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2018 Human Touch Awards Recipients

There are many unsung heroes on the front lines of the cancer and kidney care systems. Every day, these wonderful caregivers exhibit extraordinary and compassionate patient care. The Human Touch Awards are one opportunity to recognize their work, and we are honoured to celebrate the recipients of this year’s awards.

Staff Awards

Dr. Angel Arnaout, Surgical Oncologist, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre

Picture of Dr. Angel Arnaout

Dr. Arnaout is a Surgical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa and Associate Scientist at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. As the nominated Regional Breast Cancer Quality Director of the Champlain LHIN Region, she oversees the quality of breast cancer care in nine regional hospitals with a focus on access, efficiency, effectiveness, patient experience and equity of care. In her role on our Breast Cancer Advisory Board, she is instrumental in setting the standards for breast cancer care, from prevention to treatment and supportive care, in all hospitals in Ontario.

In addition to her knowledge and skill, Dr. Arnaout brings dedication, compassion, leadership and influence to her work. She also goes beyond her professional duties in serving the Ontario public and contributes to society through her leadership, philanthropy, public outreach, research activities and healthcare delivery. Dr. Arnaout approaches her work with the intention of making a significant positive and meaningful impact in her patients’ lives, the community at large and the healthcare system.

Dr. Caroline Hamm, Medical Oncologist, Cancer Program, Windsor Regional Hospital

Picture of Dr. Caroline Hamm

Dr. Hamm works tirelessly to advance the field of oncology in her role as Medical Director of the Windsor Cancer Research Group. Bringing together research and innovation, she is a strong advocate for her patients and the overall health system.

She has led the development and implementation of programs that have significantly improved the quality and access of care for people with cancer. By going above and beyond the expectations and responsibilities of her role as a physician she demonstrates exemplary commitment to patients in the Cancer Program.

What is most amazing about Dr. Hamm, is that despite her busy schedule, she is always available to answer questions and provide support to her colleagues and patients. She selflessly gives her time and attention, is a strong patient ally and a visionary for improving patient care in Windsor. Her actions have touched the lives of many patients and families.

Dr. Ananth Ravi, PhD, Medical Physicist, Clinical Lead Operations Brachytherapy; Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Picture of Dr. Ananth Ravi

Dr. Ravi is both the lead Brachytherapy Physicist as well as the Operations Lead for Brachytherapy at the Odette Cancer Centre. His dedication and commitment to his patients is reflected in all aspects of his work.

He has led the implementation of both MRI-guided and interstitial brachytherapy, which have significantly improved outcomes in patients with locally advanced disease. This was possible due to his vision and commitment to patient care.

His involvement and dedication to each patient who comes through his department is impressive and inspiring. He takes the time to meet with patients to ensure they receive optimal care that meets their individual needs and focuses on improving their quality of life.

Dr. Ravi’s high standards are maintained in every aspect of the patient experience and his approach is innovative and patient-centred. He collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team in managing complex disease treatment and working to ensure all individuals receive safe and high-quality individualized care.

Volunteer Award

Shaniza Sakoor, Volunteer, Humber River Hospital

Picture of Shaniza Sakoor

Shaniza is an enthusiastic volunteer at Humber River Hospital and an active member on two advisory boards: the Cancer Care Patient and Family Advisory Council at Humber River Hospital and the Regional Cancer Steering Committee for the Central Local Health Integration Network.

Since her breast cancer diagnosis in November 2016, she has worked hard to turn her cancer journey into a source of positive experiences and learnings.

She is always willing to share her perspective and knowledge to help improve the experience of others and has been a guest speaker at two Humber River Hospital events: their Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day and Annual Donor Appreciation Night. She also shared her cancer care story through a series of Instagram posts in collaboration with Humber River Hospital’s Foundation.

She consistently provides peer support, even during her own clinic appointments, and often helps patients navigate the clinic’s complex processes.

An IT Project Manager with RBC Royal Bank, Shaniza continues to embrace volunteering. Her hope is that by giving back she will help provide other patients with the tools they need for their own empowerment.

Steven Golick, Initial Patient and Family Advisor Council Co-Chair, the Odette Cancer Centre and Co-founder of the Canadian Chordoma Network

Picture of Steven Golick

Steven has been an amazing force as Co-Chair of the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre’s first Patient and Family Advisor Council. He has helped transform their approach to the patient experience and has been a catalyst for integrating the patient voice into care delivery.

His personal experience provides him with excellent insight into the challenges cancer patients face, as well as potential solutions. His compassion, leadership and commitment are truly admirable.

He has been generous with his time, actively participating as an advisor at Cancer Care Ontario events and as a member of the Quality Committee of the Board of Sunnybrook. He is also a retired partner in, and former chair of, the insolvency and restructuring group of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, one of Canada’s leading law firms.

Steven has chordoma, a very rare form of cancer that occurs in the spine or skull. In addition to his Sunnybrook volunteer work he is a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Chordoma Foundation, which funds research and provides information and support to patients and families. He also co-founded the not-for-profit Canadian Chordoma Network.

Staff Awards

Adrienne Barrett, Vascular Access/Hemodialysis RN - Health Sciences North

Picture of Adrienne Barrett

Adrienne is a pioneer and leader in patient-centred care. Thanks to her commitment and innovative approach, her patients receive the highest level of care and avoid unnecessary delays.

Her compassionate, person-centred approach goes well beyond the nursing station. She was influential in creating a team of physicians, including nephrologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons, responsible for improving the patient experience. Adrienne and the team have successfully reduced surgical wait-times and have shown how healthcare professionals can work together to support the best outcomes for patients.

She firmly believes that nurses and patients have the capability to do great things when they receive the proper support and encouragement. She trains staff to cannulate difficult accesses and teaches interested patients how to do cannulation themselves. As a leader and a mentor, she has a wonderful ability to instill confidence.

Adrienne is more than a nurse. She is a remarkable human being who treats all people with dignity and respect. She truly has the human touch.

Melodie Jansen, Living Donor Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Picture of Melodie Jansen

Melodie is a living donor coordinator and lead for St. Joseph’s Kidney Paired Donation Program. She is more than an advocate for her patients, she is a familiar and comforting presence when they arrive for their transplants.

In her role she has been integral to improving processes at St. Joseph’s. Her dedication and hard work resulted in the successful implementation of a shipping policy for kidneys. She has proven herself a leader in living donation, presenting to multidisciplinary teams and educating her colleagues both formally and informally.

Melodie also creates long-lasting bonds with her kidney paired donation patients, ensuring they have best experience possible during a very difficult and overwhelming time. She gets to know her patients prior to their arrival at St. Joseph’s, communicating by phone and email, and goes above and beyond by assisting them with finding accommodation and financial support. Sometimes she spends late evenings and weekends at the hospital to ensure the transplant process goes as well as possible. Her commitment embodies what it means to be patient-centred.

Patricia (Patty) Quinan, Vascular Access Coordinator, Humber River Hospital

Picture of Patricia (Patty) Quinan

Patty is a thoughtful, compassionate and genuinely caring person. In her role as Vascular Access Coordinator, she works closely with patients and families to support them throughout their care.

She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty and takes personal responsibility for contacting each patient and family member when arranging procedures, providing a thorough explanation of the procedure and coordinating logistics.

In educating patients, she goes beyond simply providing information, taking the time to understand their values and preferences so she can help them choose between various alternatives. She forms deep connections with her patients and they trust her.

She is physically present and available from the time the patient arrives on site until they are safely on their way home, always offering a smile or a joke and a hand to hold. She constantly finds ways to inject humour into otherwise stressful situations, helping patients to see the positives and overcome adversity.

Patty has a human touch and close relationships. She has helped countless patients through difficult decisions and challenging times.

Volunteer Award

Bonnie Field, London Health Sciences Centre Renal Patient & Family Advisory Council Chair

Picture of Bonnie Field

Bonnie is one of the founding members of the Renal Program’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee at London Health Sciences Centre. Since its creation in 2014, she has participated in various work streams and projects, offering care delivery insights and participating in policy development.

She advocates for patient engagement at all levels, from local to provincial. The core concepts and values that she champions are dignity, respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration.

Using her wonderful storytelling skills, she emphasizes the importance of engaging patients and families in their own healthcare decision-making. She authored her own patient journey and supports and inspires other Patient and Family Advisory Committee members to do the same. Bonnie shares her story at the committee orientation, central nursing orientation for all new hires and staff meetings.

Bonnie continues to be actively involved in patient engagement and quality improvement initiatives despite having two unsuccessful kidney transplants and dealing with the resulting physical and mental ramifications. She is involved in the Ontario Renal Network’s Access to Kidney Transplantation and Living Donation project and brings passion and dedication to this work, ensuring patients and families’ voices are heard.

Susan Q. McKenzie, CanSOLVE-CKD, Transplant Ambassador Program

Picture of Susan Q. McKenzie

Susan is a chronic kidney disease warrior who has familial glomerulonephritis. She’s been on dialysis and has had a living donor transplant. Many of her relatives have had kidney disease and this motivates her to advocate for improvements that will ensure access to the right care at the right time. She is committed to helping her family and others with kidney disease obtain the best possible care and outcomes.

As the co-creator and provincial co-lead of the Transplant Ambassador Program, she works with her colleagues to raise awareness of living transplant and provide meaningful conversations about transplantation to patients and family members. Her vision is that every patient and family member has an opportunity to talk to a Transplant Ambassador. Her creativity and passion shine through in various program initiatives, including the bright green vests program ambassadors wear that proclaim the message: "Ask me about kidney transplant."

Susan’s unfailing effort, vision and dedication helps patients and kidney donors share lived stories of transplant in clinic waiting rooms across Ontario.