Thoughtfulness and compassion
at the beginning—and end—of life

Caring Beyond

Exemplary staff members receive Caring Beyond awards

They were at opposite ends of the arc of life—one of them a baby, the other a patient in Palliative Care. Yet, both were treated with the exceptional nurturing that earned their caregivers Caring Beyond awards.

Vanessa McIntyre, a nurse in the Emergency Department for the past five years, was nominated by a colleague for her dedication in tending not only to her patient, but to a vulnerable member of their family. On one occasion, when a young woman was admitted with her baby in her arms, Ms. McIntyre created a safe place for the baby, found appropriate nourishment for her, changed her diaper and watched over her while her mother underwent treatment.

Vanessa McIntyre in the Emergency Department.

Vanessa McIntyre in the Emergency Department.

Betty Laxer, Co-Chair of the Caring Beyond Committee with Anne Glassman and Patrizia Capri, a Recruitment Officer for Human Resources, presented the award to Ms. McIntyre. “Vanessa truly exemplifies what this award is about,” said Ms. Laxer. “She went above and beyond her direct duties to make the patient and her child feel comfortable and cared for.”

The Emergency Department is an often bustling place, says its Interim Head Nurse, Valerie Schneidman. “Even in what can be a difficult environment, Vanessa symbolizes the great effort that our team makes to mix nursing expertise with compassion toward all incoming ambulatory patients, while remaining attentive to the health and well being of the family.”

It was a grateful family member who recommended that a Caring Beyond award go to Jean-Fritzner Personna, an evening orderly in Palliative Care. “Fritz has an upbeat approach to a job that is delicate and emotionally difficult,” she said. “In washing and transporting her, Fritz stood out for the tenderness and respect with which he handled her, and the compassion he showed to her and our family.”

These sentiments were echoed by Bessy Bitzas, Head Nurse in Palliative Care. “I hope that Fritz knows how wonderful he is, how valuable he is to this team, and how much joy he brings to the people that he works with, and to the families and patients he takes care of,” she said.

Jean-Fritzner Personna chatting with a patient on the Palliative Care Unit.

Jean-Fritzner Personna chatting with a patient on the Palliative Care Unit.

Recalling that another Pallative team member, orderly Ericksson Skerritt, received a Caring Beyond award in 2011, Ms. Bitzas added, “This goes to show that everything we do really makes an impact. This award should really be embraced by all of you.”

To recognize a JGH staff member who cares beyond, visit jgh.ca/caringbeyond, or fill out a form in C-107 or A-112.

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