Laura Holitski

“I try to treat people, the way I would like to be treated.”

These are powerful words in health care. We want to know that our loved ones, or even we ourselves will be treated with respect, compassion and kindness when we are at our most vulnerable.

Laura Holitski is one of those people whose kindness shines through. Laura has worked as a Dietary Aide at Royal University Hospital for 24 years.

Arriving for her shift at 6 am, Laura and her coworkers dish up the desserts, vegetables, purees and minces and get it all ready for the trays.

At 8 am she delivers meals. She enjoys delivering the meals to the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health the most. “You really get to know people,” she says. “Vulnerable people just need a smile or a small bit of kindness like an extra muffin. Those things mean a lot.”

“I’m going to treat people—my coworkers, the patients, anybody—how would I want to be treated. If it was my mother in the hospital, I’d want someone to help her open her containers if she wasn’t able to. Go that little extra mile because you can. We think we’re on a clock but you always have those extra few minutes. It doesn’t just make a difference to the patients but it does to myself as well.”

She’ll never forget one particular patient who was unable to communicate verbally and could not relay what she wanted. Within two or three weeks, the patient was saying hello and thank you when Laura delivered her meals. A good reminder of the impact of the care received at RUH.

Laura once received an incredibly touching card from a former patient that she keeps on her fridge to remind her of why she does what she does.

“People think ‘oh big deal I’m delivering a tray.’ But you don’t know how you are affecting people. People are lonely and need sometimes just a little extra kindness.”

The interactions with the patients are the best part of her day. She introduces herself and calls the patients by name.

Her beautiful smile and her attitude is infectious.

Laura has seen RUH from the other side too as several of her family members have been patients. Laura grew up in a close-knit family that have always been there for each other, celebrating birthdays and holidays together. Her positive attitude comes from her mother.

She’s seen the beauty of humanity during difficult times too experienced during both the Humboldt Broncos crash and the pandemic where kind people sent in food to help ease the strain.

“I try to come in and make someone’s day just a little bit better. I try and help people any way I can. Being here that many years, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”

“Come happy; leave happy.”

Thank you Laura for giving so much of yourself to help make others feel cared for.

If you’re inspired by our Faces of RUH stories and want to support the medical teams and staff at RUH, please consider making a donation.

Donate Now