Why social impact matters: Reflections from a nursing leader

The importance of social impact was brought home for me on my adventure through the backcountry of the Alberta Rockies from the unique vantage point of my horse, Timone. The ride was a dream of mine that I also leveraged to support one of our signature charitable projects, Journey Home Hospice, Toronto’s only hospice specifically serving patients who have experienced homelessness and structural vulnerability. Over six days and more than 80 kilometres of hard terrain, I had ample opportunity to reflect. As a nurse for more than 30 years in home and community care, I have seen firsthand the phenomenal need people experience at end-of-life and understand our social responsibility to help people during some of their most vulnerable moments. Take Nicole, for example. She was a regular soccer mom with her SUV, children, a husband and a life that mattered. After experiencing domestic violence and having her back broken by her husband with a hammer, Nicole was prescribed pain medication that started her on her journey to homelessness. After losing her home, her children and being diagnosed with terminal cancer, her most sincere wish was for people to understand she was “just a normal person who had a hard time.” Her story is not unique. Glen also called Journey Home Hospice at the end of his life. He had what he described as a “good life” with a great job, nice house, lovely wife and a son. After the brutal murder of his son, Glen found his life falling apart and eventually experienced homelessness, living on the streets not far from his previous home in Toronto’s Cabbagetown. Having a safe place to go and people to care for him at end-of-life helped him to find peace. Please visit Healthy Debate for the full article.