“Im­prove ser­vices for ev­ery­one”

Stanstead Journal - - FO­RUM -

years of ser­vice.

In an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal, Mrs. Good­fel­low ex­plained how she first be­came in­volved with the hos­pi­tal: “I’d been asked to serve on a com­mit­tee to study the merger of the four hos­pi­tals: CHU Fleu­ri­mont, Ho­tel Dieu, St. Vin­cent de Paul and the Sher­brooke Hos­pi­tal. I was in favour of the merger and felt a re­spon­si­bil­ity that the English com­mu­nity would be wellserved.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mrs. Good­fel­low, at the time of the hos­pi­tal merg­ers, “emo­tions were run­ning high.” “Peo­ple were very up­set. They had sup­ported, through do­na­tions, through vol­un­teer work, the Sher­brooke Hos­pi­tal and had a big emo­tional at­tach­ment to it which I shared. But my opin­ion was that, with ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and more so­phis­ti­ca­tion, we needed a larger en­tity with more spe­cial­ties and ser­vices.”

In 1997, in a tough elec­tion race, Mrs. Good­fel­low was elected to the merged hos­pi­tal’s first Ex­ec­u­tive Board. “I got the most votes of ev­ery­one run­ning – I was quite proud of that. I had sup­port­ers from both the English and the French com­mu­nity.”

“One of the first steps was to have the Board ap­prove a pol­icy that hos­pi­tal ser­vices would be pro­vided in English and fig­ure out how to do it,” men­tioned Mrs. Good­fel­low. “Early on, the hos­pi­tal part­nered with St. Boni­face Hos­pi­tal in Win­nipeg. We went twice to Win­nipeg with a del­e­ga­tion from the CHUS to see how they han­dled their mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion and we based our pol­icy on that. The hos­pi­tal also hired a li­ai­son of­fi­cer for the English com­mu­nity,” she added.

Be­sides be­ing a high pro­file mem­ber of the CHUS Ex­ec­u­tive Board, Mrs. Good­fel­low sat on sev­eral hos­pi­tal com­mit­tees. “The most con­stant one was the

Comité Clien­tele which evolved into the Comité de vig­i­lance et qual­ité and the Comité des us­agers.” Mrs. Good­fel­low also spoke fre­quently to English groups to help them be­come fa­mil­iar with the larger in­sti­tu­tion and learn how to get through its sys­tem. “It wasn’t only about get­ting ser­vices in English, but about get­ting good ser­vices. I wanted peo­ple to use the Com­plaint com­mit­tee, ex­plain­ing to them that al­though it’s a neg­a­tive word, it can have a pos­i­tive ef­fect if used to im­prove things.”

An­other im­por­tant ini­tia­tive that she helped get go­ing was the English in­struc­tion for hos­pi­tal per­son­nel. “The English in­struc­tion was al­ways on a vol­un­teer ba­sis. The cour­ses were well re­ceived by the em­ploy­ees and are still tak­ing place; there are al­ways more ap­pli­cants than there are places.”

“It was al­ways my ob­jec­tive to im­prove ser­vices for ev­ery­one, and make sure those ser­vices were avail­able in English. I also worked hard to sup­port ad­vance-

ments in tech­nol­ogy,” said Mar­jorie.

An­other com­mit­tee, of which she is the chair, that Mrs. Good­fel­low serves on

is the Comité provin­ciale pour la presta­tion des ser­vices de santé et de ser­vices so­ci­aux en langue Anglaise, the com­mit­tee that sub­mits a no­tice to the gov­ern­ment ev­ery cou­ple of years list­ing the hos­pi­tal’s bilin­gual ser­vices. Fit­tingly, in Mrs. Good­fel­low’s fi­nal meet­ing on that com­mit­tee in May, Mrs. Good­fel­low was able to say: “In­stead of list­ing all of the ser­vices that are bilin­gual, why can’t we just say ‘all’ the ser­vices, and the Ex­ec­u­tive Board agreed. What was re­ally mean­ing­ful about that was the re­ac­tion of the Board mem­bers – they passed that mo­tion with en­thu­si­asm. I’ve had so much co­op­er­a­tion over the years; the neg­a­tive peo­ple have been few and far be­tween.”

“There’s less need now for peo­ple to get in touch with me. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion at the hos­pi­tal has im­proved, the English clien­tele is more knowl­edge­able, more com­fort­able and less ap­pre­hen­sive. I’m hop­ing that more and more bilin­gual peo­ple from the English com­mu­nity will find em­ploy­ment at the CHUS. It cer­tainly helped a lot when the Nurs­ing Pro­gram be­gan at Cham­plain. When some­one goes to the hos­pi­tal and they see a rel­a­tive or a neigh­bour work­ing there, it’s a com­fort,” com­mented Mrs. Good­fel­low.

It wasn’t sur­pris­ing to learn that Mar­jorie has no in­ten­tion of slow­ing down af­ter she steps down from the Hos­pi­tal Board. “I have a lot of pro­jects planned and I want to do some writ­ing. My fam­ily moved here in the early 1900’s and I live in the house that my grand­fa­ther bought; I’m very in­ter­ested in lo­cal his­tory. That’s what I plan on spend­ing my next ca­reer on!”

Photo cour­tesy

At the re­cent CHUS Gala d’Ex­cel­lence, Mar­jorie Good­fel­low (mid­dle) re­ceived an award for her or­ga­ni­za­tion of the CHUS Ra­dio­thon from Jac­ques Fortier, the pres­i­dent of the CHUS Board, and CHUS Foun­da­tion staff mem­ber, Marie-Josée Gaudette.

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