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‘I got discharged, and I never really left’: Former patient Maxime volunteers his coding skills

Maxime Bilodeau, volunteer and staff member

Our volunteers provide an array of important services, from designing new technology to inspiring the next generation of health-care workers. Whatever their role, all of our volunteers are working to enhance quality of care for patients and their families. In honour of this year’s National Volunteer Week, we’re spotlighting some of our volunteers who have given us the invaluable gift of their time and dedication.

Seven years ago, Maxime Bilodeau suffered a severe episode of remitting-relapsing MS. “It was my first and only episode so far,” he says. “I touch wood every day!”

Maxime spent more than one month in the Neurosciences Acute Care Unit at the Civic Campus followed by three months in the Rehabilitation Centre. His stay at the hospital inspired him to become a volunteer.

“I saw the work that a lot of the volunteers were doing. After I got discharged, as soon as I was able to, I started to volunteer,” he recalls. “I got discharged, and I never really left!”

At one time, Maxime was volunteering 40 hours a week, helping to recruit and train other volunteers. He is now a full-time staff member at The Ottawa Hospital in Human Resources, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped volunteering.

Outside of his working hours, Maxime created a mobile application to make it easy for volunteers to help visitors navigate their way around the hospital’s three campuses. Maxime got the idea for the app when the pandemic forced the hospital to replace its in-person information desks with a virtual model where remote volunteers appear on a large mounted screen.

The app has been rolled out to all volunteers, so the next time you visit one of our campuses and stop by the virtual information desk for directions, our remote volunteer will simply type your destination into the app and easy-to-follow directions will appear on the desk’s mounted screen.

Though the app was Maxime’s idea, he says he never would have been able to launch it without the help of other volunteers. “I’m very grateful for what we have accomplished as a team. I’m very happy that after two years in the works, this program is finally coming into place. I can see everything it will do and the impact it will have.”

Feeling inspired?

We are re-building our volunteer services slowly and will open a few opportunities every few months, so please check the website regularly for updates. We look forward to welcoming our community back into the hospital to help improve the patient experience! Visit our volunteer page for more information.

Meet more of our inspiring volunteers


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