COVID-19: Letter To Our Staff; Thank You for #RisingUp

Thank you.

No matter how many ways I try to say it, it comes down to that phrase each and every day during this unprecedented time.

Words simply cannot express how grateful I am for everyone at Ontario Shores and how proud I am of the collective work that’s been done since the World Health Organization (WHO) called a global pandemic on March 11 as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

As an organization we have come together during one of the most stressful and demanding times in history. Much is being asked of everyone and the examples of our people #RisingUp to provide care and crucial operational support during the pandemic have been inspiring. The images of staff going the extra mile to connect with patients and support each other are ones that I will carry with me long after the pandemic is declared over.

Throughout the course of COVID-19 I have been amazed at how caring, thoughtful and responsive our Incident Management System (IMS) team has been in leading us through this. They have been a steady hand in a constantly fluid situation with ever-changing information. Equally impressive has been everyone’s response to IMS leadership and the implementation of measures and precautions to keep everyone safe.

While we are an organization of constant change, Ontario Shores has not witnessed a time where change to procedure, environment and resources has happened so quickly and so often. You have been understanding, flexible and adaptive in confronting this global health challenge.

I understand how difficult the situation is for many, especially those with young children or elderly parents. Balancing work and family were certainly challenging enough before the terms physical distancing and self-isolation became part of our every-day vocabulary. Regardless of circumstance, the pandemic has likely pushed everyone outside their comfort zones, but the compassion and dedication of our staff remains unchanged.

#RisingUp is more than a hashtag. It’s truly symbolic of the efforts of everyone at Ontario Shores and I truly hope you wear your T-shirts with pride during the pandemic and beyond. Each of you should be significantly proud of your contributions in supporting the work of Ontario Shores during the most challenging time of your respective careers.

While it does not seem like nearly enough, I want to, again, offer my sincere thanks for showing up to work each day to ensure our patients, among the most marginalized populations on the planet, continue to receive excellent and dignified mental health care in the safest possible manner.

Thank you for what you have done and will continue to do for our patients and the people who love them.