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Portrait project recognizes staff from all corners of our hospital


It takes nearly 17,000 people to run our three campuses and many satellite sites, and everyone plays a vital role in our operations. This January we set out to meet as many of our people as possible, to take their photograph – and to listen to what they had to say about their work at The Ottawa Hospital. Just a few months into this project, a reoccurring theme is that everyone we speak to feels an overwhelming sense of connection and responsibility to our patients. 

Over the coming months, we will produce a collection of photographic and written portraits of our staff that we will share on social media (keep an eye on Instagram and Facebook).  Here are a few of the impressive people who help make The Ottawa Hospital one of the best health care teams in the world. 

Photographic portrait of Phil Nguyen/ Portrait photographique de Phil Nguyen

Phil Nguyen 

Registered Nurse 

Phil Nguyen is our very own nurse-by-day and hip-hop dancer by night. 

“If you ever see me galloping or dancing down the halls, don’t be afraid. There is probably music playing in my head. The staff and patients know me for playing music – it helps create a good vibe.” 

Phil has spent his entire 8-year career as a registered nurse working with cancer patients at The Ottawa Hospital. When his passion for nursing tires him out? Phil turns to his other passion. 

“My outlet during stressful times is definitely dancing. I work with a non-profit organization that does a lot of youth outreach work — and we just dance it out.” 

Photographic portrait of Pheap Bun

Pheap Bun 

Personal Support Worker (West End Villa)  

“I have always just wanted to help people. In esthetics, I always wanted to make people feel good, nice… happy. This is kind of the same, but more for elderly people, and people with dementia. I am super excited to start next week. Finally, finally.” 

Last spring, Pheap Bun left a 30-year career as an esthetician start studying to be a personal support worker. She finished the accelerated nine-month program in the fall. She had always wanted to become a health-care worker, and the pandemic motivated her to start her studies. 

Photographic portrait of Brahim Bizriken

Brahim Bizriken 

Porter, General Campus 

“To work here, you have to love people. Every patient here, they are your father, your mother, your grandfather, your son, your daughter. When you have this consideration, it is easy to treat them well. Many patients are exhausted, so I talk gently to them. With small actions we can make them happy. Sometimes, I offer the patients some coffee, and it makes their day. Some words, some love, some compassion–that’s all they need.” 

Brahim moved to Canada from Morocco 11 years ago and has worked at TOH since he arrived. As a porter at the General Campus, he and his colleagues walk an average of 20km a day as they move patients and equipment through the hospital.  

Photographic portrait of Lise Thibodeau

Lise Thibodeau 

Supply Attendant 

“I can’t sit in front of a desk, because I need to move!” 

During a shift, Lise and her fellow supply attendants can easily walk dozens of kilometres per shift. She is responsible for ensuring that the entire 5th floor at the General Campus is always fully stocked with whatever supplies are needed, including everything from medicine, to needles and PPE. It’s a busy job, but after 30 years at The Ottawa Hospital, Lise isn’t slowing down.  

“For me, my purpose is to give the best service to my floor. I always think it could be our children or our parents that we are helping. All of the departments I have ever worked for I have given 100%, because I love my job.”  

Photographic portrait of Roxane Roussel

Roxane Roussel  

Food and Nutrition Services, General Campus 

“In the last two years, tears have been shed and moments of uncertainty, despair and fatigue have been profoundly felt. What did not waver, however, were my passion and dedication for my job, the pride that I take in my work, and the comfort that I enjoy bringing to patients every single day. 

I feel privileged that throughout this pandemic, I was able to bring some comfort and moments of happiness to patients that found themselves isolated from loved ones in difficult moments. Being sick and isolated is truly heartbreaking. Simple gestures like a smile and a bright ‘Hello’ when delivering them a meal, and exchanging a few pleasant words, can be a source of comfort to many patients and brighten up their day.” 

Photographic portrait of Mike Therrien

Mike Therrien 

Warehouse Attendant 

“Do I feel a connection to the patients? Absolutely. We’re providing supplies for the nurses and the doctors, which then go to their patients. And that’s nice,” he says. “It’s a fast paced and really go-go-go. What we do is critical and could be life or death. I’m doing this for the people, and I feel a responsibility to do a good job.”  

Members of The Ottawa Hospital’s warehouse team makes sure thousands of pounds of critical medical supplies, like PPE, are received, stocked and available so that care teams and patients across our three campuses have what they need 24/7/365.  

This responsibility is not lost on Mike, who started working in the warehouse in June 2021.  


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