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!
Apr 25, 2023 | Faces of HDGH
“I remember sitting at the kitchen table, having breakfast with my husband. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital with my husband at my side. I suffered a stroke, and I was scared. After a few days in hospital, I was having a lot of difficulty using my right arm and my right foot seemed to drag. The doctor strongly suggested I spend some time in a rehab hospital to get stronger. I wondered what to expect and how long I would have to stay there. I am lonely in the hospital and do not like being away from home. I am a private person and more time in the hospital did not sound appealing. I am independent and not used to relying on people to help me.
Nevertheless, I agreed to give it a try. Upon admission, I received a friendly “hello” and was greeted with a smile. Everyday a wonderful person brought me a warm towel to wipe my face and hands. This was so comforting. The kitchen staff listened to my request for an extra cup of coffee after breakfast, making for a great start to my day! The spotlessly clean room truly made my hospital stay pleasant. I know staff have a demanding job, yet little things make the difference.”
What a great narrative to reflect upon as we celebrate Patient Experience Week from April 23-29. 2023.
When I asked people to describe what the term, “patient experience” means to them, I heard things like, “kindness and respect”. Others emphasized the importance of clear and honest communication, and sincere listening. Involving patients and/or family in the care plan was also important.
Many people spoke about feeling vulnerable, concerned about privacy, loss of independence and being lonely and named empathy, or putting oneself in the shoes of another, as the key ingredient for success. “Empathy is foundational for building bridges between individuals, understanding each other’s’ complex emotions, gaining a diverse perspective, and leveraging relationships for collaboration and progress”. (Jordan Catapano, a high school assistant principal in Illinois.)
At HDGH we strive for a positive patient experience. Our organizational values of teamwork, compassion, and respect, not only guide our approach with patients, but also how we work with one another. The past few years have presented many challenges. Yet, in my role as Patient Advocate, I heard much expression of gratitude, contentment and satisfaction. Interestingly, when there was a concern, our patients were empathetic toward our staff, understanding the demands of their job. Patients trust us to provide them with quality care.
The definition of patient experience I like to use is the one from the Beryl Institute. They define it as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.” As healthcare providers our everyday work is routine. For patients, coming to the hospital is new and unknown. What can we do to welcome people and reduce their anxiety? What would you want if it was you or your loved one?
Everyone at HDGH has a contribution. What is the positivity you want to create or become part of, so that everyone can enjoy a good experience?
Walk in my shoes. Listen. Learn. Take an interest. Support. We are the patient experience!
As the Patient Advocate & Manager, Mission, Lisa has worked tirelessly to facilitate and resolve the concerns of our patients and their love ones. She supports them in gaining access to timely and accurate information so they can truly be full participants in their healthcare journey. She has been instrumental to developing and growing HDGH’s Essential Care Partner Program.
Apr 4, 2023 | Community and Partnerships, Faces of HDGH
As Earth Day approaches one starts thinking more about the environment and what they might be doing to sustain it or how they are contributing to making it better. I, myself, reflect on my own practices of recycling and conserving energy at home through all the new gidgets and gadgets available to home owners to be more energy conscious.
I also think of my little outdoor garden where I grow some of my own chemical-free produce - oh the joy I get when picking fresh veggies from my garden. Growing a garden allows a person to not only feel the pride and joy from picking produce you grow, but it allows a person to really connect with the earth through cultivating the soil, planting the seeds or seedlings and regularly watering the soil and plants. It has been proven that gardening is good for the soul and your mental health, which is why, when we were offered a generous donation of a greenhouse for the Regional Children’s Centre (RCC) from the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair, we jumped at the incredible opportunity.
In 2018 when the greenhouse was built, the next step was finding the perfect person to get the greenhouse up and running. We were directed to a retired teacher from Villanova High school, Andy Paling. Andy agreed to volunteer to come in and help us start up the greenhouse. He knew exactly what it would take to get us up and running. He wasted no time, and before we knew it we had tables, pots, dirt and most importantly seeds and seedlings. Now that the greenhouse was stocked with supplies we talked with Andy about having the children in the Intensive Treatment Services Program help out in the greenhouse. Andy, being a teacher at heart, jumped at the opportunity to have children in the greenhouse and has devoted countless hours of his own time in creating lessons and projects for the children.
Throughout the years that Andy has been volunteering, our clients have been provided with so many opportunities to connect with the earth and to feel the joy from growing their own produce and plants. The children have planted a year-round tomato and strawberry crop, individual herb gardens and created an additional outdoor vegetable garden behind the greenhouse. They grew oak seedlings from acorns and harvested spider plants. Andy also taught the children about hydroponics and had them grow lettuce from a self-made hydroponics system which used a recycled watering system.
Andy even taught them about insects and brought in a live praying mantis nest and ladybug eggs and larva to teach children about controlling pests without pesticides. He also had the children plant a butterfly garden (from plants they grew) and taught them about the importance of pollinating insects in our environment.
Through his resourcefulness, Andy found a local environmental group that agreed to donate White Pine Seedlings to our greenhouse and used them to teach the children about the importance of replenishing the greenspaces in our community. He gifted each of the children a seedling and encouraged them to take them home, plant them, tend to them and watch them grow. Andy is continually looking for ways to enhance our greenhouse and in turn, enhance a child’s experience and joy when they are at the greenhouse.
Projects that Andy has been working on lately with the children is reusing pallets to create planters out to expand our outdoor garden. He will also be working with the children on growing hanging baskets to bring home to that special someone on Mother’s Day. There will also be an art wall created so that the children have a space to display art projects they will be working on.
The greenhouse truly has become a beautiful and welcoming space for the children in the Intensive Treatment Services Program to grow and flourish just like the plants in the greenhouse. Each week they eagerly look forward to their special time with Andy and seeing how their plants are doing. I have heard kids say, “I love when I get to plant flowers”, “I love doing lots of things in Mr. Andy’s class” and “I planted stuff at the greenhouse and I can actually eat it”! It is evident by the smiles on the faces of the children and even the staff leaving the greenhouse that their time in the greenhouse was precious and nourishing for their soul. We are truly blessed to have a person as kind, compassionate and environmentally conscious as Andy and we are thankful to him for bringing our greenhouse to life.
In addition to Earth Day in April, we’re celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week April 16-22, 2023. Our volunteers of diverse cultures, ages, abilities and experiences give that extra warmth and love while supporting the personal dignity, safety, security and quality care in our hospital. We celebrate their kindness, generosity and commitment our volunteers offer that weave our lives together. Thank you to Andy, and to all our HDGH volunteers for giving of your time, talent and energy.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at HDGH, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-257-5111 extension 73345. For more information on volunteering and academic placements, please visit our website at www.hdgh.org/volunteers.
Andrea is a Coordinator with the Intensive Treatment Services Program at Regional Children’s Centre. She has worked at RCC for over 22 years as a Child and Youth Worker and now as leadership. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, walking the trails behind her house and spending time with her children and all of her many pets.
Mar 8, 2023 | Leadership, Faces of HDGH
Every year on March 8 we recognize International Women’s Day. It is a day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements and a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. Jenniffer Clifford, Operations and Clinical Practice Manager of Specialized Geriatrics Program and Senior Friendly Care initiatives, is just one of many great female leaders at HDGH. Most recently, she has done an exceptional job managing a patient unit that was opened to support additional hospital capacity within the Windsor-Essex hospital system.
In this blog, Jenniffer shares the qualities she has gained that helped contribute to the success in her personal and professional life.
I am told I have been recognized as being a “strong female leader” and have been asked to share what it means to me to be a strong female in leadership. To be honest, I was a little surprised that someone thought that of me at all, but the more I thought about it, the more humbled I am to be recognized in this way.
I truly believe that who I am today and where I am currently in my professional career because of the many personal and professional experiences, both good and bad, that I have encountered and have made me grow stronger. Before my time in social work, I worked in the community for many years in group homes. Supporting some of the most vulnerable people, I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a care-partner battling and advocating for those I supported within the “medical model” field. My voice was often overlooked by medical teams as myself and the people I supported never really included me in any type of treatment planning and the treatment decisions were made based on what others felt the value of life was; when in reality, they had no idea about what quality of life really meant. Years of these professional experiences across our healthcare system led me to further pursue my education in Social Work and gain some graduate level credentials behind my name, so that I could advocate and be seen as a valuable contributor to the discussion. The same messages and ideas I tried to convey to upper management earlier in my career were now being heard. I consider the 11 years I spent in the community as my “foundation years”. They were some of the hardest and most rewarding years of my professional life.
With every experience I had, I walked away learning something about myself, and my passion began to ignite. As time went on both personally and professionally, I grew more comfortable with who I was and what I needed, and I learned to be unapologetically myself. I learned it was okay to take risks, to advocate for what I believed in, to question things I wasn’t sure about, to tell people exactly what I needed from them and realized I can only control myself and my actions in any situation.
Fast forward 12 years to when I moved into a leadership role, I quickly realized there is no handbook on how to be the perfect leader; nor does any exist. To boot, there are only a few of us in the clinical leadership team who are not nurses— that’s a whole other mindset of standards that a “social model” social worker like myself felt needed to figure out how to live up to – how could I lead NOT being a nurse? Two plus years in and I am still learning everyday how to navigate my many roles and responsibilities, and can now appreciate the fact that it’s awesome that I’m NOT a nurse, because I bring a different perspective and mindset to the table, and that’s not a bad thing!
- Sheryl Sandberg, former COO, Facebook
Here are the qualities I have gained from my experiences that helped me become a strong female leader.
Jenniffer is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) and holds both a Bachelor (BSW) and Master’s Degree (MSW) in Social Work from the University of Windsor. Jenniffer also holds a diploma from St. Clair College as a Developmental Services Worker (DSW). With over 20 years of experience in a variety of settings, Jenniffer has a passion for Specialized Geriatrics with areas of expertise that include Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Geriatric Mental Health, Caregiver Support, Developmental Disabilities, Dual Diagnosis, and Responsive Behaviours. Her passion for this population has led her to different opportunities around the organization, and provincially. In her current role, she is the Operations Manager of HDGH’s Specialized Geriatrics Teams, GAP & GMHOT, and she also acts as the Specialized Geriatrics Clinical Practice Manager for the organization. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their two children, many friends and family and golfing.
Jan 16, 2023 | Mental Health, Faces of HDGH
Blue Monday is here again and what started as a marketing gimmick has turned into a widely recognized occasion. With short daylight hours and long, cold winter nights, combined with the end of the holiday season, it is not uncommon for people to feel depressed or suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression or other mental health illnesses. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Bell Let’s Talk Day also happens shortly after – this year on Wednesday, January 25. These two events are a good reminder to reflect and talk about our own mental health and of those closest to us, while raising awareness to combat the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in the elderly demographic.
Julie Witcher has worked with the GMHOT for over 26 years. Early in her career she conducted assessments both in the community and Long Term Care. She currently acts as the Psychogeriatric Resource Consultant for Behavioural Supports Ontario in the Windsor-Essex County area with a specific focus on education of staff in long term care homes, retirement homes and community service agencies. In her spare time, she began taking virtual piano lessons during the pandemic and is now attempting to learn French - mostly to keep up with her 9-year old daughter.
Krista Skiba has been social worker in the community since 2002 and has worked in various departments at HDGH for the past 10 years. In 2017, she joined GMHOT and has become passionate about learning and working with the older adult population. Currently, she visits the 19 various long term care homes throughout Windsor-Essex County where she has built relationships with residents, family members, staff and administrators and offers individualized support to those referred who may be struggling with various mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, adjustment and grief. When not at work, she is a busy sports mom and enjoys walking. A fun fact about Krista is she can say the alphabet backwards!
Jan 9, 2023 | Faces of HDGH
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada and with an increase in Canada’s aging population, it’s a good time to learn more about dementia and its most common type, Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no cure for Alzheimer-type dementia, awareness and early detection may help slow the progression for you or your loved one so you can continue living independently.In this blog, Louise Arpin, Occupational Therapist, Geriatric Assessment Program (GAP) explains the signs and differences between cognitive aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
As with most body parts, the brain typically works less well as we get older. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between cognitive aging and age-associated memory loss from dementia.
Cognitive aging is a natural process that occurs in everyone and happens when the brain works less efficiently due to the aging process. Cognition refers to not just memory, but your overall thinking and reasoning skills, such as attention, mental processing speed, language, insight and inhibition to name a few. Cognitive aging manifests differently in each person, in part due to things like genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors, therefore changes typically tend to be variable and gradual. Most importantly, cognitive aging does not involve extensive neuron (brain cell) loss from disease or serious damage.
In contrast to cognitive aging, dementia is associated with neurons becoming significantly damaged and eventually dying. Dementia is an umbrella term for several diseases affecting cognition and behavior which impact one’s ability to carry out activities of daily living. Although age is a significant risk factor, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia known and affects how you think, feel and act.
Early signs of dementia might be:
The effects of Alzheimer’s disease include:
Some signs and symptoms that should not be assumed as “normal aging” are:
It is very important to consult a health care practitioner if you notice any of the above to rule out reversible and treatable causes. While dementia is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease - meaning brain function steadily becomes worse as time goes on - early detection can help minimize symptoms, aid in obtaining suitable supports and enable you or your loved one to make appropriate changes and plans to ultimately maintain safety and lead a better quality of life.
GAP is a program at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare that provides in-home comprehensive assessment, recommendations, consultation, caregiver education and support. This includes identifying, monitoring and managing dementia to help optimize the health, function and independence of seniors with complex health concerns.
Throughout the assessment and consultation process we aim to include caregivers of our clients as they know them best. The healthcare team works together to address health issues such as forgetfulness, confusion, medication concerns, weight loss/gain, walking difficulties/falls, bladder/bowel problems, loss of ability to care for oneself, caregiver stress, personality/behavior changes, or driving concerns.
If this program is something you or a loved one may benefit from, reach out to your doctor. Referrals to GAP must be made by a physician. For more information, visit www.hdgh.org/geriatricassessmentprogram
About the Author
Louise is a registered occupational therapist since 1994, working in Windsor since 1995. Her experience with the geriatric population has enabled her to gain knowledge in comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), different types of dementia, and fall and injury prevention. Louise is a certified fitness instructor who enjoys hiking in nature. Her dream is to one day become a skilled gardener and fluent in Italian.
Dec 7, 2022 | Community and Partnerships, Faces of HDGH
With December here, the Foundation team is getting ready to wrap up another year of giving and receiving. When I reflect back at all the wonderful people who supported the work we do at HDGH, it is with such gratitude. Donations are not made by faceless institutions, they are made by people. Even when a donation comes to us from a company, there is a person or group of individuals who put a great deal of careful consideration into which cause they wish to support.
Sometimes it is difficult to find a profound way to say thank you and to say it in such a way that the donor really understands our gratitude and the impact their gift has made. At the Foundation we try to convey thankfulness each and every day because we see firsthand that donations truly have the ability to change lives.
This year alone, gifts to HDGH made it possible for us to support the bed replacement project for the third year in a row, leant support to hospital employees with $10,000 in scholarships, purchased tangible items like an ice maker machine and with the support of our community assisted with the Breaking Free Online and various client activities within the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs. These are only a few examples of the impact donations make at HDGH.
Much like a good deed that is repaid to others, a donation can also start a ripple effect of kindness. The staff member who receives a scholarship feels valued and uses their learnings to improve the quality of their work; the patient receiving care benefits and the family member visiting sees that their loved one is being well taken care of and can sleep better at night. There is little opportunity for the patient to understand how a donation made their care better and brought their family ease, yet there are many intangible examples of this very thing throughout HDGH.
Most individuals know about the large events that are hosted to raise funds, but the HDGH Foundation has a full menu of ways we work to acquire donations. We hold the Heart Breaker Challenge, Bob Probert Ride, Big Night Gala and Charity Golf Classic. There are also individuals in our community who organize their own events and simply gift us with the money they raise. For example, we have been fortunate to have Rick’s Ride and Bridge to Bridge, two events that support our programs and services for the past two years.
Another way we raise money is through donor letters mailed out to our supporters telling them about a need the hospital has identified with a request to assist the Foundation to meet this need. The most well-known of these letters is the Tree of Lights campaign that was started 36 years ago at Grace Hospital. Since then the launch event has become part of the fabric of how HDGH kicks off the holiday season.
On our campus we have some wonderful gifts provided to us by caring community partners like an outdoor adult exercise space provided by LiUNA!625, a children’s greenhouse gifted to us by Windsor St. Clair Rotary, a healing garden provided by the Tregaskiss family and expanded by Transition to Betterness. We also have a cafeteria gifted to us by In Honour of the Ones We Love and there is still more that could be mentioned. Windsor is truly a caring and giving community.
There is a saying from Gordon B. Hinckley that “Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others”. With each donation to HDGH, our donors are doing this very thing, making a difference in the lives of others. Thank you to all of our donors, sponsors and to the community for all of your contributions this past year. I am lucky to be witness to this spirit of giving every day.
Barb Sebben is the Executive Director of the Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Foundation and Academic and Volunteer Placements. She has been an employee for over 20 years, starting out as a coordinator in the Public Affairs department. Prior to joining HDGH she helped fundraise for the Children’s Safety Village and worked at Centres for Seniors Windsor (now Life After 50).
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