A Letter From a Frontline Hero – Dale Bialas
The following letter was written by Dale Bialas.
This has been a year unlike any other… For all of us – our concern for the well-being of our family and friends, our loved ones, ourselves and our community has at times felt overwhelming. But we have pushed on, together.
My name is Dale Bialas and I am the Clinical Manager of Acute Medicine at Hamilton General Hospital. During the pandemic, my unit became the designated COVID-19 unit. My team and I were required to develop a process to care for COVID-19 patients, while also keeping the caregivers, patients and their families safe. My role in leading the team focused on supporting staff who were struggling, as well as patients who were suffering without their families by their side.
I am so proud of how our health care teams have come together to provide the best possible care for our patients. Despite all the challenges and uncertainties we’ve faced, we have continued to move forward every day with positive energy, innovation and a spirit of collaboration.
That’s why I’m writing this letter. Donors to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation have made an incredible difference not only to countless patients and their loved ones, but also the frontline caregivers. Thank you. Now, as we approach the holiday season, I am asking you to please consider making a truly special Gift of Health at the end of this very challenging year. When you send in your gift by December 31, it will be matched to have double the impact!*
Your generous contribution will be doubled to help fund the highest priority needs.
I have been with Hamilton Health Sciences for 35 years. First as a critical care trained nurse, a clinical educator, a clinical leader and then as a clinical manager. I feel like this is my home. But in all those years, I’ve never seen anything like what we’ve encountered this year. I could not be more proud of my fellow colleagues and our collective efforts. Together, we created processes that made patients feel valued. We comforted families so they knew their loved ones were receiving excellent care.
Of course, there have been challenges. It takes more time to respond to patients because health care providers first must put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). And in the early days of the pandemic, like many hospitals, we adapted to the changing requirements for PPE, and the concern of not having enough of it available to properly protect staff. We reassured our teams that we were doing everything possible to secure this vital equipment. Media reports from other parts of the world made it tough – we just didn’t know what to expect.
Communication was crucial. We worked together with infection control and our physicians to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to our frontline caregivers. And as a result, staff started to trust us, themselves and the new system. They were provided with vital information and tools that were necessary to care for their patients.
That’s why your donation is so important right now. When you make a Gift of Health today, you are helping to ensure that our clinical team has the resources they require to deliver the best possible care to our patients.
It was heart-breaking to see families struggling and suffering at home when they couldn’t see their loved ones in hospital. We tried our best to help them connect…in one case, as a patient was dying, an allied health member held up a tablet for a full hour so that the family could be with their loved one. We have all felt such empathy. For those that have passed away, we often felt helpless alongside their families in the fight against this virus. At the same time, as patients have recovered, our staff has celebrated and cheered them on.
It has been emotional and exhausting. But we are getting through this together. Our wonderful staff members are here to support one another, and as a generous donor, you can support them too. This experience has taken teamwork to a whole new level.
The holiday season is about spending time with loved ones. I’m happy when I am able to give the Gift of Health so that patients can spend this special time at home with their families. And I hope you will take this opportunity to double the value of your donation by sending in your Gift of Health.
At the end of this unprecedented year, you can make a truly exceptional gift that will touch so many lives. Thank you, and on behalf of everyone at Hamilton General Hospital, I’m sending you and your loved ones the warmest of holiday wishes and a true spirit of hope for brighter days ahead.
Clinical Manager, Acute Medicine
Hamilton General Hospital
*Gift of Health donations received by December 31, 2020 will be matched to a maximum of $140,000.