Three recent recipients of the Caring Beyond award have all had long careers at the JGH, but their energy in helping patients has been tireless.
Thi Hoang, a nurse clinician in the Division of Radiation Oncology since 2002, joined the JGH in 1988 and has been a nurse for nearly 30 years. She was nominated by her colleague, Nurse Clinician Judy Bridgwater-François, for her tremendous caring. “Thi gives patients and their families her undivided attention, she takes the time not only to hear their concerns, but to listen to them.”
“Caring for patients has always been my passion, my love,” said Ms. Hoang as she received her Caring Beyond award on January 13. Noting the strong turnout at the presentation, she added that the excellence of all members of staff should be recognized. “The radiation techs, the nutritionists, the social workers—everyone gives their hearts and minds to the patients.”
But when members of staff disagree about something, added Line Bourgeois, a clinical nurse specialist in the Division of Hematology, it’s Ms. Hoang who “tries to find the solution by seeing the issue from everyone’s perspective and making everyone happy.”
Chantal Paquet, a nurse in Radiation Oncology, added, “You truly deserve this award. I’ve been working with you for 15 years and it’s been a real privilege.” Ms. Paquet noted that when Ms. Hoang (whose first name is pronounced “tea”) enters a room, “she says ‘Hi, my name is Thi,’ almost as if she is a cup of tea. Well, she really is like a cup of tea—warm, sweet and comforting.”
If Ms. Hoang is soothing, Martha Pelletier—or Marti, as her colleagues know her—has an “upbeat, infectious personality,” wrote Diane Holmes, an administrative assistant and switchboard operator in the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry who nominated the psychiatric nurse for a Caring Beyond award. “Everyone who knows Marti loves her. She’s a dedicated, hard-working nurse who offers her support, encouragement and empathy to her patients, so they know she cares.”
Ms. Pelletier has been “caught caring”, bringing a patient for coffee, and buying patients earplugs to drown out the hospital noises that robbed them of a good night’s sleep. A JGH nurse for 20 years, most of which were spent in Emergency Psychiatry, Ms. Pelletier “went through a half a box of kleenex” when she was presented her award. “I’m flattered, but I couldn’t do this without everyone here,” she said during the March 5 ceremony, gesturing to the many colleagues who had assembled to honour her. “I’m hypomanic baseline,” she added, with her colleagues nodding and laughing in assent.
“I’ve known Marti since I started here, and she’s shown such caring, compassion and energy in helping others, she’s an inspiration to all of us,” said Soham Rej, a Psychiatry resident. Psychiatrist Dr. Viviane Zicherman praised the “excellent partnership we’ve had with knowledgeable, focused, capable nurses” like Ms. Pelletier, adding that she is especially remarkable for her kindness and humility, in consistently giving credit and showing her gratitude to colleagues.
After 27 years at the JGH, Marina Ziskin “knows about the hospital,” said Oncologist Dr. Michael Pollak. “She’s built a network that helps us to achieve, to get beyond a difficulty.” It’s not only the doctors who benefit from Ms. Ziskin’s work, added Chief of Oncology Dr. Gerald Batist, but the patients and families as well. “There’s always a crowd around her desk, people seem to know where to go to get help,” he said of the administrative assistant, who was honoured with her Caring Beyond award on March 5, in a presentation in the Segal Cancer Centre.
Ms. Ziskin was nominated for her award by Gregory Ginzburg, food service manager for the Auxiliary. Mr. Ginzburg cited her ongoing efforts to enhance patient comfort and well being. She has organized a free taxi voucher service for patients returning home following treatment, and arranged for mini tablets to be placed alongside treatment chairs to help ease patients’ minds while receiving treatment.
Ms. Ziskin spoke of the hardships caused by cancer, which she called a “hard disease. It demands a lot of patients, families and the medical team. Everyone on the team gives their input, and we are strong only when we work as a team,” she said, and hastened to add, “I go to work happy every day because we help people.”