Interview with Shawn O’Rourke

Shawn O’Rourke is a former Queensway Carleton Hospital employee, past chair of the EPIC Walk for Cancer, and now the first Chair of Recruitment for Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Women in Philanthropy program. We asked Shawn to tell us why she feels it is important to volunteer and participate at Queensway Carleton Hospital, and this is what she said.

How did you get involved with the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation?
I worked at Queensway Carleton Hospital to put myself through University, but then decided to stay with the Hospital for 18 wonderful years. It was there that I began developing my career as a Healthcare Leader and began getting involved with the Foundation.

Why is the hospital important to the west end?
Ottawa’s west end is a rapidly growing community with many young families who will rely on Queensway Carleton Hospital to care for their babies, themselves, and their parents – there is a sandwich of patients who need a Hospital that can care for them through all ages. With one of the fastest growing aging populations in Ontario, Queensway Carleton Hospital is the best option for care for this group of people with their specialization in Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) and their Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE).

You work, you have a family, and a busy schedule how do you have time to volunteer?
I simply feel so happy when I give my time to something very important – Healthcare. I can make the time to offer my services and knowledge to something I am truly passionate about. It’s an investment in healthcare for our community when I support Queensway Carleton Hospital.

What other volunteering do you do?
In the past I have volunteered in a number of activities that my kids have been involved with, but now that they are growing up I am looking to give more of my time and energy to healthcare.

What was your first entry into fundraising for the hospital?
As a former employee, I was often asked for input and support from the Foundation as a content expert and advocate for medical equipment needs in the Hospital. I was honoured and felt it was a privilege to represent Queensway Carleton Hospital and educate our community.

What is the best part of the fundraising process for you?
Seeing the results! Being able to see how new equipment and advancements serve our community to create an overall improved patient experience and health outcome has always been my favorite part of supporting our Hospital. You can see the difference you are making for the lives of others.

Is there one thing that is consistent about the people you’ve worked with who are donors and/or volunteers for QCH? Their kindness and generosity is never absent! These people truly care and will do whatever they can to help – big or small!

What is it about QCH that makes people want to give major donations?
Our life is nothing without health and happiness. We have more control over our happiness, but our health is not always something we have control over. When we need help with our health, we can always count on the wonderful people at Queensway Carleton Hospital to heal and help us on our journeys. We give to this Hospital because it connects us to one another and we are investing in a healthier future for ourselves and those who come.

What is one piece of advice you would have to newer fundraising volunteers?
The most important thing is to join in and have fun! Remember that your time and energy are making an impact. Every donor that you encourage to give and every amount of effort you give is appreciated and helping us move toward better healthcare. Join us and you will see the difference you can help make!