NEWS FROM LACOR HOSPITAL – WINTER 2017
We would like to take this occasion to wish a wonderful holiday season to all our supporters who have Lucille’s cause at heart. We wish you excellent health, success in everything you undertake, and lots of laughter with those you love.
Now that 2017 is coming to an end, we can reflect on the many gifts it gave. Indeed, this newsletter considers where we’re going, what we’ve achieved, and how we can celebrate.
At Lacor Hospital, the new strategic plan was launched, laying out the hospital’s direction for the next five years. It is our great pleasure to present on page 2 the outline of this plan. Also during 2017, one of Lacor’s pharmacists, Jacinta Otine, received an award from University of Toronto; we are thrilled and proud to introduce Jacinta on page 3.
On the last page of the newsletter, we tell you about a contest we have organized to mark the end of 2017. In exchange for a donation, you will get a chance to win a meal for you and 20 of your family members and friends with the Quebecois actress Marina Orsini!
We are touched by the hard work, achievements, and generosity marked by the efforts described in the following pages.
With these successes—past and future—in mind, all of us at Lacor Hospital and the Teasdale-Corti Foundation would like to express our deepest gratitude for your support!
The Teasdale-Corti Foundation Team
Every year, Lacor holds a workshop with representatives from the Hospital, its supporting Foundations, and the local community. This year, the meeting was held on June 24th, and its purpose was to discuss Lacor’s Strategic Plan from 2017 to 2022. To open the discussions, Lacor’s director, Dr. Martin Ogwang, provided an overview of what the hospital achieved as a result of its previous five-year plan (2012-2017). He noted that the training and health services sectors showed the most encouraging results by responding to the community’s evolving needs. For example, because the local population has grown by 12%, the maternity ward has had to adjust to an increased demand. The training sector has also strengthened; today, there are over 450 resident students at Lacor!
However, some aspects still need consolidation, such as quality control and training for mid-level managers. Furthermore, issues like financial sustainability need rethinking. Malaria remains an issue of concern. Its severity is often exacerbated by heavy anemia, especially in children. Moreover, physicians are faced with a chronic lack of blood; at times, the blood bank serving Gulu and its neighbouring districts has failed to respond to the demand for blood. During emergencies, Lacor has had to turn to its students and staff for blood donations.
The premise for the new plan is that Lacor must face the challenge of reconciling financial sustainability with population expectations and the rising costs of technology and medicine. The Hospital must also navigate the difficulty of finding qualified staff.
The Plan underscores the Hospital’s main values: respect for dignity, professionalism, group spirit, and transparency. Staying mindful of these values, Lacor will make some changes in the coming years. It will strengthen its outpatient department and diagnostic services so that only acute or critical patients are hospitalized. It will also strengthen staff training at all levels on quality issues, including patient attention, organization, and human resources.
Furthermore, to deal with financial sustainability difficulties, the Hospital intends to adjust rates while ensuring support to at least 70% of costs for pregnant women, children under five, and people with AIDS. In its peripheral health centres, where the rural community is much poorer, all patients will receive reduced rates. Patients with chronic illnesses will also be facilitated. As Dominique Corti emphasized in her speech (given in Acholi, the local language), women and children, who account for over 80% of Lacor’s patients, will continue to be Lacor’s focus. As always, Lacor remains passionately committed to serving the most vulnerable.
Here is a radiant Jacinta, a young Ugandan pharmacist recently awarded the Preceptor of the Year Award from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Pharmacy.
The sixth of nine siblings, thirty-year-old Apio Jacinta Otine graduated in Kampala with a degree in pharmacy. Jacinta did an internship at Lacor Hospital’s pharmacy many years ago. In January 2016, Jacinta went back to work at the pharmacy with Jacob, when Lacor’s head pharmacist, Sister Josephine left for Nairobi. “My experiences have led me to be able to appreciate the people who trained me,” Jacinta says with confidence. “When things get tough, Sister Josephine’s advice comes to my mind; it’s not easy to teach someone else when the procedures are automatic for you.”
Despite the challenges, Jacinta’s guidance has been so successful that three Canadian students who work as interns with her at Lacor submitted Jacinta’s name to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Pharmacy’s annual competition, which celebrates excellence in teaching and student mentorship. Equally impressed by Jacinta’s accomplishments at Lacor, the committee selected her as one of five recipients of the 2016 “Preceptor of the Year” award. “I was surprised and happy to receive the prize. I did not expect it,” Jacinta admits. Reflecting on the responsibilities she undertakes at Lacor, she says: “The biggest challenge is to help students understand the cultural contexts and specific needs at the hospital.”
This is the first time that one of the “Preceptor of the Year” awards has been granted to an individual outside of Canada. Doret Cheng, a Canadian pharmacist and Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Pharmacy, notes: “This award demonstrates how people like Jacinta are prepared. Many Westerners think they are going to teach [in Uganda]; they believe they have all the solutions. But without understanding the cultural context, coming up with lots of ideas often means creating useless things, or ideas that do not continue. Our role is to listen and then to be their working arms.” Doret has visited and helped at Lacor Hospital several times since 2001, and is the project manager of the Pharmacy Management project, financed mainly by the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation. She indicates how important the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation has been for Lacor’s pharmacy, which helps pharmacists like Jacinta operate in their roles more effectively and efficiently.
Today, Jacinta’s role at Lacor Hospital is to coordinate interns and assistants, and to provide information about medicine. Jacinta hopes to return to her studies soon; she is a candidate for a scholarship that would allow her to work towards a master’s degree in pharmacy. We wish her all the best!
We are delighted to invite you to participate in an exciting contest! The grand prize? A dinner with actress Marina Orsini. You and up to 20 of your family and friends will join Marina at the restaurant Il Bazzali, in Montreal, where you will be served and entertained by the celebrated chef and opera singer, Davide Bazzali.
All you need to do is to go to www.meresetenfants.org (note that the website is only in French) and fill out the contest form online, indicating your donation amount, and you will automatically be entered. We will issue a tax receipt for all donations.
The funds raised by your donations will go to the Mothers and Children chapter, which supports the $25 average cost of treating one child or mother at the Lacor Hospital.
The word has been spreading! Dominique Corti, Davide Bazzali and Filippo Campo will appear on Radio-Canada’s “Ici Marina” on November 14 to promote the contest. As well, our wonderful collaborators, the Réseau FADOQ, are helping promote our contest in its magazine Virage. You will see Marina Orsini on Virage’s cover page on November 17, 2017; inside, you’ll find a full interview with her and information about the Foundation and the contest. FADOQ is an important association promoting citizen engagement in Quebec; as the largest association of Quebecers over 50 years of age, it has nearly 500,000 members.
Both the TV show and the magazine are also in French.
We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Marina Orsini, who has been our Foundation’s ambassador since she played the role of Lucille Teasdale almost 20 years ago. We also send many heartfelt thanks to our partners, Davide Bazzali, FADOQ, and Mat McKay.
You can watch Marina Orsini’s video about the contest by visiting https://youtu.be/DnHsmZZXmF8. The video is in French with English subtitles.
You can participate to this contest either by:
– Sending a donation by cheque payable to Teasdale-Corti Foundation (indicating “contest”) to: 8880, boul. Lacordaire, Saint-Leonard, QC, H1R 2B3; or,
– Going online to the website: www.meresetenfants.org
The cheque or the online participation must be received at the latest on December 20, 2017.