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International Women’s Day at Canuck Place

Canuck Place Care |

Tomorrow marks International Women’s Day, and at Canuck Place, we’re lucky to have so many amazing women give their heart and expertise to children and families on our program.

We asked some of the amazing women at Canuck Place a few questions in honour of International Women’s Day. Read what Laura Fielding, Dawn Clarke, and Doreen Landry had to say below!

Laura Fielding, Recreation Therapy Manager

Laura Fielding Recreation Therapy Manager

Laura Fielding, Recreation Therapy Manager

What is your role at Canuck Place?

I am the Manager of the Recreation Therapy Team and general purveyor of fun.

How long have you been working at Canuck Place?

20 years (21 Years in March)! Yes – I started when I was 13! And since Photoshop became a thing – I have proof.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I am not the best “special-days” person (unless we are celebrating a child on program)! I wish that change for those underserved would come in a different form than just a special day. I realize that I write this from a position of privilege as a white, cis female, born and raised in Canada. I recognize that women are oppressed all over the world and I want that to change! I realize that these special days can be a “call to action” and a way to highlight struggles that groups are experiencing. My approach is to recognize and honour people based on how they show up in the world and how they treat others (recognizing that we’re all works in progress). I believe that a rising tide can lift all ships if we can just have courage and be kind – to ourselves and to one another.

What is your secret superpower?

My willingness to say hard things – wait – that’s not a secret!

What is your favourite thing about Canuck Place?

Hands down – the people – staff, volunteers, children and families we serve. Also the opportunity to be of service.

Who empowers you?

An attitude to showing up and being authentic. I make mistakes all the time. I appreciate people being able to meet me where I’m at on any given day with grace and kindness (and let’s not forget humour!). It helps me to reflect and always makes me want to do and be better. Being human is messy – I love people who get that and are able to be messy with me.

Dawn Clarke, Housekeeping & Food Services Manager

Dawn Clarke, Canuck Place

Dawn Clarke, Housekeeping & Food Services Manager

What is your role at Canuck Place?

I am the Housekeeping and Food Services Manager.

How long have you been working at Canuck Place?

23-24 years. I started as a cook and I was in culinary school at the time. And I started working part time and it evolved from there and I have been here ever since – I’m a lifer I guess!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think for me working in a place that is predominately female dominated, it’s a testament to women to how far they come and the roles that they’re in. Especially here, because it’s a nurturing place, but it’s also a place of knowledge, medical backgrounds, management, and leadership – there’s so many different things you can say about women in at Canuck Place and pediatric palliative care that come to the forefront in a field that would probably normally be male–dominated.  So that’s pretty cool! I’m not educated in the medical field, but I’m here and I’m doing my part which is connected to this interdisciplinary team that takes that whole family-centred care theme to a whole other level.

What is your secret superpower?

Being cool!

What is your favourite thing about Canuck Place?

There’s so many things. The fact that we’re meeting families where they are. Every family is different and every situation is different and that’s where we excel. We’re not just standardized care, it’s that extra mile we’re going to for this family. It could be, this person as a dog, well the dog is coming with them – and we make that happen. We can do those extra things for a family that some other places might not be able to do, maybe because they’re only thinking about the physical care of the child, but there is so much more to a family than that.

Who empowers you?

I think Jessica Tremblay (Director, Volunteer and Support Services) has really empowered me. She’s empowered me to take the job to another level.

 

Doreen Landry, Nurse

Doreen Landry, Canuck Place

Doreen Landry, Nurse

What is your role at Canuck Place?

I am a staff nurse at Canuck Place.

How long have you been working at Canuck Place?

I have been at Canuck Place for the past 26 ½ years, the latter four years at the Abbotsford location, Dave Lede House.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I consider International Women’s Day as a day which emphasizes the achievements and equality of women, both from a modern and historical perspective, In my particular case, it is a day to reflect on the wisdom of women who have had a significant impact on my own journey.

To begin with, I always think of my mother who exemplified, by her life, many lovely attributes. It is because of her that I have tried to be nonjudgmental and open to the similarities and differences of those who I interact with. She is forever in my heart.

At the age of 15 there was a traumatic event in my family when my older brother was injured in a car accident and became a paraplegic. I carefully watched and was significantly influenced by the nurses who cared for him. The nurses cared for him in the hospital as he lay for 3 months on a Stryker Turning Frame. I was enthralled during this formative time by their compassion, acceptance and love. At this time the arrow began to point at a nursing career

What is your secret superpower?

My strength (secret superpower) is regenerated each day, when, for a time period, I “sit” and “be” and breathe. It is during this time that I regain a perspective of the bigger picture. During this time, I learn again to heal and listen. Frequently, in this silence. I will hear words from my mentors that hold truths and echo within me.

What is your favourite thing about Canuck Place?

At Canuck Place we have a unique and wonderful place that has evolved (and still is evolving) through the last 26 years into the place we have today. I am very proud to play a small part in an organization where both families and staff are well taken care of the families and colleagues have taught me so much; the meaning of courage, compassion and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who empowers you?

There are a number of women who influenced me along this path that I then began to tread on. I think of Norma Wylie, the first one who introduced me to the concept of hospice care. I think of Sister May Thorne with her deep faith and exhilarating sense of humour. I think of Sister Katie O’Toole, a pivotal woman in my life. She was authentic and exuded wisdom. Many a time I approached her and her wise words counselled me and still direct my life. I think of Dympna Devlin, a true Irish friend who would be with me in a heartbeat if I need help. I am truly grateful to my colleagues who have both challenged and believed in me. And presently, being the oldest staff member, I say thanks to my colleagues who keep me young at heart. “No woman is an island.”

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