de Souza Institute Celebrates 10 Years of Making a Difference
There are moments in life when you don’t realize just how far you’ve travelled or just how much you’ve accomplished. These milestones can easily pass us by as we are preoccupied with working and doing what needs to be done. Then one day, you turn around and look back at the path travelled. You’re amazed to see that the journey was not a simple straight line, it was a collection of ups and downs, starts and stops, and twists and turns.
This year de Souza Institute proudly celebrates our 10th anniversary, a remarkable story of innovation, drive and sustainability.
de Souza Institute is a shining example of how government seed money can bloom into a self-sustaining program that exceeds expectations. In the early days, the major concerns were that de Souza would be too Toronto-centric, and there was uncertainty in how nurses would respond. These concerns were quickly laid to rest. Learners from all over the province enrolled in our courses and word quickly spread to other disciplines. In response to these early successes de Souza was able to expand the platform and offer courses nationwide and expand beyond nursing to include psychologists, social workers, spiritual care, medicine, radiation oncologists, pharmacists and palliative care professionals.
Responding to the increased demand and interest was a core reason in how we were able to design our sustainability model. Success does not happen overnight and seldom does it occur alone. We recognized that the best care delivery models are implemented by interprofessional teams and that is one of the secrets to our success. We were motivated to support others and help them be better at what they do. We were excited to enter into partnerships with likeminded agencies and organizations. Innovative modeling allowed us to expand our reach to healthcare professionals across the country and assist others in accomplishing their goals, because in the end, we realized we have the same goal of ensuring that patients get the services they need and deserve.
There is an expression that if you are not moving forward you are moving backward. Our commitment to innovation has been steadfast from the onset. It was important that we were nimble enough as an organization to respond to the complexity of healthcare. An industry that is continuously introducing new treatments, technologies and care delivery models. This reality was compounded by the lightning pace at which technology was advancing. We needed to constantly evolve, adapt and respond to the changes in healthcare and technology. Our courses are current, accurate and reflective of the times. Furthermore, the learner experience evolved from a static presentation on a desktop to an on demand course with interactive multimedia that could be completed on a handheld device.
Over the ten years we’ve had many noteworthy moments, however the most valued ones are the acknowledgements that we’ve received from our peers. We are extremely proud that we have clinical meaning and recognition, our courses have become mandatory for certain positions, completion of de Souza courses are now being listed on job postings and our learning pathway and designations have helped so many individuals who are committed to professional development and lifelong learning.
We are way beyond the initial goal of supporting nurses and helping them excel. Looking back at the past ten years it is a very fulfilling experience both personally and professionally. However, celebrating the 10th anniversary would not have been possible without the dedicated, talented and extraordinary staff, learners, facilitators and contributing partners. The first ten years has been a remarkable story and we look forward to writing the story of the next ten years and beyond.
Executive Director, Dr. Mary Jane Esplen