Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is celebrating the countless contributions of their 500+ dedicated hospital volunteers, and that includes a very special milestone for PRHC volunteer Esther Doré, who was recognized for her 50 years of service.
Inspired by her mother, 83-year-old Esther began her volunteer journey at Peterborough Civic Hospital in 1968. Times were different then, she says, but the core reasons she enjoys volunteering remain the same.
“It’s the giving of yourself and meeting people,” says Esther. “God gave me the gift that I could listen and also chat. My greatest joy is meeting people and spreading the word for volunteerism.”
Esther currently provides pastoral care at the hospital but has worn many volunteer hats over the years including planning hospital dances, organizing skits for clinical staff and taking trips to Toronto to procure items to sell at the hospital’s Gift Shop.
Esther embodies the spirit of volunteerism, PRHC says: “She is known as being funny, kind, compassionate, and the type of person you want to be around—especially when facing adversity.”
“Some people don’t have any family,” Esther adds. “Just being a good listener is so important to a lot of people. My advice is if you have spare time, it doesn’t matter whether it’s at the hospital or at hospice, just help someone. I’ve held a lot of hands through illnesses here. I’ve been truly blessed.”
For more information about volunteering at PRHC, click here.
It’s sure to put a smile on the faces of kids and their families there, and help relax them. It comes with iPad stations, sensory panels and more.
Check out more pictures below via PRHC’s Facebook page…
With patient volumes above 100 percent of the hospital’s funded bed capacity over the past year, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) has made the decision to open an additional 24 unfunded inpatient beds later this month.
For the past two years, the beds (located on unit B6) have been temporarily opened and staffed between December and March—providing additional space for patients during the traditional “surge” season, when respiratory illnesses like influenza (flu) have historically increased the volume of patients coming through the hospital.
This past spring and summer, however, patient numbers have continued to exceed hospital capacity, prompting the Health Centre to open 24 unfunded beds on a year-round basis.
“We are facing similar challenges to what is being seen in hospitals across the province,” says Colleen Armstrong, Director, Emergency & Medicine. “This year, we have had record numbers of patients coming through the doors of our Emergency Department and being admitted to inpatient beds every month, and there is no indication that these volumes can be expected to decrease anytime soon."
“Our goal is to continue to provide safe, quality care for our patients, and the addition of these beds will help to support that level of care throughout the organization,” adds Armstrong.
PRHC routinely has approximately 80 patients designated Alternative Level of Care (ALC) in hospital beds who no longer require hospitalization, but who remain in hospital care because there is no safe, suitable alternative available for them in the community.
Twenty-seven-year-old Luke Heard is well known in the community for all he does to give back. But this gift he just delivered to kids at PRHC might top them all. Heard had the idea to do a toy drive for children at PRHC hospital in Peterborough after recently staying there during treatment for his own fight against cancer.
"When I was in the hospital, I was bored and went for a walk," Heard tells PTBOCanada. "I saw little kids walking with their parents pulling IV units around. I felt bad for them having to spend time in the hospital, so I made a few calls to my friends to devise a plan."
On Thursday (December 22nd), here's what he did with friends...
"I decided I should make a difference in this community and roll in the hospital with teddy bears and toys flying to see those kids smile! Smiles are the cure for everything. There was a little girl in there that just melted everyone's heart. I'm not gunna lie—I cried a bit and so did everyone else!"
Pictured below is Heard (dressed as Tigger) and his pals (Pooh, Spider-Man and Elsa) at the hospital dressed up to deliver the presents...
Heard's favourite quote is this and he continues to live his life this way during his treatments:
"Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back."
On January 6th, there is a fundraiser for Luke at Trentwinds International Centre. More info on that can be found here.
PRHC has a volunteer staff band that plays for patients once a month—and includes staff members from across all areas of the hospital.
The Misfits—made up of people from departments such as Building Services, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Laboratory, Mental Health and Finance—practice twice a week at lunch hour to prepare for the patients.
Patients respond to music even when other memories are gone and it eases their anxiety and relaxes them when The Misfits play.
PRHC says it regularly receives positive feedback from patients and family members about this great band giving their time in such a meaningful way.
Watch the video below to learn more about The Misfits and a beautiful letter they received...
Welcome to the world Frances Clara Glover, PRHC's first leap year baby of 2016! Frances was born to her proud parents Lindsay and James at 9:01 a.m. this morning.
Frances weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 oz., and she was apparently in a big hurry to earn her first-place position: her mother had just six minutes of active labour once she arrived at the hospital from nearby Warkworth!
The family left their home in Warkworth for PRHC around 7 a.m. this morning when Lindsay’s contractions started to come about five minutes apart.
Frances is her parents’ second daughter; her sister Della Mae turned two years old just twelve days ago.
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A balloon at PRHC intended to let the Peterborough community know about the hospital's new 24-hour patient visiting policy has had amazing, unintended consequences.
See, the balloon somehow became dislodged at the hospital, and travelled (it took about a week) all the way to Dolgeville, New York—a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains. It landed on the lawn of a woman named Julie Ruggiero, a teaching assistant at Dolgeville Central School.
Once Ruggiero retrieved the balloon, she began researching the hospital online, and was amazed to see how far it had travelled. She was also amazed at the kindness of the Peterborough community.
When looking up the hospital online, she happened upon Dr. Peter McLaughlin’s recent CEO blog post praising Peterborough's response following the fire at the Peterborough mosque. She used this information as an opportunity not only to reach out to the hospital and the Peterborough community, but also as a beautiful teaching moment for her students.
Here is an excerpt of an email she sent to PRHC on December 1st. It is, quite simply, amazing:
“We are so sorry for what has happened there to your mosque, but find it amazing the fundraising effort of your community to raise so much money toward the rebuilding of the mosque! Please let everyone know that your message has traveled internationally and we have implemented it in our curriculum here at school. The 6th and 7th grade social studies teachers have shown the balloon to our children and videos of the terrible acts put upon your community. We have taught them that the community together can do so many things for each other and that there are more acts of kindness than bad! Thank you for your message and we stand with you in your acts of kindness in this world as more need to be recognized!!”
So... Peterborough's hope and kindness travelled hundreds of kilometers—by balloon.
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Alan Wotherspoon, Chair of the Board of Directors at PRHC, today announced the
departure of Ken Tremblay from the position of President and CEO of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.
Tremblay joined PRHC as the President and CEO in 2010.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank Ken Tremblay for his service to the PRHC," says Wotherspoon in a media release. “Under his stewardship the PRHC has provided the people of our community with quality, stable health care services and achieved a more sustainable position for the hospital for the long term.”
While a search is conducted for a new President and CEO, Dr. Peter McLaughlin has been appointed to the position on an interim basis.
Dr. McLaughlin has served as Chief of Staff at PRHC since 2005 and has been Medical Coordinator of the PRHC cardiac catheterization laboratory until recently. He is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Cardiology.
The staffing changes are effective immediately.