When Hans Blaser began working at Providence Care’s St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital site in 1956 he was one of the first male physiotherapists in all of Canada. He began his career with Providence Care wanting to change geriatric care in Kingston. Mr. Blaser understood the importance of patients continuing their care in their homes and in the community. He also understood the importance of working together across disciplines in order to break down silos of care.
While Mr. Blaser’s career with Providence Care spanned over 30 years his legacy will continue thanks to a very special donation to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. Earlier this month Hans was joined by family and friends at Providence Care Hospital as he announced the establishment of an education endowment fund for current and future Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy staff.
The Hans W. Blaser Education Endowment will be awarded each year to a worthy applicant to assist them in advancing their education and training in rehabilitative therapy. As a leading provider of aging, mental health, and rehabilitative care we understand the importance of responding to the changing needs of the people we serve.
Lynn Rigby, a Physiotherapist at Providence Care Hospital, was in attendance at Mr. Blaser’s announcement. In fact Lynn was hired by Blaser when she began her career at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital over 30 years ago. She shared that while there were opportunities available at other healthcare facilities she knew she wanted to work for Providence Care after speaking with Mr. Blaser who was the head of Physiotherapy at the time. “He was a pioneer in the field of physiotherapy,” said Lynn, “When he retired he had grown the department to include over twenty therapists and was a major advocate for the construction of the Therapy Pool.”
Diana O’Grady, Vice President Patient and Client Care, acknowledged the barriers that sometimes exist when an individual wishes to pursue further training or education. “I know the value of giving these staff an opportunity to keep their skills at their best. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to our community and continue to help future patients,” shared Mr. Blaser. “Mr. Blaser was always a leader and an innovator,” shared Lynn Rigby, “This endowment fund reflects his ongoing commitment to providing quality care for the people we serve.”
The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) is the joint fundraising arm of Providence Care and Kingston Health Sciences Centre. UHKF raises money for programs, equipment, education and research that benefit the 500,000 people in Kingston and its surrounding areas. Visit the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation website to learn how your dollars can make a difference in the future of Kingston’s hospitals.
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