Doreen Lewis, Providence Manor Resident, with Kelsey Melrose, staff Recreationist.
In This Issue: Message from Our ACTING CEO Page 2
Diary of a Legacy: by Eleanor Bannister Page 2
WHEN THE PLAYER BECOMES THE PATIENT Page 3
PROVIDENCE MANOR: A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR LIFE ENRICHMENT More than four decades ago, Doreen Lewis was a fearless woman on a “dangerous” mission. At least that’s what the Ottawa Citizen’s headline writers had to say, back in 1976, about the “farmer’s wife” and her attempt to “break the male grip” on municipal politics and “smash” her way in. She may not have won the election, but she taught her family how to take a stand. “Mom was tired of all those old boys making backroom deals,” say Doreen’s children—Polly, Jane, Danny and Kelly—of their mother’s brave bid for a seat at the council table in North Crosby Township near Westport.
SPOTLIGHT ON SURGICAL SUITES Page 4
Continued on page 5.
Message from our acting ceo When I joined UHKF in January, I knew the Foundation was on track for a good year. Having served as Vice President of Public Affairs and Development at Kingston General Hospital from 2002-2009, before amalgamation of the hospital foundations, the opportunity to serve UHKF has been rewarding. Much has changed, although the people and partnerships at the heart of it all have remained the same. The patient and caregiver story, for example, endures. Inspiring stories, like Doreen Lewis finding a sense of “family” in long-term care, (cover story), and Peter McCullough’s bypass surgery (pg. 3), remind us
Karen Humphreys Blake President and CEO (acting)
2 | SUMMER 2019
of the quality of care we might otherwise take for granted. Leadership is as important as ever. I take this opportunity to acknowledge Denise Cumming’s outstanding contributions as President and CEO of UHKF. Between 2006 and 2018, Denise stewarded two capital campaigns that led to more than $140 million raised in support of numerous healthcare advancements. The announcement of a new CEO is forthcoming. I am confident that one success will undoubtedly pave the way for another. Most unchanged, perhaps, are our donors. From transformational gifts to the future of patient care (robotics, pg. 3), to those who have grown with us over time (Eleanor Bannister, pg. 2) UHKF would be nothing without such generous supporters.
Diary of a Legacy: by Eleanor Bannister Recently, I was asked about the events that inspired me to become a healthcare donor. Like so many people it all began when someone I loved was sick. My first husband, Gord Shantz, died in 1992 at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) from complications related to diabetes. At the time of his death, he had lost both legs. Our family had gone through a lot and the hospital had played a significant role in our lives. I remember thinking, “Boy, we’d better give to this place.” That’s when I began giving annually, grateful for the compassionate care he had received. In 1997, when I married my second husband, John, I was pleased to know that he was also a healthcare supporter and had committed to a leadership gift.
It is an honour and a privilege to have this opportunity to say, “Thank you!”
ANGEL DONOR’S MATCHING CHALLENGE RESULTS NOW IN!
This past February and March, UHKF’s anonymous Angel Donor issued a $100,000 matching challenge. So how did we do? “Nearly 750 of our most loyal and dedicated donors responded,” says Krista Ellis-Smith, UHKF’s Senior Development Officer, Direct Marketing, “with donations totalling more than $120,000!” Thank you to all who supported this campaign and thanks, most of all, to our generous Angel Donor.
Feeling energized and inspired by John’s generosity I decided to take another, much bigger, step forward and match his donation by giving through my Will. In time, I became a member of the Evergreen Society and joined that group of donors who have made a legacy gift to our hospitals. Today, I have high aspirations for what healthcare can be when people expand what is possible, giving not just as individuals, but as friends and neighbours rallied around a common cause. Between my first gift and my last, I want our healthcare providers to know that there is a generous community that also believes in their biggest dreams for the future. Imagine what your planned gift will mean to this community. Let people see your name on the Evergreen Tree and think; “Yes, that is a step worth taking!”
3 | SUMMER 2019
Peter McCullough, grateful patient, and his wife Sherri.
WHEN THE PLAYER BECOMES THE PATIENT Playing golf with doctors becomes a problem when the player turns into the patient. A struggling heart adjusts to an interrupted flow of blood and establishes a new normal, but doctors know when all is not well and they’re not shy about speaking up. That’s the short version of what happened to me in July 2017. What I had come to think of as normal breathing, especially on a hot day at the top of a steep hill at the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club, was, to my trained medical companions, an alarming shortness of breath. The observation triggered a process of discovery that forced me to agree to undergo a cardiac stress test. By October 4, after the situation became more critical, my heart was in the hands of the remarkable team at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Cardiac Sciences Unit, receiving the coronary artery bypass surgery that saved my life. At the hospital, the medical staff told me recovery would take four to six weeks. I began by doing a little bit of work every day and increasing the pace, steadily. About halfway through the fifth week, I had an epiphany that my life had more or less returned to normal. Continued on page 6.
CELEBRATING THE A. BRITTON SMITH Q.C. ROBOTICS PROGRAM On April 9, UHKF celebrated a transformational gift made by A. Britton Smith in support of KHSC’s new robotics program. The robotic surgical operating system will benefit patients and families across southeastern Ontario through the innovative and improved patient care it positions KHSC to continue to provide. Officially launched in November 2018, robot-assisted surgery is currently offered for certain prostate, rectal and general surgeries.
Dr. Robert Siemens (pictured right), KHSC Urologist and Head of Urology at Queen’s University, and David Bailey (pictured left), grateful patient.
Spotlight on Redevelopment: Surgical Suites Dr. Romy Nitsch is Division Head Gynecology Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Queen’s School of Medicine and Program Medical Director Perioperative Services, Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
What are your biggest challenges in the surgical environment? KHSC’s KGH site has some of the oldest ORs in the province. They have served the community well, but they can no longer accommodate today’s more sophisticated technology. As a surgeon who operates in these spaces on a regular basis, I know how crowded it can become. At KHSC we have the surgical expertise, but we must transform our facilities. You have said the surgical program at KHSC is “growing exponentially”—why is that? 4 | SUMMER 2019
Innovation is a huge driver. Think about how much has changed since the 1960s, when the Connell ORs first opened. Today we offer advanced, minimally invasive procedures in general surgery, urology, gynecology, and urology. These are just a few examples, there are many more that we should all be proud of. KHSC’s role as a regional referral centre for specialized care has also expanded, and includes cardiac, stroke, renal, trauma, neurosurgery, pediatrics, neo-natal, high-risk obstetrics, cancer care, and more. Nearly half a million people in this region depend on KHSC for life-saving procedures and our
surgical volumes reflect this scope and complexity of care. How important are state-of-theart surgical facilities to attracting new surgeons? KHSC has an international complement of surgeons that help us offer the diversity of approaches to care that, ultimately, improve and save people’s lives. But this is something we should not take for granted. Providing these doctors with state-of-the-art surgical suites is absolutely essential. They have a choice about where to practice medicine. We need to give them another reason to choose Kingston.
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PROVIDENCE MANOR: A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR LIFE ENRICHMENT Continued from page 1. Today, as a resident of Providence Care’s Providence Manor, Doreen Lewis’ mission is very different but no less inspirational or instructional to her family. “When we come to visit, we see the lessons mom is teaching us, and the staff, about what it means to have joy and happiness and be able to laugh and be positive.” Diagnosed with dementia in 2011, Doreen Lewis moved to her new home at Providence Manor in September 2014. The once avid public speaker is still very much in command of her legendary sense of humour. “Mom is funny,” her children say, and she has used her “smarty-pants” wit to establish lasting bonds with the staff. The Recreation and Life Enrichment Team, in particular, understand her and help her make the best of every day. Providence Manor has become a centre of excellence for life enrichment, offering the home’s 243 residents a recreational care environment that supports whole-person wellbeing, 5 | WINTER 2018
and includes programs and activities that are among the most creative and resident-centred that can be found in long-term care today. Danielle Preston, Coordinator, Recreation and Volunteer Services, says the key to her “small but mighty” team’s success is their focus on building meaningful relationships. “It is the relationship that motivates the resident to overcome their reluctance, helping them get the most out of each day.” Kelsey Melrose, one of the team’s four full-time Recreationists, has become part of Doreen’s extended family and agrees that trust is critical. “The more residents trust us, the more likely they are to say, ‘I know you. You care about me. I’ll try.’” Danielle acknowledges that recreational programs in long-term care can get “stuck in old habits.” Her team avoids this pitfall through a relentless commitment to variety, creativity and experimentation. “At our monthly meetings, we challenge everyone to come
with one new idea. That’s how we keep things fresh.” Whether they are planning balloon badminton, evening dancing, or a casual round of Mimosa Mondays, with non-alcoholic champagne, they work to tailor programs to meet the ever-changing needs of the residents. “One month, baking might be a huge success, if people are able to measure the ingredients,” says Danielle, “But then a couple of months down the line, as a resident’s diagnosis progresses, we might have a baking program where they are just placing pre-made cookies on a baking sheet. Both are just as meaningful.” When their mother first moved to Providence Manor, Doreen’s children thought “it was the end of the world.” Today, they are grateful for how much their mother is loved on a daily basis. “We can see it, and she feels it, and we know that has helped her to flourish here.”
The more residents trust us, the more likely they are to say, ‘I know you. You care about me. I’ll try.’ - Kelsey Melrose, staff Recreationist
report summer 2019
back, “Looking my patient
WHEN THE PLAYER BECOMES THE PATIENT Continued from page 3. Today, nearly a year and half after my surgery, I no longer suffer from the episodic breathing issues. I tease them at the golf course by saying, “Golf saved my life!” But there’s some truth to that: the steady level of exertion triggered symptoms I and others might not have otherwise noticed until it was too late.
experience supported my confidence in our healthcare system, much of which is owing to the talented doctors and nurses who make recovery stories like mine possible.
- Peter McCullough, grateful patient
Looking back, my patient experience supported my confidence in our healthcare system, much of which is owing to the talented doctors and nurses who make recovery stories like mine possible. As a community, we must come together to build a hospital environment where the next generation of surgeons can imagine practicing their remarkable trade. Our lives, and of our loved ones, depend on it.
LIONS CLUBS SUPPORT FOR OPHTHALMOLOGY On April 17, UHKF recognized the continued support of the many Lions Clubs in southeastern Ontario for a gift of $30,500. The gift will benefit KHSC’s Ophthalmology Department, enabling the purchase of an innovative piece of equipment that will be used in the treatment of cataracts.
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