Operation Happy Holidays!

No sooner did the wintry weather arrive this year, than Human Resources delivered warm infectious cheer!

To celebrate the season this December, staff throughout the CIUSSS joined their ‘work families’ in spirited holiday parties taking place across the network.

“The festivities took place on an unprecedented scale this year,” says Francine Levi, co-chair of the Human Resources Employee Engagement and Recognition team, who organized the celebrations. “The undertaking was quite daunting, with over 5,000 meals served at 21 facilities. But by all accounts it was a tremendous success, thanks to the collaboration of amazing managers at all of our sites, who helped in the planning stages. They also participated in distributing the meals, and really went out of their way to create a welcoming, lively atmosphere. Of course they all understood how important it is to show that recognition to our staff, who give so much of themselves throughout the year.”

Employees were treated to a choice of a meat or vegetarian meal, and received a complimentary CIUSSS-branded giveaway. Raffles were also held at each of the sites, with draws at regular intervals. Lucky winners walked away with prizes donated by sponsors.

“There were staff members who popped in to grab a lunch to go, while others relaxed over a leisurely meal with their colleagues,” says Melanie Rudnitsky, Employee Engagement and Recognition co-chair, who along with Ms. Levi toured around the sites as meals were distributed. “No matter how they enjoyed their meal, we saw nothing but abundant smiles!”

Staff throughout the CIUSSS eagerly shared their feedback with organizers.

At the Saint-Andrew Residential Centre, Administrative Agent Joanna Pacifico Di Staulo reported,  “Everyone enjoyed the meals and had a good time. The veggie sandwich seems to have been the winner for many.  Many of our staff won prizes and were ecstatic!”   

Michael Caldeo, a member of the Jewish General Hospital Housekeeping staff, was working the 3:00 to 11:00 p.m. shift and was grateful for the chicken dinner that would keep him going that evening.” It’s a great idea for people in the hospital to be happy about getting together for the holidays.” Meanwhile, Bianca Quesnel, a nurse in the NICU, came with a cart which she rolled away with 11 dinners and an assortment of treats to take back to the NICU for herself and her colleagues. “It’s such a fun time and all of us really appreciate this special occasion. It’s wonderful seeing people coming together with smiles on their faces.”

The holiday meals at PRAIDA, says Coordinator Kahina Slimani, were a great success and much appreciated.

Geneviève Riendeau, the Assistant Head of Food Service at Catherine Booth and Julius Richardson Hospitals, says that she was happy to help in planning the day, which created many happy memories for all who attended.

Also expressing his gratitude was Edward Cho of CLSC de Benny Farm, who thanked organizers for providing “delicious and very thoughtful holiday meals to staff.”

Any employees wishing to share their comments with the Employee Engagement and Recognition team, including suggestions they might have for next year’s holidays celebrations, can reach Ms. Levi and Ms. Rudnitsky at engagement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca.

Candid shots captured during the festivities by staff who wish to have the photos appear in 360 online are invited to email them, along with the name of their site, to 360 Editor-in-Chief Laure-Elise Singer at lsinger@jgh.mcgill.ca.