Susan Poitras has been involved with Canuck Place in some capacity for almost 20 years. She joined the new facility in 1995 as a nurse, but has since become the counseling services coordinator.
Her nursing background is what initially brought her to Canuck Place.
“I was a nurse at Children’s Hospital, working in oncology and neurology, and my head nurse was recruiting,” recalled Susan. “When she told me about Canuck Place, it really excited me, to be able to work in a hospice facility, and just focus on comfort. As a nurse, you do a lot of things that aren’t comfortable to families and to kids, and to really be able to just focus your practice on the needs of the family and the child was the thing that brought me there.”
Susan now works with families throughout their Canuck Place journey. Opportunities for counselling sessions start early, for parents, siblings, and children on the program.
One of Susan’s favorite memories from Canuck Place was working with teens in these groups.
“Being with the youth who are all coping and living with a life threatening illness, and being able to hear their stories, and see their connections, and being able to facilitate that… It was a special opportunity as a professional.”
Susan enjoys that her job allows her to make a difference in people’s lives, focusing on individual families.
Counselling at Canuck Place continues well past the death of a child. Parents and siblings can access individual counseling sessions as well as group sessions. For many of them, these group sessions are they only place they can connect with others who understand exactly what they’re going through.
Susan and the Canuck Place counseling team help families through the most difficult time of their lives, giving them the tools they need to get through the days, months, and years that follow.
Susan is featured in the Let Your Light Shine project.