The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation | UHN

Providing a ‘Human Touch’ in Patient Care


Glenda Towne, diet technician at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, has received a CCO Human Touch Award.
She has been part of the Princess Margaret team since 1987. (Video: UHN)

Glenda Towne has worked at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre since 1987 - beginning at its Sherbourne St. location.

Having witnessed many changes over the years there has always been one constant in her work.

"I love the patients," she says. "I just love going up there trying to just crack a smile with them and trying to give them a better day than what they're usually having."

For her tireless dedication to patients, Glenda was nominated by her colleagues for a Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) Human Touch Award.

The award recognizes exemplary and compassionate patient care by healthcare professionals, providers and volunteers in the cancer and kidney care systems.


Glenda received her Human Touch Award on April 21 at the CCO's Annual General Meeting.
(Photo: UHN)

Glenda's colleagues nominated her for providing exemplary patient-centred care and going above and beyond the expectations and responsibilities of her health professional role to improve patients' experience and quality of life.

"Glenda is definitely a ray of sunshine for our patients," says Sarah Buchanan, a registered dietitian at the Princess Margaret. "Some of them are here for quite a lengthy admission and because Glenda is following up with them she's able to build a rapport with them.

"A colleague the other day was saying how every time Glenda comes into the room the patients' faces just light up."

In addition to lifting the spirits of the patients she also lifts the spirits of her fellow team members, says Daniela Fierini, Clinical Nutrition Practice Leader and Glenda's nominator for the award. She will often remember special occasions, like an anniversary or birthday, and leave a treat on her colleagues' desks, Daniela adds.

Learning she was nominated and would be one of the recipients of the Human Touch Award was truly a surprise to Glenda.

"I don't feel that I'm doing anything different than what my other teammates do," Glenda says.  "For them to feel that I have and write somebody about it makes me feel very proud and humbled."