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Jocelyne Copeland: Improving the human experience

By Hillete Warner

Jocelyne Copeland is an Occupational Therapist in the Department of Rehabilitation Services. She works in the Plastic Surgery Program, primarily with children with congenital upper extremity anomalies and hand trauma. She has worked at SickKids for 16 years in a variety of programs including Trauma, Neurology, Burns and Plastics, General Surgery and Heart Transplant. She holds an honours bachelor’s degree in health science from McMaster University and a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Western Ontario. She has completed several SickKids certifications including Mentorship Education and LEAD for Professionals and spoken nationally on congenital hand anomalies.

Bonnie Fleming-Carroll presents award to Jocelyne Copeland for her winning Wikidea idea.
Bonnie Fleming-Carroll (right), Associate Chief of Nursing and Inter-Professional Education, presents award to Jocelyne Copeland for her winning Wikidea idea.

Copeland has a passion for dreaming up ideas to challenge the status quo and improve the human experience. The Mary Jo Haddad Innovation Fund approved her idea to create an inspirational film for families of children with congenital upper limb malformations, and she has submitted several ideas through Wikidea, SickKids’ idea management platform, during a challenge about increasing how interprofessional staff can learn together in a creative way.

“Innovation and continuous improvement are part of the culture at SickKids,” says Kelly McMillen, Director of the Learning Institute.  “Jocelyne’s active participation during the Wikidea challenge exemplifies the dedication that our staff has to continuously look for new and different ways of doing things.”

Copeland on ideas and learning:

What is your Wikidea idea and how did you come up with it?

My Wikidea idea of how to “Learn Together to Work Together” was to host a SickKids version of TED Talks.  
I came up with the idea because I see so many people in the hospital working on interesting projects and initiatives that I am sure I would love to be a part of if only I knew they were happening. Conversely, sometimes I have ideas that I would like to develop, but don’t know where to begin or who to ask for help.

I have been inspired by TED Talks, where people ask for others to contribute their experience or their connections to develop an idea. I saw this type of platform as an opportunity for SickKids staff to inspire one another and work together. As well as getting things off the ground, it would bring people together who may not be aware of the skills and talents of others in different areas or professions.

Is there a particular education initiative at SickKids that inspires you?

I am inspired by SCOPE – Strategic Career Opportunities for Professional Excellence – as it offers clinicians the one thing they don’t otherwise have: protected time to work on their projects.  SCOPE provides valuable education, mentorship and the precious commodity of time to accomplish something.

How does learning make SickKids a better place?

Learning is critical to making SickKids a better place. Learning opens our minds and shows us possibilities, which leads us to innovation and a better way of doing things.

What makes working at SickKids special?

There is a lot that makes working at SickKids special, above all the feeling of being a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself; being a part of something that affects and helps children and people all over the world. SickKids also holds a special place in my heart because without the help of the world class Cardiology team at SickKids my daughter wouldn’t be here.  

How do you envision education in the future?

I see learning as much more global, collaborative and focused on problem solving, and less about rote learning of content and standardized testing. I am inspired by the increased accessibility to learning through free online courses. I see education becoming available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, which will take learning to places we’ve never been before.

Who was your all-time favorite educator, and why?

One of my favourite educators is Lucy Maud Montgomery because through her characters, Anne in particular, I learned about the power of imagination. I am also inspired by Malcolm Gladwell because after reading his books I truly think differently!