Our Members at Work: Homewood Health Centre
The employees at Homewood Health Centre in Guelph provide care and services to those who need mental health and addiction treatment.
More than 280 members of UFCW Local 175 work at the Centre providing a wide range of health care services to clients. At Homewood, there are beds for 300 patient plus outpatient services for clients as well. And our Members play a role in almost every aspect of making the workplace run smoothly for staff and clients alike.
You might be surprised to realize just how many different kids of jobs there are at Homewood – along with many other mental health and addiction treatment facilities, long-term care and retirement homes.
It takes hardworking people with a variety of skill sets to provide service and support to ensure that every client at Homewood has the best care possible.
From addiction counselling and recovery, to eating disorders, traumatic stress, and more; the members working at Homewood provide and assist with the many services and programs available to clients.
When you enter Homewood, you’ll likely be greeted by a UFCW Local 175 member who works at reception, such as Rose (pictured here). Rose, along with other switchboard staff, greet guests and ensure they get where they need to be. These members are the first faces clients often see, and the first voices callers hear.
Members working in Nutrition Services help to prepare and serve meals in the beautiful cafeteria at Homewood. Clients and staff are welcomed every day at meal time by the smiling faces of members such as Carmela and Brenda (pictured here).
Grounds and Gardens staff maintain the lawns, gardens, trails, and sports fields across the 50-acre property. Their work creates enjoyable spaces for clients and their visitors to get some much needed recreation and time in nature.
Horticulturalists on staff also support the greenhouse and its classroom where clients get back in touch with nature through plant therapy.
Steve, pictured here, proudly spoke of his work creating the fountain he stands next to in the photo, which adds to the serene and well-cared for outdoor space at Homewood.
The nature of some of the health concerns that bring clients to Homewood means that there is security personnel on hand at all times. These members work to provide clients with a safe space in which to live, recover, and go about their day. They also protect their co-workers to help them perform their jobs safely.
Recreation and fitness employees run physical activity programs and sports to further support the psychological healing and recovery of the clients. From the fitness centre to the gym, the tennis courts, sports fields, and more, there are a lot of options available.
With a pharmacy on site, clients have access to necessary medication in a timely manner. Members of Local 175 in the pharmacy work as Technicians and Porters.
Members working in the Material Management classification take on a number of jobs, including working at the stores, driving and receiving, plus expediting.
Housekeeping staff, such as Kara who is pictured here seated on a floor cleaner) work throughout Homewood.
Members in this classification look after laundering and replacing linens, cleaning clients’ rooms and the rest of the Centre, plus other services.
Nurses and Personal Support Workers (PSWs), along with other nursing and aide staff, provide much of the hands on care from day to day.
She is a Nurse whose valuable experience at the home and in the health care field goes a long way to informing her role as Chief Steward.
Les Whalen (pictured here) is a full-time employee in the Maintenance department. He became Chief Steward two years ago and he also co-chairs the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC). He has been a part of the Homewood staff for 10 years. Les works with ateam of Environmental Services employees who work in a number of skilled trades and other maintenance support positions.
Cathy and Les are supported by a group of nine other dedicated Stewards (accurate as of Sept 2019):
- Patricia Barrales, Steward
- Heather Berry, Steward
- Catherine Bowmaster, Steward
- Penny Fulton, Steward
- Jim Galatianos, Steward
- Peter Hallett, Steward
- Rose Heyden, Steward
- Shannon Kerr, Steward
- Jordan Schepers, Steward
In total, the team of Stewards and JHSC members at Homewood have a combined total of more than 190 years of experience that they bring to the workplace every day.
“Cathy and Les and the whole group of Stewards are great to work with,” said Union Rep, Lee Johnson-Koehn. “They are dedicated to giving their clients amazing care and services during their shifts, and they go above and beyond whenever needed to support their co-workers too.”
“Our Union members at Homewood Health Centre are proud of the Centre and the work they do,” added Lee. “The health and recovery of their clients is the most important thing to them and it shows in the care they put into their jobs every day.”