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Human Touch Awards


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CCO’s Human Touch Awards recognize and celebrate the compassion and dedication of healthcare professionals, providers and volunteers in Ontario’s kidney and cancer care communities.

Meet the 2017 Human Touch Awards Winners!

This year, 10 outstanding Human Touch Award winners were chosen from across Ontario, from both the kidney and cancer care systems. To read about award winners from the cancer care system, go to the Cancer Care Ontario website.

Our kidney care system winners are:

Staff Awards (Kidney care):

Deborah Bezaire

Deborah Bezaire, Renal Program Manager, London Health Sciences Centre
Deborah Bezaire understands the importance of partnership, particularly when it comes to delivering compassionate person-centred care. As Manager of the Renal Program at the London Health Sciences Centre, Deborah demonstrates leadership and compassionate care on a daily basis to improve the patient and family experience. When the Renal Patient and Family Advisory Council was created at her centre, she took an active role to better understand what compassionate person-centred care really means to herself, her team, and to her patients and their families. She takes the time to listen to patients and families to truly understand their stories, and seeks feedback from both patients and staff to improve care and processes. Deborah is a champion for person-centred care, promoting this in her everyday approach to managing the renal program, and proving to be instrumental in improving the quality of life of her patients. She has been a true partner to renal patients, and has created trusted partnerships with patient advisors and colleagues across the organization.


Dr. Jocelyn Garland

Dr. Jocelyn Garland, Assistant Professor of Nephrology, Queen’s University
In her role as Assistant Professor of Nephrology at Queen’s University, Dr. Jocelyn Garland is a highly regarded teacher who has received two Department of Medicine awards for her work in teaching medical students. When it comes to patient care, her affinity for taking on a leadership role is no different. Dr. Garland was nominated by the parent of a patient who described an instance where Dr. Garland went “over and above” to save her daughter’s life. While away from the office, Dr. Garland was contacted for her expertise to handle a complex case. Without hesitation, she immediately took on a leadership role directing a multi-specialty team of experts. She proved to be a tireless patient advocate, tapping into all possible resources as she consulted with medical experts from around the world. While advocating medically for the patient, Dr. Garland also took the time to provide the patient with the human touch that was greatly needed during this time, as quoted by the patient, “treating her like a real person.”


Nancy Woodcock

Nancy Woodcock, Renal Dietician, London Health Sciences Centre
Upon graduating from Brescia College with a degree in Food and Nutrition, Nancy Woodcock was hired by London Health Sciences Centre as a clinical dietitian. Thirty-three years later, Nancy is still there – now in a role within the renal department working with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and advanced stage kidney disease patients. Nancy has developed a reputation as a dedicated and committed team member to both patients and staff. She views patients and their family members as individuals first, treating them with the utmost respect while engaging them in their care. Nancy will do whatever it takes to make sure patient care is the first priority, even if that means she has to hone in on her creativity and think outside the box to achieve the best results for her patients. Nancy’s dedication to patient care is inspiring to her colleagues as she has taken on a number of roles outside of her core responsibilities. This includes active participation in numerous committees, initiatives and research projects – all with the goal of improving the quality of care for patients. Nancy has not only proven to be an expert in her field, but is also a reliable and trusted colleague, and a genuine advocate for patient-centred care who demonstrates compassion and empathy on a daily basis.


Volunteer Award (Kidney care):

Vera Buckingham

Vera Buckingham, Volunteer, Ross Memorial Hospital
As a family member of a dialysis patient, Vera Buckingham truly understands the positive impact of peer support. Vera first visited the Renal Program at Ross Memorial Hospital when her husband began receiving hemodialysis treatment, and over the years she has taken the time to support other patients and families in any way that she could. Over the past two years, Vera has volunteered to manage the coffee service provided to patients and families during their dialysis sessions. With a great deal of care, Vera prepares a daily nourishment cart to offer while patients receive their treatments, often taking the time to make homemade treats for the unit. Vera has even been known to research the recipe of a patient’s favourite cookie, and bring in a batch of the homemade treats during her next shift. During a brief absence following her husband’s unfortunate passing, many patients and families expressed how much they missed seeing Vera every day. Despite her loss, Vera returned to her volunteer position and she was greeted by happy faces of both patients and staff alike.


Craig Lindsay

Craig Lindsay, Volunteer, Scarborough and Rouge Regional Nephrology Program
Craig Lindsay’s journey with the Scarborough Regional Nephrology Program began in 2011 as a peritoneal dialysis patient, eventually progressing to home hemodialysis before he received a transplant. Throughout his journey, he has been involved with the peer support program – which he now chairs. He is known for his positive attitude and willingness to share useful information with fellow patients. Aside from his role with the peer support program, he is involved with many other volunteer activities within the hospital, as well as with the Kidney Foundation of Canada. He currently holds a position on the hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), and is an active member of the Regional Nephrology program’s PFAC as well. He is always willing to share his personal story and experiences through various speaking engagements, with the goal of providing hope and encouragement to others who are facing the same challenges and struggles.