The three latest recipients of the Caring Beyond award don’t simply provide an exceptional patient experience—they display their kindness and offer a helping hand to create an exceptional experience for anyone who passes through the hospital doors, be they patients, family members, volunteers, and even colleagues.
Local Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner Rosemary Steinberg recounts the event that led her to nominate Joseph Nshimirimana for a Caring Beyond award. “I found an elderly volunteer in tears at the hospital’s Légaré entrance. Having rushed to park her car and get to the hospital, she did not take note of where she had parked. I called Security to see if they could help. Although their mandate is on-site only, Joseph accompanied the lady himself in the street, in the bitter cold, trying to help her backtrack. He didn’t relent until they found the lady’s car. Joseph really went above and beyond,” says Ms. Steinberg of the security agent, who has worked at the JGH since 2005. “I believe he should be recognized.”
Thomas Prokos, chief of Security at the JGH, agrees that “Joseph has added a valuable element to the hospital with his carrying beyond approach to all situations and helping people everywhere in the hospital.”
At the April 30 award presentation, Caring Beyond Chair Betty Laxer, from the Humanization of Care committee (HOC), gave Mr. Nshimirimana a pin, engraved crystal and letter of thanks from Executive Director Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg. “I was very surprised, because when I showed up, I didn’t know what we were meeting for. It’s the first time I ever received a prize like this, and I didn’t realize that what I did was so special to deserve a prize,” said Mr. Nshimirimana, adding, “I was just doing my job when I helped the woman, it was a pleasure for me to see her happy.”
Family Medicine Head Nurse Estelle Kalfon nominated PAB Samuel Olivo for a Caring Beyond award in the name of the “countless patients, families and staff who have identified Sam’s commitment to providing excellent care time and again. They all look forward to Mondays knowing that he will be there,” she writes.
“Sam is a role model to other orderlies, consistently treating patients with such care and dignity. His attentiveness to the patient’s needs, whether it be eating, walking or listening is remarkable. He also detects changes in a patient’s condition, for example, he notices when a patient starts to have slurred speech, or exhibits a change in behaviour or in the condition of the skin. Sam quickly reports any significant finding to the nurse, which has resulted in timely interventions that benefit the patient,” explains Ms. Kalfon, who has worked with Mr. Olivo for 19 years. “He takes an active role in problem solving on the unit and often coming up with creative, practical solutions. He is a step ahead in anticipating what needs to be done and often has already started a task before being asked. He’s also a great mechanic, fixing whatever needs to be fixed! When Sam is on vacation,” concludes Ms. Kalfon, “the nurses count the days until his return.”
At the May 14 Caring Beyond award presentation, a number of team members also spoke of Mr. Olivo’s acts of compassion. Ruth Miller, a unit agent on 6 North, recalls, “When we were working together in long-term care at the Lindsay, we had to wash the patients’ clothes. Sam kept reminding me when we were running low on detergent. One day, when we’d run out, I saw him actually crushing a bar of soap to make detergent for the patients, because he wanted his patients to have clean clothes.”
Physiotherapist Shona Harvey chimed in: “It always amazes me how much dedication you’ve shown patients, Sam. A patient will come in disheveled, and you’re going to not only wash them, but make sure that you moisturize their skin, shave them, cut their hair. You take such good care of the patients, when they leave they look like a million bucks.”
“That’s so typical of Sam,” said Alan Pick, a nurse on the unit. “For 25 years he’s been offering non-stop professional, excellent care.”
In accepting his Caring Beyond award, Mr. Olivo thanked those assembled, remarking, “I cannot do it alone, it’s always a team, I’m always relying on people. People may say ‘just an orderly’, but I feel I am needed. I don’t separate anybody who comes to the hospital, they’re all a part of my family.”
Yet another head nurse submitted a Caring Beyond nomination for a member of her team whom she says, “comes to work on a daily basis with such a wonderful attitude and genuine caring for patients, their families and colleagues.”
Medicine Head Nurse Josina Van Den Nieuwenhof wrote of Michel Robert Manceau, the evening unit agent on 6 West, “He arrives with a smile, no matter how chaotic the day was. He sets about quickly to make sure that the shifts flow smoothly, for example, taking bloods down if the orderlies are busy, so that they can continue to be present to help the patients and nurses.”
“He’s always friendly when greeting families. I have heard many times from family members how amazing and helpful he is. Michel will occupy and entertain confused patients at the nursing station to help the team get on with their work. He also helps the team moving patients, who may be disoriented when transferring to another unit. All of us on 6 West agree that our patients and families would not experience the same stay with us, if he were not here.”
Mr. Manceau’s colleagues spoke up to voice their gratitude. Nurse Patrick Le Berre told him, “You’re such an integral part of the team, you’re always there to help. When the PABs are busy, when a patient is being moved, or when a doctor calls,” he snaps his fingers in jest, “you’re always there.”
“Everybody likes Michel. When the early admissions come in the evening he’s really the chief,” said Nurse Anasthasie Poitevien. He decides who’s going to have what bed, he knows not to give two or three admissions to one nurse at the same time.” Nurse Yvane Eyma added, “I really appreciate the respect he has for the personnel.”
“You try to keep the peace with the staff, to keep everyone happy,” remarked Ms. Van Den Nieuwenhof, adding, “I hope you’re happy here and stay for many more years.”