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'Hospital hero' MUHC surgeon earns 300th pin for serving patients

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A surgeon at the MUHC received his 300th pin as the MUHC Foundation honoured 'hospital heroes' on Monday.

Health-care workers earn 'hospital hero' pins when a patient donates to the MUHC Foundation in the name of a staff member who went above and beyond.

Launched in 2008, the foundation has pinned 2,500 staff members, raising over $1.8 million.

"Our daily work makes a difference in other people's lives. Of course, all support goes directly towards improving care at the hospital and empowers our heroes to continue providing the compassionate care for which the MUHC is known," said Lucie Opatrny, president and executive director of the MUHC.

Dr. David M. Fleiszer, a surgical oncologist at the MUHC, received a 300th 'hospital hero' recognition Monday.

He used the opportunity to turn the spotlight on volunteers.

"Volunteers make a huge difference to how our patients feel. Just really by being there, lending a hand… is critically important," he said.

Also earning a pin was nurse Catherine Sabourin, who received it from patient Carol Ann Stanworth.

She said the nurse was a lifeline during a terrible time.

"Having complex hospital practices means that patients really, really appreciate when we get back to them so quickly," said Sabourin.

Carol Ann Stanworth pins a 'hospital hero' pin on Catherine Sabourin as Carmela Ruzza watches (Christine Long / CTV News)

Gynecologic oncologist Dr. Annie Leung said getting a pin creates a connection.

"It's a part of someone's life in a very stressful time. I work with cancer patients and women who have gone through a lot and are the rock of their family. and to be able to make a difference means a lot," she said.

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