May 28, 2019
Welcome to E-Connect
Hey there E-Connecters!

The sun is shining (finally) and spirits are high at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare as we continue to celebrate the life-changing work done at our organization each day. You will get a glimpse of that work in today's E-Connect with stories about the heritage we share with one of our patients, significant efforts of one of our committees for youth mental health, an exciting accomplishment of our Research and Evaluation team, how you can make your voice heard at our public Board Meeting, and lots more.

Our Patients
Changing lives with Grace
Irene Woodruff sits in her wheelchair with a warm smile on her face as she watches the birds fly by her window on her Inpatient Rehab room at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare – the organization which carries the name of the very hospital where she spent many years caring for others.

After a year of prior hospital stays, Irene came into our care to restore her strength in order to return home. It was after interacting with our staff that she shared her story of being a graduate and former employee of the Salvation Army Grace Hospital.

It was 1944 when Irene became a graduate of the Salvation Army Grace Hospital School of Nursing after completing three years of training. She shared fond memories of being in school, the things she learned, living with the senior girls even as a junior, having fun with her classmates, and even following the stern rules set forth by the Salvation Army, including a 10:00 p.m. curfew and no smoking.

After becoming a Registered Nurse, Irene began working at Grace Hospital on the second floor. At the time, there were not many illness- or population-specific units such as what we have now, although as World War II came to an end, Grace’s Military Ward was thriving. Irene described it as “free and easy” with the option to take the wounded soldiers on special outings to the movies or to do other activities.

She went on to recall one of her first memories working on the female, seniors’ ward: she had to remove a patient’s false teeth in order to clean them. “I remember going to my grandmother’s place saying, ‘I don’t know whether I still want to be a nurse!’” Irene laughed.

But she stuck with it and cared for countless patients over the next seven years until she met her husband, Osmund and started a family. Irene and Osmund had three children, one of which became a Grace Graduate herself a few decades later.

Naturally, after hearing about Irene’s story and experiences with one of our founding organizations, it was only fitting that we brought her to relive those memories as she saw her 1944 graduating class photo hung on the wall of our Dr. Fouad Tayfour Regional Rehabilitation Centre. As she was wheeled to the photo hallway, the large Ellis Door came into view. Irene beamed, a sense of pride and immense joy exuding from her smile; she even took a photo standing next to it! Her reaction to her class photo was no different. She even joked, making the staff and her family guess which one was her.

Irene said that she couldn’t remember ever having a copy of the class photo, thinking if she did, it must have been lost at some point over the past 75 years. And so, we ensured to print her a few copies that she could bring home again.

“I was so glad to see my class picture and to now have a copy again,” Irene expressed.

As Irene prepares to return to the community, we are so humbled to have had the opportunity to meet her and to care for her, just as she had for her patients so many years ago. With nearly a 100-year legacy in our community, the Grace name continues to live on in all that we do at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and in the heart and mind of a warm and welcoming 96-year-old Registered Nurse.
YiP, YiP, Hooray!
It has been just over two years that Youth in Partnership has been impacting mental health services in Windsor-Essex.

Youth in Partnership, playfully referred to as YiP, is a group comprised of youth and adults working in partnership to engage in mental health programs in our community by supporting youth in having a voice to impact services, promoting ways to improve mental health, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Along with Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, three local child and youth mental health agencies support YiP’s efforts: Children First, Family Respite Services, and Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services.

We are happy to always share the impactful work of this mighty group. Here is a snapshot of the impressive past few months they’ve had.

February 2019 – YiP partnered with mindyourmind on a Canada Serve Cops grant they received to develop a number of initiatives with youth across Canada to support the mental health needs of children, youth, and their families. This included Design Labs hosted with mindyourmind, an organization that helps co-create interactive tools and resources to build capacity and resilience.

Twelve youth took part in the design lab where they helped develop two significant projects. The first is a book titled, Border Town Bridging the Mind, Body and Mental Health Gap, which focuses on four aspect of mental health that today’s youth tend to struggle with: anxiety, addictions, body image, and depression. Each section includes a definition of what it is and what it isn’t and speaking notes that help youth start the conversation if they themselves are experience these symptoms or if they think someone in their life is dealing with them. The book also includes a number of other tools and information on local resources.

The second project is an online resource, a survey called How’s It Growin’? The survey utilizes the social determinants of health throughout ten questions. Once the survey is completed, you are assigned a plant – you could be a money tree, cactus, lavender, etc. – highlighting your strengths and tips to work on. This survey is currently in the works with anticipated completion date in September of this year.

March 2019 – YiP Junior in Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Regional Children’s Centre’s Glengarda officially launched.

In order to broaden YiP’s reach, to help more youth in Windsor-Essex, the team has begun work to establish more YiP committees. These committees will be just like the original YiP, with youth and adult allies who are passionate about mental health services. YiP Junior is officially up and running with two more committees on the way: another at our Regional Children’s Centre and one at our Crisis and Mental Wellness Centre downtown. We are eager to share the important work these committees are sure to do in the future.

During March Break, YiP co-hosted another Design Lab alongside mindyourmind, this time to create a manual for peer-to-peer training. This manual will be used to create future YiP leaders and youth advocates in our region. It provides youth with tools to be leaders and mentors when supporting their peers who may be on their own mental health journey.
April 2019 – YiP hosted the second annual Art of Engagement event which welcomed 65 participants from 18 local high schools and 9 mental health agencies. The main focus of the day was to develop ideas for Children’s Mental Health Week in May.

This eager group worked collaboratively to create a toolkit for students to share with their high schools during the week. Themed #FinesseTheStress, the kit included stickers, social media campaign ideas, an online scavenger hunt for local mental health services, and supplies to create a Worry Wall at their school. The Worry Wall concept was a board where students could write their worries on a sticky note and leave their worries behind.
May 2019 – YiP members felt that it is important to let other youth know that it's okay to be your authentic self; they developed a social media campaign to highlight the pressures around social media, titled #FilterFree - Stay True to You. They even created large photo frames that reminded us that you are enough just the way you are, with no filters.

One of YiP Junior’s first projects was to organize activities at our Regional Children's Centre to promote Children’s Mental Health Week.

They adopted the #FilterFree theme for the week and hosted a door decorating contest with scenes, sayings, and images that encouraged mental wellness. Each day throughout the week the children worked with their adult allies to write and read morning announcements that focused on common mental health topics at the Centre: depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and ADHD. They were also overly ambitious and wanted a plane to fly across the sky, pulling a banner that read “Children’s Mental Health Week”. Although a great idea to spread the word, the plane was just not feasible.

Currently, YiP Junior is working on creating a sensory board that can be shared with all of the children at the Centre. This board will help and share experiences of those with sensory sensitivities.

Tammy Drazilov, is truly the backbone of YiP and advocate for youth mental health in our community. Her pride in the work done by YiP is evident and she hopes for another successful year.

“I really want the focus of YiP to be around the people we serve. By giving them the space to have a voice, it reminds us, youth know what services they need, what barriers they face when accessing services, and how to make positive change. We just need to be willing to listen and support when needed."
Our People
Celebrating our Volunteers
Fifteen thousand. That’s the highest number of hours worked by a single volunteer at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare last year.

On Friday, May 10 th , we celebrated this individual and all other volunteers, committee members, and advisors for the priceless gift they so generously share: their time.

Each year, over 600 volunteers dedicate tens of thousands of hours to our efforts of cultivating a healthier community and changing lives together by joining our Board of Directors, planning and running signature events such as The Big Night Gala and Heart Breaker Challenge, working at our Gift Shops or Coffee Bars, or by simply welcoming visitors into our buildings.

“The impact our volunteers have on our campus, day in and day out, is simply immeasurable,” writes Bill Marra, VP of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Changing Lives Together Foundation. “Each and every one of you represents what is best about our organization.”

We recognized the important role our volunteers play at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon with Hours of Service pins – recognizing those who achieved 500 up to 15,000 hours – and presenting the Ronald J. Truant Spirit of Volunteering Award.

This year’s award recipient was Shirley Girard, a volunteer with our Gift Shops who also obtained a pin for 1,000 hours of service.

Our Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Spiritual Care Chaplains were the ones to nominate Shirley writing, “When we hear the expression changing lives together , without doubts that can be applicable to Shirley. Shirley is a selfless, loving and giving person asking for nothing back in return, or wanting such recognition.”

Congratulations and thank you to all of our volunteers for another wonderful year of changing lives together!
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare team published in
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Our Research and Evaluation team at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is thrilled to shared our first official publication.

"A Preliminary Analysis of a Home-Based Stroke Rehabilitation Program in Windsor, Ontario", focuses on new research on Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s Rehabilitation Outreach program.

The article, which has been published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, finds that this type of community-based rehab treatment can be effective in continuing to support the lowest functioning stroke patients in our community. Additionally, stroke patients who participated in a comprehensive home-based rehabilitation program made significant improvements in their ability to perform their normal daily physical and social activities at the end of the 12-week program. While all patients demonstrated significant functional gains over the course program, these improvements were even more pronounced for patients living with moderate and severe stroke compared to those with mild impairment.  
This evidence-based, in-home rehabilitation program plays a vital role in providing patient-centred stroke care for patients transitioning from hospital to the community who require continued rehabilitation but face barriers to accessing our hospital-based outpatient services, like lack of transportation, low physical ability, or family circumstances.

The multidisciplinary Rehab Outreach team consists of a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Rehab Assistants, Registered Nurse, and Social Worker. The tremendous work by this team has supported more than 200 stroke patients in continuing their rehabilitation journey at home so that they reach their full potential for recovery. This research demonstrates that this home-based, intensive program is an effective leading practice for community stroke rehabilitation care. 

Contributing authors to the publication include Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s Dr. Jennifer Voth, Research and Evaluation, Jason Petro, Manager of Ambulatory Services, Michael Mallender, Research and Evaluation on contract from the department of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor, Sonja Bridgen, Research and Evaluation, Sara Mannan, Department of Rehabilitative Care, Marla Jackson, Manager of Research and Evaluation, and Dr. Nathania Liem, Department of Rehabilitative Care and with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Congratulations team on this significant accomplishment!

The report "A Preliminary Analysis of a Home-Based Stroke Rehabilitation Program in Windsor, Ontario” is published in the April edition of the Canadian Journal for Neurological Sciences.
Our Identity
The Art of Wellness
On Tuesday, May 14th, our Changing Lives Together Foundation celebrated an extraordinary community partner and honoured a late member of our Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare family. 

It was a gorgeous morning as we welcomed long time corporate donor - Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as our Foundation recognized them for their long-standing commitment to improving the lives of the patients and clients Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare serves. As a thank you, the vibrant, outdoor play and exercise space located in the front courtyard outside of the Dr. Fouad Tayfour Regional Rehabilitation Centre has officially been named the RBC Wellness Hub.
In addition to this recognition, staff, family, and friends of the late John Nicholl's gathered to celebrate the life of a valued member of the Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare family as Painter with our Plant Operations and Maintenance team, but most importantly, family man, who passed away in 2014. Over the last five years, staff have made donations to create a recognition in John's honour.

That morning, we revealed three unique pieces of equipment as part of the Wellness Hub, which all incorporate three of John's greatest joys: music, art, and children.

Be sure to stop by to check out the beautiful space.
Challenge Accepted
Over 1,600 participants took to the hills and trails of Malden Park on Saturday, May 25 th for the annual Heart Breaker Challenge.

Thirty-seven man made and natural obstacles challenged Heart Breakers to crawl, jump, duck, or climb to make their way through the course while getting wet and muddy.

In it’s 7 th year, the Heart Breaker Challenge is our region’s only mud run which raises significant funds for Cardiac Wellness, Stroke, and Pulmonary Rehab programs at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare each year. To date, the event has raised over $600,000!

Saturday’s event was no different, bringing together a sold-out crowd with tremendous amounts of fun as we got fit, got dirty, and gave back.

Thank you to all involved!
Public Meeting of the Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
Board of Directors
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Board of Directors will be hosting a community engagement public board meeting this May.

Tomorrow, May 29th, come listen, talk, and learn about what's new and exciting at our organization, including a special Board Community Engagement announcement.

If you'd like to ask the Board a question, please register as a delegate by 4:00 p.m. today by  visiting our website .