Woman stands in a hallway with her arms crossed

#IamMGH - Meet Diane Kotsopoulos

#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. In light of her upcoming retirement, meet Diane Kotsopoulos, senior project manager at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).

“I started working at MGH as a high school student when I was 17 years old. I remember one of my neighbours came knocking on my front door and mentioned how MGH, formerly named Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), was hiring and if I would be interested in a summer job. I immediately jumped on the opportunity and, as you know, 45 years later I’m still around. Things just worked out perfectly – it was a nice stroke of luck!

My first position was in the dietary department where I started out as a dietary aide/clerk. Not only did it help fund my education, but it also helped me learn new aspects of the health care industry.

I later transitioned to a unit clerk position in surgery and then cardiology. Both roles were instrumental in allowing me to understand clinical processes and workflows. On a personal level, it allowed me the work/life balance while raising my two children. I worked in this position for some time until a new opportunity arose in the information technology (IT) department as a clinical IT trainer – what an opportunity!  I thoroughly enjoyed working with front line staff to gain their trust in understanding and transitioning to an electronic patient record. Within IT, I changed positions from trainer to business analyst to manager and now senior project manager.

Throughout my career at MGH, I have enjoyed working with so many incredible people from all areas and departments. There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t learned something new in every aspect of the hospital, systems and individuals.  I will treasure these memories.

A group of hospital staff stand in a hallway in Michael Garron Hospital

It’s funny actually – when I first started working at MGH, I remember looking out the window when they were building the J, G, H complex and thought, ‘wow…another building is going up.’ Now we’re here in the present day when I’m retiring from MGH and there’s another building being added to the hospital. It’s funny how it comes around in a full circle.

I’m very blessed to have worked at MGH. Living close to this hospital has made it my community hospital, creating an ideal work/life balance. The last 45 years have been such an incredible experience because of the wonderful connections creating long-lasting friendships. When you work with good people, you always have great days. This hospital means a lot to me, personally. I’ve grown up here – my kids were born here, my father passed away here and everyone I met has become a part of my family.

It’s going to be difficult leaving MGH – it’s like leaving my home. I’m going to miss being around everyone and being involved in the daily community aspect of MGH. I’m happy to say that I have only warm feelings about this hospital – I have no regrets not going anywhere else. It’s been a great experience which I will cherish dearly. Thank You!”

We will miss you Diane – thank you for all of your remarkable work and service here at MGH. As we reflect on Diane’s career at the hospital, please see below for expressions of gratitude from Diane’s colleagues.

Brigitte Nadeau, Specialist, Information Technology

I have known Diane for the last 21 years, back then she joined the “eChart team", (aka Gateway Team) 'as a trainer. 

During her eChart journey, from 2000 to now, she has been a co-worker, my manager and most importantly my friend.  

At work, her ideas and insights were extremely valuable, and extensive knowledge of processes was impressive to say the least.  I learned a lot from Diane, especially from her famous saying "Let's backtrack a bit!”. Diane has this remarkable skill to bring everyone back to each step of a process. It is essential; when everyone is puzzled and sometimes lost in meetings- we will miss your clarity and inquisitiveness!

With Diane, we get integrity, transparency and commitment. She was committed to provide the best IT solutions with meeting the needs of the patients and staff on many initiatives such as the implementation of the patient scheduling system (ESM).

Her leadership skills truly shined when she took the opportunity to be the Manager of eChart. Unexpected challenges such as code grey and COVID showed us how Diane can communicate effectively and clearly and empower her team to work together by recognizing everyone’s strengths.

Diane has always been supportive of her colleagues and striving for a work and life balance for the staff.

Diane is known by so many individuals at MGH, not only for her work ethics but for her compassion, her listening skills, her kindness, a person who cares.  Diane, you will be greatly missed.   I wish you a wonderful, well deserved retirement! Keep sending those Instagram pics of your grand-children!”

Denise Layton, Privacy Officer

“I had the pleasure of working with Diane in a number of her roles. I first met Diane when she was working in INCU (Intermediate Nursing Care Unit) as the unit clerk when it opened on J2 in 1989.

Diane as they say is ‘born and bred’ in East York, so she never had to travel too far to work. That of course just means you spend the potential travel time in the office.   

When I joined the eChart team in 2006 it was very apparent how hard working and dedicated she was. Diane was the registration expert. The go-to for all things registration. Always keen to ensure the clinic processes were taken into consideration when an electronic process was being implemented that impacted the staff. With the ever expansion of technology and the various shared systems MGH submits data to, Diane became the LRA (local registration authority) for them. That worked very well for me when I moved into the privacy officer role.

I could always depend on Diane to reach out when any unusual request for access came her way. Diane understood privacy and confidentiality and how important that is to patients, she never took for granted the role she played in enabling access to those system like connecting Ontario, Born, eCHN etc. When we received a list of what’s called active users, Diane was quick to update that and ensure only those that really required it had the necessary access. Diane never failed to respond promptly.

More recently as Manager of eChart Diane continued to be my ‘phone a friend’. Whenever an improvement opportunity presented itself I knew I could lift the phone and Diane would be open to listening to my suggestion/concern and before I knew it a mini group meeting would take place. No matter how much work went into creating a solution Diane was always open to suggestion for improvements. Having an open mind is such an invaluable attribute.

I will really miss my friend and colleague but can only wish that this next chapter of life brings endless time to do the things she loves with the people she loves the most! Retirement isn’t the end of the road, but just a turn in the road. Enjoy your journey!”

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