Larry Asselstine’s commitment to exceptional care enabled him to develop trusted, therapeutic relationships with patients and families
Retired Queen’s Park Care Centre Physiotherapist Larry Asselstine is infamous for his ‘never-say-never’ attitude and continuous improvement mindset. Throughout his years of service, Larry has dedicated himself to going beyond the duties of a physiotherapist to serve his patients with a heart of gold.
Patients, colleagues and families alike know Larry wears many different hats. He is an educator, an advocate, a problem solver, an innovator and a technical whizz.
Larry grew up fascinated with building things. He studied design engineering and after two years as a paper draftsman, he didn’t find the job satisfying.
Luckily for Larry, the answer to his calling was next door.
“My parents had a tenant who was a physiotherapy professor at the University of Alberta, so over time, I got introduced to this field and went back to school to become a physiotherapist. I was athletic, into sports and knew that I liked helping people for my future career – it was a perfect fit,” remarks Larry.
After completing his studies to certify as a physiotherapist, he joined the team at Surrey Memorial Hospital to help facilitate patient recovery and never looked back.
Larry has been a physiotherapist at Fraser Health for close to four decades, spending the last 20 years at Queen’s Park Care Centre.
His calm, problem-solving and personalized approach to his work was always appreciated by his patients, team and leaders.
“Larry is the definition of a team player and resident/family-centred practitioner. He worked collaboratively with the occupational therapist, rehab assistants, nurses, care aides, medical staff, social workers and the recreation staff to ensure that he truly understood a resident's goals and needs. He provided the best possible care plan for patients,” shares Lindsey Sprigens, director, Clinical Operations, Queen’s Park Care Centre.
These attributes combined with his technical savvy allowed him to go beyond the duties of a physiotherapist.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, care conversations couldn’t be done in-person. This was a challenge for William Rudd House, a young adult long-term care facility, which didn’t have a conference call system. Larry spent countless hours working with the Service Desk and phone provider to get the conference phone system set up with multiple phone lines so residents and family members could connect with their medical team without struggling to hear or be heard.
No task was too small for Larry. His day-to-day contributions leave a legacy.
When residents’ hearing aids stopped working, he fixed them. When a headset kept falling off a resident's head, he tracked down a style that wouldn't budge. When residents couldn't get their cable channels on their television, he tirelessly worked with the managers, administrators and the cable company to make sure the residents got their favourite channels back. The patient experience was always at the heart of Larry’s work.
“Larry was QPCC's resident ‘Mr. Fix It’. You name it and he could fix it. He went above and beyond to make sure residents had what they needed and that their electronic devices were in good working order,” says Heather Andersen, occupational therapist, Queen’s Park Care Centre. “He is an extraordinary person who sets an extraordinary example of how to provide care to others. Fraser Health and Queen’s Park Care Centre have been lucky to have him. His absence post-retirement will leave a gaping hole and a pair of shoes too large to be filled.”
To this date, Larry sticks with his always-giving and continuous improvement mantra to inspire the next generation of professionals: “Don’t be afraid to look for opportunities to improve service gaps, no matter how small the task is.”
Congratulations, Larry, on your retirement and your Lifetime Achievement Award – you've truly gone above and beyond.