Together, our community cared for Carolyn Heffernan

Carolyn Heffernan is a nurse, through and through. She graduated from St. Mary’s in Kitchener in 1969 and, from that day on, pursued her career at St. Joseph’s Hospital and then Guelph General Hospital, through many different and exciting roles. She retired in 2011 but kept her hand in with casual nursing shifts until 2017.

Carolyn recalls with pride her job as the Project Move Coordinator when the acute care services of St. Joseph’s joined Guelph General in 2001. “It was a complicated job that involved working with all departments, but a satisfying job, and a fascinating learning experience.”

Carolyn also enjoyed being a preceptor to many nursing students who came to GGH for hands-on experience. And she had a real passion for Intravenous Therapy, which was necessary for many patient procedures and was sometimes a life-saving intervention. It was another real highlight to work alongside her daughter for a few years near the end of her time at GGH. Her daughter, an RN and BScN, now works for the Guelph Family Health Team.

Not only did Carolyn work at GGH, but she was treated many times at the Linamar Emergency Department for arrhythmia. So, it was natural for her to respond to Dr. Alex Ferguson’s 2020 fundraising request to support the patient care equipment needs of the Emergency Department. In a note that accompanied Carolyn’s donation, she wrote, “Every day of this pandemic, I think of the staff at the hospitals. What marvellous people to return each day under such drastic changes that COVID-19 has brought to our health care and our lives.”

When asked, “Why should someone donate to the hospital, even a small amount?” Carolyn responded, “Because it is the “little things” that count. For example, a ‘vitals’ machine is not a large piece of equipment, but the information it can give is essential. Because it does that “big thing” of taking your heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure. These measurements give critical information about the patient which help doctors assess their health status.”

She added “A donation made to GGH will provide funds for patient care equipment that someday may be used to help you or your child or someone else close to you. It is important to give, even a small amount.”

Thank you, Carolyn, for your years of service and your staunch support of Guelph General Hospital!

At the Foundation, we’re thankful for all those in our community who help care for patients like Carolyn through their generous donations towards patient care equipment, big and small.