Paula has the Human Touch

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HUMAN TOUCH AWARDSault Area Hospital, along with the regional Northeast Cancer Centre – Health Sciences North, congratulate Paula Pigeon, volunteer member of the Algoma District Cancer Programs’ (ADCP) Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) on receiving the 2016 Human Touch Award in the volunteer category.

Cancer Care Ontario’s Human Touch Awards honour outstanding professionals and volunteers from across Ontario’s cancer and kidney care systems who make a difference to health care every day. In the field of health care, it is not uncommon to come across individuals on a daily basis, who go the extra mile to change lives. Whether it’s one act of kindness, a regular routine, or simply demonstrating a positive attitude, these people are a true inspiration for their compassion and commitment to health care.

“Congratulations to Paula for winning Human Touch Awards this year, “says Mark Hartman, Health Sciences North’s Vice President of Cancer and Clinical Support. “The strength of cancer and kidney care in northeastern Ontario is based on the compassion, dedication, and initiative of people like Paula. They make the difference for our patients.”

If there is anyone who understands how overwhelming the cancer treatment process can be, it’s Paula Pigeon. In her own words, the volunteer patient and family advisor at ADCP has made it her duty to make complex care a little less complex for the cancer patient. “Receiving the 2016 Human Touch Award marked likely one of the most humbling moments in my life. I do not believe any task or goal can be achieved independently and it is because SAH selected and allowed me to have a voice at the table that I was able to be successful. I was very proud and honoured to accept this award on behalf of the PFAC, SAH and the Sault Ste. Marie community,” says Paula.

A breast cancer survivor, Paula uses her own personal experiences to ease the fear and anxiety of people with cancer and their families. One example of this is a hair-loss journey photobook that Paula created to document her hair loss throughout her treatment. She often shares this book, along with a virtual patient journey video she created to help prepare new patients for their visit to the centre. She strives to make life a little bit easier for people with cancer and has been key in assisting patients and their families with things like negotiating reduced rates at local hotels and fundraising to cover hospital parking fees.

“On behalf of everyone at Sault Area Hospital, we congratulate Paula Pigeon for her passion for health care and her extensive contributions to the cancer program and SAH patients,” says Ron Gagnon, President & CEO. “We have appreciated Paula’s unwavering and deep commitment to improving the lives of all those we serve.”