hdhEnews issue: April 23, 2015

Inside this issue:

Living with type-2 diabetes or pre-diabetes?  We’ll help you to manage it.
50 year milestones mark 2015 St. Joseph’s School of Nursing reunion
100,000 pounds plus:  Food Bank targets big haul in 30th annual Food Blitz
Do you have a relative with type 1 diabetes?  Time to get screened.
Countdown to applying for ophthalmic training program
Check the kids into the hospital this summer


Living with type-2 diabetes or pre-diabetes? Stanford Workshop Flyer

The Diabetes Education & Management Centre at Hotel Dieu is offering a FREE 6-week workshop to help you learn strategies and skills for managing your diabetes, preventing complications and living healthier.

Running from 6:30 to 9 pm on Wednesdays, May 20 to June 25, 2015, the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Workshop is geared to helping people with Type-2 diabetes or pre-diabetes gain confidence and motivation to better manage their symptoms and the challenges of living with diabetes.

The workshop’s agenda includes:

  • Dealing with difficult emotions, stress management, relaxation techniques
  • Eating well and exercising appropriately
  • Preventing complications and low blood sugar
  • Making action plans, problem-solving and setting goals
  • Improving communication with your health care team.

The workshop is free; all sessions are held at Hotel Dieu’s Diabetes Education and Management Centre.  To register please call 613-544-3400, ext. 3590.

This Living Well workshop is supported by the Self-Management Program of Southeastern Ontario and made possible through funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

50 year milestones mark 2015 St. Joseph's School of Nursing reunion

When the St. Joseph’s School of Nursing at Hotel Dieu Hospital holds its annual reunion May 2-3, three milestones with the same big number will coincide for the Class of 1965.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of our graduation, we’re the 50th class to graduate from the School of Nursing and one grad is returning for the first time in 50 years,” says class representative Jo-Ann Koster, a Diabetes Nurse Educator at Hotel Dieu who still clocks one day a week with pediatric diabetes patients.

Hitting the half-century mark is definitely a drawing card, with 32 grads out of a class of 46 registered to return and revisit their training grounds.  Like Jo-Ann, some are still actively nursing, albeit on a casual basis.  She recalls, as a young nurse, seeing 25-year grads tour the hospital and thinking how old they were.

“Now we’re the older ones,” she says with a laugh, “but many of us are just not ready to walk out the door.  We’ve been very fortunate to have found work that we really wanted to go to every day.  For me, it was always about being a nurse.”

For her, that choice translated into 50-year friendships forged from living at close quarters in the School of Nursing’s Jeanne Mance Residence, located on the site of the current Brock Street wing.  For a young girl with no sisters it was heaven, and Jo-Ann still stays in very close contact with classmates above and beyond the reunion get-togethers.  Her class boasts a Facebook site and marked its 40th reunion in 2005 with a handmade quilt featuring everyone’s grad photo.  It will be on display at this year’s reunion, along with other class artifacts, in the Sister Loretta Gaffney Nursing Gallery at Hotel Dieu.

The St. Joseph’s School of Nursing graduated its first class in 1915 and closed its doors in 1975.  For 100 years, the School has either been training nurses or, thanks to lasting friendships and reunions, acting as the glue that keeps them together.  When the 32-strong Class of ’65 returns to Hotel Dieu on that first weekend in May, it will be celebrating with another 165 other grads and taking its turn to mark a golden anniversary—three times over, in fact.

“We’re thrilled at the turnout this year,” says Jo-Ann, who hasn’t missed a single class reunion and who served on the School of Nursing’s Alumnae Executive for almost 40 years.  “The Class of ‘65 will be well represented—pretty good after 50 years!”

Photo:  Class of 1965, St. Joseph's School of Nursing at Hotel Dieu Hospital

Sr. Lenoard a top stack of cans collected100,000 pounds plus:  Food Bank targets big haul for 30th annual Food Blitz

Organizers of the annual Hotel Dieu Hospital Annual Food Blitz are marking the 30th anniversary of their door-to-door canvass with a challenge to the community: on Wednesday, May 13, let’s stock the shelves of the Partners in Mission Food Bank with more than 100,000 pounds of non-perishable food items.

“This will be the 30th time we have reached out to the community for food donations in our 6 to 9 pm door-to-door campaign, and we’re really hoping to exceed 100,000 pounds,” says Sandy Singers, Executive Director of the Partners in Mission Food Bank. 

“This is by no means a celebration but rather an acknowledgement of the troubling fact that after so many years the need for our service is still essential to those struggling with poverty in our community.”

The first Blitz in 1985 pulled in about 8500 pounds of food and $4500.  That inaugural event was called “a beautiful community experience” by the late Sister Evelyn Leonard, planning coordinator for the Food Bank and the RHSJ Sister who became synonymous with the Blitz.  She once famously posed atop a huge mound of food to celebrate a successful Blitz.

As community need grew over the years, so too did the Blitz—in both canvassing and collecting power.  Along with Hotel Dieu staff, canvassing teams drew from local high schools, service clubs, church groups and the community at large to ensure enough feet were on the ground on Blitz nights to run door to door collecting food, unload packed trucks and sort donations at the Food Bank. In 2000, for example, a whopping 1000 volunteers fanned out across city for the Blitz.  These days, 600 to 800 canvassers carry on the tradition.

Always targeting 100,000 pounds of food, the Blitz has exceeded that goal many times over, even hauling in 150,000 pounds in 2006.  Last year, the Blitz collected 76,000 pounds of food, bringing the all-time collection total to 2,659,411 pounds.  That food has helped to fill almost 260,000 food hampers for distribution to low-income families throughout the greater Kingston area.

“We’re really hoping to exceed the 100,000 pound target this year,” says Sandy.  “Since the fall of 2008, the Food Bank has seen a 26 per cent increase in demand, and those numbers keep rising.   Last year, we had another 5.5 per cent jump.”

Food Blitz collection bags will be delivered in the May 7th issue of Kingston This Week.  People are asked to fill the bag with non-perishable food items only, particularly peanut butter, rice, tuna, canned fruit and vegetables, and juice (but all donations are welcome).  Baby formula and baby food will be gratefully accepted also. 

If you miss the door-to-door canvass from 6 to 9 pm on Wednesday, May 13, you can also drop off donations weekdays at the Food Bank located at 140 Hickson Avenue or at all major grocery retailers.

When the Food Blitz was launched 30 years ago, Sister Evelyn Leonard called it clear evidence of our community’s desire to share in the Sisters’ mission of serving “the poor, the sick and the most needy.”  That mission continues on Wednesday, May 13.

For more information about the Partners in Mission Food Bank, visit www.kingstonfoodbank.net.

For a look back at the past 30 years of the HDH Food Blitz, visit our Facebook page.

Photo:  In the early years of the Food Blitz, the late Sister Evelyn Leonard poses atop a mound of donated food items.

Do you have a relative with type 1 diabetes?

The TrialNet Type 1 Diabetes Research Group is screening relatives of people with Type 1 diabetes to find out if these family members are at risk for developing diabetes.  Eligible participants can book an appointment now for screening at Hotel Dieu Hospital on May 5, 2015.

Who can participate?

  • First-degree relatives (siblings, parents, children) of people with type 1 diabetes   between the ages of 1 – 45 OR
  • Second-degree relatives (aunts/uncles, cousins, nieces/nephews, grandchildren) of people with type 1 diabetes between the ages of 1– 20.

What’s involved?
Screening involves a simple blood test. There is no cost for the test and no special preparation is necessary. 

Where and when do I go?
The screening takes place at the Children’s Outpatient Centre, Hotel Dieu Hospital, 166 Brock St., Kingston ON from 3 to 7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

NOTE:  You must book an appointment for screening by contacting:

Lesley Eisel – Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator
416-813-7654 ext. 201798

Farah Sultan - Clinical Research Coordinator
416-813-7654 ext. 202634

You can also call toll-free: 1-866-699-1899.

KOTC LogoCountdown to applying for ophthalmic training program 

May 22, 2015 is the application deadline for those interested in the Ophthalmic Technician program in the Kingston Ophthalmic Training Program (KOTC) at Hotel Dieu, a great career opportunity in the ever-growing field of eye care. 

Ophthalmic Medical Personnel are professionals who include ophthalmic assistants, ophthalmic technicians, and ophthalmic medical technologists. OMP are not independent practitioners but instead work under the direction of an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). Their scope of practice includes performing diagnostic testing and measurements and to provide this data to the treating ophthalmologist for the patient’s care.

The Ophthalmic Technician role is an intermediate level position.

To learn more about the KOTC program at Hotel Dieu and the application procedure, please click here.

Elements of Heath care participants-2014Check the kids into the hospital this summer

This summer, why not introduce your kids to the sophisticated world of health care careers and programs?  Courtesy of a special summer program offered by Volunteer Resources at Hotel Dieu, your teen can learn about health care in a hands-on—and fun!—environment.

In the Elements of Health Care Youth Summer Volunteer Program your child will get to rub shoulders with health care professionals, tour hospital clinics and participate in learning workshops at Hotel Dieu, Kingston General Hospital and Providence Care (St. Mary’s of the Lake site).  It’s a great chance to hone communication and leadership skills and to log 40-plus hours of hands-on practical experience.  It all wraps up with a Certificate of Achievement and letter of completion.

Applications are due Friday, May 29, 2015.  For details and an application form click HERE.  You can contact Volunteer Resources at
613-544-3400, ext. 2311 or hdh_volunteer@hdh.kari.net


Photo: 2014 Elements of Heath Care participants.