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Meet the Ottawa retiree who headed back to work as a COVID-19 screener

Mike Soloski usually volunteers at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, but wanted to do more— so he’s rejoined the workforce, helping to screen hospital visitors for the virus.
By: Alison Larabie Chase
October 06, 2020
Mike Soloski. Photo: Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Volunteers at the Ottawa Hospital were sent home at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but Mike Soloski, 61, a regular volunteer at the hospital’s Cancer Centre, couldn’t stand the idea of just sitting around the house. “I knew I was ready for something challenging and out of my comfort zone,” he says.

The retired bank manager, who recently married again after losing his first wife to cancer in 2014, stepped up and got himself hired on as a COVID-19 screener, making sure that anyone who comes into the hospital has been duly screened for the virus. Mike did such a great job that he’s now been promoted to supervisor, supporting the screening team.

Mike says he’s happy to be busy and giving back to his community during such a difficult time. He calls the work “rewarding” and tries to reduce patients’ nervousness and tension through his positive, welcoming demeanour and attitude.

Source: Ottawa Hospital Foundation

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