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Positive health-care staff help Stuntman Stu deal with cancer

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‘Stuntman’ Stu Schwartz and Dr. Kate Granger are inextricably linked because of their willingness to publicly share their extremely personal journeys.

Just after Valentine’s Day in 2016, ‘Stuntman’ Stu Schwartz announced on social media that he had been diagnosed with leukemia. In front of thousands of loyal followers and a stunned City of Ottawa, he began a very public battle with cancer.

Across the Atlantic Ocean in mid-July 2016, another public battle with cancer was coming to an end. With an average of six Tweets an hour and more than 1.6 billion views, Dr. Kate Granger’s #HelloMyNameIs campaign spoke her mind, even when she could no longer speak for herself. Her simple hashtag and simple message – for health-care providers to introduce themselves to patients – have been changing health care around the world ever since.

Dr. Granger, who passed away in 2016, and Stu Schwartz are inextricably linked because of their willingness to publicly share their extremely personal journeys. They also share a message about the health benefits of maintaining a positive attitude, surrounding yourself with positive people, and the importance of building positive relationships with your health-care providers. Dr. Granger was given 14 months to live, but she survived for more than four years.

The goal of the #HelloMyNameIs campaign – which The Ottawa Hospital joined this year – is to encourage health-care providers to introduce themselves to every patient, every time.

See more of Stuntman Stu’s story of positivity and the great relationships he’s built over the past year at The Ottawa Hospital.

Dr. Granger said that introductions “begin therapeutic relationships and instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.”

Schwartz has noted on many occasions that he thrives on the positive well-wishes of his followers, his community, and the positive attitudes of his health-care providers. When confronting something like radiation, “something no one wants to do, you need to make the best of it. Having positive staff is the way to go,” he said.

The Ottawa Hospital is the first hospital in Canada to adopt the campaign. Over the past several months, more than 650 staff members, from nurses and doctors to food service workers and housekeepers, have signed on to the campaign.

Schwartz and Dr. Granger both said that positivity improves outcomes and the first step towards a positive relationship is a friendly introduction.

 
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Ray Paquette - July 20, 2017

Shortly after Stu announcement, I lost my wife who succumbed to cancer after “living with cancer” for four and a half years. The operative phrase here is “living with cancer”. She was upbeat and positive through out the ordeal and although the end game was never in doubt, she was never down. My family was continually strengthened by her attitude and her positive approach left us with great memories of a courageous soul.

The Ottawa Hospital - July 20, 2017

Hi Ray,

We are so sorry to hear about your wife’s passing. It sounds like she was so courageous throughout her battle. We hope you can take comfort in knowing that her spirits remained so high, and that you can cherish those memories with her forever.

All the best,
TOH Communications