A registered nurse who spearheaded a “basket of love” collection for a sick colleague; a pharmacist who drove to the other side of the city to pick up medication for a patient; a social worker who created a community garden space for mental health and addictions patients: these are just a handful of examples of how our people live our values of human dignity, excellence, compassion, social responsibility and community of service.
At St. Joseph’s Health Centre, our entire community of staff, physicians, volunteers and students is committed to living our mission and values every day and fulfilling a promise first made by the Sisters of St. Joseph almost 100 years ago to care for our community. Every year, we hold a special event called the Legend Awards to recognize our people who exemplify these values, as determined by their peers.
“This is the 11th year we’ve held these awards which were started as a tribute to Sister Marcella Herlehy, a chaplain at the health centre for many years who devoted her life to ministering the sick and supporting our people,” said Hazel Markwell, Director of Clinical Ethics and Spiritual and Religious Care.
“Every year we see more examples of incredible acts of selflessness across the health centre,” she said.
“These awards are so special because they are peer-nominated so it’s colleagues recognizing one another for the work they do.”
The Legend Awards are an important part of our annual Mission Day celebrations. The day, close to the Feast of Saint Joseph – our patron saint – is an opportunity to recognize and thank our staff, physicians, students and volunteers for the care they provide our community.
Irene Njoroge is a registered nurse who was recognized this year with a Social Responsibility Legend Award. When a colleague fell ill, Irene encouraged her team to support their coworker and the family, eventually raising over $2,000 to send as a “basket of love.” Colleagues said it was difficult to nominate Irene for just one value as she exemplifies them all. Yet she remains modest about the recognition.
“It was humbling to be in the presence of people who have accomplished so much in their careers and done so much for St. Joe’s,” Irene said. “I’ve always been very proud to say I work at St. Joe’s – I’ve been here for a long time; I started in a junior position and worked my way up – this award is for all of the people who have supported me and helped me get to where I am now.”
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