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Seven eastern Ontario healthcare workers honoured for exceptional acts of caring during the pandemic

Two are from Ottawa, one is from Smiths Falls, three are from Brockville and one is from Kingston.
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Seven healthcare workers from eastern Ontario have been recognized as "Home Care Heroes."

Home Care Ontario has been honouring exceptional acts of caring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We talked a lot about front line heroes during the early days of the pandemic," said Sue VanderBent, CEO of Home Care Ontario, the association whose members employ more than 28,000 workers across the province. "These awards personalize that label, by attaching specific names, faces and stories. At a time when Ontarians were told to stay home, because that is where they would be the safest, these individuals put their patients’ needs above their own and went into those homes to offer vital care and support. Their work, and their colleagues’ work, saved lives. We appreciate their sacrifices."

In total 35 health care workers were recognized province-wide, all of them nominated by someone who witnessed their acts of everyday heroism. 

The eastern Ontario recipients are:

  • Jane Mariki, a Personal Support Worker (PSW) from Ottawa, who was recognized by her nominator as a tireless worker who went “above and beyond to ensure the dignity, safety and health” of her patients.
  • Catherine Olagunju, a PSW from Ottawa, who during Covid-19 “picked up extra shifts, last minute shifts and always with a smile.”
  • Kadie Cadotte, a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) from Kingston, who is a strong advocate for her patients and “genuinely cares about them.”
  • Vickie Droppo, from Brockville, a “dedicated and compassionate” PSW who, when the pandemic began, isolated herself in a camper trailer “to protect her patients and family.” “It SNOWED in April of 2020!” notes her nominator. “We appreciate her dedication and compassion for everyone she cares for!”
  • Margaret Craig, a PSW from Smiths Falls, who filled in for staff on leave during the pandemic, facing numerous challenges “with determination ... a true hero and an amazing asset”.
  • Alexis Dawson, a PSW from Brockville, who was hailed as “kind, caring and compassionate” who goes “above and beyond, daily”. “Alexis is the PSW everyone wants for their parent or grandparent!” said her nominator.
  • Sandra Anderson, a PSW from Brockville who has “worked tirelessly throughout the last year and a half to ensure ... her patients were provided the care they deserved.” Sandra also began working longer hours during the pandemic “in order to provide care for more patients in need,” according to her nominator.

The 35 provincial Home Care Heroes award recipients include personal support workers (PSWs), nurses, pharmacists, home respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, social workers, dieticians, and other frontline health care heroes who provided compassionate care to patients.

The award winners were nominated through the website through a publicized nomination period earlier this fall. Each will receive a certificate.

"During an extremely lonely, isolating time, the health care professionals honoured today were many people’s sole point of contact with the outside world," said VanderBent. "For each person honoured today, there are literally thousands more who conducted themselves with kindness, compassion and professionalism throughout the pandemic."

Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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