NHH honours a special staffer

By Cecilia Nasmith

Many staffers from many departments support the patients at Northumberland Hills Hospital – and for Social Work Week (March 4 to 10), NHH's own Chantal Lelievre came in for plaudits at the March board meeting.

The report from president and chief executive officer Linda Davis said that Social Work Week in Canada recognizes the role of social workers and builds awareness of the many ways these professional support patient and family care across the continuum.

“Within each patient's unique context, they are a key part of the interprofessional team, helping to identify the source of stress or problems, strengthen coping skills and find effective solutions,” Davis's report said.

She pointed out that senior director of public affairs and strategic partnerships Jennifer Gillard had made Lelievre and her work the subject of an excellent featured story on, and included an excerpt in her report.

As well as patient care, Lelievre supports Master of Social Work students with mentorship, including (most recently) University of Windsor students Courtney Gillard and Bradley Beaumont.

Gillard's story included a quote that shows how Lelievre sees her work at the hospital.

“Sometimes the support I provide is very simple. Sitting and listening to the family of a patient who is very ill, for example, or talking with a patient or family member brought in by ambulance following an accident on the highway. Quite often, I act as a mediator – between the family and the challenges they face – helping to understand the barriers, break down challenges into manageable parts, and build connections to the people and resources that can hep get them through, Understanding each patient's story helps me to get to the cause of the issue and, together, we can find a solution,” she said.

“Everyone has a story. And if we can understand that story, we're better able to deliver quality care and help someone move forward. It's a privilege to do what I do, and I really love it.”