What I Learned This Week: January 23, 2015

Wow has week two flown by! I can’t believe I’m (almost) a 10 day veteran of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital! It has been an amazing week highlighted by many opportunities to see how our kids are at the centre of everything we do, from the music Jesse chooses when he drives a client to an appointment, to the grants approved by our Centres for Leadership, to the ways that Bev and Millie engage every young person they serve at Tim Hortons.

Here are some of the highlights/learnings from this week:

  • Week one taught me how much I learn from our clients and their families. My priority in week two has been to spend time every day with clients and to really try to experience Holland Bloorview through their eyes.
  • I was able to follow the admission process through the eyes of a new family coming into an inpatient unit this week. After two hours with them and their team I can say I saw client and family centred care come alive.
  • I hung out with a great young man who allowed me to participate in his therapy that involved adaptive equipment for standing (see photo below).
  • Another one of our patients allowed me to participate in her therapy. Shy at first, she had the most amazing smile when she beat her therapists at the Memory game!
  • Day 10 started off with Dr. Tom Chau taking me for an amazing tour of the prism lab in the Bloorview Research Institute. Just one example: I used the Virtual Music Instrument to make music with my body movements. Fascinating to see the opportunities to change kids’ lives that this research represents (see photo below).
  • Quality is central to every hospital and this week was the beginning of my deep dive into the 2015-16 Quality Improvement Plan target setting process.
  • Our researchers are not only breaking new ground (more on that next week) but are also bringing new technology to those who need it most. Check out legworks.org for a great example of the lab going out to the world via the innovation of Jan Andrysek.
  • By attending Knowledge Connection, a forum for sharing evidence, research, clinical practice or educational initiatives with employees, I was able to join many others in learning about the great work done to lead the system in management of chronic pain experienced by kids with CP. The great turnout says a lot about our learning culture.
  • I’ve got my first Board of Trustees meeting under my belt! We are so lucky to have such a compassionate, committed and wise group of volunteers governing our organization. They support all of us and the needs of our clients and families.
  • Bobby, our senior director of facility management, and his team somehow got that pesky “tape” to stop flapping outside my window! Everyone in this place is a miracle worker.
  • Everyday coming to work and leaving I got to appreciate the great team that is the first “face” of Holland Bloorview. Thank you to Carol, Karen, Joanna, Liz, Pam, Sandy, Sarah and Una for making our front door feel like home.
  • Our team is embracing social! Lots of you have subscribed to receive this blog and some have even joined Twitter! (and while you’re online anyway make a #HBYoufie at changeforkids.ca!).
  • Day 10 was super packed but you will have to wait until next week to hear all about it!

I’m learning more and more about Holland Bloorview every day. So many people are part of my learning journey and your support, warmth, knowledge and encouragement are making all the difference. See you in week 3!


Julia VMI_Blog2014
The Virtual Music Instrument allows kids use their skills and abilities to make music in an unconventional way!
Adaptive equipment used in therapy
This adaptive equipment is used in therapy to help kids with mobility and physiotherapy.









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