General Express Feb 2018

Our new Patient and Family Advisory Council is starting to come together

Preparation for our new Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is moving along quickly with the help of two community members. We have researched different practices, and our community members have been integral in ensuring that the patient and family voice has been imbedded into the draft structure and format of the council. We have developed role descriptions, applications, dedicated web space, a draft Terms of Reference and launched a public appeal on January 23 for volunteers both internally and externally.

The Hospital is looking for patients and caregivers from Guelph and Wellington County to participate. Members of the Council will help improve the patient experience by advising its leadership team on matters that impact the patient and family experience, and patient-centred care.

“Patients and their families are valuable members of our healthcare team and are experts in patient and family experience within health care,” says Marianne Walker, President and CEO. “By listening to patients and families, we gain unique and valuable perspectives on our current and future practices.”

The Hospital is inviting patients and/or family/caregivers, over the age of 18, who have accessed the services at GGH either as an outpatient or as inpatient within the last three years, to apply for consideration to be a volunteer member of its Council.

It will meet regularly to provide input to hospital staff, management, physicians and the Board on a variety of hospital activities, projects and committees. The council members will include patients, families, hospital staff and clinicians.

Those interested in volunteering their time on the council are invited to review the Council’s information page or contact the Hospital at 519-837-6440 ext. 2788 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Applications are available here or can be picked up at our Information Desk in the main lobby. The due date for all applications is Friday, Feb. 16.

PFAC is already staying true to its mandate as it creates itself

PFAC committee Jan 30 web
Carolyn Cattran (centre left) and Bonnie Milliner (centre right) bring a wealth of experience interacting with the health care system. As qualified volunteers, they have been deeply involved in the formation of our new Patient and Family Advisory Council. Supporting them are GGH Patient Relations Coordinator, Jodie Brown-Bedford, (far left) and Senior Director, Joyce Rolph
Two community volunteers have been immersed in the planning and development of our new Patient and Family Advisory Council. Recently, they were asked about their experiences as they related to their role at GGH.
Carolyn Cattran:

Carolyn and her husband moved back to Ontario to be surrounded by family after he experienced a devastating stroke with significant aphasia.

“My training as an RN has been invaluable as I negotiated the healthcare systems in two provinces in a quest for continued rehab,” says Carolyn. She quickly became involved with the Guelph Stroke Recovery Group and along the way started a Caregiver Stroke Peer Support Group which she continues to facilitate.

Over the last eight years she found herself with her husband at GGH and surrounding healthcare facilities in a variety of departments as he developed several cancers and other issues.

“I am forever thankful for the extraordinary, compassionate care and guidance we received in GGH’s ICU. It is my deepest pleasure to now be involved in the development of the new ‘Patient and Family Advisory Council’ as the Hospital continues to strive for excellence in patient-centred care.”

Bonnie Milliner:

A long-time Guelph resident, Bonnie is a former RN who once worked at GGH. She has had recent GGH experiences both as a patient and as a family member. 

“Three years ago, wrong surgery was done as a result of an error,” she says. “The hospital approach was open, honest and remorseful and they listened to my concerns.”  Although her life continues to be impacted by this incident, she says she has always felt it would be more productive to work with the hospital to ensure this sort of mistake never happens again. 

“I strongly believe patients and family members should have a voice in policies and procedures. I hope that this new committee will help us to incorporate our voices and perspectives throughout the hospital.”

Job shadowing gives staff an opportunity to "walk a mile in another's shoes"

Walk this way web
Thoroughly enjoying the mixing of departments were (l-r): Dr. Borden, Kendra Cox, Dr. Stamp, Courtney Brubacher, Melanie Smith and Dr. Huband.

Recently, Kendra Cox, RPN Medicine job shadowed Courtney Brubacher, RPN in the OR. GGH has a program, “Walk this Way”, which is an internal job shadowing program coordinated by Organizational Development. The purpose of Walk This Way is to provide staff with opportunities to have a realistic look at someone else's role at work. The goal is to promote mutual understanding, respect and teamwork between workers and across departmental lines.

Walk This Way is designed to be flexible and driven by the people who want to participate. What actually takes place is negotiated between the person who wants to shadow, the person who agrees to be shadowed and their supervisors.

  • Benefits to participating staff include:

● improved relationships with colleagues
● better understanding of different organizational cultures and work environments in other areas
● opportunity to explore how your work might impact the work of others and visa-versa
● increased knowledge of daily routines and skills in other areas

New mobile x-ray machines are providing a whole new level of imaging

portable xray web
Karen Hodgkinson, Medical Radiation Technologist, extends the collapsible column on the unit.

Not long ago, the Hospital took delivery of the latest in mobile x-ray technology and the response has been enthusiastic.

“Clinicians love this!” exclaims Mike Lindsay, Director Diagnostic Imaging. “It is a direct digital capture so there is no running back to the department to process a cassette. The image is available right at the bedside in about three seconds.”

The moblie unit's column has an industry-best reach to allow easy positioning in cramped spaces. As the same time, it can collapse down so the techs have great visibility while driving it down hallways. The units even came with small-sized, digital detectors that fit in a bassinette.

“The units were designed with tremendous consultation with technologists so there are also simple things like ample onboard storage and leg room to allow for natural walking with the unit,” says Mike. “Infection prevention and control considerations are well thought out too.”

The Foundation raised money for two units with proceeds from Black Tie Bingo 2017 and from seasonal mailings.


GGH Snapshots (click on photo to enlarge)

Lorraine Robinson web  margaret Sherratt web

social committee with santa web

Lorraine Robinson, OR Housekeeping, has taken it upon herself to decorate the hallway leading to the ORs. It all started when she put up Christmas decorations for the holidays in the impersonal area. Now, it’s grown to include other holidays including Valentine’s Day.

“Kids going to the OR love it,” she says.

It is a great example of how a subtle change can improve a patient’s experience. Thanks Lorraine!


Margaret Sherratt in FBU was the lucky winner of the Patient Experience slogan draw. Her name was picked from the 154 staff who entered the contest. With the prize being a day off with pay, Margaret says she's excitedly planning a spa day as a treat.

The contest will next move on to narrow down the submissions by circulating them to a few staff from every department. They'll be asked to pick their top 10 favourites. That feedback will be used to make a "top five" list that will then be made available to all staff for online voting.

After putting together another successful Breakfast With Santa for the kids and grandkids of GGH staff, our Social Committee took some time to share their wish list with Santa (above). What do they most hope for? To have new staff members join the Committee!

Its next meeting is Tuesday, February 20, at noon in level 2 Admin Conference Room. If you're interested but can't make it, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Zonta cheque presentation web Low tech relaxation
Privacy Matters - Sharing Personal Health Information and Privacy Breaches


Zonta is a philanthropic sorority dedicated to supporting women and children internationally. We are very fortunate to have them as supportive community partners of our Sexual Assault / Domestic Violence Care & Treatment Centre.
Recently, the President of Zonta, Tanya Tagwerker (right), presented a cheque from the Annual Zonta Golf Tournament for $2,778.92 to GGH’s Betty Slack, Nurse Team Facilitator. The money will be used for special equipment for our patients. In the past, those funds were used refurbish our treatment room to allow nurses to provide compassionate care in a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere.
Our Learning Resource Centre now has a simple, low-tech way for staff to relax. Started by GGH's Library & Information Specialist, Tracy Morgan, the colouring idea has really taken off. Someone even noticed how quickly the pencil crayons were being used and anonymously donated more!

Staff handiwork now adorns shelves throughout the Centre (above, click to enlarge).

You can only share personal health information when it is necessary to do your work. Outside the hospital, you cannot share any information no matter how general the topic. This includes sharing with your family and friends or on social media.

In Ontario, individuals can be fined up to $100,000 and hospitals can be fined up to $500,000 for a privacy breach. Together, we can support our patient’s privacy. For any privacy questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact Valerie Anderson, Chief Privacy Officer at ext 2273.


GGH Foundation logo

Black Tie Bingo makes a last-minute venue change after flooding jeopardizes the event
african woman profile looking left
The theme of this year's event is "Experience Africa."
It was mid-afternoon, Dec. 22, staff at The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital were preparing to depart for their Christmas break when they received the devastating news. A fire suppression water pipe located in The Village by the Arboretum’s Village Centre had ruptured and caused extensive damage. Most distressingly, the reconstruction would not be finished in time to host Black Tie Bingo, Guelph’s largest fundraising gala in support of Guelph General Hospital. For 13 years the sold-out event had flourished in that location. Now, with only weeks to go before the March 3 event, organizers were facing a major crisis.

No other venue in Guelph has ever been identified as a more ideal space. The Village by the Arboretum Residents Association (VBARA) has been the BTB site sponsor since 2004. Over the years, organizing the event has been finely tuned almost guaranteeing a stellar event enjoyed by all who attended. With the event just shy of two months out and Christmas in between, it was a daunting realization that the sold-out Black Tie Bingo with its 450 guests would have to relocate.

“We start planning Black Tie Bingo days after the previous year’s event ending,” said David Halls, Chair of the BTB Committee. “At the time we got the news, most decisions were made, every logistical consideration figured out, the caterer and every detail of the meal confirmed. We needed a new venue that would allow us to maintain our event date and allow full flexibility to maintain our plans.”

After three weeks of researching every possible option, an unexpected opportunity surfaced to the top – the former Sears space located in Stone Road Mall.

Lurking for the past few weeks in the hallway behind switchboard has been a life-sized camel decoration being used at the event. 

When the management team at Stone Road Mall and Primaris Management Inc. was approached, their response was immediate and generous. They embraced the opportunity to be the BTB 2018 official Site Sponsor.

“Immediately we knew that we wanted to work with the GGH as we strive to be an active and supportive presence in our community. We were aware of the important fundraising efforts that come from the BTB event and with the recent closure of Sears, we identified the opportunity to welcome an event of this size to our property” explained Christina Magee, Marketing Manager, Stone Road Mall.

It was a welcome solution to what could have been a catastrophe said Suzanne Bone, the Foundation’s CEO. “This year, more than ever, we are grateful for all our BTB sponsors and supporters. The coming together of community that we are experiencing as we navigate through this change is remarkable.”

The team at Stone Road mall has responded with urgency, bringing all departments together to sort through the logistics and determine what their team can do and within the designated timeline to make the space ready. They have also made it their top priority to ensure that any additional operational costs to make this event happen at Stone Road Mall are absorbed by their team to alleviate the costs to GGH.

Many other event sponsors and those that donate in-kind product or service towards the event have also increased their commitment to help ensure this year’s event lives up to the same high standards the BTB guests have come to expect.

Black Tie Bingo is in its 22nd year. It has raised over $2.75 million, helping fund a significant number of essential patient care equipment needs at the Hospital. This year it is expected to raise over $250,000.