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NATIONAL NURSING WEEK 2019

Susan Davidson The Hospital for Sick Children, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto usan Davidson manages the practice of a dozen or so consultant paediatricians, both at the Hospital for Sick Children and at St Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto. For three days per week, over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of working with this absolutely incredible, inspiring health care provider for children. As is customary for the practice of a paediatrician, my patients eventually graduate. It is typical that they they thank me for my years of service with a warm handshake. Susan gets the warm embraces. It is because she becomes an integral part of the lives of so many families. She is the voice on the other end

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SUSAN IS THE HERO TO THE SICK AND TO THE HEALED. SHE IS THE HERO TO THE ENGAGED AND TO THE DISENFRANCHISED. of the phone when they need help. She successfully navigates under-resourced services for families. She advocates for families by attending team meetings, by writing impassionate letters, by calling and emailing and calling again. She is the voice on the other end of the phone when I need help with a difficult medical decision. She is my most trusted colleague. She is my wisest advisor. She is the heart and soul of my practice. My medical trainees discuss cases with her (to make sure they get it right)

Nursing Week Is Something To Celebrate! On behalf of all of us at the Health Care Providers Group Insurance plan, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate all of the hard-working nurses across Canada! The impact you have on our healthcare system is immense and invaluable, and we’re forever grateful for the positive differences that you make each and every day. Thank you for your continuous compassion, care and dedication!

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before discussing with me. Susan triages consults to me, helps figure out disposition, helps solve dilemmas and develop treatment plans and asks me nothing more than, “…if you agree, sign here”. We work with many kids and teens with mental health challenges. Susan has performed neurodevelopment testing for kids, provided counselling for families, navigated options, championed their advocacy and educated them. She has cried with families in times of both sadness and success. She has enriched the lives of so many families dealing with mental and medical health issues. However, when a child’s health is not improving, understandably, parents become frustrated with their health care providers. Parents who have ‘fired’ all of their doctors and nurses, continue to remain engaged with healthcare through Susan. She is not just the hero for kids who are doing great, she is the hero for families continuing to suffer. There are so many examples but here are a couple of very recent ones that come to mind: [1] We treated a girl with significant impairment from ADHD and anxiety for many years. Mom was very motivated and bright and bonded with Susan. Through testing that Susan performed, advocacy for this girl’s Individual Education Plan, ensuring medication was titrated, re-ordered, adjusted and optimized and through letters of support, subspecialty referrals, coordination of care and tons of emotional support, guidance and education that Susan provided to this family for over a decade, this was a success story. Her daughter who was also very bright and motivated, matured and grew in confidence and graduated from our clinic (at

18 years of age) and was accepted to University. In her 2nd year, while thriving, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. At the age of 20, who did they call for emotional support and to help them navigate the healthcare system? They called who they needed and trusted; their paediatric nurse, Susan. We all cried; and then Susan got to work ensuring that this girl was getting the best care and providing ongoing emotional support to this family. [2] We treated a child with complex mental health challenges and although gifted, was doing poorly. Not surprisingly mom was frustrated with the care they were getting from the sub-specialists we had referred them to. Mom severed relationships with these health care providers and lodged complaints. This child was doing poorly at school as well and, not surprisingly, mom was frustrated with the school and severed relationships and lodged complaints. Despite this mom being perceived as ‘difficult’ by many, Susan saw her suffering and the good in her. Susan facilitated psychiatric care that was a better fit for the child and despite mom’s disenchantment with our health care system and with our educational system, recently, while heading into the examining room for another child, I noticed this mom dropping off a wrapped gift for Susan. Susan is the hero to the sick and to the healed. She is the hero to the engaged and to the disenfranchised. She is my hero too. Susan’s efficient and thorough care of our patients has allowed me ‘protected time’ to be successful in academia. I have won awards because of her hard work and it’s not fair. It’s time she wins one. Nominated by, Dr. Mark Feldman MD FRCPC, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Director, Community Paediatrics & Continuing Education, The Hospital for Sick Children and Saint H Joseph’s Health Centre. ■ www.hospitalnews.com

Profile for Hospital News

Hospital News May 2019 Edition  

Focus: Surgical Procedures, Pain Management and Palliative Care. Special Supplement: Annual Nursing Heroes

Hospital News May 2019 Edition  

Focus: Surgical Procedures, Pain Management and Palliative Care. Special Supplement: Annual Nursing Heroes