Positive Stories

Central Health Cares Employee Family Volunteer Day


Helping others is at the heart of what Central Health employees do each and every day.  On Saturday, June 9th, 2018, some 275 Central Health employees, family and friends from across the region volunteered to make a difference in our communities. From planting flowers and veggies for residents in long term care homes, entertaining residents and patients with live music; to having children make homemade crafts for patients, and cleaning up beaches for World Ocean’s Day – our employees and their family and friends joyfully came together to make a difference in our communities and put a smile on people’s faces. Team work at its best!


“I’m so proud to work for an organization that works so hard to put together a day for our patients and residents! Our dialysis patients and staff absolutely loved the live music in the unit on Saturday morning.  We have several music lovers and it certainly brightened their day!”  - Renee Young, Care Facilitator Hemodialysis, CNRHC















Central Health Youth Volunteer Career Days 


On Monday, April 30th and Friday, May 4th, 2018, Central Health hosted its second annual Youth Volunteer Career Day at Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor and James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre in Gander. Participants – all screened and active high school volunteers – enjoyed behind the scene department tours, meeting with health care professionals, and gowning up to visit a surgical suite. The annual Career Days are about providing our youth volunteers – who have a keen interest in healthcare – with access to healthcare professionals and exposure to a variety of professions.


Here’s what some of the youth participants had to say:

“I’m really grateful that I was able to experience many different careers with such nice people.”

“A great experience and option to see what happens behind closed doors and what you’ll experience actually working in a hospital.”

“The day went by fast and was a great experience!”


Central Health is proud to provide learning opportunities for our youth volunteers such as the Career Days. It’s about fostering young minds and their interest of helping others in the healthcare sector.


















Celebrating our Volunteers


 [Photo: Dr. Pienaar and Louise Harty preparing for a fun, upbeat  activity]



“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey!”…this familiar and upbeat song was sung by five patients at the launch of the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) program on April 17th.  Led by Dr. Ida Pienaar, the session was held in the SMART room on the Medical Unit at the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre. Dr. Pienaar said the first session was a great success. “There was lots of laughter and lots of sharing…and to hear the patients sing ‘You are my Sunshine’ was simply amazing.”


Assisting Dr. Pienaar and helping the patients choose the cheery name – The Sunshine Group –was Louise Harty. The CST trained volunteer says “I’m just amazed at how much the patients enjoyed it.”  As for Dr. Pienaar, she says volunteers are instrumental to this program, “…to have a volunteer such as Louise to engage with the patients and help me with the session is so important.  Louise was such a great help.  She’s a natural with the patients.”


The fun didn’t stop with the theme song, it continued with a meet and greet among the patients and their family members, and a sharing of homemade tea buns and juice. Dr. Pienaar believes this program is going to make a real difference. “A little stimulation in a new environment such as the SMART room and in the company of others does a world of good,” she adds.


Currently, CST runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, but with three more trained CST volunteers joining the program shortly, it will expand to four days a week. Sessions are designed to engage and stimulate patients, last about 45-60 minutes and offer fun learning and social activities.  The many principles of CST include mental stimulation, implicit learning, inclusion, fun, choice and respect.  


Congratulations to Dr. Pienaar on the launch of the CST pilot program. And a thank you to our volunteer Louise!




Large Donation to Benefit the Residents of Central

July 7th, 2017

An unexpected gift arrived in Gander on Thursday, July 7, thanks to the generosity of the Gander Lions Club. King Lion, Perry Kieley, along with additional members of the Lions Club, dropped by the Golf for Health tournament to announce an amazing donation of $50,000 in support of new Echo services for patients served at the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre (JPMRHC)!


Echo, a term more commonly used for echocardiogram or cardiac echo, is an ultrasound of the heart used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases. Echo services can also provide other helpful diagnostic information to a patient’s healthcare team. In Central, echo services are currently offered at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. This fall, the service will also be available at JPMRHC in Gander, thanks to this generous donation from the Gander Lions Club, the fund-raising efforts of the Central Northeast Health Foundation, and a contribution from the provincial government. The expanded service will contribute to improved access for residents of the Central Region. The Provincial Government announced in April it will contribute approximately $200,000 in one-time funding for the equipment and $141,000 in annual funding for operations. This investment is coupled with a $125,000 one-time donation from the Central Northeast Health Foundation.


Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, stated “This will double capacity for echo services in central Newfoundland and help to manage the need for travel for those who are very ill and need this service. It will also help to reduce wait times, thereby reducing stress among those people who are waiting for diagnosis.”