Friday, April 9, 2021

Program: Marianne Walker & Suzanne Bone, Guelph Gen Hospital;
Induction of new member Raechelle Devereaux
Messages this week from our Club President, Tracey Curtis
          Toronto Symphony Orchestra      
Hello Rotarians. Not seeing you for two whole weeks felt so LONG! Even though last week was Good Friday with no club meeting, I felt ready to tune in. It made me reflect on how much Rotary feels like family. As often said, "At Rotary, we come together as Strangers, and stay together as Friends." 
Some of our Rotary family are struggling with health challenges and loss, and we are thinking of them. Please reach out to those who might need a helping hand or even a friendly chat. Continue to be there for each other.
We had another wonderful meeting today with many announcements, a new member to welcome, plus an outstanding presentation by leaders from the Guelph General Hospital. 
Please note these two important things: 
  • Our club's annual Budget Proposal Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2021 from 9am to 12 noon and will be held on Zoom. All members are invited and welcome to attend.  It is an exceptional opportunity to learn what is going on in our club, and to find committees or projects that interest you. Committee chairs will be presenting and explaining their goals and budget requests for Rotary year 2021-2022, for consideration by the club's board of directors, depending on funds available. The meeting agenda and zoom link will be shared closer to the time.
  • Be sure to check our upcoming programs that are shown below. Our Program Committee has lined up some fantastic speakers. Invite guests to attend! Ask them to Save The Date, and offer to share the zoom link with them a couple of days ahead of time, when you get it.
With great sadness, but fond memories, we mark the passing of Anna Stachnyk, on March 30, 2021, beloved wife of Walter for 60 years. With Walter being an active member of our club for almost 49 years, Anna was also well known and loved by our Rotary community. Her beautiful smile, friendly manner, and gardening expertise are being remembered with warmth. 
Walter, our thoughts are with you and the family. 
Chris Willard was delighted to welcome and introduce our newest club member, Raechelle Devereaux. Raechelle is the CEO of the Guelph Community Health Centre where she has worked for the past 12 years, following several years working in child welfare. The Guelph CHC is an extraordinary asset in our community. It is committed to working with and meeting the needs of people who may find it hard to access health care. Through Raechelle, we look forward to learning more about community needs and solutions, and how Rotary can help. Raechelle's Twitter account  @RaechelleDev describes her in a nutshell: Executive Director at the Guelph CHC. Health-barrier-buster. Believer that there is always a better way. Like us, Raechelle believes in the power of the collective, and she looks forward to working more closely with Rotary. Welcome, Raechelle!
The 9th monthly webinar took place on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. This particular webinar came at a critical juncture, and was attended by more than 625 people online. Since then, some 32,000 (yes, thirty two thousand) people have watched the recording, a clear indication of how concerned and confused people are feeling at this time. The webinar is informative and inspiring, and can still be watched on the CMHAWW Facebook page here.
The next webinar will take place in less than a month, probably  on Tuesday, April 20 at 7pm (to be confirmed). Watch our website and the CMHAWW Facebook page

Rosemary Clark officially launched our club's latest fundraiser, PRIMA FESTA REIMAGINED. After a 30 year hiatus, this popular event from the 70s has been brought back by the club's Lobsterfest Committee! In Covid-19 style, guests are invited to order a delicious Italian meal in advance and pick it up with safe curbside delivery at the Italian Canadian Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021 for "take out - eat in" at home. Pickup instructions will be sent to registrants several days prior to the event. Each Prima Festa Dinner ticket is $75 with a tax receipt in the amount of $40. 

  • Order meals HERE, by April 27, 2021
  • More event details are on our website here
Terrie Jarvis was happy to inform that Royal City Nursery, owned and run by Tanya Olsen, daughter of our former club member Peter Olsen, is selling beautiful hanging baskets intended as Mother's Day gifts, with 25% donated to Food4Kids Guelph. What a lovely and generous gesture from Royal City Nursery!
  • Place orders in advance HERE.
  • Details are also on our club website here.
Helmuth Slisarenko encourages us to have fun on Wednesday, April 21 by joining an online cooking class with two fantastic chefs from Waterloo, and then savour the resulting three-course meal ... all from home, and in support of KidsAbility. Registration includes a "cooking kit" with all the required ingredients, available for pickup in Waterloo, or it can be home-delivered for a small fee. $125 provides food for two, plus step-by-step expert instruction online. Helmuth has previously participated in a cooking event with chefs Jody and Kirstie from The Culinary Studio and highly recommends the experience! Registration for the event is a two-step process.
  • As part of this event, donate at least $35 to KidsAbility here
  • Then sign up for the food and cooking lesson here *sign up by April 12 at 12 noon *
  • More details are on our website here

Dave Latreille provided an update on our club's amazing 13-year Rotary Forest project in collaboration with the Grand River Conservation Authority, to turn 100 acres of former farmland at Guelph Lake back into a forest. The Rotary Forest project should have concluded in April 2020 to coincide with our club's centennial anniversary. Unfortunately, Covid prevented the April 2020 tree-planting day with community volunteers. Sadly, the same is true for April 2021. This year's saplings that had already been ordered and grown especially for the Rotary Forest do need to be planted but that will be done by contractors - no public volunteers. The GRCA has reserved one final hectare for the official 'Final Rotary Forest Planting Day' in April 2022!

  • Read more about the Rotary Forest Project on our website here
  • Watch this short video about the project, made by our past president, Carolyn Weatherson

Our club's Environment Committee is starting to look at future potential projects and activities, in line with Rotary International having added "Supporting the environment" as its 7th area of focus.



  • The Rotary Club of Guelph South and Sunrise Therapeutic Centre are changing the Mystery Car Rally "Drivers for Riders" event from May 16 to June 13, due to the Covid shutdown. Event details on our website here


The District is offering several free one-hour Club Leadership Training (CLT) training sessions on different topics, from April 10-17. These sessions are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Rotary. The overview of modules is here. Online registration is quick and easy. 
Also, mark your calendar for our District Virtual Conference on May 29, 2021 from 9am to 12:30pm. Details are here
If you're happy and you know it, contribute your Happy Bucks on our club's GiveSome pages here. There are four different topics you can donate to.
  • Andrew Johnson has become a grandparent! Congratulations, Andrew - a great milestone, as many of us can agree.
  • Helmuth Slisarenko expressed gratitude that his past annual "Curl For A Cause" fundraiser raised $1,000 for KidsAbility. Despite the actual physical event being cancelled due to Covid, his supporters made good on their pledges. Now he is helping KidsAbility by promoting their other fundraisers. 
Program this week - April 9, 2021
  • Marianne Walker, President and CEO, Guelph General Hospital
  • Suzanne Bone, CEO, Guelph General Hospital Foundation
After an introduction by Sean Yo, Marianne went over the COVID-19 timeline and key events at the hospital since January 2020. 
It was surprising to most of us how fast the GGH had reacted in those early days, well before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. 
By the first week of February 2020, GGH had set up a Working Group to monitor developments, and within three weeks had implemented a Passive and Active Screening Process. By the first week of March 2020, GGH had activated an Incident Management System and was working in close cooperation with public health at all levels. 
Marianne explained that theoretical medical procedures and protocols do exist for coping with a pandemic, but until Covid-19, most practitioners had not personally experienced working in an actual pandemic, so theory and practice are quite different. There is also great need for vigilance and adaptability to match real life developments, which can be and often were unexpected. 
On March 7, 2020, the GGH Foundation held its signature annual fundraiser, the Black Tie Bingo event, and just four days later, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic and everything started shutting down.
On March 23, 2020 Guelph confirmed its first positive case of Covid-19 in the community. Since then, everything has been a constant race against Covid, although the surges did peak then subside slightly, allowing a little breathing room in between surges to review and revamp each time.
GGH was frequently in the news, as shown in these early headlines.
Marianne is full of praise for the medical community. She provided many examples, including:
  • Ongoing teamwork of personnel at every level.
  • Local surgeons taking the initiative to postpone elective surgeries at GGH to free up hospital beds even before the government mandated this step.
  • Review and activation of an ethical framework for decision making on patient care and prioritisation. 
  • Many different kinds of contingency plans.
  • Limiting hospital visiting hours and then restricting visitors completely.
  • Establishing an Assessment Centre with the Guelph Family Health Team to conduct Covid testing.
  • Running an Incident Management System that used to meet daily, then less frequently as case loads declined.
  • Successfully managing any outbreaks at the hospital, getting them under control within 14 days.
  • The hard work of obtaining additional ventilators and PPE, at a time when global demand outstripped supply.
  • Training staff in the ever-changing protocols as more data came to light.
  • Constantly tracking the hospital capacity, and adapting certain spaces such as turning a recovery room into an ICU room.
The Guelph community rallied around the hospital as well, with:
  • A Guelph Mask Squad sewing over 15,000 masks for hospital staff, in the early days when medical masks were extremely difficult to obtain; also making caps and comfort head bands to hold masks in place differently and prevent pressure sensitivity behind the ears
  • Local distilleries switching their production to make hand sanitizer when it was almost impossible to buy
  • Community love has been shown to frontline medical staff with "Love Rocks" painted and left outside the hospital, and sidewalk chalk art, cheering parades, and messages of hope, encouragement and thanks
Today, we are in the midst of the third wave of Covid-19 with a provincial lockdown plus a stay-at-home order. Today, our GGH ICU is full, having taken in some patients from other hospitals that could not accommodate more. Marianne is positive and complimentary about the way that community and provincial health teams cooperate for the greater good, truly acting like one huge system and not competing against each other.
A serious issue being experienced throughout the health system is shortage of staff, in all positions, medical and non-medical, because people are afraid to work in places where they might contract Covid from sick patients and bring the infection home to their families. This is stretching existing employees to their limits, at a time when Long Term Care homes are also calling for hospital staff to help them. 
The Guelph General Hospital, built for 45,000 hospital visits a year, is now experiencing more than 60,000, and while every effort is constantly made to be more creative with space and streamlining of processes, limits are being felt. And so, even when Covid-19 subsides, capacity remains a community challenge for the Guelph General Hospital.
Our club member Dr. Ranjit Singh, a retired neurologist and very familiar with the GGH, sincerely thanked Marianne and Suzanne for their insightful presentation and leadership, with great compliments to Marianne for her encyclopaedic knowledge and global view of so many issues needing to be monitored and managed simultaneously. 
Upcoming programs 
Check our home page for upcoming speakers. Invite guests! 
  • Friday, April 16 at 12:15pm - Gisella Gazzola - Up close and personal - introduction by a new member
  • Friday, April 23 at 12:15pm - Prof. Kent Moore *son of our club member, Ab Moore * - The impact of climate change on our oceans 
  • Friday, April 30 at 12:15pm - Dr. Carrie Bridge, Astrophysicist - NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Project
Bulletin Editor
Terrie Jarvis
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