In honour of both Valentine's Day and Family Day, the second story in our "we are family" series focuses on a couple whose family tree is well rooted in VCH-Vancouver: Colin and Darlene Dugan.
You can be sure VGH maintenance worker Colin Dugan did something special for his wife today in honour of Valentine's. “That's just the kind of guy he is," says Darlene, a portfolio clerk in the Medical Devices Reprocessing Department (MDRD). “He does so much for other people and is always making them feel good."
Darlene and Colin met in 1983 while both working in Housekeeping. They had a collegial relationship as their careers took them to various jobs throughout VGH—but in 2000, something changed.
“Colin was newly single and I swooped in and nabbed him," laughs Darlene. “He's a very kind, gentle man who would do anything for anyone. I wasn't going to let him get away! We married in 2003. Now we have six amazing grandkids."
People ask if the couple every tire of working and living together.
“We get to come in together and see each other throughout the day," says Colin. “It's nice to see someone you care about."
“If I'm having a bad day, I text him that I need a hug," adds Darlene.
Finding a soulmate at work didn't come as a surprise to either Darlene or Colin.
“It was only natural," says Colin. “You're here a third of your life. It's like a family outside your other family. You make friends who hopefully stay with you long after you've left."
Colin cements those friendships by performing random acts of kindness. He has baked cookies for his co-workers and keeps a stash of Freezies for a carpenter who mentioned his love of them in passing.
Both Colin and Darlene enjoy their work.
“I like what I do," says Colin, “and in my job I get to do a wide variety of things and go places no one else gets to go."
“I've worked in MDRD for 19 years now and at VGH 40 years," adds Darlene. “I like making sure everyone has what they need and, through that, I feel like I play a small part in providing the best patient care possible."
Darlene isn't Colin's only family member connected to VCH. He comes from a long line of people who have worked here including his parents, sister, brother-in-law—and even one set of grandparents! And, Colin and Darlene won't be the last VCH Dugans… Two of Colin's four sons work in the warehouse.
“VCH is a great place to work so we encouraged them to apply," says Darlene, “We recommend working here to anyone who asks."