and on our webpage www.hdgh.org/volunteers.
About the author Peggy O’Kane
Coordinator, Volunteer & Academic Placements
I have been involved with volunteers at HDGH for over 15 years in various roles starting as a volunteer myself in the Human Resources department. While helping there in HR, I quickly learned that HDGH was a community I would like to be a part of long-term. A few months later, I was thankful and excited to join the Volunteer Services department as an Administrative Assistant.
These days, I enjoy extremely rewarding work by engaging with people of all ages and in all stages of their careers, education and life. In addition to my Coordinator role, I am also the staff liaison for the HDGH Youth Advisory Council (YAC), a group that connect through youth-led initiatives to improve the health of our community through mental health education through social media, education events, and volunteering. This group gives me hope for a future where our community continues to grow stronger together.
I would be remiss to not take the opportunity to mention two impactful annual events hosted by YAC - Wellness Through Grace and the Photovoice Project. Follow them on Instagram (@hdghyac) for further updates.
Throughout all this time, while learning from and working with the diverse population of volunteers who have come through our doors, I have seen firsthand how volunteering connects people, ideas and actions and I’ve witnessed the creation of multiple unforgettable and important connections. As we continue to work collectively with volunteers, we all have something to give and something to receive. Volunteers give their time, talent and passions which transform into unique gifts that make a difference in our community. These are the reasons we need to celebrate volunteers here and everywhere during this National Volunteer Week.
Apr 1, 2022 | Mental Health, Leadership, Research and Innovation, Community and Partnerships, Patient Stories, Faces of HDGH, Road to Recovery – Restorative Rehabilitative Care, Palliative Care, Spirituality, Heritage
Welcome Readers. Our HDGH Team has always loved sharing stories with our community. Our Blog is just one of the many creative ways to do that with you. It has become a popular corner of our website where everyone is welcome to not only learn ABOUT our hospital, but also FROM the talented healthcare experts and professional voices we are proud to call our HDGH People. Our blog will be home to sharing expertise through varying healthcare-related topics from interviews, experience, patient stories, daily topics on how to stay healthy, and more.
You may have also noticed a new name to the HDGH Blog. “Maison Dieu Health” is a nod to our HDGH Heritage, honouring our French-Canadian five founding sisters of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph’s (RHSJ) who with love, perseverance, faith and persistence travelled from Montreal over 135 years ago to establish Windsor’s first hospital – Hôtel-Dieu of St. Joseph.
You can think of Maison Dieu Health as your refuge for wellness-related resources, all accessible “under one roof” through the many voices of our HDGH staff and community.
With that, welcome to Maison Dieu Health.
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