Interview: Brittany Cheeseman, Manager, Donor Relations & Annual Program


July 16, 2019

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I’m Brittany and I manage our Donor Relations and Annual Giving Programs. I started working at Humber River Hospital about five years ago. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to work at the Foundation in a number of different roles and had the privilege of helping our community move into the new Humber River Hospital.

In one sentence, how would you explain your job to a friend?

I have the best job in the world – my job is to celebrate, thank and demonstrate the profound impact donors make at our Hospital. I also get to share stories that inspire our community to make their first gift to Humber, sign up for monthly giving, host a community event or choose to honour their nurse, doctor or caregiver with a Gift of Gratitude.

A man and two women working in Humber's Command Centre point to data on the digital tiles. They are looking at each other.

“I’m proud to be working for a Hospital that isn’t afraid to think differently about how we are doing healthcare and am excited to see the Command Centre evolve to future phases.” says Brittany.

Is there a Program of Care you have a personal connection to?

I feel a strong connection to the Jack and Pat Kay Urgent Care Clinic in our Mental Health & Addictions Program. I love that this expanding clinic is there for children and their families when they are in crisis but do not require inpatient care. I’ve seen someone I love struggle with their own Mental Health as a teen – and saw how hard it can be navigating through the health care system and finding the resources you need, when you need them most. The Jack and Pat Kay Urgent Care Clinic provides multi-systemic personalized care for children when outpatient Mental Health services may not be designed or resources to meet their urgent mental health needs.

What are the most interesting pieces of technology at Humber?

It’s so hard to choose! I feel like I learn about another incredible piece of technology at Humber, every single day. I think our Command Centre is incredible and I’m absolutely fascinated to see where this takes healthcare not only at Humber but the future of healthcare across the country.

I love that the mission of the Command Centre is to improve the experience of each person who enters the healthcare system – like improving Hospital processes so frontline staff and physicians can spend more time at their patients bedside. I’m proud to be working for a Hospital that isn’t afraid to think differently about how we are doing healthcare and am excited to see the Command Centre evolve to future phases where we can leverage things like wearable technology to monitor and manage patients at home.

A nurse reads a card that he received from a grateful patient. The card has a Gifts of Gratitude pin on it and says "You made someone grateful" on the front.

“Humber River Hospital has an incredible team of nurses, doctors and caregivers,” says Brittany. “I think the best part of my job is seeing the joy on their face when they are presented with their Gift of Gratitude and they proudly put on their pin.”

I also love the Pill Pick in our pharmacy. The closed-loop system Humber uses is incredible and the positive impact on our patients’ safety is HUGE! And of course how can you not love Pepper. Coming to a hospital can be scary and seeing the joy that Pepper brings so many people always makes me happy. I love walking down the hallway and seeing a child dancing with Pepper, families laughing or some of our seniors absolutely amazed that a Robot just helped them find their way to their clinic appointment.

Do you have a favourite project?

I’m really proud to have recently launched a new program called Gifts of Gratitude. Humber River Hospital has an incredible team of nurses, doctors and caregivers who go above and beyond every to make a difference for their patients. We were hearing time and time again that patients and their families didn’t know how to express their gratitude, a simple thank you didn’t feel like enough or they didn’t have the chance to thank the person who impacted their stay at Humber before they were discharged.

When someone makes a Gift of Gratitude they have the chance to write a personalized message to their nurse, doctor or caregiver – which we hand deliver with a special recognition pin. I absolutely love surprising Humber staff with these lovely messages. I think the best part of my job is seeing the joy on their face when they are presented with their Gift of Gratitude and they proudly put on their pin.

What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year? 

Brittany and her fiance hold hands in a field.

Last December, Brittany and her fiancé got engaged. “I think planning a wedding to celebrate our relationship with everyone we love is a pretty awesome thing!” she says.

I got engaged! Last December my fiancé surprised me while we were taking a walk around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. I’m usually the planner in our relationship so I was very surprised after getting engaged on our driveway to walk into our house full of all our family and friends ready to congratulate us! I think planning a wedding to celebrate our relationship with everyone we love is a pretty awesome thing!

What inspires you?

I’ve always felt inspired to connect people – whether that’s within my own group of friends or professionally, I love hosting events that bring passionate people together, sharing stories that help people feel more connected to the community around them or facilitating opportunities for people to give back. I think that’s why I love working at Humber so much. Humber River Hospital has an incredible story – we are North America’s most digital hospital, we have an extremely talented team of doctors, nurses and staff and we are changing the future of healthcare. I’m inspired to share this story with as many people as we can and connect people to our cause, to one another and to our community along the way.