Kindness. Courage. Discovery.
Who went beyond to help you or a family member at The Ottawa Hospital? Perhaps it was a caring smile, a warm blanket, a comforting voice during a difficult time, or access to a clinical trial when all hope was lost. The Gratitude Award honours extraordinary acts of kindness, courage, and discovery.
Whether it’s a doctor, nurse, support staff, researcher, or volunteer, each day our team at The Ottawa Hospital provides the most compassionate care to our patients. Giving in their honour is a special way to say “thank you”.
Recipients will receive a newly designed pin to proudly wear, and a personalized message letting them know how their hard work and dedication to our hospital didn’t go unnoticed. The amount of your gift will be kept confidential.
If you’d like to recognize a special group, please get in touch with us to make arrangements.
Meet some of our Gratitude Award recipients
"I received my Gratitude Award pin on a chaotic Monday in the emergency department, and I remember smiling the entire day."
"I love my job, and it’s truly the patients and families that make the many challenging days in my career all worth it. The emergency department can be an intimidating place, and I’m honoured to know I was able to make a small difference!"
Brian Eng is a registered nurse at our hospital. His role changed with the arrival of the pandemic — not only wearing PPE but stepping in to connect patients with their family members, including taking tablets in Ziploc bags into rooms. Being honoured for his kindness and compassion wasn’t something that was expected.
“As nurses, we all strive to deliver the best care to our patients — for recognition or not. Just being able to help a family who was losing a loved one and ensuring that they were comfortable throughout this very important life event is something that just comes naturally.
Going above and beyond the call of duty to support not only the patient, but the family, is critical during these times. This is the premise of holistic care — that the family is as important as the patient. And I think as nurses we are ready and willing to support whomever needs help in the crisis they face.”
"Thank you for the excellent care you provided for my daughter at the beginning of the hospitalization. We are frequent flyers at the hospital and therefore know how valuable it is to be cared for by someone who is professional, kind and who goes above and beyond." – Chantal Lussier
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” says Dr. Samantha Halman, regarding her work in General Internal Medicine. “Internal Medicine is fascinating – we solve puzzles, we follow patients through acute illness all the way through the spectrum of health/disease and we get to make an impact along the way.”
Samantha’s favourite part of her role? “Working with learners to help patients understand illness better and hopefully help them feel better – even if we can’t always fix everything. I am extremely fortunate to work with an amazing group of colleagues who are thoroughly dedicated to what they do – it’s a wonderful team to be a part of!”
“In many ways, being honoured through the Gratitude Award Program means more to me than any other award I’ve received!”
After working at a palliative care home in high school, Mariella knew she was meant for a role in healthcare. “Becoming a Health Care Aide has been honor. Helping patients physically and emotionally, sharing a smile or sometimes a hug can help calm the fear” says Mariella.
I have been here on 5 East for 17 years and continue to love my work every single day!
Dr. Sunita Mulpuru is a respirologist and clinical researcher here at our hospital. She cares for patients with chronic lung disease, as well as patients in hospital who have respiratory illnesses.
As you can imagine, this is a high-risk patient population when it comes to COVID-19. It's been a very stressful time for these patients, with many feeling isolated due to the length of this pandemic.
It’s Dr. Mulpuru’s acts of kindness and discovery that inspired a patient to honour her and say “thank you” with a pin.
“I am so thankful to receive this recognition from a patient. As a respirologist, I see the tremendous burden that chronic lung disease has on an individual’s quality of life and well-being. This is what motivates me to provide compassionate, high-quality healthcare, and to engage in meaningful clinical research that will improve the lives of Canadians living with chronic lung diseases.
I wear my pin with pride. It’s a reminder of the special impact I had on a patient and I’m grateful to be recognized.”
"Dr. Mulpuru, you truly are an angel, you make me feel like I matter, making my health a priority to you. Thank you for being there for me. You are an amazing person and an amazing doctor. "
— Fred Lapointe
Meet Dr. Garth Nicholas — a medical oncologist at our hospital. Dr. Nicholas has received several pins to recognize his acts of kindness, courage, and discovery for patients he has cared for over the years. Each pin holds special meaning for Dr. Nicholas.
“Because of the kinds of cancers that I treat many people are quite sick, or do not have as much time left to them as they would like. In that context, it's very touching that any of them take the time to say "thank you", whether it’s with a pin or in some other way. It is humbling that people with so many other things going on, and so many pressures on them, they still make this effort to express appreciation.
The families of patients who have passed have also recognized me. I often get to know them over time, and my sadness over the loss of those relationships compounds my sadness at the death of the patient. Sometimes the pin is a good impetus to re-establish contact after a few months, to see how everyone is holding up. I have really appreciated those opportunities when I’ve had the chance.
I think the best thing I can do in my job is to provide kindness at a moment where people are not necessarily expecting it. Almost every day in the hospital, you can walk past people in the hallway looking around at the signage, obviously lost. When you smile and ask if you can help them find something, their anxiety just evaporates. That's my favourite thing.”
"Thank you for the care and support you gave, you were our guardian angel and our Batman.” - Brenda Fraser, mother of Erin Grasmeyer
"Feeling honoured to have been named a Gratitude Award recipient by a patient after performing a lung biopsy at The Ottawa Hospital and have made a difference in his journey at the hospital. I'm grateful to be a cardiothoracic radiologist here & to provide care to patients with an awesome team.
I feel extremely thankful and privileged to be caring for patients at TOH!"
This is Julie Renaud, the Director of Regional Cancer Care; a role she took on during the pandemic. Previously, she’d spent many years as a manager in the Radiation Medicine Program. Being recognized recently for her work was extra special for her and she’s proud the share the reason why.
“I am a radiation therapist by trade and in my heart. Receiving a pin by a patient as a healthcare professional is the most special recognition. I’ve been managing the radiation medicine program for eight years now and giving these pins to my staff and getting a glimpse of the difference they made in their patients’ lives has been a privilege.
Earlier in the pandemic, I had a chance to share my Front-line Diary on CTV Morning Live. I wanted to make sure every front-line essential staff I work with felt seen in the story I shared, despite everything they have been through.
Fast forward to today, receiving my very own pin from a retired colleague who saw the story. She told me how proud she was to have been a radiation therapist for her entire career and the difference I made sharing my story. Knowing I’ve helped shape a culture of collaboration in our program means the world to me. I wear my pin proudly and am grateful for the kind and thoughtful gesture!”
“I watched your Front-line Diary episode. Your communication skills are amazing. I felt so proud to have been a radiation therapist. Thank you, Julie, for representing the department so well!” - Sharon Seed
“There is something very special about caring for our most vulnerable because the good moments spent with this patient population far outweigh the negative moments and I believe that is what truly keeps me going in this line of work.
My favorite part about being a nurse is probably the fact that I feel like I’m going to visit my second family each time I enter my unit. Working in partnership with my amazing co-workers is the reason I smile so much at work.
When my floor manager presented me with the Gratitude Award – I was so surprised yet humbled. You can’t help but form forever lasting relationships with patients and their family members.
To know that I helped them cope with the passing of their family member couldn’t have put my heart more at ease through such a difficult moment for them. I will always remember this beautiful, loving family and they will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
“The Gratitude Award was totally unexpected but very gratifying and humbling to receive, after 36 years of being a physician,” says Dr. O’Shea.
He also attributes the honour to the incredible team he works with. “I acknowledge the importance of clinic teamwork and feel that I could not have received this award without the great support of everybody at our Family Health Team including front desk, nursing, allied health and the rest of the supportive engaged team that helps me on a daily basis, stay grounded, work on wellness and avoid burnout.
I thanked the patient and his family for their unselfish recognition. As a lifelong learner, working with patients, medical students and residents, I take nothing for granted. Too often, as a society, we miss out on opportunities to celebrate moments of joy.
I will never win an Oscar for acting, or a Nobel Prize in any category, but my Gratitude Award will be a permanent fixture on my white coat.”