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About Sickkids
About SickKids

December 29, 2014

Meet the winners of the SickKids Humanitarian Awards

Each year, SickKids Foundation names students, staff and volunteers at SickKids as recipients of its Humanitarian Awards. The winners exemplify the qualities of humanitarianism and compassion while delivering care to children and their families – qualities and standards of excellence which have become the fabric and essence of SickKids. 

Congratulations to the winners for 2014!

The Robert Salter Humanitarian Award

Named for Dr. Robert B. Salter at the 1999 Humanitarian Awards ceremony in honour of his lifetime of humanitarianism, this award recognizes and honours medical health professionals or support staff at SickKids who have consistently demonstrated compassion and humanitarianism in providing care to patients and their families. 

Dr. Fraser Golding, with Karen Lefave (nominator) and her husband Greg Lefave.
Dr. Fraser Golding, with Karen Lefave (nominator) and her husband Greg Lefave.

Winner: Dr. Fraser Golding, Staff Cardiologist and Operational Director, Echocardiography 

Known for his attentive and compassionate care, Dr. Fraser Golding works closely with parents to keep them involved in their child’s care while at SickKids. He was selected as this year’s Robert Salter Humanitarian Award recipient because of his ability to empower his team and those he works with to strive to do their best and excel in their fields.

Excerpt from nomination:
“Dr. Fraser Golding made us feel like we were a crucial part of our daughter’s medical team. The level of respect we were shown as parents surpassed not only our expectations but gave us an elevated level of confidence that we played a pivotal role in our daughter’s recovery. Any extra level of care that we could provide our daughter was crucial to our well-being since we did not have an opportunity to have a normal transition after birth. Again, this level of respect allowed us to feel like active parents instead of uninformed bystanders.

“Within 10 minutes of meeting Fraser, he knew exactly how to translate our daughter’s complex heart condition in a way that was the most comprehensible for us. He quickly understood exactly what we needed to hear and how we needed to hear it, while also demonstrating the medical complexity of her case, which was not an easy task. He continues to communicate in this manner and we have yet to feel like we are unsure about any aspect of her medical care. I often find him repeating our exact concerns and wishes to other staff members which demonstrates that he is not only listening to our concerns but ensuring that others are informed of them as well.

“On several occasions, I’ve heard him describe other staff members with terms like “magical” and “the best of the best” which demonstrates not only his humility but also his level of respect for the team and staff members that he works with on a daily basis.

“While everyone’s situation is different, our situation was unique in that we had twins, with one girl at SickKids and another girl at a hospital 15 minutes away. This meant our time had to be divided between both girls. In this type of scenario, a good doctor will tell you to contact the medical staff at any time to give you updates. A great doctor will always ensure that someone finds and informs you of updates and progress when you are available. A truly exceptional doctor will give you their cell phone number for updates, work around your schedule and have the nurses page them at any hour so that they can come give you an update in person. This was Dr. Golding.

“With SickKids being world renowned, I’m sure there is a tendency for families to be intimidated by the doctors and specialists taking care of their children. From the very beginning, we never once felt like Fraser fit this category and we found that he felt more like a long-time family friend. The comfort we found in this relationship was crucial in our ability to manage the daily stressors that accompany having a child in hospital. 

“As a medical professional, Fraser is fantastic. As a person, he’s outstanding.”

The Family-Centred Care Award

Conceived by the Family-Centred Care Advisory Council in celebration of the 1994 International Year of the Family, this award recognizes and honours an employee or team at SickKids who provides care to patients in a manner that demonstrates outstanding commitment to the philosophy of family-centred care while providing direct care to patients. Family-centred care recognizes that the family is the primary caregiver and decision maker in a child’s life. To be eligible for this award, an individual or a team of health-care providers must be nominated by a family.

Lee-Anne Pires, Team Lead of the 8B Nursing Team, with Kael Morrison and mom, Emily (nominator).
Lee-Anne Pires, Team Lead of the 8B Nursing Team, with Kael Morrison and mom, Emily (nominator).

8B, Bone Marrow Transplant/Immunology Unit Nursing Team

The unique patient population on 8B can stay anywhere from a couple of weeks, to a year or longer. The 8B nursing team provides emotional and psychosocial care not only to the patients, but to their families throughout this long process. The experience of the nurses ranges from new graduates to 25-year veterans. This highly specialized area consists of dedicated nurses who function as a team and pride themselves in providing the best in family-centred care.

Excerpt from nomination:
“Kael has been a patient at SickKids since November 2013 and has spent his entire stay on 8B, where he is today. We have experienced nothing but kindness and support from the nursing staff on 8B. Their genuine empathy and fearless attitudes set them apart. They have kept us strong, encouraged us to push through, prepared us for the difficult decisions and have been a shoulder to lean on. They have kept us standing strong on days when you want to crawl in a hole and hide.

“They have not forgotten that Kael is a child first and foremost, not just a patient. Kael has witnessed spontaneous tap-dancing shows, conga lines, crazy hair days, pyjama days and the list goes on. They will randomly start dancing when our son turns up the music or play hockey with him when he meets his newest milestone. They continue to amaze us with their peppy, upbeat personalities and have brightened many a gloomy day. They have played countless hours of video games, card games and competed in treasure hunts and races (designed by our son!), always finishing with squeals of delight and laughter. They leave him notes and drawings. This always makes him smile. On more than one occasion we have arrived in the morning to a new note taped to his whiteboard. It is one of the first things Kael points out, which means that no matter how rough of a night he had, how little sleep he got, how terrible he feels, he is focusing on the little joys in life.

“Some days, I’m not sure where they are getting their energy, but they are bringing every ounce they have to our floor. They power through tough days gracefully with a smile.

“The nurses’ kind and gentle nature is sincere and Kael knows it. These simple gestures make him feel special. They treat him like an individual and a friend. They are patient, respectful of his boundaries and wait for cues from him. Being respected as a person and feeling like you are being heard has been crucial for Kael’s emotional health. They don’t mention sensitive issues which could embarrass or upset him. He thinks people will laugh at him but when the nurses focus on him as a person and not what has happened to him, he can relax and be a kid. It is helping him to move forward and adjust to life. He can recognize that his personality has not changed, and that while physically he may be different, it really doesn’t matter. They are making him feel comfortable in his skin again.

“They go above and beyond on a daily basis for Kael. They show him kindness and generosity. They listen and share. They participate and include. They have helped us to raise a kind-hearted, thoughtful little person who will grow up to be a selfless, considerate adult. They are our back-up and our heroes. They treat Kael like a little buddy, a good friend, a person – not a patient. For that, they will always be a part of our family.”

The Volunteer Humanitarian Award

Created in 2001 to commemorate the International Year of the Volunteer, this award recognizes and honours volunteers who consistently demonstrate the qualities of compassion and humanitarianism while providing assistance to patients and families at SickKids. This award honours SickKids volunteers from Volunteer Resources and the Women’s Auxiliary. Individuals or teams may be nominated by a family, a member of SickKids staff or another volunteer. 

Enrico Moretti, second from left, and Lee Nichols, with their nominators Sabina Spataro and Margot Randall
Enrico Moretti, second from left, and Lee Nichols, with their nominators Sabina Spataro and Margot Randall

Enrico Moretti and Lee Nichols, Marnie’s Lounge volunteers

Enrico Moretti and Lee Nichols have been volunteering at Marnie’s Lounge every Friday evening for almost 10 years. Marnie’s Lounge is a popular spot for patients to relax and have fun while undergoing treatment. Their initiative, ability to think of exciting activities on the spot and their easy-going personalities are the perfect qualities to make the hospital experience that much easier for patients and their families.

Excerpt from nomination:

“Enrico and Lee are not only dedicated, exceptional volunteers, but also passionate, reliable, determined and genuine individuals. They are extremely approachable and welcoming to the patients and families at SickKids. They have both demonstrated exceptional qualities as volunteers. They continuously put the needs of the patients and families first and ensure that every individual is provided with positive interactions over the course of their shift. Their innate ability to provide a sympathetic, fun and creative environment has been consistently demonstrated week to week.

“One evening when I was baking with some patients, a teenage girl told me that she felt dizzy and that she was going to sit down for a few minutes. Enrico immediately grabbed a wet cloth and a glass of water and sat beside the patient until she was ready to leave. He never left her side and ensured she felt supported throughout that stressful time. Another time, there was a family with three children who would come into Marnie’s every Friday evening. The parents were juggling to manage their child’s hospitalization and two other children, and Lee always recognized that the family needed extra support. One of the patients absolutely loved hanging out with Lee and she would constantly make cards and crafts for him to keep. You could see and feel the sense of relief from the parents that their children were in safe and caring hands.

“They never rush out the moment the doors are closed and always have a smile on their face when they leave. Their positive vibes are contagious!

“Enrico and Lee define and embody the SickKids values of Excellence, Integrity, Collaboration and Innovation. No matter what age the child is, Enrico and Lee always bring a smile to a parent’s face when they point out a great quality they’ve seen while engaging in activities with their child. Whether it be ‘your son/daughter is incredibly talented’ or ‘your son/daughter is so kind and patient – it was great that they let the younger kids join in the game,’ they are always pointing out a child’s positive qualities. When parents need to return to the unit to tend to other tasks, Enrico and Lee always offer to bring the patient back to their room once they are finished playing in Marnie’s Lounge, allowing the patient to continue having fun without disruption.

“As a staff member at SickKids, I feel privileged to work alongside Enrico and Lee. I highly respect that these two dedicated individuals have voluntarily given their Friday evenings for almost 10 years to provide a fun and positive environment for our patients and families. Their compassion and acts of humanitarianism are admirable and from speaking with other staff members, I can confidently say that I am not the only one who is thankful to have worked alongside them both. They dedicate their time (in both their careers and volunteering) to ensuring that the world is a place of opportunity and positivity!”