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Denis Alves: Photographing and Filming our Patients and Families for More than Four Decades

Denis holding camera

Denis prepares his camera before going to the clinic.

Denis Alves feels lucky to have worked at the hospital – which serves children from across Canada and the Northeast U.S. – for 43 years.

He started out at 16 as a cleaner, and then became a driver dispatching out-of-town children and their families to and from the airport and other medical appointments.

However, he has been the hospital's medical photographer and videographer for the past two decades. As a medical photographer, Denis takes pictures of injuries, disease symptoms, and medical and surgical procedures. Physicians work closely with him to document medical procedures or may use images to analyze symptoms and properly diagnose medical issues. His images are also often used in education and research.

As a photographer and videographer, Denis works with every department in the hospital, including donor development, human resources, and marketing and communications. His role is essential in promoting the hospital through donation, communications and marketing campaigns. Photographing patients and their families holds no secrets for him, as he has a very special way of putting them at ease in front of the camera, and this often involves laughter.

“You see these children come in, they’ve been unlucky in life and can barely walk or have physical disabilities, and they always have a big smile on their face,” he said. “They’re full of life, and that’s what keeps me going. It is a real privilege to work in an institution like this, where the staff is a family and we welcome our patients as family.”

He is just as well known to employees, as he covers all the events of life in the hospital.

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