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A hospital environmental aide writes on a whiteboard.
Environmental aide Bill Greenhalgh enjoys writing daily inspirational messages on his ward’s whiteboard for staff, doctors, patients and visitors to enjoy.
January 9, 2023

Daily motivational messages inspire cardiac team and patients

“You can always give something, even if it is only kindness.”

Bill Greenhalgh, environmental aide

And Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) environmental aide Bill Greenhalgh has plenty of kindness to give – especially when it comes to lifting the spirits of staff, doctors, patients and visitors at Hamilton General Hospital’s 5 South cardiac surgical ward.

Greenhalgh is the scribe behind daily inspirational messages neatly printed on his ward’s whiteboard, encouraging those passing by to stay positive and live their best lives.

A whiteboard is similar to a blackboard, but it has a glossy, white surface where messages can be written using non-permanent markers and easily erased.

“It’s really fun to search for quotes, and I enjoy helping out and hopefully brightening someone’s day.”

“I write new messages just before staring my morning shift,” says Greenhalgh, who has been cleaning hospital rooms at HHS for close to 30 years.

Incorporating motivational messages

Every morning, the health-care team on 5 South gathers around the whiteboard, located in the hallway by the nursing station, for a quick morning meeting called a huddle. Clinical manager Corinne Tartaglia leads huddle, and in the spring of 2022 she started to include motivational quotes as part of this daily routine.

The new tradition struck a chord with Greenhalgh, who asked if he could contribute a quote. Greenhalgh enjoyed the task so much, he ended up taking on this daily message.

“Bill not only constantly steps up to assist our staff on a daily basis, he has taken this extremely heartwarming huddle routine to a level I never imagined,” says Tartaglia.

Brightening people’s day

Since the whiteboard is located in the hallway, it can be seen by staff, doctors, patients and their visitors.

Greenhalgh searches the Internet for quotes that he feels this audience will find especially inspirational or motivational. He also looks for quotes to recognize specific days, such as Remembrance Day.

A hand holds a marker, and writes on a whiteboard

Quotes such as “A thousand words will not replace one good deed,” inspire staff and visitors.

“It’s really fun to search for quotes, and I enjoy helping out and hopefully brightening someone’s day,” says Greenhalgh, adding that he has received plenty of positive feedback.

“I’ve even seen people take a photo of a quote. When this happens, it’s usually because it reminds them of someone, or a special event in their lives.”