The mayor of CDN-NDG tackles the vaccination campaign

“As nurses, what we do in our daily lives is meet new people, listen to the challenges they are going through in terms of overall health, understand a bit of their story and then be able to support them. “, said Kasoki Katahwa.

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Being mayor of Montreal’s largest borough isn’t that different from being a nurse, says Gracia Kasoki Katahwa.

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The new mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce drew on her nursing experience on Tuesday to lend a hand to the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

A former nurse at the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s, elected borough mayor on November 7, Kasoki Katahwa participated in the vaccination of patients in a pop-up clinic at the St-Raymond Community Center on Upper Lachine Road.

“You know, I chose nursing because it was important to me that every morning when I woke up, I was sure to help people concretely, in their daily lives. But it’s also true for politics,” said Kasoki Katahwa, who has also served as a nurse manager and administrator for the Order of Nurses of Quebec.

There are “a lot of similarities” between nursing and politics, she said.

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“As nurses, what we do in our daily lives is meet new people, listen to the challenges they are going through in terms of overall health, understand a bit of their story and then be able to support them. “, she said.

“That’s what I do as mayor. Every day I get emails and phone calls from new people. I quickly try to understand their needs and their story, then I help solve their situation.

“I have shivers, because in the nursing profession, it has always been said that nurses have political skills. Now I really see it. We were trained for this, we developed interpersonal skills, listening skills, empathy and problem solving,” she said.

The one-day clinic was part of an awareness campaign by the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest de Montréal Regional Health Authority in areas where vaccination rates may be lagging, said Lucie Tremblay, director of CIUSSS nursing care and vaccination.

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“We want to be close to the people, to make sure we reach people where they are. There are still pockets of people who have not yet had a vaccine or who are waiting for their second or third dose,” she said.

Kasoki Katahwa’s first client was his colleague Peter McQueen, municipal councilor of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

“The mayor did a good job,” McQueen said after getting his recall.

“She was maybe a little more nervous than me, but that’s understandable because even though she’s done it often in her life, as she said, she hasn’t done it recently,” said he declared.

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