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St. Michael’s clerical assistant engages people through illustration

Toronto, August 25, 2015

By Roshni Jayawardena

Andrea Dedrick working on one of her illustrations
Andrea Dedrick working on one of her illustrations. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

Andrea Dedrick’s ability to bring a smile to a person's face extends beyond the walls of the Live Donor Program at St. Michael's Hospital. While organizing tests and appointments for patients in the program are her top priorities in her job as a clerical assistant, capturing people's attention through illustration is where her heart lies when she's at home. It is through this passion that she has become a published illustrator in a children’s book called Apple Saucy.

“I have always been a creative person and someone who views family time and educational opportunities in high regard,” said Dedrick. “When I met Barbara Dingle, the author of Apple Saucy, through a colleague at St. Michael’s, I felt an instant connection. Her book resonated with me because it encourages family time through games, a healthy recipe and a song, which are important elements to pass onto children growing up and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

  “When I met Barbara Dingle, the author of Apple Saucy, through a colleague at St. Michael’s, I felt an instant connection. Her book resonated with me because it encourages family time through games, a healthy recipe and a song, which are important elements to pass onto children growing up and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

As a mom of two girls, Dedrick has always read to her children and spent time with them in the kitchen, which is the premise of Apple Saucy. The story revolves around a grandmother spending time with her grandchildren in the kitchen making apple sauce. As an artist, Dedrick loves the human face and capturing lifelike images, so being involved with this book really was the “best of both worlds” for her. Many of the illustrations in the book are close-ups of the characters with expressions on their face that demonstrate they are having fun.

“I was excited to hear about the Department of Family and Community Medicine’s Reach Out and Read program that launched earlier this year,” said Dedrick. “Promoting literacy is so important and helping our patients build a home library is a fantastic idea.”

Dedrick and Dingle are building on the success of Apple Saucy by working on Carrot Picnic, the second book in Dingle’s series.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.