On Monday I was privileged to award Jackie with the first Frances Montgomery Personal Support Worker, (PSW)Hospice Palliative Care Scholarship at the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Conference. Thanks to Rick Firth and the team at the HPCO office, we are thrilled to offer this award!
This award, we developed, to honor the incredible care provided by PSWs, (AKA Health Care Assistants, Health Care Aides etc). We named the award after Frances (Frankie) Montgomery, my aunt, a retired nurse, and a life long family caregiver. Over the past many decades Frankie has cared for dozens of family members and friends, neighbors and people in the larger geographic community. It was Frankie who introduced me to hospice nursing.
This is the copy of my brief tribute to Jackie… which could have been much longer!
Jackie works at Bethamy Home in Thunder Bay. Jackie was one of the first PSWs to participate in the early focus groups for the research “Quality Palliative Care in Long Term Care” headed by Dr Marylou Kelly and her team at Lakehead University.
She became a PSW champion of HPC, at Bethamy Home. She participated in the development of PSW HPC Competencies.
Jackie continues to participate/lead the palliative care group at Bethamy home. She leads the debriefing following death. Her leadership in debriefing helps to support the care team, but leading the debriefing also shows just how much PSWs can do!
Jackie mentors new staff and students. She speaks locally at the college. She presents provincially and nationally at conferences. In all this Jackie may be unique…
But if you are lucky, or hospitable, and you invite Jackie to dinner or for a culpa something… you will hear her stories. You can call her work “Quality Palliative Care in Long Term Care”, or you can call her work “Excellence in Dementia Care” or you can forget trying to name it, and just sit back and bask in her stories.
As Jackie talks of “her residents” you can feel her love, her care and her commitment to those she cares for. You can imagine her touch. You can visualizes the advocate, the tiger when one of the residents is not comfortable. (Watch out!)
And you can hope, hope that someone like Jackie will be there to care for you when you are in need!
You know that Jackie provides incredible, excellent care… but she would be the first to tell you that in this she is not unique. Today Jackie is awarded and recognized. Today she accepts this award. But together we tribute all Personal Support Workers and the fabulous work, the sacred work that they do.
We thank PSWs everywhere, and we thank you Jackie.
April 2014, presented by Kath Murray