Frontline heroes: Occupational Therapist Jaclyn Stevenson does something special
May 24, 2020
For many years I had the privilege of being Jaclyn Stevenson’s city councillor in District 2.
Jaclyn is the great niece of the late Isadore Goldberg, a longtime city councillor. Her mom Joy remains my constituent as do her grandparents who reside on Marc Chagall Avenue.
Jaclyn became an occupational therapist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) a year and a half ago. Presently she is working on the COVID-19 unit.
Recently, Jaclyn faced a language barrier with a patient on the unit and reacted in a truly beautiful way. Colleague Kendra Berry saw what happened and was moved to write about it in an email to their mutual colleagues and supervisors:
“Today I witnessed something beautiful and heartwarming that I wanted to share,” Kendra wrote. “ Jaclyn was performing a swallowing evaluation with a patient on the COVID unit. There was a language barrier, so Jaclyn contacted the family and placed them on speaker phone. I believe this was the first contact that they had with the patient. Their voices were filled with love, gratitude and relief. It brought tears to my eyes. Jaclyn gave them such a gift. On each of her units, her gestures are having positive impacts on patients and their families. I am inspired by her bravery, dedication and perseverance. Very proud of my entire OT Department. Let’s keep chasing these rainbows.”
When Kashif Baig, manager of Occupational Therapy, Adult Sites, read Kendra’s account, he was filled with joy: “The poise and calm demonstrated by Jaclyn is remarkable, especially considering how busy she is. Jaclyn had the empathy and resourcefulness to balance her clinical need for a translator with the patient’s emotional needs. The fact that this was brought to my attention by Kendra makes me even more proud; it shows how my team celebrates each other’s victories.”
I was so inspired I decided to do a podcast with Jaclyn. In my role as communications and marketing specialist for the English Montreal School Board I am proud to say that she attended Edinburgh Elementary School and Royal West Academy in Montreal West and had nice things to say about both experiences.
Here is a link to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/themikecohenpodcast/occupational-therapist-jaclyn-stevenson-and-her-efforts-during-the-pandemic