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January 9, 2017
Shirley Woodfield, this year’s recipient of the 2016 President’s Award for Core Values (How We Serve Our Patients), has worked at LHSC for 31 years in a number of areas, but her current role as PSW in Clinical Neurosciences is where she knows she is meant to be. “I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to move into this role, working with my team on what we call ‘7th heaven’” (or 7IP at University Hospital).
Colleagues, in their nomination of Shirley for this honour, praised her compassion for the patients she serves, and her dedication to ensuring that each and every one receives the very best care possible. Whether she is finding ways to communicate with non-verbal patients, collaborating with colleagues on ways to assist someone’s progress or even just brushing a patient’s hair so that their family is able to see them the way they prefer to be seen, Shirley demonstrates the core values of LHSC – respect, trust and collaboration – each and every day.
“In patient care, I believe there is the ‘gold standard’ and then there is the ‘Shirley standard’. I believe Shirley’s philosophy in regard to respect is to give more than you ever plan to receive,” writes one of her nominators. A common theme among those who know Shirley is her unending patience and respect for those she serves, traits which make her a valued member of her team, and a treasured friend and often ‘honorary family member’ of her patients and their families.
“I love what I do,” says Shirley. “I know that our patients would rather be anywhere than in hospital, and so I try to do what I can to keep their spirits high. Some of my patients call me ‘mama’, which I welcome because it means they feel like they’re at home.”
The following words from Shirley’s nominator provide the best explanation of why Shirley is this year’s recipient of the Core Values – How We Serve Our Patients award: “Shirley’s patients and coworkers light up when she comes on shift. She is such a positive, caring presence that everyone she comes in contact with is left feeling respected, cared for, and genuinely loved. Knowledgeable, amazingly kind and gentle, Shirley can make the toughest days – for patients and staff – so much brighter.”
“I feel good when I go home,” says Shirley. “I feel tired….but good! Like I’ve made a difference.”