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March 12, 2018


Runnymede Healthcare Centre’s vision of transforming healthcare together simply wouldn’t be possible without strong partnerships. By cultivating relationships, the hospital can identify and address healthcare needs beyond its walls and enhance the health of the community. In December 2017, the hospital opened its doors for a lunch and learn session for seniors in the community. The free event – the first of its kind at the hospital – put local seniors in touch with Runnymede’s clinical experts.

The initiative was facilitated by new partnerships Runnymede forged with the Loyola Arrupe Centre for Active Living and the Swansea Area Seniors’ Association. "We collaborated with these organizations to determine what seniors’ main areas of health interest are," said Sharleen Ahmed, Runnymede’s Vice President of Strategy, Quality and Clinical Programs. After listening, it became clear two high priorities were falls prevention and healthy eating. According to Ahmed, "we knew we had plenty of in-house expertise to draw from to support these interests, so we wasted no time getting organized."

Clinical team members prepared presentations that would address seniors’ healthcare needs and interests. "Our staff jumped at the opportunity to connect with seniors in the community," said Julie Hiroz, Director of Communications. "They were excited to share their knowledge and improve the health and wellness of individuals beyond our inpatient population."

At the session, the community members received information that was both relevant and timely – a strong focus was on winter safety. Interactivity was encouraged by staff to ensure the hospital’s visitors received as much benefit as possible. When lunch was served, they had further opportunities to learn as they mingled with Runnymede’s clinical staff.

The stage appears set for more lunch and learn sessions. "The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive – almost all our visitors came forward with suggestions for other subjects they’d like to learn more from us about," said Ahmed. "We’re very excited because this initiative represents an entirely new way for us to extend our patient programs to community members and help them live to their fullest potential."