July 24, 2018
Welcome to E-Connect
Hello E-Connecters!

Today's E-Connect is sure to fill you with pride as we bring you stories of a triumphant rehab journey, an impressive grant that will provide proactive care, a big name in children's healthcare touring our programs, and more!

Until next time...
Our Patients
Growing with life's changing seasons
The transition between seasons is a beautiful time filled with wonder; the snow melts to reveal healthy dirt that eventually flourishes into greenery and bright bulbs of colour.
Often, the journey through Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s (HDGH) Outpatient Rehabilitation program is synonymous with the changing seasons.
When James* slowly limped into the Outpatient Rehab gym for the first time in December 2017, his heart was cold, his attitude frigid. You see, James was in the prime of his life when he suffered an unexpected stroke that severely affected the left side of his body; he had limited use of his arm and hand and needed a walking aide.
After having begun his recovery in HDGH’s Inpatient Rehabilitation a few weeks earlier, James was discharged to continue his care in the outpatient setting in our busy program that rehabilitates nearly 1,200 patients each year, approximately 240 of those being stroke patients like James.
Though James was self-conscious and disheartened, the staff in Outpatient Rehab, as well as his own drive to succeed, thawed his icy emotional state and the focus turned into achieving improvements.
Together with the inter-disciplinary healthcare team, they set goals and worked towards them. They worked on general balance with parallel walking bars. They built strength through resistant exercises with weights and resistant bands. When James expressed his desire to dance with his wife, they worked on coordination with stair climbs and toe touches. And when he talked about his passion of video games, they strengthened his fine motor skills with rehab stacking cones and peg boards.
Each visit, James’s strength and excitement grew, sharing with his team the triumphs he achieved at home all because of the therapy tools they had provided him.
“It took time, but James ended up dominating his therapy,” recalled Lidia D’Alimonte, one of James’s Physiotherapists. “Because he was so goal-oriented, he allowed his perspective to change from ‘if I can do it’ to ‘when can I make it possible’.”
On March 26, 2018, after 14 weeks of rehab, James made his recovery possible. Like the fresh spring weather, he walked out of Outpatient Rehab a changed man. He no longer needed a walking aide as his limp was gone, he could play in the yard with his kids, and a few days later, he danced the night away with his wife at a local gala.
“Though we were responsible for advancing and restoring James’s physical health, we achieved so much more than that. We helped him regrow his emotional strength. And most importantly, he actually helped us become better; better therapists, better healthcare providers, and better people.” expressed James’s Occupational Therapist, Marjorie Hart.
It is our sincerest wish that you find faith and promise in James’s story and that it inspires you to be willing to grow with the changing seasons of your life.
*Patient’s name has been changed to protect privacy and confidentiality.
Our People
Introducing our newest People
One thing’s for sure, you would never get bored talking to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s new Executive Assistant to our President and CEO .

Up until this point in her life, Maureen O’Shea has more life experience with her colourful resume, than most have in their entire lifetime.

From working in supportive positions at a Montessori school and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, to building airplane parts at Diamond Aircraft, and most recently supporting executives at STIHL Ltd. while playing a huge part in the production of TIMBERSPORTS ®, a worldwide competition of logger sports, Maureen doesn’t shy away from new opportunities or challenges.

All of these positions have given Maureen the invaluable, transferrable skills that make her a great fit for her new role at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, a role she’s looking to settle down into.

“In my first week I can already feel how much of a caring atmosphere there is at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. I’m so grateful for the overwhelming welcome I have received,” expressed Maureen.

When she’s not working as our President and CEO’s right-hand woman, Maureen and her husband unwind at their mini oasis, their trailer in Leisure Lake. She finds joy in spending time with her two daughters and playing with her grandchildren.

Welcome, Maureen!
For Candice Kondratowicz, her new position at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is a complete change of scenery with a hint of familiarity.

Before joining our team, Candice worked for 11 years for the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) in a supportive position for the General Manager/Secretary-Treasurer and the Director of Finance and Corporate Services. Though her new role switches from caring for the environment to caring for people, Candice continues important work in the area of finance as our new Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

With diplomas from St. Clair College in Accounting, Human Resources, and Business Administration, Candice possesses the knowledge and skills for a successful career at our organization.

“Conservations and healthcare are on two ends of the spectrum, but both have similarities and differences,” Candice explains. “I’m eager to begin my new work and learn new things about the healthcare world every day.”

What keeps Candice fulfilled outside of work? Living next to the Ganatchio Trail, Candice and her family find joy in going for rollerblades and walks, especially with her rescue dog, black lab mix, Trinity.

We are lucky to have you, Candice!
Zero Tolerance for Violence
As healthcare workers, violence should never be considered part of our jobs. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare enforces a workplace that has zero tolerance for violence.
Thank you to our Labour partner, Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) Local 8, who released their new "Emergency" Commercial last week, bringing awareness to this important topic.
A special thank you to our HDGH teams that played important roles as actors, safety personnel, and additional 'crew'.
Our Identity
Innovation Grant allows Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Partners develop early intervention strategies
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare as Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health for Windsor-Essex is proud to have recently received an innovation grant of $50,000 from the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.

The grant encouraged provincial agencies to identify a gap in services and propose a solution. This is the second year in a row that Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has been a recipient of this award.

More than 12 percent of children under the age of 12 in Canada live with a parent who has one or more mental health disorders. Research shows that these children are at significant risk of adverse social, emotional, and behavioural outcomes, yet very little evidence exists for interventions that help.

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and the Windsor community believe this problem needs creative solutions grounded in evidence and the lived experience of local families. Together with our Regional Children’s Centre, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, this grant has allowed us to begin the work of establishing early intervention to foster better mental health outcomes for children of parents with mental illness, reduce stigma associated with parental mental illness, and help friends, family, and workers identify and respond to the needs of the children and their families where parental mental illness exists.

The project, which began in April 2018 running until March 2019, plans to achieve these objectives through engaging families and professionals to collaborate in the planning process, conducting environmental scans, evaluating existing evidence-based prevention strategies, using a series of Design Labs © that will help identify pathways for implementation, and finally evaluating the acceptability of the intervention and approach.

“Early intervention is a goal the public system aspires to, but less often delivers. People struggling with mental disorders do better the earlier they get help, and yet, while the symptoms typically emerge at a young age, treatment often doesn't happen until much later,” explains Dr. Mary Broga, Executive Director, Lead Agency. “Providing resources and support to children at risk, who are potentially not even showing signs of any mental health problems, advances an even earlier entry and pathway into the system and has the potential to have an even greater impact on future outcomes.”     

We hope to share more as the project develops.
L-R: Bill Marra, VP of External Affairs; Dr. Mary Broga, Executive Director, Lead Agency; Kay Douglas, Douglas Marketing Group; Dr. Michael Apkon, President and CEO of SickKids; Dr. Andrea Steen, Chief of Staff.
SickKids CEO Visits HDGH
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare welcomed Dr. Michael Apkon last week for his first visit to Windsor. Among a loaded CV that includes top leadership roles at some of the world's best pediatric hospitals, he currently holds the position of President and CEO of Toronto's SickKids Hospital.

While on campus, Dr. Apkon joined a small group of HDGH's leadership team to discuss the future of pediatric healthcare, which he was honest to say, must include mental health services for children and youth.

Much like HDGH's leadership in system transformation of mental health care in Windsor/Essex, Dr. Apkon has been instrumental in helping to create a more coordinated, consistent, high-quality system for care for children, youth and their families as a founding member of the Kids Health Alliance (KHA).

The KHA is a network, created by SickKids, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and CHEO.

"What I learned over my administrative career is that organizations are complex systems. However, the process of improvement requires recognizing that complexity and inspiring people to pursue a common goal; to align and direct energy to make the system better," Dr. Apkon explained passionately.

Dr. Apkon later toured the HDGH campus, spending significant time at The Regional Children's Centre learning more about its programs and services.
Teeing off for Cardiac Services
Who's ready to hit the green for the 2018 Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament?!

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and our Changing Lives Together Foundation are honoured to be chosen as a recipient of proceeds raised at this year's event in order to support our efforts of establishing a Cardiac Wellness, Stroke and Pulmonary Rehab satellite location in Tecumseh.

Call today to book your foursome and tell them HDGH sent you!