Donna T. Ritch, R.N., EPC
Throughout the years, Donna has learned an abundance of knowledge pertaining to health promotion with a focus on older adults.
Ms. Ritch received her Nursing Diploma from Scarborough Regional School of Nursing in 1971. She immediately accepted a position as Staff Nurse & Assistant Head Nurse at the Centenary Hospital where she remained until 1987.
Between the years of 1983 to 1987, while still employed at Centenary Hospital, Donna was a Lecturer and a Trainer for Weight Watchers International. This paved the way for her to receive her Leader’s Training Certificate from Weight Watchers International in 1988.
In 1987 she accepted a position with the Canada Life Insurance Company, where she held the position of Special Projects Co-Ordinator. During that same year, Donna received a Wellness and Lifestyle Management Honours Post Graduate Certificate from Centennial College in Toronto, ON.
From 1987 to 1998, Ms. Ritch partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society, where she was the Community Program Consultant, Health Promotion Consultant, as well as a Workplace Education Nurse.
In 1998, Donna earned three credits of a Women’s Studies Diploma program from Trent University in Peterborough ON.
Donna has also done consulting with the Victorian Order of Nurses, Durham Region Branch from 1998 to 2003, where she was the Manager of the Friendly Visitor Program.
Some of Donna’s other educational accomplishments are the attainment of an Interchurch Health Ministries Diploma in Partnership with Emmanuel College of Victoria University, U of T and a VON Management 300 Certificate Course from the Victorian Order of Nurses.
She is currently only two courses away from achieving her Bachelor Health Sciences (Nursing) Degree from Charles Sturt University in Australia.
In 2003, Donna started her own consulting business she called ironically enough what we all will experience – “Change of Season.”
The strength and success of Change of Season rests with Donna’s experience of being a registered nurse for more than thirty years.
Much of her experience is in service to older adults, particularly those living in their own homes who feel isolated and lonely. Donna's nursing background in hospitals and in the home helped her recognize the need for more home services for older adults. At the same time she is ever mindful that the children of older adults experience increasing stress in trying to meet the conflicting needs of their parents and their children.
Change of Season was created to provide those non-medical and health promotion services that improve well being and help elders remain well in their own home.
Donna’s postgraduate background in health promotion has enabled her to help people by providing the tools, resources and support necessary to improve quality of life at every stage and season.
Through the use of Therapeutic Touch, Donna is able to assist clients experiencing pain and needing assistance with improved quality of sleep.
She is also invested in assisting the valued work of the Parish Nurse's health and healing ministry. Her belief in the health of the mind, body and spirit has lead Donna to become a member of Westminster United Church's Health Cabinet.
The combination of Donna’s education, experience and most importantly her passion for “OUR AGING SOCIETY” is the force that propels Change of Season.
Some of Donna’ other accomplishments are:
- Managed a staff team in volunteer services and oversaw more than 200 volunteers,
- Participated in self assessment phase of accreditation, Quality Improvement
- Guide volunteers and staff in the promotion and delivery of Health Promotion and Volunteer Programs
- Support the delivery and referral of patient services and Health Promotion Programs within the Central Lakelands Region
- Accountable for the Community Service Programs in Central Lakelands Region with a population of over one million people
- Excellent knowledge of Wellness Programs
- Establish and monitor annual goals and objectives for the Region and for programs
- Establish and monitor budgets in Health Promotion and Friendly Visiting
Training Development and Delivery
- Provide and/or facilitate training in health issues as they relate to seniors and those with disabilities, areas of transportation, peer support
- Trained staff and volunteers to deliver cancer risk reduction programs including Breast Health and Peer Support for Breast Cancer Survivors
- Identified health promotion needs in the Central Lakelands Region and delivered effective programs
- Provided volunteers and staff with health promotion resources that supported local activities
- Developed and delivered a series of Health Promotion Seminars in workplaces
- Developed brochures, displays, media packages and orientation packages
- Provided program presentations to external organizations
- Taught various groups about weight loss and provided individual consultations
- Recruitment, orientation, training, and placement of Health Promotion and Peer Support Volunteers and Friendly Visitors
- Supported the initiation of the Durham Breast Health Coalition
- Reviewed the Breast Health Program as a member of the Ontario Division Breast Health Working Group
- Resource community information and services as appropriate
- Counseled individuals and groups on the prevention and early detection of cancer
- Represented the CCS at the Government Standing Committee on the passage of the Smoking Control Act
- Completed a term as Chairperson of the Tobacco Coalition of Ontario
- Provided interviews on radio/television regarding health promotion messages
- Developed and implemented a marketing plan that resulted in the doubling of numbers of new volunteers to the VON volunteer visiting program
- Liaison with appropriate external organizations to promote the work of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Victorian Order of Nurses
- Acted as a program media spokesperson and advocate as required
- Marketed Health Risk Appraisals to employers and provided follow up programs
- Marketed Smoking Policy Tools to aid in the development and implementation processes