A clinical leader for a hospital's developmental pediatrics and rehabilitation program stands in portrait.

Introducing… a clinical leader in developmental pediatrics and rehabilitation

Lindsay Bray is a clinical leader for Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) developmental pediatrics and rehabilitation (DPR) program. She supports the children’s developmental rehabilitation program and the technology access clinic. Lindsay is based at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and has been with HHS for 17 years.

What do you do?

I support a team of extremely dedicated and innovative staff. We serve children with neurological disorders who have physical and/or developmental disabilities that result in functional limitations.

Our technology access team assists both children and adults with written and/or spoken augmentative communication needs.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by my grandfather, James Belaire, who taught me to work hard, solve problems creatively, celebrate the accomplishments of others and give back to our community. At times in his life, he was isolated and afraid. As a result, he took every opportunity to ensure others felt supported and cared for. My grandfather was a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who could make anything.

I am inspired by my grandfather who taught me to solve problems creatively and celebrate the accomplishments of others.

He used his talents to create a monument for Remembrance Day with plaques for every man in his company who lost their lives. He once anonymously left a gift for each child on his street on Christmas Eve. As his friends and neighbours passed away, he did yard work for their widows.

After he passed away, I found an award he received from the City of Toronto for being a good neighbour. It was tucked away, and I suspect that no one else had ever seen it.

What is your most gratifying experience working at HHS?

Last year, I was approached by a parent from DPR. She told me Halloween is a particularly difficult holiday for her family to celebrate due to their mobility issues. Overhearing our chat, another mother said her child actually hopes to be in the hospital for Halloween as they saw the outpouring of support our sites provide.

This year, a combined effort between our program and the families we serve helped launch an accessible trick or treat event at Eastgate Mall in Hamilton. Our staff, families, friends and the community rallied and donated more than 10,000 treats for the kids. Our recreation therapist as well as community volunteers were on site to support our families. I’ve heard from more than one child it was the best Halloween ever. It was gratifying to see our families empowered to advocate for their Halloween needs.

I have been most surprised by how my team supports me in the same way it supports our patients and families.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

I’m still new in my role, and my learning curve has been incredible. I thought I would be in a role supporting our front-line staff so they could focus their energy on their clinical roles.

I have been most surprised by how my team supports me in the same way it supports our patients and families. I’ve stumbled, misspoken, delivered hard messages and been truly challenged. My colleagues enthusiastically embrace new endeavours by volunteering their time and resources.

As an example, we won the MacKids Walk and Wheel’s first staff fundraising challenge earlier this year. We also partner with the community and create inclusive groups for all of Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. And, when our cheer squad debuted at a recent Hamilton Tiger-Cats game in brutal weather, our staff cheered loudly from the stands. It’s been an incredible journey being part of this team.