General Express Sept 2014

Introducing our new President and CEO, Marianne Walker

During the summer, Marianne (second from left) had a chance to play in the GGH golf tournament with her predecessor, Richard Ernst, along with Suzanne Bone, President and CEO, The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital, and one of the tournament sponsors, Ron Myers.

Could you give us a brief history of your background in healthcare?
As an RN I worked in Paediatrics at St. Joseph’s’ in Hamilton for several years. At the age of 25, I became the unit manager on Paediatrics at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. I worked at CMH for several years in progressive leadership roles including Chief Operating Officer.

In 2003, I joined St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph as the President and CEO and later was appointed the Sr. Vice President of Elder Care for the St. Joseph’s Health System, Hamilton.

For the past 11 years as an accreditation surveyor with Accreditation Canada, I  surveyed hospitals  across Canada and in other countries. My most interesting surveys have been in Brazil and as well as Corrections Canada in Kingston.

You have an early connection with GGH, when was that?
As a graduate of Conestoga College, I had the privilege to work at GGH during my practical experience as a nurse. As a new learner GGH was a great place to get a positive clinical experience. Now, I feel fortunate that I was able to return after so many years to lead this amazing organization.

What make you want to come to GGH?
GGH has a reputation as being a high performing, values-based organization with great staff, physicians and volunteers. When the opportunity arose to return to my roots of acute care, I knew I had explore how I could contribute to making a positive difference in the lives of those who come to us for care.

How would you describe your leadership style?
This is an interesting question. I don’t think I have one style. For a leader, I think it is important to engage and listen to the people you work with and to articulate the vision that is meaningful, exciting and creates a common purpose. To me, if we keep the patient at the centre we will make good decisions together.

Ten days after coming on board, Marianne hosted a "meet 'n greet" in the auditorium.

Any early impressions of the Hospital and how you’re being received?
I have felt very welcomed even before I entered the doors as the new CEO. I sense that there a great deal of cohesiveness or “family” feeling at GGH. I have had the opportunity to speak with several patients over the past two weeks and it is amazing how many positive comments I have heard about staff and the excellent care.

What’s something people may not commonly know about you?
I am very interested in making a difference in health care provincially. Currently, I am a Board member on the Ontario Hospital Association Board and the Change Foundation Board.

I live rurally with my husband and have two sons. One is living in Toronto and the other decided it was so good at home that he returned after graduating from university. I grew up with horses and to this day love these beautiful animals.

Starting soon! An express line designed to improve customer flow!


coming soon!

An Antimicrobial Stewardship program enhances patient safety by promoting the proper use of antimicrobials by choosing the appropriate agent, dose and duration for patients who require treatment. Healthcare members from various GGH professions are involved in the program including prescribers, pharmacists, nurses, infection control, microbiology, senior administration and information management.

Caring for patients becomes challenging when treating patients with infections caused by antimicrobial resistant organisms. There is also increasing evidence that the use of antimicrobials in hospitals is a critical determinant of infection rates due to the most important hospital-acquired pathogens, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile. A sustainable plan is important in order to overcome these challenges.    

GGH has provided antimicrobial stewardship activities for many years. A common example is there's an automatic stop order of seven days when duration of therapy is not indicated. What's new is an antimicrobial stewardship checklist will be incorporated into daily rounds in the critical care unit by the interprofessional team for each patient. The goal is to expand the program beyond critical care into other units throughout the hospital. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Heather Chase in the Pharmacy.

This year’s National Healthcare Supply Chain Week is dedicated to celebrating healthcare supply chain professionals for their outstanding contributions to healthcare.
Join Jeff Carter, Director Materials Management (fourth from the right), in thanking the many individuals who contribute to the work done at Guelph General Hospital. The Week provides an opportunity to recognize the integral role supply chain professionals, Materials Management, play in supporting the delivery of high-quality patient care.

Keeping bugs at bay - celebrating our Sterile Processing Technicians

Sterile Processing Technicians are being celebrated for their important role and commitment to quality patient care during the annual Central Services Week, October 12 – 18.

GGH employs 20 Sterile Processing Technicians who provide a critical service in the healthcare environment. All technicians are certified by the Central Service Association of Ontario (CSAO). They are highly skilled individuals, unceasingly diligent in ensuring the standards and guidelines governing sterile processing activity within GGH are met and exceeded. Technicians are often seen as an important part of the medical team without ever seeing the patient.

SPD Technicians at GGH are responsible for the cleaning and decontamination, assembly, testing and validation, and sterilization of complex surgical instruments, medical devices, supplies and equipment required for safe patient care. In addition, they perform daily biological testing on all sterilization equipment and routine biological monitoring of each sterilization load to ensure critical parameters are being met. While reprocessing and sterilization activities are usually considered their core function, SPD technicians are also responsible for other associated support functions in order to meet the needs of doctors, nurses, surgeons, and technical staff throughout the organization.

Tremendous changes have occurred with respect to the vast quantity and types of medical instruments being used at GGH today. Changes in surgical instrumentation technology have led to more complexity and greater automation is required in order to keep up with this pace. Over the past five years, SPD has upgraded several key pieces of reprocessing equipment. The most recent addition was the purchase of three state-of-the-art washer disinfectors. These upgrades in equipment have resulted in streamlined processes which provide faster, safer, and more efficient care for the patient, while also promoting efficiencies across the organization.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst - planning for the Ebola virus

 The Center for Disease control and called the current outbreak of Ebola in Africa, "the worst in history." Although the chances are remote, an Ebola Preparedness Team has been assembled. Its task is to ensure we have the ability to safely care for a patient with suspect or confirmed Ebola should the need arise. To date, our team has reviewed best practice guidance documents and using the recommendations, is creating a comprehensive Ebola kit with the necessary information and supplies. The main units who we expect to be impacted are the Lab, ER and the CCU.

In order to test our preparedness, we will be holding a mock event in the near future of a patient presenting in our Emergency Department with a fever and a recent travel history to Western Africa.

It is important to remember:

  • Ebola is not airborne
  • Infection requires direct contact with blood/body fluids
  • Malaria is the more likely diagnosis
  • Ebola kits have PPE and instructions for patient management
  • Notify IPAC!

On a roll for being recognized for our efforts to support our staff

So far this year, GGH has been recognized by three different organizations for our efforts to create and support a positive working environment for our staff.

Locally, the Guelph and District Human Resources Professional Association gave GGH first place with its Employer of Distinction Award. The winner in this category is a local organization that leverages their human resources department to foster strong relationships with employees and stakeholders. The Association wrote, “To emphasize the importance of their people in ensuring their everyday success, they have formed a Quality Team, which has been successful in implementing a number of programs that have increased engagement and commitment for their employees.”

GGH has also been recognized with a Silver Award by the Ontario Hospital Association’s Quality Healthcare Workplace Award. The awards program recognizes organizational efforts to improve healthcare workplaces in ways that contribute to providers’ quality of work life and the quality of the care and services they deliver. GGH was featured in its recent enewsletter.

Finally, our HR department was recognized by those providing the Health Care Provider (HCP) Plan which developed and offers voluntary benefits for part-time and casual hospital employees and later for retirees. In its most recent newsletter, it wrote, “…we want to recognize the HR staff at Guelph General Hospital. From the beginning, their commitment to the program has been complete and unwavering. They have always been ready, willing and able to offer constructive ideas, many of which have been implemented as standard policy here at HCP. They have always been quick to participate in anniversary and special events because of the value they see it bringing to their employees. As a result of their dedication, Guelph General has consistently ranked among the top five in enrolment percentages among its part-time and casual staff and increasingly among the retirees.”

It's not easy saying "goodbye"...
especially when there's over a one-foot height differential!

Who is this person doing her best to give Richard Ernst a goodbye hug? Click on the picture and find out!

Your GGH Mental Health Subcommittee is looking for additional GGH members interested in supporting our staff’s mental well-being. For more information, please contact Lisa Bellon in Organizational Development ext. 2778.
Developing the mental health resource page on our Intranet is just one way the Subcommittee supports staff at GGH. The page can be found on the GGH Intranet, under Healthy Hospital/Mental Health. There you’ll find resources, tools, supports and information related to Finding Help, Self-Assessments, GGH Learning Centre, Internet Links and Upcoming Events.
Recently, a new link was added to the page - The web site focuses on helping parents caring for a child with behavioural and mental health problems. This online tool will help parents, teachers, and caregivers find reliable information on different mental health issues, recommendations on how to manage these issues and shared strategies from other parents and peers.

Public Education Forum

For more details, please click here.

Foundation board member Katharine Lammer and her husband Tom, wore very appropriate (and colour coordinated!) footwear.

Normally after the event, all the linen is thrown into linen bags. However, this year bags weren't provided so ALL the tablecloths had to be semi folded to get them to fit in the trolley. It took 15 people about half an hour!!

Kudos to (l-r) Jennifer Hall, Foundation, Fran Hood, event volunteer and Linda Craig, Foundation.

Taste of Guelph this year was definitely one for the books

Well, it was a Taste to remember. The heavens opened the night before and the morning of Taste of Guelph, leaving parts of the event site at St. Joseph’s positively swampy.

Teamwork, creativity, hard-work and Kijiji resulted in us being ready for our 600 guests three hours later. The Kijiji came in because that’s how we found 90 bales of hay at very short-notice!

Guests left after the event with muddied pants, skirts, feet and shoes, but full of wonderful food and the knowledge that they had helped make a difference to healthcare in our community.

More than $60,000 was raised, bringing the total in Taste’s 17 years to $850,000.

Thanks to the GGH team members who were there as volunteers and guests, and the Foundation team for all their efforts.

New program helps patients show appreciation for the great care received

Often, donations arrive from former patients with a note commenting on wonderful care received by our amazing caregivers at GGH.

Lapel pin

And so, we’ve developed a program to support this. It’s called “Gifts of Gratitude,” and it provides a simple and thoughtful way for our patients and families to recognize the wonderful care they receive while in our Hospital. The program invites patients to make a donation in honour of a special caregiver or group of caregivers. We’ll send the caregiver a thank you card and a special lapel pin.

The program will be launched in late October. Watch for posters!

Are you a hockey fan? Mark December 5 on your calendar, as it will be GGH night at the Guelph Storm vs. Peterborough Petes OHL game. Specially priced tickets for the game ($17 each) are available at the Foundation office, and 50/50 proceeds that night will come to the Hospital. Join us!


Jeff Warner. centre, wraps his arms around several of his caregivers. He credits GGH for saving both his arm and his life.