General Express June 2018

Staff blood drive a huge success - let's do it again next year!
Blood clinic mascot

It was a bit of a rocky start to our staff blood donor clinic on May 24. The truck carrying all the equipment from Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in Brampton arrived 45 minutes late. Instead of having two hours to set up everything in the auditorium, the small crew from CBS had just over an hour. Still, in the end the clinic was still incredibly successful.

Hospital Challenge chart
Canadian Blood Services reports on a friendly competition between hospitals every year. As seen in the chart above, our successful clinic catapulted us to first place with only a few days left. 

CBS event coordinator, Kersten Dupuis, gave us the good news the following day. “I wanted to give you the final results of yesterday’s clinic, which was FABULOUS! The clinic collected 68 units of blood, over-collecting to our target of 58, putting us at 117% to target! Thank-you again for helping us save so many lives. The blood collected yesterday will likely end up back at GGH to be used on the patients in your hospital, so that is pretty amazing.”

facebook posting
Normally, our auditorium seems quite large. However, with all the necessary equipment it was a tight squeeze.
Christine web
Christine Mance, Nurse Practitioner, was first
in line to make a donation.

Setting up the event itself was quite an exercise. First, CBS required we have a room available of at least 2,000 sq. ft. to accommodate all their equipment. Our auditorium was just under 2,100 so once everything from the large truck was unloaded and in place it was clear it was a tight fit. The refrigerated CBS van was parked just outside the back door to house the donated blood. Finally, about 30 minutes before the start of the clinic, a bus carrying over 20 CBS staff from Hamilton arrived. They included the nurses, phlebotomists and lab technicians.

As with any event running for the first time, opportunities to improve did appear and will be addressed next time around. For example, quite a few staff who signed up, then waited to be screened, learned they were not eligible to donate due to vacationing in certain southern countries in the past six months. Others wanting to donate had to give up due to the long wait. Discussions are already underway with CBS to reduce the time spent waiting. An easy fix will be to extend the clinic from four to five hours but book the same number of appointments. That should help a lot.

Possibly the most glaring oversight was the lack of background music! That’s sure to be remedied next time. It was a great start to what should be an annual event at the Hospital. See you next year!

Raising awareness about brain injuries

A powerful display was set up outside our Learning Centre in June as a part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. The "Unmasking Brain Injury" project is part of a province-wide initiative that provides brain injury survivors a powerful way to tell their stories, making the invisible, visible.
Survivors have painted and decorated masks, showing vividly how it feels to manage the fatigue, dizziness, mood changes and frustration that are common with acquired brain injuries caused by events such as car accidents, falls and sports injuries.

Survivor “Denise” acquired her brain injury from a car accident two years ago.

"I used to be vibrant, energetic, colourful. I brought magic to my family's world. Now I do not," wrote one survivor who painted half her mask in bright colours, the other in dull brown. I am like beige, colourless. Disconnected from my soul. I am not depressed. I am just like a fairy with wet wings."

The display's next stop is at Freeport Hospital in Kitchener. 

display 1 mask web display 2 web

CEO and Board Chair report for our Annual General Meeting

An Annual General Meeting is a time for an organization to look back at the year that was and reflect. At GGH, our meeting is always held the last Tuesday in June. Below is an excerpt from President and CEO Marianne Walker and Board Chair Dale Mills' report. For the entire four-page report, click here.

In fact, our Annual General meeting report has lots of interesting information from many contributors. For the full report, click here

From President and CEO Marianne Walker and Board Chair Dale Mills:

In 2006, the Province of Ontario released its Places to Grow Act. In it, Guelph was named as one of the areas where the rate of population growth would exceed the provincial average.

According to Statistics Canada, the Guelph census area is one of seven Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada to experience accelerated growth between 2011 and 2016. During this time, the population in our area grew by 8.3 percent. Last year, Guelph was the 3rd highest growth area in the country and highest in Ontario.

That increase along with an aging population results in ever increasing demands for health care. At Guelph General Hospital, pressure was felt throughout the past year and is best illustrated by a sharp increase in our “Patient Days”, a measure of how full we are. Compared to last year, our Patient Days increased by 8.4 per cent.

Despite these pressures, we continue to live our Mission of providing the highest quality care and experience to patients and their families. We’ve been able to do this through the dedication and professionalism of all our staff and by continuing to look for ways to do better.

In April 2017, we participated in Accreditation Canada’s accreditation survey. We were very pleased that we were awarded the highest award “Accreditation with Exemplary Status.” It is given to, “organizations that go beyond the requirements of Accreditation Canada and demonstrate excellence in quality improvement.” The award is given to only one in five healthcare providers that go through the accreditation process. What an achievement!

More for GGH history buffs

A publication from 1975 was commissioned to celebrate the Hospital's 100th anniversary. 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.
In this issue of General Express is a scanned article about administering the Hospital. It includes interesting bits such as; "student nurses were allowed one evening a week for courting if they attended church regularly." It also includes, "During the early 1940s, the hiring of all hospital personnel, with the exception of nursing staff, was still carried out personally by the board of directors."
Click on the image to the right to expand it for easier reading.
In the next issue, discover how our first radiologist got his training serving in the First World War.
100 year anniversary edition header web
The administering of GGH has changed a lot over the past 143 years!

News from Pastoral Care Services

In order to provide the best possible experience for patients and visitors we have recruited nine new On Call Spiritual Care Providers. These volunteers are available by calling Switchboard and while trained in their own faith tradition, they are willing to provide spiritual care to any patient who asks.

We do not have a full year-round schedule yet but are hopeful more members of the faith community will join. There are also community members from the Muslim, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish faiths who have agreed to be on call. Priests continue to support members of the Catholic Faith.

Use of Chapel - from Nancy Collett, Pastoral Care Services:

I am always delighted to see the chapel being used for rest, reflection and quiet meditation. However, in the last few months I have become aware that the chapel it is not always left in good condition. I am respectfully asking that when exiting the chapel all used food and drink items are placed in the garbage container in the chapel or the containers just outside the chapel by the main elevators. If crumbs have fallen on the floor and coffee table, or if cups are left on the table, window ledges, or altar, the chapel becomes an area that is no different from a staff lounge and this defeats the “sacredness” of the space.

chapelWhen resting in the chapel please remove shoes before feet are placed on the furniture. The chapel furniture is different from other areas in the hospital and it does not clean in the same way. Not only can dirt become embedded but there is also the risk of spreading infection. If furniture is moved please put it back to its original location. If blinds are closed for your comfort please open them upon leaving.  If a pillow or blanket has been used please do not leave them behind.

My theology has always been that the chapel should be a place of 24/7 comfort, and sanctuary. I am sure if we all follow some basic common practices when we use the chapel it will be a place where a moment of peace may be found. Thanks, Nancy.

GGH Snapshots
70s theme web SLT at Nurses Week dinner web TdG dignitaries web 
There was a photo booth at this year's Nurses Week dinner. This year's theme was the 70's and many scoured the used clothing stores to come up with suitable attire. Making the most of their rock/disco opportunies were (l-r) Stephanie Markle, Jackie Beaton,Kayla Belanger, Andrea Comini and Melissa Skinner.  The Senior Leadership team was more than happy to participate in the photo booth too (l-r) Gavin Webb, VP Finance and Chief Information Officer, Suzanne Bone, CEO of The Foundation of GGH, Gail Johnson, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive, Marianne Walker, President and CEO as well as Rod Carroll, VP HR and Support Services. Mother Nature was not kind to this year's Tour de Guelph. For most of the day the skies opened and a steady rain poured down. While it did make the roads wet it didn't dampen the spirits of those involved including special guests (l-r) Mike Schreiner, Guelph MPP, Cam Guthrie, Guelph Mayor and Suzanne Bone. For the entire story, see below.
Privacy Matters - Portable Devices

portable devicesOnly use portable devices with hospital approved encryption, as mandated by the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Do not save personal health information on portable devices unless approved by Clinical Information Services

Privacy is our guide. For any privacy questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact Valerie Anderson, Chief Privacy Officer at ext 2273.

manor landscaping web  blood typing May 2 web
A special thanks goes out to Manor Landscaping. It went above and beyond in its efforts to beautify the area outside our main entrance. Everyone coming and going will now be treated to an uplifting display of colours and scents.  The "What's Your Type?" event  proved to be very popular. It was a chance for staff to have their blood typed in preparation for the blood donor clinic. Taking advantage of the opportunity were (r-l) Jodie Brown-Bedford and Christine Hutchings. 

Fifth annual Tour de Guelph was the soggiest one so far


Well, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. But despite the weather, the fifth annual Tour de Guelph, presented by Scotiabank, was another amazing success.

DI team webWe had over 650 riders brave the elements, completing distances ranging from 5k to 160k, supported by 100 volunteers (including some GGH staffers). Special shout out to the GGH team, captained by Diane Stuart, which won The Bike Shed Community Team Challenge by raising $8,546. And to the Diagnostic Imaging team, who were are largest team and easy to see in their fun purple t-shirts. And, of course, to the Organizing Committee including our fantastic Foundation team.

The event raised more than $100,000, 75% of which will go towards our new CT scanner. Our partners, The Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Trillium, share the other 25% to fund important local projects. Fun fact: our top three fundraisers, Mike, Ross, and Charlie, were all men in their 80s who rode in the 50k and 25k rides! Together, these three men raised over $18,000!

Mark your calendar for TdG6 – June 24, 2019!