Emergency Department team gets together to celebrate Deb Davies

Team in the Emergency Department at Toronto General Hospital
Team in the Emergency Department at Toronto General Hospital got together to celebrate their "Nursing Hero," Deb Davies, who always stands up for her team and her patients. (Photo: Courtesy of TGH's ED team)

Toronto General Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) team recently got together to celebrate Nurse Manager Deb Davies.

Deb won the first place in the Hospital News' Nursing Hero Award 2020 and was featured on the cover of the magazine.

She was nominated by her colleagues for her unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of both patients and staff, and for her exemplary leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her teammates in the ED are grateful for her "wisdom, passion and protection" during these uncertain times.

For more than 20 years working at TGH, Deb is known for her kindness, humility and advocacy for not only nurses, but the entire interdisciplinary ED team.

"I pay very close attention when Deb speaks because she is consistently guided by strong principles and the sincere desire to uplift others," UHN President & CEO, Dr. Kevin Smith, wrote in an email celebrating Deb's achievement.

"She is a true people's champion and a model leader for TeamUHN."

Rainbow scrub caps bring ED together for Pride Month

The ED team wearing their pride scrub caps
The ED team wearing their Pride scrub caps. (Photo by Dr. Dawn Lim)

Advocacy for the LGTBQ2S community has always been a priority for Claire Heslop, an Emergency Physician at UHN, which makes Pride Month all the more important.

For Claire, the month would usually mean marching in the Pride parade with medical students, residents and staff. In the ED, there would be decorations, colourful lanyards and staff members bringing in baked goods to share and celebrate.

COVID-19 restrictions meant that a "normal" celebration was off the table: Pride would be a virtual-only event, and would somehow be celebrated while working on the frontlines of a pandemic, with diversity and self-expression buried under layers of personal protective equipment (PPE).

"It was becoming a joke in conversations that we needed bright lights or something just to say, 'We're here!'" says Claire.

The only place not covered in PPE was the tops of their heads. So, Claire got creative. She was speaking with her colleague, Jason Dickson – a registered nurse who is also on the UHN LGBTQ2S Committee – when she had the idea to make rainbow scrub caps.

Claire pitched it to a group of colleagues, and the next day she received a message from an anonymous donor offering to fund the entire project, regardless of the cost.

"We're hoping that this brings folks, not just our patients but it also brings our team members an opportunity to connect and celebrate and even just add some whimsy and joy," Claire says.

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