Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anna Power-Horlick speaks at the CARG 25th anniversary dinner

Anna Power-Horlick speaks at the CARG 25th anniversary dinnerThank you to the Board members for agreeing to this opportunity for me to share what it is like for a family member to be connected to the CARG experience.

I have the honour of being the daughter of Sylvia and Douglas Power who have been with the CARG group since the start. While this is not the "club" they imagined joining, I have to say that it has been a life giving experience.

From the first connection that was made in hospital through the Nurse Coordinators and following with the transition through to CARG, our family heard the names, Leslie, Ken, Audrey, Blanche, and other support staff even more that the names of health medications.

Several years after my mother's heart attack, she was faced with the news about bypass surgery. Our whole family felt the impact. My Mom remembers to this day that Roly, from CARG came to see her right away and reassured Mom that she would get through this. His honest appraisal of the challenge of surgery was important and his message of a hopeful recovery made it easier for us to accept the necessary decision. A great team of health care professionals in the hospital made it possible to get through the surgery and five day post operative stay; but getting back to life was through the community of the CARG.

When my Mom was overwhelmed at home following the surgery and Dad and I wondered how she would recover, we called CARG and a wonderful lady, named Pat came to the house and visited and encouraged my Mom. That was just the medicine we needed. As time went on, my Dad, not be outdone by mom, also had a cardiac event and made a comfortable switch from support person status to full membership as a "red shirt" member.

I am an R.N. and I have the joy of telling my patients who have chronic conditions that if they ever need inspiration about what health education and support can do - spend 10 minutes observing the CARG gang at the Field House and now also the Shaw Centre. YOU have a community, which is vitally important to good health, AND you have fun!!

You also set a terrific intergenerational example. I know many of you have had family and grandchildren join you in walking the track. My children have loved coming to the Field House since they were toddlers to have fun. They brag about their grandparents who "work out" at the Field House three times a week. They also have the joy of being the grandchildren of Ruth and Dr. Louis Horlick, so they have a great connection to the legacy of the CARG community.

So now I can say that I have a family history of heart disease, which makes me an associate member of the CARG group. I know through your example of knowledge and prevention that we can make a difference in decreasing cardiac risk factors and improve the management of heart disease.

Congratulations to the pioneers - you all look fantastic. Congratulations to everyone on this terrific anniversary. You are all part of a winning team working for the best of health.

Thank you,

Anna Power-Horlick

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