‘It’s been like a fam­ily’

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

Dur­ing Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal’s 50th an­niver­sary, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Linda Mor­row also will be re­flect­ing on the past 34 years she has ded­i­cated her life to the in­sti­tu­tion.

Orig­i­nally from Mon­tréal, Ms. Mor­row, who cur­rently lives in Maxville, said she has en­joyed the ben­e­fits of work­ing in a small, ru­ral hos­pi­tal.

“It’s been a won­der­ful place to work with good se­cu­rity, good en­vi­ron­ment and lots of job sat­is­fac­tion and room for growth,” she says. “It’s been like a fam­ily. You know ev­ery­body so well. I re­mem­ber think­ing: ‘Will a small hos­pi­tal have enough to of­fer?’ It cer­tainly has.”

Ms. Mor­row started with the HGMH as a reg­is­tered nurse in 1981.

She has seen many im­prove­ments over the years. “One of the big­gest changes is the emer­gency depart­ment,” she says. “Back when I started here our fam­ily physi­cians were do­ing emer­gency so we didn’t have a physi­cian on- site all the time. We took care of a lot of pa­tients and then the doc­tors would come in when we needed them.”

Around the early 1990s the On­tario gov­ern­ment sup­ple­mented physi­cians in ru­ral ar­eas us­ing an al­ter­nate fund­ing agree­ment.

“It made it eas­ier for us to re­cruit doc­tors. They had to be on-site 24 hours a day,” she says. “So that changed things a lot. It raised the stan­dard of ex­pec­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity.” Dur­ing the 20 years she worked as a nurse, Ms. Mor­row cov­ered all the de­part­ments and worked full- time in the emer­gency depart­ment. Ms. Mor­row was the hos­pi­tal’s charge nurse start­ing in the 1980s and she later took on the role of in-ser­vice ed­u­ca­tion co­or­di­na­tor in 1990 to train other nurses. She was also in­volved in var­i­ous projects, in­clud­ing com­put­er­iz­ing the hos­pi­tal’s sched­ul­ing and nurs­ing work-load.

Ms. Mor­row was the di­rec­tor of nurs­ing from 2001 to 2006, when she took on her cur­rent po­si­tion as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, a role she has held for nine years.

In ad­di­tion to in­tro­duc­ing new am­bu­la­tory care, the HGMH has ren­o­vated its surgery area and mod­i­fied its team ap­proach to pa­tient care.

The hos­pi­tal has also added ser­vices such as ul­tra­sound, bone min­eral den­sit­o­m­e­try (BMD), pul­monary func­tion test­ing, and car­diac stress test­ing.

Ms. Mor­row com­ments one of the chal­lenges over the past five years has been deal­ing with fi­nan­cial pres­sure caused by tight gov­ern­ment fund­ing: “It would be good if we didn’t have re­stric­tions,” she says.

Ms. Mor­row de­cided to move from her prior role as RN to the CEO po­si­tion on the ad­min­is­tra­tive side be­cause she ap­pre­ci­ated be­ing able to help lead projects and be in­volved in its growth.

She adds she still misses her work in nurs­ing now and then, es­pe­cially the di­rect in­ter­ac­tion with pa­tients.

Ms. Mor­row says her ca­reer path led her to­wards ad­min­is­tra­tion. “With my front-line ex­pe­ri­ence as a nurse I felt I had some­thing to of­fer,” she adds.

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

LONG SER­VICE: Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Linda Mor­row has been with the in­sti­tu­tion for the past 34 years.

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