What comes to mind when you think of the holidays?

A letter by Paula Doering, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Programs, Chief Nursing Executive and Allied Health Professionals at Bruyère

Paula DoeringMaybe you picture curling up by the fireplace, hot cocoa in hand. Or sharing a meal with your loved ones, eating and laughing the night away. Perhaps you envision a family walk on a brisk winter’s night to admire the holiday decorations throughout your neighbourhood.

That’s what we want for our patients and their families!

We want to help to send your daughter home, from stroke rehabilitation, healthy and strong. We want to send your husband home, from geriatric rehabilitation, walking tall and living independently after recovering from surgery. We want to send your mother home to your family, and friends home to their loved ones, to continue to live long and healthy lives.

The term “life-changing” truly captures what it is that sets Bruyère apart as a healthcare provider in our community. While acute care hospitals can save lives, Bruyère gives patients back their quality of life through continuing care.

Our Vision is: TOGETHER. Making each life better. And we couldn’t do it without you.

Supporters like you are an important part of our Bruyère team. You help care for our patients through investments in highly focused research and innovative technology, while also ensuring we have the ability to attract the best and brightest minds in healthcare to Ottawa.

My name is Paula Doering. I am the Senior Vice-President, Clinical Programs, Chief Nursing Executive and Allied Health Professionals at Bruyère. I’m reaching out to you as a relatively new member of the Bruyère Senior Leadership team. I have been with Bruyère for just over one year. Prior to joining Bruyère, I spent 35 years working at the Ottawa Hospital.

When I started my new role here at Bruyère, I took the time to meet the team and the staff, and made rounds in every clinical unit, meeting with patients and families. WOW! It became obvious to me very quickly that my new understanding of the care provided at Bruyère was not what I had originally thought. And the level of complexity is much higher than I expected. Bruyère does so much more!

Bruyère is a multi-site academic health care organization, it’s our job to maximize the quality of life of our patients, delivering highly specialized care, which is not provided elsewhere in this region. Due to the shortened lengths of stay in acute care, Bruyère has adapted and transformed its services to meet the needs of those patients being discharged earlier from hospitals in our region or those with declining health in the community.

Members of Bruyère's Senior Leadership TeamBruyère gives you back your quality of life.

People are just beginning to learn how vital Bruyère is to our community. Bruyère is the largest provider of inpatient palliative care in the region. We are best known for providing high-quality care for people at end of life and their loved ones, both at our Élisabeth Bruyère site and in the community. We are also forerunners in this field of research and exploring many ways that we can maximize quality of life at end of life.

We are proud leaders in palliative care but…it’s only 3% of what we do.

Bruyère delivers a wide variety of services in aging and rehabilitation, medically complex, palliative, residential and primary care responding to needs throughout a person’s life. You can think of it in terms of three pillars of Bruyère:

  • Helping people to get home
  • Finding people a home at Bruyère
  • Keeping people living healthy long lives
We want to ensure every person receives the best type of high quality care needed to maximize their quality of life. It’s thanks to continued support like yours that we are enhancing lives and transforming care. Your generosity helps to address some of the most urgent needs in our healthcare system, making a life-changing difference today and for years to come.

One of our main goals is to help people return to independence through supportive technologies and modernized services. We have some of the oldest buildings in the country but we offer the most innovative and modern of programming and care. No other organization in Ottawa has the perspective and the capacity for leadership and integration of care for our aging population and those with chronic conditions as does Bruyère. We need Bruyère!

Your support of Bruyère helps to build on our academic and innovative capacity to contribute to furthering integrated health programs.

At Bruyère, we also value collaboration and working together with our patients, residents, their families and our staff to promote a caring and supportive environment. After all, this isn’t just a hospital… For some people, Bruyère is home. Maybe not forever – but some of our patients will unfortunately not be able to be home for the holidays.

In the weeks or months they spend with us, we want them to know they are seen and that their emotional, physical and spiritual needs are being considered, in all we do.

The journey through recovery and rehabilitation is never a straight line, and some days are much harder than others. It can be isolating and discouraging for some of our patients to be restricted to their rooms, knowing the world around them continues to go on regardless.
We want to ensure our Bruyère patients and their families know they’re not alone in their journey.

Bringing pieces of “normalcy” to the sometimes surreal patient experience is something we strive for. These gestures help enact some of our core values:

  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Collaboration
The atrium, at Saint Vincent, for example, is truly the heart of that campus. It’s where patients come to socialize with one another, gather with their loved ones, and simply enjoy a new view outside of their hospital room. We want that space to feel as welcoming as possible for everyone who walks through the doors, which is why we’ve begun to fill the atrium tables with puzzles and games for people to enjoy.

It’s important to us to animate and bring life and joy to this space. Especially over the holiday season.
We know that spending time engaged in “play” does wonders for the soul: it helps take your mind off the difficulties that come with chronic illness. It transports you to a simpler time, maybe when you were younger and had fewer responsibilities or worries. And it helps you connect with others, reducing isolation.

The holiday season, is a time for gratitude and for sharing with those who are less fortunate.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for helping to get loved ones home for the holidays and for helping to bring the holidays home to Bruyère, for those who are less fortunate. Talk about holiday magic! Together, we are making each life better. We are making a life-changing difference towards healthcare in our region.

Thank you again for your support! And happy holidays.

Paula Doering
Senior Vice-President, Clinical Programs, Chief Nursing Executive and Allied Health Professionals at Bruyère

P.S. Remember, all donation received by December 31st are eligible for a 2019 tax receipt.