General Express February 2016


Our Family Birthing Unit bolsters its online presence with guided video tour

FBU's Vanessa Wood, RN, acted as tour guide on the new video.
When planning on having your baby in hospital, the more information you have beforehand the more comfortable you’ll be, says Shannon Maier, GGH's Clinical Director Maternal-Newborn & Paediatric Services. That’s why the Hospital just launched a web page that includes comprehensive information about delivering your baby at GGH. It also has a guided video tour of the unit hosted by one of our FBU nurses.
‎“We were getting a lot of requests from expecting families in the community to have a prenatal tour of our unit but it just wasn't feasible or sustainable to run actual tours,” Shannon says. “However, it got us thinking about how we could communicate about the exceptional care our large team provides to our community.”
The prenatal video came together with a lot of input from staff and people all throughout GGH. Shannon says Vanessa Wood, an FBU nurse did an incredible job learning the script and acting as tour guide in the video. It was funded through proceeds of the Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s “Footprints of the Future” program and produced by Guelph’s Thomas Gofton of Synndicus Inc.
“We are also thrilled that we were able to revamp our web page to offer more accurate details about our department, share important resources, and to welcome patients into our care,” says Shannon. “We really just want to let people know what we are all about; safe, quality maternal newborn care, positive patient experiences, outstanding outcomes and teamwork.”
Barb, Bailey and Rebekah Larter, Elder Life Specialist, were a part of a recent Lunch and Learn about Geriatric Services at GGH.

Pets and animal-assisted therapies will enhance our patients' experience.

There are many ways to support our patients having the "highest quality of care and experience" as stated in our new Mission statement. Now, there's a new dog therapy program at coming to GGH the details of which can be found in a new policy. Starting sometime in March, therapy dogs and dog handlers registered with St. John Ambulance and as GGH volunteers will be permitted. The first participants will be Barb and her three-year-old Golden Retriever, Bailey. Barb and Bailey have been a part of Guelph's St. Joe's pet therapy program for the past two years.

The dogs have passed an extensive Behavior and Obedience Evaluation with St. John Ambulance. Dog therapy offers a holistic approach to patient care and has been proven to decrease anxiety, physical symptoms and increase positive emotional response. It provides feelings of comfort, opportunities for reminiscing and an overall increase in positive patient experience. 

At GGH, dog therapy teams will report to Rebekah Larter, Elder Life Specialist. She will provide them with a list of patients who could be visited. Before entering a room, volunteers will first knock and ask if they would like to visit with the dog. To ensure good infection control, volunteers will also assist patients with hand hygiene before and after the visit.

Supporting breastfeeding by new moms from different cultures

This is just one example of the posters created. In this one, the first language is Tingrinya. It's a language found in the Horn of Africa. Click on photo to enlarge.

GGH is working toward baby-friendly status under the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative where one of the requirements is for 75 per cent of newborns leaving the hospital are being exclusively breastfed. When FBU staff took a close look at our rates, they saw there was a chance to make improvements. 

“We looked at our data and realized that multicultural moms are leaving the hospital breastfeeding their baby was at a much lower rate,” said Jackie Sanvido, a nurse in our Special Care Nursery.

Jackie Sanvido, RN, is pictured here with her display at the Patient Safety Fair.

Jackie wanted to find out why so she applied and received a grant from Best Start, Ontario’s maternal newborn and early child development resource centre.

The work started just over a year ago with four focus groups including mothers from a variety of countries, including India, Viet Nam, China and Sierra Leone. She discovered numerous different customs and beliefs. For example, in some cultures, the colostrum that mothers produce in the early days of breastfeeding is seen as an impurity be disposed. 

The focus group also suggested that information about breastfeeding be made available in other languages and that marketing and educational materials use images of non-Caucasian mothers and babies. 

As a result, an information pamphlet offering facts on the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, such as the decreased risk of obesity and a stronger immune system, was produced in in nine different languages. The pamphlets will go to obstetricians, family practitioners and midwives to be given out during visits.

In addition, 12 different posters were made in Vietnamese, Spanish, Urdu, Punjabi, Chinese, Tigrinian, Amharic, English, French and Arabic. The posters feature pictures of members from the focus groups telling in their own words why they breastfeed. The posters will go up in the hospital, as well as in the offices of local midwives and obstetricians.

“They all want these posters to be put up in their offices,” said Sanvido, noting that there was much positive support from the health care community.

Over the next year, the numbers will be tracked in hopes of seeing an improvement, Jackie said.

All work and no play.... 

Your current Social Committee members are (l-r): Jane Cabral (HR), Wendy Broeckel (HR), Brad Milton (O.R.), Fran Hood (SA/DV), Deb De Boer (Foundation), Sharon Immerkar (Lab)
When thinking of one of our new Strategic Directions, “Support our exceptional team,” the great work done by our Social Committee might not first spring to mind. However, this committee has been organizing and running events for years that go a long way to supporting the work environment at the Hospital. Now, the committee is seeking new members.

Do you have great ideas? Do you like being social? Can you commit to a one-hour meeting once a month? If you answered YES to these questions, it wants to hear from you!

If you are not interested in being a member but have ideas you would like to share, please let it know.

New posters coming that feature "Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Values" and faces of GGH
Last year a new Vision, Mission and Values was developed based on extensive community engagement both within and outside the Hospital. Now, posters celebrating and sharing our commitments will begin appearing throughout. Instead of a single design, numerous versions are being created to help illustrate some of the exception care being provided. Below are just a few examples.


The Foundation is ramping up the activity on its Facebook page. One of the new features is a weekly "Monday Motivator." In it are staff or physicians or volunteers who are asked, "How does your role allow you to make a difference in people's lives?" Judging by the number of likes and shares, the postings are proving to be very popular.