Innovations in Nursing Care with Clinton Baretto and Felicia Kontopidis

In our latest episode of Nurses’ Voices, join hosts Gail Donner and Mary Wheeler for an enlightening discussion with Clinton Baretto NP, BScN, MSc (Bristol), Executive Director at Homeless Health Peel and Felicia Kontopidis RN, BScN, Director of Care at Journey Home Hospice.

Clinton and Felicia are what we would call nurse innovators, nurses who find creative approaches to providing nursing care. They each have their own unique and compelling stories that have brought them to their current roles, caring and advocating for individuals who are homeless. They explain the nurse led services and programs at Homeless Health Peel and Journey Home Hospice and how they and their staff strive to support very vulnerable populations.

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We wish to thank Pfizer Canada for their sponsorship of Season Two of Nurses’ Voices, and to the Canadian Nurses Foundation and the Canadian Nurses Association for their ongoing support.

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About Our Guests

Clinton Baretto NP, BScN, MSc (Bristol)
Executive Director, Homeless Health Peel

From Clinton:

I never wanted to be a nurse and there are many days that I still don’t. Life would be easier as a carpenter. But nursing has given me many opportunities to experience the world, personal and professional growth and destruction, and a sense of professional purpose in my life and for that I am grateful. I have a strong sense of justice and have reached a stage in my career where advocacy means something very different than when I was a new grad outpost nurse in northern Ontario and comes with a different level of “gravitas”.

After working internationally within a variety of health systems, and Masters level education in politics and economics, I have a wider lens to see the world not just as it is but as it could be.

Felicia Kontopidis RN, BScN
Director of Care, Journey Home Hospice

From Felicia:

Nursing is transformative work. We, as nurses, are privileged to have the opportunity to heal, offer comfort, and provide respite, and we also become part of our patients’ life stories. When I began my work as a community nurse more than a decade ago, I didn’t really know what to expect. Community nursing is a different vocation – we quite literally enter the lives and homes of our patients, and we learn a lot about what makes people different and more about how much we are all the same.

Over my career, I’ve worked in a variety of settings that offer a different window into life stories: shelters, drop-in centres, subsidized housing, and inner-city neighborhoods; all dynamic settings with their own particular culture. Working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic settings, I’ve learned that most of us have similar life goals: to be loved by our chosen families; to be remembered after we die; and to feel heard and understood for our unique skills, gifts, and backgrounds. This is learning I’ve taken with me throughout my career and it has sparked my passion for health advocacy and equitable access to care for all patients.

Currently, I serve as the Director of Care at Journey Home Hospice, Toronto’s only hospice specifically caring for the homeless community. In my role, I am proud to be a part of a team working to improve access to services for marginalized populations and leading innovation in clinical and complementary care for individuals at end-of-life. I am also pursuing a combined Master of Nursing and Nurse Practitioner program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) to advance my clinical skills and amplify my voice as an advocate for patients and underserved populations.

In addition to my role at Journey Home Hospice, I am also the Policy and Political Action representative on the Board of Directors for CHNIG (Community Health Nurses Interest Group). I have completed an RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship on enhancing patient-and family-centered healthcare amongst the underserved and disenfranchised. My goals as a nurse leader are to impact community-based practice and end-of-life care with innovative, socially responsible, and equity focused program solutions to system-wide health problems.

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