Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 30, 2003
Caritas honours dignified care
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Alberta Lt. Gov. Lois Hole commended the Caritas Health Group, when she attended the third annual general assembly at Chateau Lacombe, June 18.
She told the health group it provides "dignity, equality and freedom for the spirit of the people" it serves.
"I believe that what self-centred people have torn down, other-centred people can build up."
"To me this is the key to the success of the Caritas Health Group. Each of you understand that to be human is to take an appropriate degree of responsibility for the well-being of others."
On a personal note, she mentioned the top quality care her late husband Ted received from Edmonton General Continuing Centre.
"I truly believe that other-centred people, in other words, people like the men and women of Caritas, will be the ones to bring the era of true prosperity, of true equality and of true justice.
"For you act not out of self-interest but altruism, out of hope that all people can enjoy a standard of living and of health commensurate with dignity and self-respect."
Caritas president Bev Rachwalski also gave a review of the year at the meeting.
Caritas operates three facilities in Edmonton - Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, Grey Nuns Community Hospital and Misericordia Community Hospital. Caritas is also the Catholic sponsor of Youville Home in St. Albert, which operates under its own board of directors.
The health group runs 19 care programs and services, including palliative care, continuing care and spiritual care, among others.
It also has 21 specialized programs and services such as cultural continuing care, rehabilitation medicine, shoulder research, tertiary palliative care and diabetes service.
It has 471 acute care beds, 20 sub-acute care beds, 22 palliative care hospice beds and 460 continuing care beds.
In the past year, it had 103,000 emergency visits, 6,585 births and 29,400 surgical cases attended by 4,900 employees and 1,250 individual volunteers.
Caritas follows the tradition of dignified and compassionate care started by the Grey Nuns, who founded two of its hospitals and Youville Home.
The administration presented the Caritas Mission Awards to Harmony Hall team - unit C6 of Edmonton General - and to Jim Micklos, coordinator of community relations in Caritas nutrition services.
Harmony Hall is a continuing care unit with a unique approach to care of the elderly. There, loneliness and boredom are banished with the help of two cats, two dogs, several finches, various fish, visiting children and a philosophy of care that supports creativity, empowerment and compassion.
Micklos has been instrumental in building a strong sense of community spirit through various initiatives - both with Caritas staff and in the broader community. He has played key roles in Edmonton's school lunch program, Santa's kitchen and various employee wellness events.