General Express April 2018

Hospital volunteer marks 50 years of service

When Guelph General Hospital volunteer, Ruth Thatcher, joined GGH as a volunteer in 1948, little did she know her association with the Hospital would span much of her life. As a part of celebrating “Volunteer Week” Ruth is sharing her story.

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Ruth (far right) was in charge of the candy stripers' uniforms (among other duties) when she was pictured in a Guelph Mercury article in June 3, 1976. Click on the photo to see the entire article.

“My first experience was as a Junior Volunteer during my High School days. At that time the Hospital was on the site where 73 Delhi is today. The School of Nursing was next door where the Children's Aid use to be and the building behind was the Isolation Hospital,” explains Ruth. “I went back to Volunteering at the hospital in 1968 and have been volunteering ever since.”

She remembers her first duty coming back as a volunteer was taking the Library Cart around to patients every Tuesday afternoon. “It was a wonderful service because the patient stayed in the Hospital a lot longer than they do today.”

Over the years Ruth has held different roles and responsibilities. Some have had lasting impact. She served on the Foundation board for 11 years and was active in fundraising for the CT and MRI.

“I was Convener of the Candy Stripers for a few years in the 70s. I always had a great group of teenagers to train who looked professional in their pink and white aprons and caps. Two of the girls went on to medical school and to this day I still hear about them from their parents.”

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Ruth still has a regular shift in the Courtyard Boutique on Thursday afternoons.

Over the years, Ruth, along with her fellow volunteers, has put on art shows, fashion shows and luncheon bridge parties to raise money for the Hospital. It’s been a lifetime of supporting the Hospital and the service it provides to the community. Her five-decade contribution is much appreciated.

“On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Ruth for this incredible milestone,” said Rod Carrol, VP Human Resources and Support Services. “Her dedication over the years is remarkable. She, along with all our volunteers, are truly helping us live our mission of “providing the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families.””

There are many more stories Ruth can share about her years at the Hospital. Anyone can ask to hear them by dropping by the Hospital’s Courtyard Boutique on Thursday afternoons where she still has her weekly shift.

“It was an honour to receive my Life Membership in 1987 and Volunteer of the Year Award in 2014. With good health I will continue to volunteer at the Guelph General Hospital as long as I can.” 

New vital signs monitors connect directly to patient charts
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Lesley Lindsay, RN, says she really appreciates the new vital signs monitors.

Every shift, nurses measure their patients’ vital signs multiple times using a specialized vital signs monitor. Blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and heart-rate – all important measures which tell the team how a patient is doing. The results can affect medication and treatment decisions.

In the last few months, a donor-funded system which connects the vital signs monitors directly to patient charts went live. Now, vital signs are automatically uploaded to the patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) as soon as they are taken.

The old way of recording vital signs was to hand-write recorded vital signs on a piece of paper that would remain in the nurse’s pocket until they had time to chart them. Not surprisingly, nurses and physicians are loving this new system for the efficiency and ease that it brings to their ability to deliver care to their patients. Lesley Lindsay, RN, says, “the connectivity software equips nurses with the resources and technology needed to improve the quality of patient care and experience.”

Physicians appreciate they no longer have to track down nurses for vitals since they are now available in real-time in the patient’s chart, moments after they are taken. In fact, the information is available immediately to all of a patient’s healthcare team.

Nurses enjoy using the new system for the time it saves them…time they can spend at the bedside.

“I feel I can be more present for my patients without worrying about the small stack of vitals in my pocket that I need to chart,” Lesley added.

This system also contributes to patient safety because the risk of error due to the transfer of information from the vital signs monitors to hand written notes to charts is eliminated.

Necessary upgrades to equipment such as the vital signs connectivity system are made possible through the generosity of our caring donors.

Attention GGH history buffs!

100 year anniversary edition header webRecently, an issue published in 1975 to celebrate the Hospital's 100th anniversary was discovered. In it are articles linking the past to what was then, the present. For those interested in the recent and distant history of the Hospital, it makes for some interesting reading.
Starting with this issue of General Express, scanned articles will be reproduced. A good place to start is with the timeline included in the publication. It lists significant events such as the original purchase of four acres of land on Delhi Street in 1873 followed two years later with the opening of the Hospital.
Click on the image to the right to expand it for easier reading.
Next issue, learn how up until the 1940s, any employee who was off sick had his or her name sent to the Chair of the Board for a decision on whether or not to issue sick pay.

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An early timeline of the history of Guelph General Hospital

GGH Snapshots
demonstrating how to stop hair pull web CIT train the trainer web Happy Easter web
Our new, customized Crisis Prevention and Management Program is now in full swing. Developed in partnership with Homewood, the program features three levels of training depending on the needs of the staff. In the photo left, a demonstration of how to release yourself from someone grabbing your hair from the front.
Members of the development group were (photo, left) l-r Nicole Vance, Melissa Skinner, Breanna Leighton, Lisa Groulx, Alana Byron, Andrea de Jong, Jessica Zettel, Carrie Anderson, Nikki Mohle, Karen Suk=-Patrick, Alexa Fleming, Rod Carroll, Whitney Brown and Rebecca Jackson.
While they may not have been the official Easter bunnies, Senior Director Joyce Rolph (centre) and Gail Johnson, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive, (right) did hop from unit to unit delivering chocolate eggs and Easter cheer to many staff including FBU's Lindsay LeBeau.
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Volunteer Services recently launched a new initiative- main lobby greeters. They are friendly faces welcoming our patients and visitors using our main entrance. The greeters will help with wayfinding, using the parking pay station and by answering general questions. One of the first in the position is Isha Bhavsar (above). After a lengthy career in health care, Merle Seegmiller, Director Ambulatory Care, Cardio Respiratory Services and Bariatric Clinic (right) announced her retirement. Staff in Ambulatory Care held a potluck lunch in her honor. April is "Be a Donor" month and staff were invited to learn more about organ and tissue donation and hear Janet Parr’s story of how a heart transplant has saved her life - (l-r) Carrie Anderson, ICU Clinical Educator, Anu Ganapathy, Hospital Donation Physician, Janet Parr, transplant recipient and Barbara Edwards, Trillium Gift of Life Network.
 Judy Steele Volunteer of the Year web presenting the gift card web  Privacy Matters - External Emails

Can I send an external email about a patient?

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If faxing is not an option and it is critical to send the information, all patient identifiers, including patient name, date of birth, health card number, address and any unique conditions or circumstances, must be removed before sending the email. De-identification is essential for supporting patient privacy.  For any privacy questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact Valerie Anderson, Chief Privacy Officer at ext 2273.

This year's Mary Hales “Volunteer of the Year” winner is Judy Steele (centre). She has been a GGH volunteer since 2002 and has over 3,600 volunteer hours. Judy previously volunteered in the coffee shop and now volunteers in the Courtyard Boutique and provides behind-the-scenes support for our Foundation. Senior Director Joyce Rolph (right) presents a gift card to Christina Woof, winner of the Patient Experience Slogan contest. Her entry, "Our Patients, Their Families, Our Partners" won in a hotly contested event which saw over 340 votes cast. Her slogan best describes our Patient Experience journey at the Hospital which includes; engaging patients, families and caregivers as active partners in the care team; and creating a positive experience in every interaction with patients and families.

Fifth annual Tour de Guelph may be the biggest one so far

In its first four years, Tour de Guelph has raised over $200,000 for Guelph General Hospital and for local and international Rotary projects through the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium.

Tour de Guelph is a community bicycling event for all ages and abilities. This year choose from six routes and seven distances: a 5k/10k loop through The Village by the Arboretum, the 25k Bremner Memorial Route, 50k, 75k, 100k and even a160k route for seasoned cyclists - there is a distance for everyone!

Register and start fundraising today! Tour de Guelph supports Guelph General Hospital and local Rotary projects. Your participation will make a positive impact in our community.

Despite an unexpected, near-disaster, this year's Black Tie Bingo breaks record

The 22nd Annual Black Tie Bingo (BTB) set another fundraising record, raising $266,000 for Guelph General Hospital.

Just ten weeks out from the date of the event, Foundation staff learned a flood at the Village by the Arboretum meant they needed to find a new location for Black Tie Bingo. They sprang into action to find a new venue– Stone Road Mall in the former Sears space. In the weeks following, they were met with a generous outpour of support from many people and organizations to ensure the event’s success.

“After this year, we have an ever deeper appreciation and understanding of the commitment and generosity of our Black Tie Bingo Committee members, our sponsors, volunteers and guests who return year after year to support this event” said Suzanne Bone, the Foundation’s CEO.

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It was a remarkable transformation taking what was an empty Sears store (above) and making it worthy of hosting a black-tie event (below) 
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At the event, Kevin Malinski of Platters Catering & Events, Palmer Audio and Stone Road Mall and Primaris Management Inc. were honoured as ‘Black Tie Bingo Heroes’ for their contributions.

Following the event, David Halls, BTB Committee Chair commented “Well, what an incredible journey we all just went through. Not only did we once again put on the premiere event of the year, we did so at a brand new venue and with several new staff. Everyone stepped up and went above and beyond. We just keep raising the bar. I can't wait to see what we pull off next year.”

Funds raised through this year’s event will purchase three new laparoscopic surgical equipment towers with advanced 4K imaging. They will help Guelph General’s surgeons perform minimally invasive surgeries with higher precision and more quickly for better patient outcomes.

A record-breaking $52,300 was raised during the live auction which included several exclusive vacations and experiences, an exquisite custom designed dinner ring, and a one-year lease on an Infiniti QX80.

Yet another record broken this year was in sponsorships, with over $115,000 in cash sponsorships and over $150,000 in in-kind product, service and prize donations. Presenting sponsors The Co-operators and Meridian Credit Union increased their monetary contribution and also signed on for another three years. Returning gold sponsors The Letter M Marketing and John & Barbara Wood were joined by Palmer Audio and Guelph Infiniti this year. Stone Road Mall joined at the gold level as well as Site Sponsor.

The larger venue allowed for more guests, and while the team at the University of Guelph Hospitality Services and Special Events were timid about being able to work out of the new location, they proved their ability to adapt and once again created a masterful culinary experience for the 449 Black Tie Bingo guests.

Black Tie Bingo - Experience Africa may very well go down in BTB history as one of the most memorable and successful events. But then again, the BTB Committee is quite devoted to creating new ways to heighten their guests’ experience each and every year.