This week St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph hosted an event to celebrate person-centred care during Patient Safety Week.

Person-centered care is a key component of high quality, safer care. It is a way of thinking and doing things that sees the people using healthcare services are informed and consulted in the care they receive and the care is tailored to a person’s needs and provided in partnership with them. This approach to care encourages the people providing care and the people receiving care to ask, listen and talk.

Mr. Bill Knetsch speaks at St. Joseph’s Celebration of Safer Care

At the event, Mr. William Knetsch, who was a patient in the rehabilitation program at St. Joseph’s shared his experience with the care he received at our Health Centre. During his remarks, he shared that he was born with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Myotonia Congenita that affects every muscle in his body.

Because of this illness, Bill has been in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation facilities many times and had one particularly bad experience that made him realize how easily a patient can become just a number.

This past July he had another muscle seizure and fell to the ground. The fall caused a serious bone break in his hip and he came to St. Joseph’s for rehabilitation. At St. Joseph’s, Bill had a different care experience.

“You all treated me with respect, professionalism, compassion, understanding and kindness,” shared Bill at the Celebration of Safer Care event. “Knowing how long and hard you all have to work to get through your long shifts and to still be able to give me a smile and a simple acknowledgement meant everything. I was treated as an individual and a human being and not a number.”

Bill’s words are a reminder of just how important person-centred care is for the people receiving care and their families.

“Here at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, I am proud that we have adopted a way of delivering care that is person-centered,” said David Wormald, President of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph at the event. “Being person-centred means that we see the people who receive care as individuals and we do everything we can to preserve their dignity and independence.”

Over the last few months, employees from teams across St. Joseph’s signed a banner to reaffirm their commitment to person-centred care. The banner was presented at the celebration and is displayed in a central location near The Robert Ireland Family Lobby at St. Joseph’s.