Christine Rae, wearing a black dress and long blond hair, stands and smiling for a photo

It’s been said that being a nurse is not what you do. It’s who you are.

From her extraordinary commitment to help any patient in our hospital, to her exceptional contributions to building resources for one of our medical clinics that benefit patients, families and nurses alike, Registered Practical Nurse Christine Rae is a hero to all.

Christine joined Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) in 2015 working on one of our Medicine units. In 2016, she moved to the medical clinic I now manage. Immediately upon joining the team, Christine took on a project to develop more streamlined processes for the nurse role in the Clinic and improved resources for our patients. Her work has included creating materials that allow patients to better understand their care, both during and following their hospital visit, as well as clinic procedures and guidelines.

When asked about the motivation behind her willingness and eagerness to help out, Christine was quick to tell me: “I love this clinic, the job and all the staff! My heart is really in this job. I have never enjoyed or been so dedicated to a job. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like work I enjoy it so much. I enjoy going to work and that is hard to find.”

What also puts Christine into a very special class of nurses is how she looks out for all patients at MSH. This was never more evident than one day in early February of this year. She was walking through the waiting room of our clinic about to take her break when she noticed that a patient did not look well. Immediately, she brought them into an assessment room, engaged the physician and ultimately helped to facilitate the patient’s required transfer to our Emergency Department to be assessed.

Dr. Courtney Ann Thompson, one of our Infectious Disease physicians, describes Christine as someone who “places the patient ahead of anyone else. Her demeanor puts patients at ease even during an uncomfortable procedure. What’s more, she’s a team player who proactively asks if you need her assistance, anticipates our needs and does so with a smile on her face. She will walk past a clinic room, see something is missing and already has it addressed it before we’re even aware of it.”

You’ll often find Christine working late following her shift on her projects for the clinic and to make sure she’s shared all the information her colleagues may need about the patients she has cared for that day. Going above and beyond is simply a part of Christine’s nature as a nurse. As that saying goes, “it’s who she is.”

At MSH, our Mission is centred on creating an ‘Honoured to Care’ culture. It’s is an expression of our humble and compassionate attitude, and a recognition of the respect we have for the people who choose us for their care. Christine is the embodiment of our Mission and I’m thankful each and every day to have her as part of our hospital community.