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St. Paul’s Hospital: Inspiring a purposeful life


SASKATOON — It is not uncommon in most hospitals to find physicians, health care personnel, administrators, staff and volunteers working together to create the best environment possible for patients to heal. Drawing from their long history of faith-based care guided by the founding Grey Nuns, St. Paul’s Hospital’s Mission Office takes this concept to heart by encouraging employees to reflect on their personal mission in life and and put it into daily practice in their work at the Hospital.

Brian Zimmer

“St. Paul’s works to keep the warmth and pervasive feeling of family as strong today as it was from the first day of inception,” said Jean Morrison, St. Paul’s Hospital CEO. “Our hospital’s Director of Mission, Brian Zimmer, plays a significant role in kindling that warmth. To employees and physicians, Brian is more like a member of the family than a co-worker.”

Having served 14 years at St. Paul’s, Zimmer sees his job as that of mentor and mascot of the institution’s core values and how these translate to the respectful, compassionate and holistic care received by patients.

“We help to make it as easy as possible for staff to live the vision, mission and values of our hospital,” says Zimmer, who holds degrees in counselling and theology. “I nurture employees by supporting them in how they are part of a bigger picture,” he says. “As individuals we all have our own spirituality. I encourage people to tap into their spiritual core in order to do the job they need to do.”

“Every October Brian Zimmer and his team go above and beyond in co-ordinating Mission Week at our hospital,” said Morrison. “Mission Week is our opportunity to not only celebrate and thank staff and physicians for putting their mission into action, but also to provide opportunities for them to rekindle their connection to the hospital.”

During Mission Week, on or near the feast day of St. Marguerite d’Youville, founder of the Grey Nuns, the hospital serves a complimentary hot meal to all employees, physicians and volunteers and presents professional development awards funded by St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation.

Physicians and staff also nominate co-workers for the St. Marguerite d’Youville Mission In Action Awards which recognize leadership in demonstrating the Hospital’s core values. St. Paul’s people are invited to renew their dedication to the mission, vision, and values of the Hospital in a Mission Week Commitment Ceremony.

“Our hospital’s commitment ceremony is a wonderful way for employees, physicians and volunteers to reflect on why they do the work they do,” said Zimmer. “I love my work. One of my greatest satisfactions is to see a co-worker make the connection between their own spirituality and that of those who founded St. Paul’s Hospital. That connection is inspiring, not only bringing meaning and purpose to their work, but also fostering a wonderful healing environment.”

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