Students send their hearts to JGH staff on Valentine’s Day
Hundreds of heartfelt messages of thanks—complete with hearts—are going out to JGH staff on Valentine’s Day, courtesy of students at five Montreal-area schools, with support from the hospital’s Humanization of Care Committee.
“It’s a wonderful gesture,” says Rebecca Kaufer, the Committee’s Administrative Coordinator. “It’s especially welcome, now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for so long and staff are giving so much of themselves to keep everyone safe.”
“The kids really enjoy making the cards and they put a great deal of thought and emotion into them,” says Anatasia Mulcare, a Child Care Worker at Carlyle International School in the Town of Mount Royal, which is sending greetings to JGH employees for the second year in a row.
“Last year, we even had some students whose parents worked at the Jewish, so they addressed their cards directly to their parents,” Ms. Mulcare adds.
Joining them are children at Willingdon Junior and Senior Schools in Montreal, West Island College in Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Parkdale Elementary School in Saint-Laurent, and Good Shepherd School in Brossard.
Each student was given a blank card—similar in size to a postcard—which they decorated by hand any way they chose. The cards were gathered from the various locations by Friday, February 11, and were dropped off at the hospital for distribution on Monday the 14th, Valentine’s Day.
For the most part, the Humanization of Care Committee participates in initiatives that focus on patients. The reason for getting involved in an employee-centred project is summed up simply by Committee volunteer Neomi Kronish, Ph.D.: “Happy staff, happy patient.”
Ms. Kronish explains that Humanization of Care matters to everyone in the hospital. “Any employee who feels appreciated, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other day, is going to give a lot more to the patient they’re caring for or interacting with.”
According to Ms. Mulcare and her colleague, Child Care Worker Joyanne Layne, Carlyle’s Kindness Committee got the ball rolling last year by independently arranging for more than 300 cards to be decorated by elementary school students and delivered to the hospital.
Earlier this year, when Ms. Kronish proposed acknowledging staff on Valentine’s Day, she was told that Melanie Rudnitsky, the liaison between CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and the Humanization of Care Committee, had arranged with Carlyle to distribute the cards in 2021. As a result, Ms. Rudnitsky brought Carlyle back on board and the other schools were added.
“The kids believe it’s an important thing to do,” adds Ms. Mulcare. “The front‑line workers are accomplishing so much and they deserve special recognition and thanks.”