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Long-time patient celebrates 100th birthday with St. Michael’s staff

Toronto, June 10, 2016

By Kaitlyn Patterson

Dolores White shares cupcakes with Edith Ginsburg
Registered nurse Dolores White (left) shares cupcakes with Edith Ginsburg during an early 100th birthday celebration. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

Edith Ginsburg, an outpatient with St. Michael’s Hospital for 20 years, had plans to celebrate her 100th birthday June 11 with only family and neighbours – but staff at the Gynecology Clinic surprised her with an early celebration.

“When I found out it was going to be Edith’s 100th birthday, I just knew I couldn’t let that pass,” said Dolores White, a registered nurse at the clinic. “Edith was so excited when she walked into the office and all of the staff greeted her with ‘Happy Birthdays’.”

Ginsburg arrived at her appointment on May 31 and found White and Anna DeMarchi, clinical leader manager of the Women’s Health Care Centre, with a plate of cupcakes and a birthday card.

“It was so nicely handled and I had a great time,” said Ginsburg. “I appreciate the fact that the people who work in the clinic are so caring.”

The Gynecology Clinic sees many patients in their 80s and 90s, but they often come with a caregiver. Ginsburg still comes alone, using only a walker to get around. Staying independent, active and social keeps her healthy, she said.

“I try to do a gym program two times a week,” said Ginsburg. “I also live in a housing co-operative, which is a good way to live because you’re in a community and can stay active. I would hate to be in a nursing home and closed off.”

As a regular patient, Ginsburg has built a relationship with her nurse where she can share exciting moments of her life. At her May 31 appointment, she brought in photos of her newest great-grandchild to show White.

“It’s important our patients are comfortable with us, so we talk to them and find out about their life,” said White. “With older patients, it’s essential they know someone at the clinic they can contact if an issue arises.”

Ginsburg has encountered many doctors and staff over the past 20 years as a patient in a variety of clinics at St. Michael’s.

“The doctors and staff in general are very reassuring,” said Ginsburg. “What’s different about St. Michael’s – I mean this and I’m not just saying it – is that it’s a place where the staff is a lot friendlier.”

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.