PFCC Star of the month: Sylvie Canizares, Nurse, Complex Care Service

At the Children's, we pride ourselves on putting the needs of children first. Part of that means taking a system-wide approach to patient and family-centered care (PFCC) and highlighting our peers who fully incorporate PFCC values in their daily work. Our newly launched “PFCC Star” program recognizes our staff members who embody what it means to work in partnership with families to improve the patient experience. April’s PFCC Star Julie Brouillard nominated Sylvie Canizares, a nurse in the hospital’s Complex Care Service to receive the award this month.

“Every time I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside Sylvie with one of our patients and their families, I’ve seen her dedication and commitment to them. She is always available and ready to listen, and always makes their well-being a priority,” says Julie Brouillard, a nurse in Neuro-oncology at the Children’s and last month’s PFCC star, who nominated Sylvie for the award.

Sylvie Canizares is one of several dozen people who work in the Montreal Children’s Hospital Complex Care Service (CCS). CCS follows patients with complex health problems and helps families take a key role in their child’s care. The team works very hard to minimize unscheduled hospitalizations and emergency visits for these children, and coordinate the child’s and family’s needs with home, community, and hospital services as effectively as possible.

The CCS has a number of programs which organize care around a child’s primary diagnosis. Sylvie’s main focus is working with children who have tracheostomies and need home ventilation but she also sees patients and families with more general complex care needs, like 11-year-old twins David and Riley, who have a very rare genetic disorder. Their mother Samarra says Sylvie’s commitment to them is extraordinary.

“Sylvie is absolutely amazing,” says Samarra. “She always goes above and beyond to help us.” When Samarra is at the Children’s with her sons, they often have to see many different doctors and staff. “Sylvie is always listening to everything they say. She does so many things at the same time but she multitasks with a smile!” Samarra also says that, thanks to Sylvie, she’s able to do a tremendous amount of her sons’ care at home. “Sylvie always manages to make things easier for us. She really is a very special person in our lives.”

Sylvie says one of the most important elements of her work is understanding what the family needs. “So much of what we do focuses on the family, how they manage their child’s care and how they achieve the right balance,” she says. “At the end of the day, many parents become experts in their child’s care. Parents help us decipher what’s going to work best. We bring our medical expertise to the table but often the families, and even their children, teach us things too.”