Good Catch Award May, 2024

Good Catch Award May

Chris Vadeboncoeur (Medical Director), Stephanie Poirier (manager of quality and safety), Jackie Davis (RPN), Ian Hendry (chair of the board).

Our latest Good Catch Award recipient is Jackie Davis, RPN.  Jackie was preparing morning medications for a guest with multiple different meds that parents bring in from home for the admission.  When removing a tablet from one of the bottles, Jackie found a tablet that looked different.  Because Jackie was paying close attention when preparing meds, she caught the incorrect tablet before the guest received the wrong medication – Good Catch Jackie!

Why I am a Visiting Home Hospice Volunteer?

In honour of National Palliative Care Week, we are shining a light on our amazing Visiting Home Hospice volunteer, Christine Wing. Her dedication to providing comfort and support to clients like Isabelle Phillips is truly inspiring. Here’s her story in her own words…

Why I am a Visiting Home Hospice Volunteer

The sound of silence, with only a far away hint of a laughing, happy Mom and Dad. Their child with special needs is safe in the hands of a caring Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice Visiting Home Hospice volunteer. She is calm, quietly focused and engaged in her new favourite activity.

Finally! Mom and Dad get a few badly needed hours of respite, and their child is happy, safe, challenged and adored by a carer in her home. That is what I hoped for, and appreciate as a Visiting Home Hospice volunteer.

When I was first volunteering in house at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice, I quickly became overwhelmed at the depths of the needs of our special children and the demands placed on extremely worried, exhausted and overwhelmed parents. I longed to know each child better and to help them achieve their full potential. I felt I needed to do more for both the child and the family!

When asked if I’d like to volunteer for the Visiting Home Hospice, I was initially a little concerned because I know that I do tend to fall in love with children easily. I wondered, “Could I keep myself within professional boundaries?”

I have found this to be a very rewarding mission. My goal is to help the parents while keeping the child safe and having fun and I believe that most of my visits do that. My child happily greets me as I come through the door, her parents chat with me, then they quickly retreat. Mission accomplished!

Oh yes, I did quickly fall in love… but that’s ok. Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice has taught me how to do that while still being able to say good night and go home…until my next visit.

By Christine Wing, Visiting Home Hospice Volunteer, Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice

Marion Rattray Award – 2024

It is with immense pleasure that we announce this year’s recipient of the Marion Rattray Award of Excellence in Pediatric Palliative Care, Dr. Stephanie van Zanten.

This award, given annually as part of our Hospice Palliative Care Week celebrations, recognizes the outstanding contribution of a Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice / Palliative Care Team staff member who demonstrates the following attributes and is nominated by their peers:

  • Shows creativity in fulfilling the dreams of children facing a life-limiting illness
  • Goes above and beyond in helping to meet the needs of the children and families using Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice services
  • Acts as an advocate for children, families, and pediatric palliative care, and
  • Works collaboratively with their colleagues & helps to promote a positive work environment in the face of grief and loss.


In 2024, we celebrate Dr. Stephanie van Zanten as the well deserving recipient of this award! Here is an excerpt from a nomination:

Dr. Van Zanten’s commitment to our EOL and PSMT kiddos and families goes above and beyond what is expected of her, and her work ethic is incredibly admirable. Her approach is gentle, assertive, collaborative, and above all else: compassionate. Through witnessing the way Dr. Van Zanten engages with families, she has served as a role model for me and helped shape the ways I engage and communicate with families myself. She is incredibly collaborative with the interdisciplinary team as well, and takes into account everyone’s insights and observations. She will always ask for my perspective on a patient or situation, and is diligent in expressing her gratitude after challenging cases. She makes me feel like I’m a valued member of the team and I’m confident others feel the same.

Congratulations Dr. Steph, we are so privileged to work alongside you, to have been supported by you, and to witness your patient advocacy.

National Physicians’ Day 2024

An interview with Dr. Rohail Kumar


Today is National Physicians’ Day! Join us as we thank our physicians for the care, dedication and compassion they show every single day to help improve the quality of life of infants, children, youth and families.

We are celebrating the day with this insightful interview featuring a dedicated pediatric hospice palliative care physician! 🩺 Learn why Dr. Rohail Kumar chose to specialize in this challenging but meaningful field.

Why did you choose pediatric palliative care medicine?

Initially I wanted to pursue a career in Pediatric Critical Care. It’s similar in the sense that both palliative care and critical care deal with medically complex patients. However, there are some nuances between the two, and they can both be viewed through the same and yet a very different lens. I took care of many patients in the PICU who unfortunately, did not survive. It was those experiences that made me pursue a career in pediatric palliative care. I wanted to help families beyond the acute management of their serious illness and to help advocate for them and provide them with a sense of empowerment in participating in their child’s care though often very challenging times.

Why is pediatric palliative care so important to children and families who need it?

A: Pediatric Palliative care aims to help children and their families who are navigating a serious illness, so that they can fully enjoy the remainder of their life- however short or long that may be, doing what they love, being with those they want to be with, and making beautiful memories not only for themselves, but for those who will be left behind. It is about providing dignity and support to continue living their best lives, with pain and symptoms well managed, and without being fearful of their journey. Some patients have more time than others, and health declines rapidly for some. However, I believe palliative care is about living life in the here and now and optimizing quality of life. Serious illness often leads to physical, emotional, spiritual, and social distress for children and their families. Palliative care provides a holistic approach to address these and hence is such an important aspect of care for those who need it.

What brings the most meaning to your work?

Being able to support children and their families through serious illness is nothing short of rewarding. I think every aspect of my work is meaningful.

What is one of your favorite memories working with children and families with palliative care needs?

I can think of a recent memory – I went for a home visit along with a colleague recreational therapist to visit a patient and their family. The patient often played UNO with the recreational therapist and I was invited to join their game that day. I kept losing game after game (even though I tried very hard). It was an exceptional moment where I was able to witness a child who was close to dying, and yet so determined to win the game and celebrate each victory with such passion! The smile on their face every time they won a game has become one of my favorite memories!

Good Catch Award

Good Catch Award

Nahal Yazdani (manager), Megan Wright (executive director), Stephanie Toll (RPN), Ian Hendry (chair of the board), Stephanie Poirier (manager of quality and safety).

At Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice, the nursing team must use the medication administration record (MAR) to obtain specific directions about the administration of medications. Stephanie Toll, RPN, noticed that the guest she cared for had unclear information about seizure rescue medications in the MAR. This could potentially cause a medication error where the timing of medication administration or the dose would be incorrect. She connected with the physician to clarify the order and confirm dosing, thus reducing the likelihood of error. Stephanie embodies our mission at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice: to meet the unique palliative care needs of newborns, children, youth, and families.  We advocate, advance clinical care, offer family support, and promote research and knowledge sharing. Good Catch, Stephanie!

Oxygen Save: Good Catch Award

Good Catch Award winner improves oxygen tank management

Attention to detail lets us all breathe easier

A big congratulations to Monica Sevigny RPN, recipient of the Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice Good Catch Award, which celebrates staff interventions that result in safer care for our guests.

Her keen eye and attention to details alerted us to the fact that our supply of full oxygen tanks was running low, which had the potential to delay our guests. Thanks to her intervention, we’ve improved safety and now have a better way to visually monitor and manage our oxygen tanks supply. Great job, Monica!

This is Monica’s second Good Catch Award, having been recognized in 2022 for bringing to light an opportunity to improve our verification of the availability, location, and contents of a tracheotomy emergency kit at the beginning of each shift. This good catch allowed for the development of more rigorous safety checks for emergency kits to support our guests.


Great job, Monica!