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Welcome to the St. Jude's Newsletter which features a Dialogue with the Administrator, information about elder care, and information about fundraising projects.

As we approach our Annual General Meeting on June 4th, it is time to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of 2014/2015.

St. Jude's faced two significant challenges. The first of these occurred in June 2014 when the lower levels at St. Jude's were flooded with water from a backed-up storm sewer, damaging offices, staff rooms, storage areas and the chapel. Restoration over the following four months brought significant disruption, but staff coped and things got back to normal. Leaders seized the opportunity to make improvements to staff rooms, offices, the hairdressing salon, the tuck shop and most importantly for residents, the chapel. Extra heating, lighting and storage was installed, along with a much-needed sound system.

I would like to thank everyone who supported St. Jude's through this trying period, for their generous contributions of time and concern as well as financial assistance with the improvements.

Overall financial support for St. Jude's was very positive throughout the year, and we reached our fundraising goal of $65,000.

Our second major challenge during this past year came with the retirement of Administrator Chris Norman. The Board embarked on a four-month search to find someone of special skills and character to fill the role that Chris performed so admirably for more than 16 years. At the end of January, we gave Chris our thanks and our best wishes for a healthy and happy retirement, and on March 24 we welcomed Michele Cook as the new executive leader of St. Jude's. The Board looks forward to working with Michele and working closely with her to maintain and enhance quality of care and service to residents and families of St. Jude's.

- Joanne Fawcett

Residents' Corner

 
The residents read poems they had written to Nancy at her retirement tea, with help from the Recreation Department.
Volume 5 - Issue 2
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What's New in Elder Care

In B.C., a child and a spouse are eligible to seek variation of their deceased parents’ or spouse’s wills. Click here to read more.

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2015/2016 Campaign
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A Fond Farewell

 
It was with a mix of sadness and envy that we gathered for tea on May 20 to say farewell to our business manager, Nancy Tronsgard, retiring after 16 years of service to St Jude's, and a "lifetime" of service to elder care in this region.

Although Nancy's primary responsibility was "keeping the books" and looking after the financial affairs of the home, it is abundantly clear to all who are familiar with her work at St Judes, that she has continually gone beyond that job description, assisting residents and families, working with all the staff, always glad to lend a hand whereever a hand is needed. Nancy's understanding of the financial side of the health care system has been an invaluable resource, both to the Board and to colleagues in other residential care facilities who consulted regularly with her.

But most importantly, and well attested to by colleagues past and present, by staff, and by residents and their families, Nancy's cheerful commitment to the overall life at the home exemplified all that continues to make St Jude's the best place to live, and to work.

With song and poem, with spoken tributes, gifts of appreciation, and more than a few tears shed, we said goodbye to Nancy as a working colleague, but not as a friend.

- Paul Bunnell

Dialogue with the Administrator

 
Father’s Day 2014 was particularly stormy and wet. Chris Norman, the Administrator, sat at home enjoying a lazy morning when she received a call that there was some water in the basement of St. Jude’s. Perhaps a pipe was leaking. Chris advised the nurse who to call and thought that was that. The phone rang again a short while later. This was no run of the mill problem. Chris dressed and by the time she arrived at St. Jude’s water was coming up from all of the drains in the basement. Joined now by her dedicated staff, the water reached several inches up the walls. Somewhere in the general vicinity of St. Jude’s there was a major back up in the storm drains. Water had also been pushed up into the building through the grease trap drains. Horrible, smelly, dirty, contaminated water had made its way through most of the basement; the laundry, staff eating and changing rooms, nursing supplies, elevator shafts, offices, photocopy/paper room, the freezer floor, maintenance shop, chapel and meeting rooms.

It took the next four months to recover and rebuild. Everyone involved including staff, management, families, trades people, volunteers and so on, gave generously of themselves. It took patience, ingenuity, hard and dirty physical work, long hours and of course money. Families and friends were called upon and delivered. All the while St. Jude’s staff made sure our residents were sheltered from the impact. Everyone maintained focus on that it is we are here to do.

"Be careful what you wish for". Improvements to the basement level of St. Jude’s had definitely been identified as import however, as priorities are, this had never made it to the top of the list when needs ‘closer to the residents’ rightly had won out. The silver lining in that dark, stormy cloud in June was the facelift for our basement, particularly our chapel. The staff eating room was given an extra boost (furniture and decorating) through a donation from a family with this specific purpose in mind. An improved space to take a break makes that time more enjoyable and restorative and is also a symbol of how appreciative families generally are of our staff who care for their loved ones.

After seeing the renovation project through to completion and a 16 year legacy, Chris Norman retired in January 2015. With her to thank, she left a healthy workplace culture and St. Jude’s a reputation as ‘one of the best’ Homes in the lower mainland.

I joined the St. Jude’s team as the Administrator on March 23. I am so impressed by the level of caring in the Home and the organization’s values alive in the day to day life. Staff at St. Jude’s are the best of the best; compassionate, dedicated, hardworking, quality individuals. Families and residents have warmly welcomed me and expressed how happy they are to be living at St. Jude’s. This is a very special place.

My goal over the next year is to further improve the quality of life for our residents. I will be looking for your support as we go forward in this important journey.

- Michele Cook, michelec@stjudes.ca
 
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