Dressing Down to Drive Funds UP: Employees support Heart and Stroke Foundation


At Eastern Health, we work with various partners for the benefit of our patients and our communities.  As division manager with the Acute Stroke Unit at the St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, there is one such partnership that’s holds special meaning for me.

It’s a special partnership between my fellow employees and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.  This partnership is focused on a fundraising initiative to support heart and stroke patients.  Working with these patients daily, we see first-hand how our efforts in this area can make a difference to them and their families.

That’s why one day a week, on Fridays, we offer our allied health staff the opportunity to dress casually in jeans in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Participating employees at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital donate $2 each to wear jeans to work. We also wear a red Heart and Stroke Foundation button with our jeans to proudly acknowledge our fundraising efforts.

In our first year of fundraising, our Stroke Team raised almost $500 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Jeans’ Day donations. On June 25, 2013, we presented Carissa Davis from the Heart and Stroke Foundation with a cheque.

(l-r) Carissa Davis, Heart and Stroke Foundation; Charmaine Lane, division manager (7 West); Laura Devereaux, physiotherapy support worker; Tara Bishop, speech-language pathologist; Michelle Walsh, RN; Sandra Gosse, physiotherapist; Stephanie Howlett, social worker; Tanya French, clinical dietitian.  (Missing from photo: Allison Eustace, occupational therapist).

(l-r) Carissa Davis, Heart and Stroke Foundation; Charmaine Lane, division manager (7 West); Laura Devereaux, physiotherapy support worker; Tara Bishop, speech-language pathologist; Michelle Walsh, RN; Sandra Gosse, physiotherapist; Stephanie Howlett, social worker; Tanya French, clinical dietitian. (Missing from photo: Allison Eustace, occupational therapist).

MaryAnn Butt, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation for Newfoundland and Labrador, is grateful for this donation from the St. Clare’s Stroke Unit.  She said: “This is such a wonderful example of how everyone can play a part in the foundation’s work on behalf of residents of the province living with heart disease or the changes in their lives caused by stroke. We sincerely thank the team for coming up with this fun and easy way for their staff to help the foundation in our ongoing work to create more survivors.”

As employees, we are excited to collaborate with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador as we strive to provide the best care possible for our province’s stroke patients and their families.

On February 3, 2014, the Heart and Stroke Foundation released a Report on the Health of Canadians which revealed that up to 80 per cent of heart disease and stroke disease is preventable.

The following are healthy behaviours that we can all adopt:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Follow the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Be physically active. Thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week is all it takes to start, and everything counts.
  • Be smoke-free.
  • Manage stress. Identify the source of your stress, talk to friends and family, and take time for yourself.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Women should limit themselves to no more than two drinks a day, to a weekly maximum of 10; and men to three drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 15.

Going forward, my colleagues and I have plans to continue with our Jeans Day fundraising efforts for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  We are also currently collaborating with the foundation on another fundraising initiative, ‘Casual Fridays’ whereby stroke team staff will wear a stroke awareness t-shirt, with further proceeds going to the provincial Heart and Stroke Foundation.

This story was written by Charmaine Lane, division manager (7 West) at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital.

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