Community Relations Manager
No single day has been the same - I've met a menagerie of people and engaged in their stories, been places I never thought I'd be, and although I've spent years working with marginalized populations, I can say I've stretched my zones - and where the perception of the subject matter may sound down, I can say that I smile inside and out each day just by engaging with the community
Tell Us About YourselfI came to work in palliative care following my mother's death in 2008. Up to that point, I'd been a busy, successful, fast-tracking media strategist. Some events in life that are framed in sadness can end up surprising you. In caring for my mother, I found a calling. I worked, took multiple post-grad certifications, and moved to field where I find fulfillment in my day. The pace of the rest of my life is fast. I have a husband, 3 children (ages 10, 9, and 7), volunteer work, schlepping everyone to and from some form of class, group, sport, or playdate. The gift I've carved out for myself is working where I know I'm doing good. Where I feel grounded and where I've learned the most about compassion, non-judgment, being mindful, and having gratitude for every moment. I read (a lot), I meditate (not enough), and I am hopelessly addicted to true crime shows and the worst of reality TV (600lb Life, Intervention.) I swim rigorously 5 times a week, I eat cough drops like they're candy, and I've never met a french fry that I didn't like.
What Is Your Role At Basic Funerals?I'm the community relations manager.
How Did You End Up In This Position?I like to think it was a natural connect-the-dots. Working in end of life care with a mix of clients and at the same time being a key lead for business development and client acquisition, this role connects the best parts of each role into one. I'd been looking to move from media to something more in line with my interest in end of life care and I'd looked at a role with Park Lawn earlier. Someone remembered me, introduced me to Basic Funerals, and here I am.
What is an average day for you?That's the awesome part - everyday is something new, that there hasn't been 'average day' yet. I do say that if I am around the office, it means I'm really not doing what I should be doing. Successful community relations really has been reinforced by being present in the community. Every day I engage with a variety of diverse and places. From hospitals, hospices, group homes, service agencies, palliative care volunteer groups, nursing homes, homeless shelters- any and all of the moving pieces that offer the opportunity to develop business while creating positive, compassionate parterships.
What Is Your Favourite Part About Your Job?It's diverse, for sure. I've started a hot summer day handing out water to homeless people as a way to engage with a partner in care, I've been in places that sometimes I couldn't imagine - like being present in an active safe injection site. But the people are the best motivation each day. I've met characters galore that have such rich experiences, made some new friendships, listened to some of the gripes of over-worked, under-staffed health care workers, and really felt like I am working with partners toward a common goal-providing every person a place of help and peace at the end of life, without judgement.
'Client Centered' is often cited as a core principle in managing care today but at Basic Funerals, I can confidently say it's part of our DNA. No one is turned away and that we are a team of professionals who are drawn together by a common focus. Each person, family, or care giving circle is always kept top of mind while in our care with empathy, compassion, and never with judgement