Dancing with CCH Stars

Get ready for the ultimate dance party!

Six teams from across the Cornwall Community Hospital are putting on their dance shoes, partnering with local dance schools, and preparing to help CCHF launch its newest fundraiser, “Dancing with the CCH Stars”

a LIVE show on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at Aultsville Hall, hosted by the boom breakfast‘s Bill Halman!

Dancers will compete to win The Clinical Cup Trophy and $50,000 in medical equipment for a project of their choice supporting patient needs at CCH.

 

Check out the dancer bio’s below and see what they’re competing for!
                 

What I do at CCH:

I work in CCH’s ICU, caring for the sickest patients admitted to our hospital. As a Respirologist, breathing issues are my specialty. Life support, medications, and machinery like ventilators are some of the interventions I use every day, so our patients have open airways to breathe through severe illness or injury. I also work with the hospital’s resuscitation group attending life threatening emergencies across the hospital, like heart attacks and stroke. Life on the unit is busy but helping patients and their families when times are tough makes the hard work worthwhile.

 

A little bit about me …

My family moved to Canada from Syria when I was five years old. I grew up in Ottawa and we struggled in our new life. My parents went through a lot of hardship to give us opportunities in Canada, and I was determined to help them support our family. In high school, I worked two to three jobs on top of my studies. Outside school, I learned a lot about people during shifts at Giant Tiger and Wendy’s.

Back home in Syria, my mother’s family had a medical background, while my father’s family worked in engineering. Everyone wondered whose footsteps I would follow growing up in Canada, but when I had the opportunity to volunteer at a hospital, I fell in love with medicine.

 

Why I’m dancing for CCH:

I did my undergrad in Ottawa, went to Western University for medical school, then came back to Ottawa for my residency and fellowship in Respirology. I knew Dr. Paul Westergaard from med school, and he suggested I try some shifts in Cornwall’s ICU. To be honest, I fell in love with the people here. This community is special. We work with a great team, from my physician colleagues to our excellent nurses and everyone who works so hard on the frontlines and behind the scenes to help support our patients. I’ve worked at other hospitals, and CCH is a very caring environment. After commuting the first two years, I decided to make the community my home. I’m proud to team up with CCHF, supporting my team, our patients, our community.

 

My project:

I’m fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in equipment upgrades for my team in the ICU.

Our project offers a combination of equipment to help us care for our patients on the unit, including:

  • A new bedside cardiac monitor.
  • A carbon dioxide module add-on to help us monitor our patients’ vital signs.
  • A triple channel infusion pump to deliver fluids, nutrients, or medications to our patients.

Please consider pledging me in my efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to my fundraising.

DONATE NOW

 

What I do at CCH:

When I arrived at CCH, I fell in love with our Emergency Department, not just for the adrenaline-fueled, high-stakes cases that change and save lives, but also for the skilled and dedicated people who staff it: the nurses, secretaries, support staff, and of course the endlessly cool emergency doctors (I was never cool growing up…).

From 2014 until 2022, I worked in that department full-time, proudly accepted a partnership, and thrived on Emergency medicine. Recently, I was offered a new opportunity – leading a project to help transform CCH’s hospitalist program. I’m enjoying this challenge, helping evolve a department with a central role at CCH, working to leave a legacy of improved care right here at home. It’s an incredible feeling.

If you’re an adult admitted to the hospital for medical care unrelated to surgery or having a baby, you’ll be taken care of by a hospitalist. Hospital medicine has really become a specialty unto itself. We’ve worked to create a more efficient team-based model, increasing efficiency and quality of care for patients, while improving the professional experience for our hospitalists. I still spend a lot of time in Emergency helping with the care and flow of admitted patients so it’s a great fit.

 

A little about me:

I love working and living in this community. My husband and I have lived in big cities, but here and now we love everything life has to offer us. We have great local restaurants, and an exceptional quality of life. There’s a big advantage to being close to family, being close to a hospital in a small town, having our child grow up near her grandparents, and able to learn in French. We are so proud to be here and to give back to the area. We’re invested in our community, and we want to help others.

A few years ago, I was at an appointment in Ottawa when I spotted posters for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Dancing with the Docs fundraiser and I thought to myself, hey, why can’t we do that at CCH? I contacted the Foundation team, who were thrilled to bring the idea to life in a unique way. There’s been a lot of planning involved – not to mention a pandemic – and I’m so excited our event is almost here!

Growing up, I watched Dirty Dancing and just knew that I wanted dance to be a part of my life. I’ve watched that movie at least a hundred times, and I took ballroom in high school. I still love everything about dance – the movement, the spinning, the costumes, the music. Dancing is something you can call back on throughout your life, something you’ll always have a chance to experience and enjoy – alone or with others. I’m loving training at Powell School of Dance and I’m so excited that my daughter is joining their school to learn ballet and tap.

 

Why I’m dancing for CCH:

Professionally speaking, CCH is my home. I’ve worked at other hospitals and honestly wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. It’s the kind of place where you can create change because everyone is motivated to make things better. In bigger hospitals major change is more difficult and complicated: there are so many more layers required to make transformation happen. I’m excited to support our hospital through this fundraiser.

 

My project:

I’m fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in new equipment for our Emergency Department to support trauma cases and patient monitoring. When critically ill patients come into Emergency with cardiac issues, seizures, strokes, or massive trauma (like from car accidents) their airways must be secured so they can breathe – that’s the cornerstone of resuscitation, so we can save lives.

My project includes:

  • A new Glidescope Laryngoscope System with an additional pediatric light. This equipment provides the best standard of care using video to help intubate and open airways for patients of all shapes and sizes, from the largest adult to the smallest baby. Most critically ill children who arrive at CCH come because they can’t breathe. When you have a small child in distress, you need to be ready for immediate intervention. This equipment helps us prepare for all patients and all scenarios.
  • A new carbon dioxide module add-on for bedside monitoring of patient vital signs. This type of monitor allows us to check how well we’re managing a patient’s breathing and see how their lungs are doing.

Please consider pledging me in my efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to my fundraising.

DONATE NOW

 

What we do at CCH:

Andrew & Robin: We both work as Registered Nurses in CCH’s ICU, as well as being members of the rapid response team that helps patients throughout the hospital experiencing life threatening emergencies like heart attacks and stroke.

We know and attend to every need our patients have at their bedsides, from administering lifesaving medications to providing them with an extra blanket if they’re cold. We’re there for them in crisis, we advocate for their wellbeing, we hold their hands when they’re crying, and we’re their family when they’re alone. We root for them; we hope for them; we care for them. It’s who we are and what we do.

 

A little about us …

Andrew & Robin: We both went to Holy Trinity Highschool and St. Lawrence College here in Cornwall. Now, we’re both faculty members at St. Lawrence College’s School of Nursing, and we work together in the ICU. Our paths have crossed in so many ways for so many years, but it wasn’t until 2021 that we started dating. Now, we live together with our two dogs, Oakley and Willow, in Cornwall. We’re passionate about our city’s development over the years and eventually we’d like to raise a family here. Maybe all this time, without knowing it, we were meant to be.

Robin: I grew up in Alexandria but spent a lot of time in Cornwall. As a teenager I became very involved in community theatre – our local production of West Side Story at Aultsville Hall was a highlight for me. Being on stage brings back good memories and I’m looking forward to our performance at Dancing with the CCH Stars on March 4!

Andrew: I’ve never danced before. Growing up, it was hockey in the winter, golf in the summer, and every sport in between. Let’s face it, we’re both competitive. I’m taking my cues from Robin and trying to be the best partner I can be. With hard work, maybe we can win the whole thing!

Andrew & Robin: CCHF contributed ten lessons to each team, but we decided to take things up a notch and we’ve been practicing once a week with Alanna at Studio C. It’s nice to do something outside of work as a couple. This has been a great way to spend quality time together.

 

Why are we dancing for CCH?

Andrew & Robin: Participating in Dancing with the CCH Stars is a great way to give back to our hospital and community without picking up another shift. We work a lot – especially during hard times, and we feel we need to be there for our patients, our teams, our community. As we’ve seen, especially during the pandemic on the ICU, essential medical equipment provides frontline workers with the tools we need to save lives. Government funding doesn’t cover all the equipment we need, so we’re ready to dance and fundraise to make a difference.

 

Our project:

We’re fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in equipment upgrades for our team in the ICU.

Our project offers a combination of equipment to help us care for our patients on the unit, including:

  • A new bedside cardiac monitor.
  • A carbon dioxide module add-on to help us monitor our patients’ vital signs.
  • A triple channel infusion pump to deliver fluids, nutrients, or medications to our patients.

Please consider pledging us in our efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to our fundraising.

DONATE NOW

 

What I do at CCH:

I’m one of five Intensivists at CCH, and I’m proud to be the Chief of our Department of Medicine, overseeing all subspecialties of internal medicine, and hospital outpatient clinics for heart function, stroke, thrombosis, hematology, nephrology, and more.

An Intensivist is a doctor who looks after critically ill patients requiring significant medical support – they may have organs that are failing, urgent blood pressure levels that must be stabilized, or serious respiratory issues that need more invasive treatment.

Our team is passionate about finding clues and solutions to complicated cases; at the end of the day, we want to help people survive. In some cases, individuals are in our ICU at the end of their life and all options for care have been exhausted. At that point, we strive to provide comfort and compassion during their time of need.

Managing and caring for critically ill patients is a specialty that requires extensive training. Outside of my work on the unit, I run a local practice as an internal medicine specialist, as well as a large cardiology practice covering non-invasive cardiac testing, like stress tests, here in Cornwall.

 

A little about me …

I’ve always wanted to help people. I do my best to make a positive, compassionate impact on the lives of our critically ill and the lives of those who love them.

At work, I have long call days and many responsibilities to care for my patients. At home, I’m a mother of two. I credit my husband Tim as being the rock who keeps our home front stable while I’m working to help our sickest patients survive. I’m very proud of the work Tim does as an officer in the Canadian military with 20 years of service so far; making a difference for others is something that’s important to both of us.

Tim is not only my life partner, but now – thanks to Dancing with the CCH Stars – he’s my dance partner, too. Dancing provides us with the opportunity for a new adventure together. I’ve never been known for my dancing skills, but we’re enjoying the journey and looking forward to March 4th!

 

Why I’m dancing for CCH:

I’m dancing for CCH to help continue modernizing our equipment so we can provide the best care for our patients.

Our ICU team takes pride in offering quality care for our sickest cases. Over the years, we’ve worked to develop our department to a level where everyone who works there is an expert, offering specialized care for the critically ill.

We offer an Intensivist-led, Level 3 Unit, managing some of the most complex cases in our region outside of Ottawa, including septic shock, severe pneumonia, overdoses, and a large caseload of the sickest COVID cases during the pandemic.

If a patient’s needs are higher than what we feel we can do, we never hesitate to send them elsewhere; but we’ve also developed an impressive capacity of high-level care at CCH. We have a very close relationship with the Ottawa Heart Institute. Our colleagues there are like extended family to our ICU, and we speak with them every day. If a patient requires their support, we send them to The Heart Institute immediately; we in turn manage medical care for heart patients locally while they wait for surgeries, and Ottawa surgeons and cardiologists regularly refer patients to back us for ongoing cardiac care.

 

My Project:

One of the basic medical tools in the ICU is our ability to monitor patients’ vitals – helping us to act instantaneously on their needs. I’m fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in equipment upgrades for my team in the ICU.

My project offers a combination of equipment to help us care for our patients on the unit, including:

  • A new bedside cardiac monitor.
  • A carbon dioxide module add-on to help us monitor our patients’ vital signs.
  • A triple channel infusion pump to deliver fluids, nutrients, or medications to our patients.

Please consider pledging me in my efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to my fundraising.

DONATE NOW

 

 

What we do at CCH:

Team: The OR is like a dance – we all have our own steps! And none of it works unless everyone is in synch. See what we did there? 😊

Together, our team has 48 years of experience at serving patients at CCH. We work as a team in and out of the OR. We service every department. Breast cancer, colon cancer, gallbladders, scopes, appendix, hernias, wound care – we see it all. We try to make surgery as pleasant and positive as possible for the patients who come through our department. We strive for upbeat, compassionate, professional care.

The Medical Staff Office works with the Chief of Staff and all the physicians at CCH. So, that means Joy does all the OR scheduling for our surgeons as well as on-call scheduling, departmental and committee meetings. Joy gets people like us where we need to be.

 

A little about us: 

Dr. Stephens: Growing up, I loved learning about science in school. I knew I wanted to work with my hands, help people, and work on a team, saving patient lives. My grandmother was from Alexandria. I often think that Nana would be so proud of me, knowing I’m working at CCH.

Amie: I grew up in this community and have raised my children here.  Many years ago, I highland danced competitively.  My mom and often my grandmother attended my competitions and I look forward to having them cheer us on at this one!

Kathleen: We’re Scottish and proud! And we’re ready to dance!

Joy: I did my Coop placement at CCH when I was 17. CCH is like home to me. I love working with and supporting our physicians behind the scenes.

 

Why we’re dancing for CCH:

Amie: Participating in this fundraiser gives us the opportunity to work together and support our hospital in a fun way.

Dr. Stephens: Coming from elsewhere, but living here now, I’ve found this community to be so kind. We truly provide excellent service here at CCH, and I wish people knew how well this hospital runs. There are few things we can’t offer in Cornwall now. We provide high-level, complex surgical care, and we want to save people from travelling elsewhere – especially when they’re sick. We’re proud to be Team CCH.

Kathleen: There’s nothing more I love then helping others! It’s important to do our part to help the little ones in our community. Every little bit counts and we can have a little fun along the way!

Joy: Part of my job is physician recruiting. Having new equipment available to physicians is an important aspect of attracting new medical talent to CCH.  When I heard about Dancing with the CCH Stars, I was excited to put my step dancing shoes back on for a good cause. Don’t forget, we’re ready to win, too!

 

 Our project:

We’re fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in equipment upgrades supporting Women & Children’s Health at CCH.

  • A new neonatal SIPAP machine is required to support babies in crisis at CCH’s birthing unit who must be transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
  • A neonatal SIPAP provides ventilation for babies in distress to help them breathe and keep their vital signs intact.

Everyone on our team is a mother. We’ve had our babies at CCH. Working in the OR we’re involved in emergency c-sections where babies need help to stabilize before we send them on to CHEO. It’s important for us to support our OB program and help local mothers like us continue to access care.

Please consider pledging us and our efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to our fundraising.

DONATE NOW.

 

What we do at CCH:

Josee: I work with the Abuse and Sexual Assault Program (ASAP) at CCH. We’re a small group of nurses who provide care to individuals who have been sexually assaulted or are victims of intimate partner violence. We provide 24/7 coverage for our community. If you or someone you know experiences sexual assault or intimate partner violence, you can come our Emergency Department, ask for an ASAP nurse, and we will help you.  I also work in the Emergency Department and on the Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT). ACTT supports clients with mental health diagnoses so they can live a good life within our community. We do our very best to help keep them at home, where possible, instead of being admitted to CCH.

Rhiannon: I manage health information services, business analytics, and privacy at CCH. I’ve worked at our hospital since 2011. I am passionate about the sensitivity of the information we work with and firmly believe that health information is an individual’s own to share.

 

 A little about us …

Josee: I have a huge passion for helping people. I get so much satisfaction from contributing to positive outcomes from the most difficult situations. At work, helping patients find safety and support is the most important thing to me.

Rhiannon: I always knew I wanted to help people. While I’m not on the frontlines, I believe so strongly in our clinical team, and am proud to contribute to the work behind the scenes.

Josee and Rhiannon: Also? We found out we LOVE to dance! Before Dancing with the CCH Stars, our training was limited to kitchen dance parties, but now we look forward to our lessons on Sundays and we’ve even formed a friendship with our teacher, Cat. We love Studio C!

 

Why we’re dancing for CCH:

 Josee: In March of 2022, I experienced burnout after working in Emergency and with the ASAP Program during the height of COVID. When I started recovering from burnout, I received the email about Dancing with the CCH Stars and felt excited to be part of something bigger to support our hospital. I love the staff at CCH and truly feel like we are a family. I would have never made it on the frontlines of the pandemic without my coworkers.

Rhiannon: I heard the news about Dancing with the CCH Stars when I was in my car. Like many individuals at CCH, I was feeling the pressure of the pandemic. This was taking me down a path of feeling disengaged, and I was struggling, so the announcement could not have come at a more perfect time. I was so excited, I pulled over and sent a message that I needed a spot on one of the teams! I can’t wait to help make a difference at CCH!

 

 Our project:

We’re fundraising and dancing to win $50,000 in new bedroom furniture for CCH’s inpatient mental health unit:

  • Did you know CCH is the only hospital in our region outside of Ottawa with an inpatient mental health unit?
  • New furniture, rated for behavioral units, is required to increase safety for patients and staff.
  • $50,000 will purchase platform beds, desks, and chairs for six patient rooms.

Josee: It’s so important to take care of our mental health along with our physical health. It’s okay not to be okay, and together we can work to try and make things better. I have such an incredible support system and I don’t know how people cope without others to lean on. We need to talk about our services, create more awareness, and work to develop a stronger system of support.

Rhiannon: I’ve had my own struggles and know that many people, especially over the last number of years, have been through so much. I’m happy to share that I’ve used CCH’s services to support my own mental health, and I am so much stronger for it. I just want others to know it’s okay to share, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to talk about it.

Josee and Rhiannon: Please consider pledging us in our efforts to support local healthcare. CCHF will provide an official charitable receipt for any donation over $20 that contributes to our fundraising.

DONATE NOW