Fairview sets up nursing fund to honour Pam Murphy

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Nursing education fund established to celebrate Pam Murphy’s retirement from Fairview Manor

On Saturday, Sept. 30, Pam Murphy will officially retire from her position as Director of Care (DOC) at Fairview Manor (FVM).  This will mark the end of a work career that has spanned more than 40 years, including 12 years overseeing resident care at FVM.

Throughout Pam’s time at FVM, her work philosophy has focused on the delicate balancing act between caring for the residents, which she readily admits is the highest priority, and caring for her staff, which she sees as equally important.  It is no surprise that Pam says that well-trained, engaged, caring staff is the key to the high-quality resident care for which FVM is known.

According to her successor, Karen Buness, “Pam is a wonderful nurse and a fantastic leader.  Her knowledge, caring approach and dedication to the residents and staff are unparalleled.  She leaves big shoes to fill.”

Pam has seen things change a lot in long-term care over the course of her career.  She attributes this to modern medicine’s ability to better treat many chronic diseases.  This positive step forward means that people are living longer; therefore the need for long-term care is constantly growing.

When she first became DOC at Fairview in 2005, about 80% of the residents were capable of getting to the dining rooms mostly under their own steam, or with a little help of another resident.  Although sometimes precarious to watch, Pam said, “You had to admire their spirit.”  Now, she believes that only about 20% of the residents would be able to do that without help from a staff member.  On average, residents are living longer and require a greater amount of support in almost all areas of daily living.

When asked what she is most proud of with respect to her time at the Manor, the answer again reflects Pam’s philosophy.  “I’m most proud of my nursing team and the Manor’s team spirit,” she says.  “These things have a direct impact on the care provided.”

Prior to her nursing career, Pam had enjoyed success in several other local endeavours.  In 1979, she opened Almonte’s first tearoom, the Waterford, and grew the downtown establishment into a successful business by focusing on fresh offerings of scones, sandwiches, soups and teas served in fine cups from real tea pots.  Business took off and kept Pam busy, but not too busy to have two daughters, Jemma and Rachel, with her late ex-husband, Dr. Frank Murphy, along the way. After selling the tea room in 1985, Pam worked with Dr. Murphy in his office, and served on municipal council too for six years.

Nursing, which Pam had studied at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast prior to immigrating to Canada in 1972, drew Pam back in the early 90s.  She held various positions before becoming Director of Care at Almonte Country Haven where she worked for five years, prior to moving to FVM in 2005.

When asked what she was going to do in retirement, Pam laughed and said, “I’m going to live!”  For a women who has been a nurse, business owner, mother, politician, wife, senior administrator, and who now counts grandmother (to grandson Donall) on her list of accomplishments, it seems funny that she would ever, for one  moment, think that she hasn’t lived.  But that’s definitely not what Pam meant.  Having been so committed to her role at Fairview Manor over that past 12 years, she has not often planned or taken a lot of time for herself.  She’s looking forward to planning trips (of course Ireland is a top priority), and spending time with her daughters and grandson.  Eventually she thinks that volunteering will be part of her new found ability ‘to live’ as well.

“Pam will be sorely missed,” said Hospital President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider.  “Her work has touched hundreds of lives over the years and so it makes sense that we celebrate her well-deserved retirement in a way that recognizes and continues her legacy of caring for both the residents and the staff of Fairview Manor.”

Mary is pleased to announce that the AGH-FVM Foundation will be establishing a special Pam Murphy Fairview Manor Nursing Education Fund in support of education and training.  For all the many people who want to wish Pam well on her retirement, donations can be made to the Foundation designated for this new, special fund.

Each year, the Fund will help nurses at FVM take courses or attend a conference.  Donations can be dropped off at the Foundation Office, made over the phone at 613-256-2500, ext. 2296 or made online at: www.almontehospitalfoundation.com

Please join us in wishing Pam a long and happy retirement.