Retiring nurse looks back at long career in addictions and mental health
Active at any age: Horizon employee takes to the ice to represent N.B.
thought was to shy away from the experience, but instead, she told herself: “You are 61 years old, no one is ever going to ask you again to play a sport to represent your province, just go for it. Don’t think of all the reasons you shouldn’t, just say yes.” Her advice to others who may be contemplating a late, but competitive, sporting adventure? “When opportunities present themselves, just grab them,” she said. “If there is something you’ve always really wanted to do, don’t ever think you’re too old to start. You might not become a pro, but you can still enjoy it.”
had graduated high school together from Charlottetown Rural (in Prince Edward Island) in 1974. The team played four games total, taking to the ice against Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. They only scored one goal in the four games, but they had had a whole lot of fun. “We celebrated our one goal as if it were a gold medal,” Maureen said. Team New Brunswick ended up winning the spirit award for the Games. “I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Maureen. “It was really fun.” Maureen’s initial
Seniors from across the country gathered in Saint John in August to participate in the Canada 55+ Games. The games occur every two years and this year, New Brunswick hosted more than 1,500 participants for a week of friendly competition. Maureen Wallace, who works in discharge planning at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital, was a member of the women’s hockey team. Maureen has been active her whole life, but it wasn’t until years of sitting through her children’s hockey games that she decided to try her hand at hockey. “I only started playing hockey at 47,” said the 61-year old. “I’d always loved it and had been skating since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until a bunch of women sitting around the rink watching our kids play thought: wouldn’t it be fun for us to play?” The women got together 14 years ago and started a recreational hockey league in Moncton, the Mother Puckers. Since then, they have grown from two to four teams and play every Thursday night. Maureen is the captain of the blue team and noted quite a few Horizon employees have played in the league. For the last couple years, Maureen has been the oldest player in the league. When the call came in from Saint John looking for players for Team New Brunswick’s 55+ women’s team, teammates recommended her for the role. “When the call came from Team NB I thought, ‘Well, I’m not good enough’,” said Maureen. “I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that voice.” Her colleagues were excited for her and wanted to do whatever they could to help accommodate her schedule. When she met with her new team, she quickly realized she and new teammate, Barb Murphy,
Anne French has been a Registered Nurse with Addictions and Mental Health in Saint John for the majority of her 48-year career. The 48th Year of Service milestone is something that few reach, and with reaching this milestone – and before her 70th birthday – Anne
Anne French is retiring after a 48-year career as a Registered Nurse with Addictions and Mental Health in Saint John.
decided it was time to leave.
After graduating from the Halifax Infirmary she moved to Saint John with her then husband Charles Fawcett in 1970. She then began her nursing career in the operating room (OR) at the St. Joseph’s Hospital. As a self-described people person the OR was not a great fit, so when the opportunity to work at the Provincial Hospital (now CentraCare) became available, she jumped at the opportunity. From there she never looked back and has been caring for clients with mental health challenges since 1971. She worked at the Provincial Hospital until 1973 and the remainder of her career has been with the Saint John Mental Health and Addictions office.
Anne’s son, Mark Fawcett, is an Olympic snowboarder. The two are photographed at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2007.
TeamNew BrunswickWomen’s Hockey team at the Canada 55+ Games opening ceremonies sporting their TeamNB t-shirts.
“Seeing the advancements in mental health has been both rewarding and wonderful to see,” she said. “For far too long mental health issues were kept in the dark leaving many people to suffer in silence and not receive the treatment they need. Today people are much more open and the care we provide is much
more holistic. More and more we’re doing a better job at looking at the entire person.”
Volunteer trio at URVH celebrates a milestone of one of their own
Peter Jones, Marilyn Rose and Debbie Taylor have volunteered together with Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital’s Greeter Program since its very beginnings. In fact, they were among the very first volunteers to welcome patients into the hospital the day its doors opened in November 2007. “We were scared to death that first day,” said Marilyn. “But we got through it just fine.” They call themselves an unlikely trio, but through volunteering have formed a bond and friendship over the past 11 years. “We’re not a crew you would think to put together. We kind of looked at each other, laughed and it went from there,” said Debbie. “Now, I wouldn’t volunteer with anyone else. Peter is a blast, he knows every corner of this hospital and he knows all the rules.” Each of them said the laughter they share is what makes their volunteer experience memorable. “We get along so well together, we know what each other thinks,” added Marilyn. In September, Marilyn and Debbie, along with Shelly Hubbert, Horizon’s coordinator of Volunteer Resources and Auxiliary and Alumnae Relations, helped Peter celebrate his
Anne’s primary role is to administer injectable medication, which allows her to see her clients on daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For many of her clients she sees them over many years and has been able to see their mental health improve. Looking back on her 48-year career she has a lot to be proud of and has touched many people in the Saint John area. However if you ask her what her proudest life achievement is, she would quickly tell you that it’s her son, Olympic snowboarder Mark Fawcett. Mark competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics and who has been, and continues to be, a trailblazer in the sport. “Recognizing my son had such a strong passion for something at a young age was amazing,” she said. “From there his father and I made the decision to fully support his dream.” Anne will be retiring in December 2018 and will not be renewing her nursing licence. She looks forward to volunteering with her church and spending winters in British Columbia on the ski hill with her son and 12-year-old granddaughter Phoebe.
90th birthday. The group always celebrates birthdays and holidays by exchanging cards and sweets made by Marilyn. Peter hopes to continue volunteering for the next few years. He enjoys the friendship and having a good laugh every time he comes in for a shift. The Greeter Program sees volunteers welcome and direct patients and visitors as they enter various hospital areas and provide assistance Volunteers Marilyn, Peter and Debbie (pictured from left to right, front row) have been volunteering together for more than 11 years and have formed a special bond. With them is Shelly Hubbert, coordinator of Volunteer Resources and Auxiliary & Alumnae Relations at Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital.
MaureenWallace on the ice in Saint John as a member of New BrunswickWomen’s Hockey team at the Canada 55+ Games.
to individuals and ease their fears and anxieties during their hospital visit.
Olympic snowboard Mark Fawcett, shows his skills on the hill. His mother, Anne French, an addictions and mental health nurse with Horizon, says he’s her proudest life achievement.
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