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A message from Murray Martin, President & CEO Dear colleagues, Over the past three weeks, we undertook a concentrated effort to complete the My Voice Matters Survey 2012. I am proud to say that over 6,200 of us took the time to complete the survey and share our perspectives about the quality of care we deliver and our experience of working and practicing here. I congratulate and acknowledge everyone for their efforts in completing the survey. Our overall response rate of 64 per cent demonstrates your caring and commitment to wanting to make Hamilton Health Sciences the best place to work and receive care. As you may be aware, the purpose of the survey was to help identify what is important for quality patient care, service delivery, and a positive working environment. The results will enable us to develop plans to further enhance the care for our patients and families, and the well-being of our entire workforce and physicians. All of the data that has been collected through the survey process is currently being analyzed by Kenexa, our survey partner. Updates about the survey results will be shared throughout the organization in the coming weeks and months – stay tuned for more! Once again, thank you for taking the time to participate in the My Voice Matters Survey 2012. Your voice is a reflection of your commitment. It’s through our diverse perspectives and talent that we can build on our collective strengths and create a stronger health care system for our patients, families, community and each other. Thanks, Murray

Embracing life – Dan MacLeod credits the Chedoke Chronic Pain Management program with saving his life. He now volunteers in the horticulture therapy program, where clients nuture African Violets. Dr. Eleni Hapidou is a psychologist in the program.

Learning a new approach to life Dan MacLeod is retelling the story of a pivotal moment in his volunteer time with Chedoke’s Chronic Pain Management Unit. He was in the woodworking shop, standing beside a client of the program, when he noticed the pain on the man’s face. Not just the physical pain, but the emotional pain that enveloped him. The client asked Dan how long he’d been volunteering. Six years. Before that he was going through the program. And before that he was just a man living in constant, dreadful pain. “All I could think about was taking my life,” Dan confessed to the man. The client’s eyes well with tears at hearing this. He tells Dan he feels that way now, that Dan is the first person he’s been able to tell this to. “I was blown away by him,” Dan says. “He instantly got me and I got him. I told him ‘you’re going to be fine.’ He told me about his life.” It is a connection understood by those suffering from chronic pain. It is also understood by those at Chedoke’s Chronic Pain Management Unit.

Eleni says the philosophy is to teach people to live with pain through a proactive approach of self management, where they lead a balanced life and are cognizant of the needs of body and mind. Dan took part in the program after about 17 years of living in pain. In 1981, he was riding his motorcycle along the escarpment, rounding the corner around the Kenilworth Access, when he lost control and crashed against a guardrail. He was pinned there, between the bike and the rail, his arm dislocated and the nerves pulled from his spine. It took months and surgery to recover, and even then, he has gained little use of his right arm. Dan pushed through the constant pain created by the blows to his body. He returned to work, but it was nearly too much for him. By the time he found the Chedoke program, he wasn’t sure he wanted to carry on. What he hoped for from the program was a cure: “I really thought they were going to teach us some secret way to get rid of our pain. I thought I’d gone to the smartest scientists on the planet and they were going to fix everything,” Dan says today.

Dr. Eleni Hapidou is one of them. The psychologist has been with the program for 21 years and is proud of the work being done. She says the program uses evidence-based medicine, and its research is known internationally. Group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation, yoga, fitness training, nutrition education and counseling are among the many techniques used.

He was told he’d have to embrace his life, and accept the pain. Dan calls that a huge psychological shift.

The program was created by specialists in late 1973, and was one of the first in the world, according to the writings of one of its founders, Dr. Eldon R. Tunks, who was medical director from 1976-1999. It has evolved through the years based on research and needs.

When Dan retired, he began volunteering at the Unit, wanting to give back some of what he’d gained.

It is currently being run as a four-week intensive course, a fee for service program funded by insurance companies, Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Veteran Affairs, and other funding agencies.

Today, he preaches that life: “It’s about everything that you do. It’s a holistic approach. People are into the single bullet approach. …It’s about looking at our lives a different way – proper posture, healthy attitude, balanced diet.”

He works in the horticulture therapy area, and in the woodworking room, relating to clients going through what he had lived through. “The program gave me hope and taught me ways to live with my pain and still function,” Dan explains. “It saved my life.”

Sparkling new gift shop offers another way to “Give” On Nov. 14, 2012, the Juravinski Hospital officially welcomed a sparkling new addition to its front lobby. The opening of the Hamilton Health Sciences Volunteer Association “Give Shop” was long-anticipated by staff members, patients and visitors alike. The new space is an evolution from the shop’s previous location, providing a larger selection of merchandise in a bright, modern, and welcoming environment. The Give Shop, designed by Zeidler Architects and made possible by many individuals, including Merit Contractors, the HHS capital development team, and the HHSVA staff members and volunteers, is centrally located just inside the front entrance of the Juravinski Hospital. It’s glass windows and open ceiling design follow the open-concept theme of the surrounding lobby, which opened in March 2012. “Our new lobby was designed to welcome our patients, visitors and staff members into a space that evokes feelings of comfort and calmness,” said Dr. Bill Evans, president of Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre. “The new Give Shop fits perfectly within this space.” Profits generated from all HHSVA retail, food service and parking locations are donated to support patient care equipment and program funding across the Hamilton Health Sciences family of hospitals. “This name – the ‘Give Shop’ - and our motto, ‘Make a Purchase, Make a Difference’, reflect how every purchase has a positive impact at Hamilton Health Sciences,” said Tina Cooper, executive director of the Hamilton Health Sciences Volunteer Association. “The new Give Shop is a great addition to the family of HHSVA shops and services across our sites that help us to meet the needs of our patients, visitors and staff members,” said Dr. Evans. “Congratulations to the Hamilton Health Sciences Volunteer Association for making it a reality.”

The new Give Shop at the Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre offers patients, visitors and staff members a bright, modern, and welcoming space to shop for a wide selection of merchandise, conveniently located in the hospital’s front lobby.

Home is where the heart is When Dave Lincoln met his future wife, Kathy, there was no doubt in his mind that they would someday be married. “I knew we were meant to be together from the first time we met,” says Dave. Not long after, on Oct. 23, 1982, the two exchanged vows at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Hamilton. It was a large ceremony, with over 300 in attendance. “That day, we made a commitment to each other in front of our friends and our family members,” says Dave. “We vowed to always be there for each other, for better or for worse.” “I knew I loved Dave from the moment I met him,” says Kathy. “His honesty, his kindness, his care for others.” On Oct. 23, 2012, Kathy and Dave celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They’re just as in love as ever, although their journey together hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Just a year before the two were married, Kathy was diagnosed with diabetes. When her health began to decline, Dave took on an additional role as caregiver. Eventually, Kathy required 24/7 care and had to leave home for a care facility. “It hasn’t been easy,” says Dave. For the past four years, Kathy has been a patient at St. Peter’s Hospital. Each day, Dave walks to the hospital to visit his wife. When visiting hours are over, Dave returns to his home. It’s been over ten years since the two have lived together. Still, they remain committed to their vows. “I know we are together, even when we can’t see each

Special moments – Dave and Kathy Lincoln look at photos from their 30th wedding anniversary celebration, held in the chapel at St. Peter’s Hospital on Oct. 27, 2012.

other,” says Dave. Kathy and Dave’s situation is unique, though they try to find as much normalcy as possible so they can truly enjoy the limited time they have together each day. A year ago, Kathy and Dave decided to do something special to celebrate their 30 years of marriage. With the help of the chaplains at St. Peter’s, they began planning a vow renewal ceremony. On Oct. 27, 2012, after months of thoughtful preparation, family members, hospital staff, and patients gathered in the SPH chapel as Dave and Kathy renewed their vows. Staff members from the nursing and social work programs joined with chaplaincy to help enhance the celebration. They surprised Kathy and Dave with a large custom cake, flowers, a corsage and boutonniere, and a decorated “bridal suite”. “I loved everything about the day,” says Kathy. “It just made me feel so good.” As a sign of their appreciation, Kathy and Dave requested that donations be made to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation in lieu of wedding gifts.

“It went better than we had planned,” says Dave. “The staff took care of everything – they were great.” “More than anything, patients and family members long for normalcy,” says Mary Fleming, chaplain with the spiritual care program at St. Peter’s Hospital. “Celebrating milestones is a simple yet profound way chaplaincy and other healthcare disciplines can cooperate to support patients’ well-being, affirm their values, and help to normalize life in the midst of prolonged hospitalization.” On the day that they recited their vows, just as they had done thirty years before, Kathy expressed her wish for 30 more years with her husband. “I’d do it all again,” she says. Although they may never live together again, the couple has adjusted to this reality. Dave says he will always try to be as close to Kathy as he can, giving meaning to the expression, “Home is where the heart is.” “It’s like a family at St. Peter’s,” says Dave. “If we can’t be together at home, this is the next best place.”


House Calls

Finding the words

The flu season is upon us. Let’s debunk some of the myths around influenza vaccination: 1. Influenza doesn’t cause serious infections. It’s true that the majority of healthy individuals who catch the flu don’t require hospitalization, though many who do develop this common infection feel miserable for a few days and have to miss school or work. There are also many people who are at substantially increased risk of severe disease and even death, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics, those with severe asthma, and others with compromised immune systems. All of these people should be immunized. Most people have friends or loved ones that fall into one of these high-risk categories. The more people who get the flu shot, the lower the chance that someone at high risk will contract the infection.

Finding the words – Tina Vallentin, speech language pathologist at the Regional Rehab Centre, works with aphasia patient Allan Shinn to help him regain his speech, which he lost after suffering a stroke.

2. Not getting vaccinated keeps your immune system stronger. It’s been shown that people who are vaccinated against the flu have just as strong immune responses against other germs that cause infections. 3. The flu shot can cause the flu. The flu shot administered through a needle in the arm contains several virus proteins, not live virus. It is therefore impossible to develop influenza as a result of getting the vaccine. 4. The flu shot doesn’t work. Clinical trials have shown that, on average, the flu shot will prevent about 75 per cent of influenza infections. It doesn’t guarantee absolute protection, but does a very good job. Many people who are vaccinated against the flu will develop colds during the winter, but these are primarily caused by much weaker germs, such as rhinovirus. 5. If you’ve already had the flu, there’s no point to the vaccine. There are usually different types of influenza virus (A and B) going around during the flu season. Unfortunately, catching type A flu will not protect against catching type B flu, so even people who’ve already had the flu can benefit from the vaccine. 6. People with allergies to eggs shouldn’t be vaccinated. It’s been shown that individuals with egg allergy can receive the influenza vaccine without increased risk of severe allergic reactions. Many people don’t want to be vaccinated because they don’t want to get poked by a needle. For those discouraged by the needle, a new vaccine is available in a nasal spray form. Parents should know that the spray vaccine works extremely well – better, in fact, than the traditional flu vaccines – in children. There is a cost associated with the spray vaccine: about $40 at the pharmacy, though it may be covered by private insurance plans. The traditional shot is available at no cost through your doctor’s office, community health clinics, some pharmacies, and may also be offered at your workplace. At Hamilton Health Sciences, Employee Health Services offers flu immunization for staff and physicians. Visit your site’s EHS office, or go to the HHS Intranet to learn more. House Calls is written weekly by experts at Hamilton Health Sciences. Dr. Jeffrey Pernica is an infectious disease physician at McMaster University Medical Centre.

The last time Allan Shinn was able to speak normally was in August of this year, just moments before his wife and daughter had to make an emergency stop and pull over the car he was driving at 100 kilometres per hour along the QEW. Without realizing what she was doing, Gloria Shinn reached over from the passenger seat to turn on the hazard lights. While transport trucks and busy Friday afternoon traffic whizzed by, Allan’s daughter Sandra, also a passenger, reached over from the back seat to take control of the steering wheel and put the car in neutral while Gloria crawled below to remove her husband’s foot from the gas pedal. For the next two kilometers, Gloria and Sandra calmly brought the car to a full stop on the side of the highway. As a nurse, Sandra identified her father’s symptoms right away. She called 9-1-1 immediately and paramedics brought him directly to Hamilton General Hospital where he received tPA (a blood clot-busting drug) within an hour. Allan, 72, suffered a stroke and had become paralyzed from the neck down. “Everyone at the General worked as a team. They not only saved my husband’s life - they gave it back to him,” said Gloria. “We are so grateful. We love the General.” After 47 days in hospital, Allan has returned home and is able to walk and move normally. Other than a slight change to his mouth, he has no other physical signs that he suffered a stroke – until he tries to speak.

written form. Others lose the ability to comprehend verbal and/or written language altogether, or lose the ability to communicate in a second language. “Living with aphasia is much like having your identity stolen,” says Tina. “The way we communicate creates our identity and often influences the way others perceive us. When we can’t talk, for example, others may think we’re less competent, which can cause social consequences such as isolation.” Aphasia is treatable through regular therapy with speech language pathologists (SLPs) who work with patients to identify and engage in communication strategies to help regain their language skills and practice new ways of interacting. “Family and friends play an important role in treatment,” adds Tina. “Communicative disability can be reduced through teaching others strategies to engage in conversation. This offers the person with aphasia an improved quality of life through participation in everyday speech at the same time as improving communication skills. After 50 years of marriage, Allan and Gloria are adjusting to their new reality. Allan, who has no memory of what transpired on the highway three months ago, currently uses writing as his primary method of communication while he works with Tina to re-develop his verbal skills. “There are times when Allan is unable to articulate his thoughts,” says Gloria. “But, he uses humour to take it all in stride.”

Allan’s stroke left him with aphasia, a language disorder caused by damage to the part of the brain responsible for speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. “Aphasia is an invisible condition and is often compared to the experience of communicating in a foreign country,” explains Tina Vallentin, speech language pathologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. “While a stroke survivor may have the same motor, cognitive and social skills they had prior to their stroke, it’s not obvious they suffer from a language disorder.” Approximately 30 per cent of stroke patients suffer from mild to severe aphasia, with varying degrees of communication difficulty. Some patients maintain the ability to understand speech but have difficulty expressing themselves in verbal and/or


New cancer research Chair will focus on prevention

Hamilton Health Sciences Happenings Annual Review: Nov. 29 & 30, Dec. 3-5, 2012 Annual Review educational activities across Hamilton Health Sciences are designed to give healthcare team members an opportunity to review their skills, update their certifications, and learn about new initiatives that impact their practice. Clinical Practice & Education offers a variety of learning opportunities throughout the year at each of the annual reviews across the organization, in collaboration with our internal and external partners.

Kicker – From left to right: Andy Skrypniak, Chair, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation; Pearl Veenema, president and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation; Louise Taylor Green, executive vice president, corporate affairs and strategy, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS); Brenda Flaherty, executive vice president, clinical operations and chief operating officer, HHS; Dr. Bill Evans, president, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre; Dr. Paola Muti, Inaugural Chair Holder, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics; Juergan Schachler, president and CEO, ArcelorMittalDofasco; Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice president, faculty of health sciences, McMaster University; Dr. Mark Levine, Chair, oncology department, McMaster University and director, Escarpment Cancer Research Institute, HHS; Mr. Tony Valeri, vice president public affairs and communications, ArcelorMittalDofasco. As the new ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Experimental Therapeutics at McMaster University, Dr. Paola Muti will investigates the potential for agents, including vitamins and drugs, to prevent cancer.

Cancer prevention will be a key strategy to meet the growing burden of cancer. However, the question of how to avoid the disease puzzles many patients and their doctors. Dr. Paola Muti

Dr. Paola Muti, professor in the department of oncology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, takes this question seriously, and it’s one she will explore as the inaugural holder of the new ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics at McMaster University. Her research focuses on “chemoprevention”, which investigates the potential for agents including vitamins and drugs, both old and new, to prevent cancer. The ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Experimental Therapeutics is supported by a $1 million gift from ArcelorMittal Dofasco through the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, which will be matched with funds from McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote Health Sciences Development Fund. The endowed chair was celebrated at a reception at the Juravinski Hospital on Oct. 29, 2012. ArcelorMittal Dofasco President and CEO Juergen Schachler said the new chair is an investment in global health, as well as in the Hamilton community. “Through the research chair, we expect that cancer prevention will become a wider topic of conversation and that the Escarpment Cancer Research Institute and its scientists will make Hamilton an even more accomplished centre of excellence for both the prevention and treatment of cancers,” said Juergen. “With Dr. Paola Muti as our new Chair, we know that this research will help

to push and direct the global discussion from right here in Hamilton.” “This partnership with McMaster is an excellent support of our communities locally, nationally and globally,” said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vicepresident of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Dr. Bill Evans, president of Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, said exemplary care is directly linked to new discoveries and advances made through research. “ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s transformational gift, made through Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, displays their commitment to building a world-leading experimental therapeutics program that has the potential to change the very way cancer is treated,” said Bill, who is also the regional vicepresident for Cancer Care Ontario. Muti said she appreciates the “openness” with which McMaster, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Hamilton Health Sciences officials are in welcoming her approach to treating a disease that will kill more than 75,000 Canadians this year. “Prevention needs special social and institutionalized scientific efforts to start coordinated, focused and multidisciplinary research to accelerate the future contributions of cancer prevention to science and public health,” she said. Muti was the scientific director of the Italian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena in Rome, Italy, and adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She held the position of chair of the department of epidemiology at the NCI in Rome. Prior to that she was a tenured professor of epidemiology in the department of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo. As chair, her first priorities will be to start by studying prevention strategies related to breast cancer, mesothelioma, and ovarian cancer, she said.

The next annual review will be held at the Juravinski site on November 29 & 30 and December 3, 4, and 5, and is open to all Hamilton Health Sciences employees. Please visit the HHS Intranet for additional information.

Holiday Tea It’s that time of year! Hamilton Health Sciences staff members are invited to celebrate the season at the annual Staff Holiday Tea, happening across each site at the beginning of December. All teas are from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The dates/locations are as follows: MUMC

Monday, December 3, 2012 Blue Room


Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Marg Charters Auditorium

Juravinski Thursday, December 6, 2012 Nora’s Cafe Chedoke

Friday, December 7, 2012 Ewart Lunchroom

St. Peter’s Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Garwood Jones Auditorium We hope to see you there!

Festival of Lights Please join us in celebrating the holiday season at St. Peter’s Festival of Lights! You and your family are invited to attend this wonderful winter event on Tuesday, December 4 at St. Peter’s Hospital (88 Maplewood Avenue, Hamilton). The annual Festival of Lights event is a long-standing tradition at St. Peter’s and is beloved by patients, staff members and the community. Refreshments and snacks: 5:00pm Festivities & entertainment: 6:00pm Tree lighting: 7:00pm We look forward to seeing you there!

Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre healing garden receives Hamilton Trillium Award of Excellence

Special recognition – The healing garden at Juravinski Hospital was designed to offer patients, visitors and staff members the benefits of the outdoors without having to stray too far from their hospital room or work area. The garden’s unique design has earned it a Hamilton Trillium Award of Excellence, which recognizes individuals and organizations who make contributions to the beautification of their community through landscaping.

It’s an unexpected sight, nestled in the centre of the third floor of Juravinski Hospital: a spacious terrace with lush, green foliage and colourful blossoms throughout. Sunlight spills in through the open rooftop above, and wooden benches line the stone pathways. It’s a peaceful place. The “healing garden”, which opened this past summer, offers patients, visitors and staff at the site a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the hospital environment. It’s a special place. In fact, the garden was honoured last month with a Hamilton Trillium Award of Excellence, which recognizes residents and organizations who have contributed to the beautification of their community through landscaping and design.

Cathy says the garden is low maintenance, featuring its own watering system and automatic lighting for the evening hours. The garden is located on Level 3, by Sections A, B and C and is accessible via the north and south hallways. The healing garden will soon close for the winter months, but will re-open in the spring. Dr. Bill Evans, president of Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre (left), and Leslie Gauthier, director of perioperative services at Hamilton Health Sciences and Juravinski site administrator (third from left), accept the Trillium Award of Excellence from Dianne Brunetti, Chair, Hamilton Trillium Awards and Ward 7 Councillor Scott Duvall.

Dr. Bill Evans, president of Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre, and Leslie Gauthier, director of perioperative services at Hamilton Health Sciences and Juravinski site administrator, accepted the award at a special ceremony held during the Hamilton Fall Garden & Mum Show in October. “The Trillium Award is a great honour and recognition of the people who helped to make this special garden a reality for our patients, visitors and staff,” said Dr. Evans. The healing garden was made possible through the support of Ellis Don and the vision and efforts of the capital development department at the Juravinski site. “It’s so special to be able to create a space for our patients, visitors and staff members,” says Cathy Lovett, capital development site lead at the Juravinski. “Since we’ve opened the garden, it’s rarely been empty. It’s definitely a needed and welcome addition to our site.”


Grade 9’s ‘scrub in’ for annual Take Our Kids to Work Day program

“Scalpel, please!” – Students practice their surgical skills in the operating room at the Juravinski Hospital.

Hands-on learning – Students participate in a mock Code Blue (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) exercise as part of Hamilton Health Sciences’ Take Our Kids to Work Day program on Nov. 7, 2012.

“Our hope is that students will remember how much fun they had and will consider working with us when they are ready to embark on a career,” says Sheriff.

On Wed., Nov. 7, more than 200 Hamilton-area Grade 9 students ‘scrubed in’ to participate in the annual Take Our Kids to Work Day program at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). It was an exciting day of hands-on learning, providing children of staff members and physicians the opportunity to gain a sense of what it’s like to work in a healthcare environment. Students sampled a variety of healthcare occupations through educational, hands-on activities and tours

facilitated by HHS’ clinical practice & education team. Activities varied across all five hospital sites, including: a mock Code Blue (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) exercise, a lesson in handwashing with a GloGerm demonstration, a taste-testing presented by nutrition services, to name a few.

Take Our Kids to Work Day is a nation-wide program sponsored by The Learning Partnership and the Hamilton-Wentworth Industry Education Council. As an academic teaching hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences is committed to providing placements and learning opportunities for students pursuing various levels of education, from high school to graduate studies.

“Students may not be aware of the breadth of careers available in health care,” says Romaine Sheriff, registered nurse and manager of clinical practice & education at HHS.

“The key message for students participating on Nov. 7 is that health care can be a career destination for anyone,” says Anthea Banks, director of clinical practice & education at HHS.

Hamilton Health Sciences recognized for commitment to sustainable travel With the number of cars rising on our roads from six million to nearly nine million by 2031, communities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are challenged with finding travel alternatives to reduce traffic gridlock and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten the health of our communities. In partnership with Smart Commute, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is committed to providing its staff with alternatives to driving to work alone. Through its carpooling incentive program, secure bike shelters, and participation in city-wide sustainable commuting initiatives, such as Smart Commute Week, HHS is working to reduce its impact on our local environment. Earlier this month, the City of Hamilton hosted the annual national Sustainable Mobility Summit. The theme of this year’s summit, “Achieving the Balance”, highlighted some of the challenges communities face in maintaining quality of life for their citizens. Changes in demographics, population, the economy, and the environment continue to strain many publicly funded services. Achieving the Balance involves a shift in economic investment and transportation use from private automobile to public transit, active travel, carpooling, vanpooling, and more. As an organization, environmental sustainability is one of the many ways Hamilton Health Sciences can help to create a healthier community, for us all. Hamilton Health Sciences has been recognized for its commitment to sustainable mobility, and was awarded with a certificate of recognition from Metrolinx on September 18, 2012. The certificate was presented

to Rebekah Jackson-Gravely, advanced rehabilitation therapist and Co-Chair of the HHS Smart Commute initiative, by Mayor Bob Bratina. Staff members who are interested in exploring alternative ways to get to work are encouraged to contact Rebekah at

Paving the way – Rebekah Jackson-Gravely, advanced rehabilitation therapist and Co-Chair of the HHS Smart Commute initiative, accepts a certificate of recognition for commitment to sustainable mobility on behalf of Hamilton Health Sciences, presented by Mayor Bob Bratina.

Photo fun – Snapshots of just some of the great things happening across our family of hospitals

Trick-or-Treat! – McMaster University Medical Centre staff members greet little trick-or-treaters with all kinds of goodies at the annual McMaster Children’s Hospital Halloween parade.

Flu fighters – Gail Johnson, director, cardiac vascular and infection prevention & control programs and Hamilton General Hospital site administrator, receives her flu shot from Employee Health nurse Julie Richmond. Providing moral support are Isabel Hayward (back row, left), program director, acute medicine, emergency & critical care, and Kathryn LeBlanc (back row, right), director, neurosciences program.

Empty your pockets! – Grant Kasanszkky, manager of accounts payable, Ministry of Health & treasury financial services, disguised himself as the “Change Bandit” to help raise funds for Hamilton Health Sciences’ annual United Way campaign in October.

Full house – On Oct. 26, 2012 St. Peter’s Hospital hosted its fall edition of the Successful Aging Speakers’ Series. A record audience of more than 175 people, including healthcare providers, patients, students and community members, gathered for an engaging presentation on dementia and other cognitive disorders by Dr. Brian Misiaszek, chief of geriatric services at Hamilton Health Sciences.



Respiratory therapists honoured for outstanding practice

Stephanie Rotella (second from right), recipient of the RT Excellence Award, is joined by her colleagues (from left to right) Jodee Naylor, Shawna MacDonald, Toni Rogers, and Mike Kampen, chief of respiratory therapy practice at HHS

Romano Taddeo, recipient of the RT Bedside Teaching Award, with Mike Kampen, chief of respiratory practice at HHS.

When we first entered the world, we took in a big gasp of air. This – our very first breath – inflated our lungs and sent one of the most essential forms of nourishment, oxygen, throughout our body. From this first moment of life onward, the breath remains one of the most vital functions of the human body. Without it, we simply wouldn’t be.

“These awards recognize frontline respiratory therapists who go above and beyond in their daily practice, demonstrating clinical excellence, outstanding leadership & teaching skills, and a commitment to professional accomplishment,” says Michael Kampen, chief of respiratory therapy practice at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Respiratory Therapy Bedside Teaching Award Romano Taddeo

The role of a respiratory therapist (RT) is centred around this fact – that the breath is essential to life. Even more, an efficient breath is essential to overall health. The job of an RT is to help people breathe after their ability to do so has been challenged by illness or injury. Each day at Hamilton Health Sciences, more than 150 RTs work in various areas, such as the intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department (ED), caring for patients by evaluating, treating and maintaining cardiopulmonary heart-lung function. They are an invaluable member of the healthcare team.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s respiratory therapy awards!

This month, two RTs are being recognized for their exceptional commitment to respiratory therapy at Hamilton Health Sciences with two very special awards.

The Insider is published bi-monthly by Hamilton Health Sciences Public Relations & Communications Department.

Respiratory Therapy Excellence Award Stephanie Rotella Stephanie Rotella joined the RT family at Hamilton Health Sciences three years ago after graduating from Fanshawe College’s respiratory therapy program. In her role at Hamilton General Hospital, Stephanie provides care to patients in all areas. On a typical day, she performs breathing assessments and ventilation monitoring,, and provides support to the critical care response team as needed. This, among a number of other responsibilities. “Our role changes from day to day,” says Stephanie. “I love it because it’s versatile, diverse, and offers a high level of patient involvement.” “I am so humbled to be recognized with this award,” says Stephanie. “It’s amazing coming to a place every day where I know I’m making a difference in people’s lives.”

Romano Taddeo has a passion for new knowledge. As a respiratory therapist at Hamilton General Hospital, Romano often works with student RTs, supervising them in the clinical setting and helping them develop practical skills. As much as Romano enjoys mentoring students, he says he enjoys just as much the opportunity to learn from them. “They learn from us, but they also offer us new knowledge,” says Romano, who graduated from Fanshawe College’s respiratory therapy program in 1991. He has worked as an RT at Hamilton General ever since, primarily in the intensive care unit and with the hyperbaric therapy program. “When I work with a new student, I tell them ‘I’m here to teach you, but you also have to agree to teach me something new today, too’,” says Romano. Romano says he is happy to receive the RT Bedside Teaching Award, but feels being a supportive mentor to his students is just part of his job. “It’s just what I love to do,” he says.

Manager Heather Pullen Editor Calyn Pettit Graphic Design Nadia DiTraglia Contributors Lillian Badzioch, Cyprian Estrada Adam Gee, Peter Foulds Rebekah Jackson-Gravely Jennifer Kramer, Danute Kudaba Scott Levely, Veronica McGuire Danijela Stojakovic Hamilton Health Sciences McMaster University Medical Centre Room 1K-102 1200 Main Street West Hamilton, ON L8S 4J9


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November 2012 - Insider Newsletter  

Hamilton Health Sciences' bi-weekly newsletter.

November 2012 - Insider Newsletter  

Hamilton Health Sciences' bi-weekly newsletter.