COVID-19 is Challenging Us Like Never Before

One of the reasons I am so proud to be a member of the Ontario Shores family is the sense of community I feel as I walk through halls of the hospital each and every day.

Community is more than just one of our core values. It’s real and it can be felt throughout the hospital and around Durham Region, regardless of your role in the organization. We care for each other just as we care for the patients and families we serve.

This pandemic situation is challenging us like nothing before as the world moves to contain the spread of COVID-19.

It’s also a situation which is constantly evolving. Decisions made by the Ministry of Health and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer on the criteria for healthcare workers around who should either self-monitor or self-isolate have been changed based on information that was shared during a press conference this afternoon.  We have yet to receive official notification but we will share those details once we do.

I understand you are anxious and scared. The world as we know it has been turned upside down in just a few days. Our schools and daycares have closed. Our children’s activities and sports have been cancelled. Our favourite restaurants and shops have limited service. We have friends and family who have lost their jobs and are struggling to understand how they will get through this.

We are facing serious issues and we, as people, may feel anxious.

As leaders, my colleagues on the Senior Management Team (SMT) and the Incident Management System (IMS) Team understand your fears and concerns. We understand the impact of uncertainty in the world. We also understand the pressure on parents of young children and on caregivers concerned about their elderly mothers and fathers. We are being faced with an unprecedented challenge.

As an essential service in Ontario we must find a way to continue our commitment to caring for people living with mental illness, one of our most vulnerable populations.  It is our duty to continue to provide quality care to our patients in the safest possible environment during this pandemic.

With this in mind, we are asking staff to make every reasonable effort to ensure we have enough staff at the hospital to provide the treatment and services our patients need.  Managers will work with individual staff to support the personal circumstances of staff as best they can, while balancing the essential operational needs of the units, departments and support services. 

We are also working as quickly as possible to test and finalize some technical solutions to enable more work from home options for those who can do so.

Additionally, we continue to make changes to our processes and clinical programs to ensure we can maintain access to care for our patients, while also limiting gatherings and taking measures to ensure safety.

Please remember that during moments like this self-care becomes even more critical and we have a number of wellness resources in place for our staff. 

Thank you to the IMS Team, managers and staff who have been working tirelessly to help the organization manage through this time of uncertainly. Please visit our website and social media channels frequently for updates throughout this pandemic situation.