Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 15, 2006
Skene advocates for Catholic care
2006 Performance Citation Award winner says Grey Nuns are her mentor
By BILL GLEN
"The Grey Nuns' vision has always spoken to my heart."
- Mary Pat Skene
The committee was formed by the archbishop about four years ago to see if people were falling through the cracks between the institutional environment (hospital) and the home. If they were, Collins wanted to know what could be done.
"The Grey Nuns' vision has always spoken to my heart," Skene said.
"It is to be vibrant and compassionate signs of hope in our broken world. It has always driven me to impress those values of human dignity and care in every workplace I've been a part of. It gives me energy every morning."
Pat Selmser is a registered nurse who has known Skene for 15 years. She is currently a board member with Youville Home.
"She is probably the strongest advocate for Catholic health care I've ever known. She is compassionate and she knows what Catholic health care means."
Selmser continues to be impressed with Skene's ability to identify where there is a need.
"She has done wonderful work moving parish nursing forward in our region," Selmser said.
"She is a leader and mentor for a number of graduate students and a role model for nurses in particular, who are going forth in leadership and administration.
"She brings blessings to the work she does and the people she meets because she cares. She wants to make a difference."
Helping women and children with La Salle is important to Skene.
"The work of the Grey Nuns was not only to continue, but to flourish. They feel that the only way to break the cycle of violence is to get to the children.
"One woman told us when her son began to demonstrate the behaviours of his father, she realized it was time to do something.
"I found that so profound."
Skene hopes to advance parish nursing, where a registered nurse is hired by a parish and takes the lead in the spiritual dimension of care.
The nurse would connect people to the supports they need in the community, whether it be for the health of the body, mind or spirit.
The nurse might visit the elderly in their homes, run sessions in the parish or mobilize volunteers.
Skene said there are programs available for people to take in this field of health care.
"I would love to see that happen because part of what we do at CHAC is focus on the spiritual dimension.
"We need to have it actualized better at the parish level because a parish is already a defined community," Skene said.
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