It’s National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize, celebrate and thank the volunteers who contribute to our Hospital and Health Sciences Foundation.
Paul Carr has been a Patient Family Advisor (PFA) at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre since November 2012. Working mainly within the Cardiovascular and Stroke Program, Paul generously donates his time and knowledge, and brings the patient perspective – which is instrumental in helping to improve the patient experience.
Paul was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and raised in Thunder Bay. In his professional career, Paul spent 37 years in the education field as a teacher, principal and university lecturer. He is also a past President of the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.
When asked why he became a Patient Family Advisor, Paul responded, “I was absolutely amazed at the outstanding level of care I received throughout my patient journey. The caring and compassion were incredible! I thought that the best way to say thank you was to volunteer as a PFA to support those professionals who work in our hospital to try to improve patient outcomes.”
Paul is active member of the PFA Council, where he is a positive role model for others. He currently serves on the Accreditation Team, the Ethics Committee and the Cardiovascular & Stroke Working Group – which is working to bring full cardiovascular services to TBRHSC. “This is a really exciting project as it will improve the outcomes for so many patients in Thunder Bay, and Northwestern Ontario. It is a privilege to bring the patient experience to this project,” says Paul.
Paul recently represented PFAs as part of the Strategic Planning Team. “The pandemic has been a very challenging time for the Hospital, its patients and staff,” says Paul. “I am looking forward to the implementation of the new Strategic Plan that will help support staff, bring equity and inclusion and improve patient experience at our Hospital. I think that the plan is really good and I am looking forward to participating in that as a volunteer.”
Paul notes that supporting other patients in his role as a PFA is a very rewarding experience. “I always get more than I give,” says Paul.
When Paul is not volunteering his time as a PFA, he enjoys being out at camp or on the golf course during the summer months and coaching youth at the curling rink during the winter months.