Recognizing a unique blend of expertise and compassion

Caring Beyond

Patients who meet Alice Monette are to delighted to find an an Administrative Assistant whose warm and welcoming attitude—a mixture of professional dynamism and personal comfort—is so exceptional that it has earned her a Caring Beyond Award from the Humanization of Care Committee.

Ms. Monette, formerly of Gastroenterology and now on the team in Pulmonary Medicine, received her award on March 19 from friends and colleagues who praised her thoughtfulness and compassion.

Alice Monette

Alice Monette

In particular, Heather Nathens, a Dietitian in Radiation Oncology, recalled an incident in December 2013 when her daughter was diagnosed with an illness that forced the family to abruptly call off a planned vacation. In response, Ms. Monette got to the office at 7:30 a.m. the next day and quickly completed all of the insurance paperwork that was needed to cover the cancelled trip.

On another occasion, Ms. Nathens took her daughter for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Jonathan Wyse in Gastroenterology “and we had so much fun waiting and chatting with Alice.

“My daughter had to come straight from school to the hospital, so she didn’t have time to eat lunch and she mentioned how hungry she was. Alice overheard and the next thing we knew, she came back with a homemade carrot muffin! The whole way home, my daughter went on and on about how she loves Alice.”

Dr. Andrew Hirsch, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, said his staff “is just getting to know Alice, but I’d certainly like to echo everything that was just said. We’re learning what an amazing, special person she is. Alice, you care so much about patients and you’re great for the Division and for morale.”

On April 8, a Caring Beyond Award was presented to Social Worker Lauren Baer Tenenbaum in recognition of her insightfulness and sensitivity in caring for patients. “There are many times when I have received calls from patients and/or their family members saying how helpful and caring Lauren was, and how correct she was in assessing their situation,” says Maxine Lithwick, Chief of Social Services.

Lauren Baer Tenenbaum

Lauren Baer Tenenbaum

“Patients are so surprised and touched when Lauren calls them after they have been discharged, just to see how they are doing. If needed, Lauren has stayed after regular work hours to help a grieving family or to help the patient or family with difficult decisions.

“One family member stated that ‘Lauren saved me’ from getting totally burned out and overwhelmed with her frail, elderly mother. Lauren is a compassionate human being and a dedicated and skilled professional.”

Ms. Tenenbaum was also praised by Lucy Shapiro, the relative of a JGH patient, for her “exceptional caring and great advice.” In nominating Ms. Tenenbaum for the award, Ms. Shapiro described an occasion when her family was out of town and urgently needed information that Ms. Tenenbaum provided. “She even called to follow up after the file was transferred to another department.”

Anna Colacchio

Anna Colacchio

In the Department of Ophthalmology a Caring Beyond Award was presented to Anna Colacchio for her professionalism and congeniality as Medical Secretary to Dr. Oscar Kasner, Director of Glaucoma Services. She was joined at the May 12 ceremony by numerous hospital  colleagues, as well as her husband, Rocco Lopano, and her sons, Massimo and Donato.

“Over the years, Ms. Colacchio has demonstrated patience and empathy with patients and with staff,” says the letter of recommendation submitted by Marc Renaud, an Ophthalmic Technician in Opththalmology and a Project Manager in the McGill Glaucoma Information Centre. “As well, she has volunteered her own time to help us out with our ongoing patient education program in the Information Centre since 2007.

“Honouring Anna shines a light on all of our dedicated secretaries and receptionists, because she represents the best of who they are. Her smile illuminates our lives and she is highly appreciated by all.”

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