Medavie Health Services Messenger

Our belief is in a better life for the communities we serve.

Paramedics answer the call for healthcare

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In a recent opinion editorial published by SunMedia newspapers across Canada, Erik Sande, President of Medavie Health Services, explains how community paramedicine can modernize long-term care in Ontario, increase capacity within our health care system and reduce hallway medicine.

The article follows significant investments recently announced by the Ontario government to allow the expansion of existing community paramedicine programs and create opportunity for new programs.

Filling the gaps
“Community paramedicine is an important example of how we can help fill existing gaps in care and bring healthcare right to our patients, where and when they need it most,” Sande writes.

He points out that these programs are already well-established in regions across Ontario, operate as part of an integrated, team approach to care and have measurable outcomes.

Cutting admissions in half
“Our latest data shows 911 calls for targeted complex patients in Chatham-Kent have dropped more than 80 per cent and admissions to local emergency departments have been cut in half.”

Sande adds that MHS “paramedics are also actively supporting their communities’ COVID-19 efforts through mobile drive-thru testing clinics and testing in long-term care homes.”

Read the full article, as it appeared in the Toronto Sun, here.

Pick-up of the article includes: Sudbury Star, Woodstock Sentinel Review, St. Thomas Times-Journal, High River Times, Chatham Daily News and more!

Canadian Patient Safety Week 2020

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Every year, Medavie Health Services celebrates Canadian Patient Safety Week by recognizing employees who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to patient safety. However, this has been a year like no other. As we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, it’s clear that everyone across Medavie Health Services has been going above and beyond in their commitment to keeping our patients and communities safe.

That is why we are highlighting the patient safety efforts of all our employees on our MHS Facebook page between October 26-30th. More than ever, we want to show how employees across our organization have made patient safety a priority. We’re incredibly proud to call each of you our 2020 Patient Safety Champions!

Medavie’s 2020 Employee Giving United Way Campaign

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We are excited to announce that this year, Medavie will be launching an employee giving United Way campaign with participation from each of our business locations. Starting October 28, 2020, all Medavie employees will be able to contribute to the United Way with payroll deductions. Together, we will also have the chance to double our impact as the Medavie Health Foundation will be matching all payroll deductions up to $200,000.

The United Way partners with community organizations to ensure that your donations stay local and make the greatest impact. For those who are able to donate, even a dollar can make all the difference. There has never been a more important time to come together as one to help our communities strengthen food security and mental health supports.

Stay tuned for more information and an invite to the campaign launch event!

Matt Crossman in Ambulance Today – Community Paramedicine as a Response to COVID-19 in Canada

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In the latest issue of Ambulance Today magazine, Matt Crossman, Vice President Operations for Medavie Health Services, discusses how our EMS systems worked with both government and communities to provide high quality care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Matt also touches on the invaluable role of community paramedicine in meeting the needs of patients during this challenging time.

Click here to read the article on Medavie.ca.

Nineteen EHS Operations Paramedics Recognized for Exemplary Service

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Nineteen EHS Operations paramedics in Nova Scotia have been awarded the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal for their dedication to the health and safety of all Nova Scotians.

Each of these paramedics has dedicated their career to providing high-quality care to Nova Scotians in their time of greatest need, sometimes at their own personal risk.

Nova Scotia Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc, who presented the medals, noted the dedication they exemplify daily.

“It is my great pleasure to invest these members of the Emergency Medical Services with the Exemplary Service Medal,” said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc. “Their dedication and commitment to the people they serve – quite often in the most distressing of circumstances – is most deserving of this recognition, which I am honoured to present to them on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.”

The EHS paramedics who received the medals are:

  • Francine Butts, Chaswood, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Colleen Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Kevin Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Charles Charmichael, Georges River, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
  • Joseph Gallant, New Germany, Lunenburg Co.
  • Ryan Grist, Dayspring, Lunenburg Co.
  • Rhonda Helpard, Steep Creek, Guysborough Co.
  • Angela Hickox, Truro
  • Greg MacKinnon, Kentville
  • Angie Matheson, Port Hastings, Inverness Co.
  • John Mosher, Kentville
  • Donna Reid, Hammonds Plains
  • Peter Rose, Dartmouth
  • John Rossiter (posthumous)
  • Shane Strong, Saint-Anne-Du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth Co.
  • Matthew Vaughan, Westville, Pictou Co.
  • Mark Walker, Hammonds Plains
  • Jim Wells, Brookside, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Kelsey Wells, Brookside, Halifax Regional Municipality

Queen Elizabeth II created the Exemplary Service Medal in 1994. It is part of a national recognition program for people who work in high-risk jobs that enhance Canada’s public safety.

Police, firefighters, corrections officers, coast guard members and peace officers are also eligible for exemplary service medals, which are part of the Canadian honours system.

Emergency Medical Services professionals can be nominated by their peers or the public. Recipients must have demonstrated exemplary service in their careers for at least 20 years, including 10 years in an emergency medical services position that involves potential risk.

For more information on the awards, visit https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/canadian-honours/directory-honours/exemplary-service-medals/emergency-medical-services-exemplary-service-medal

Ornge land ambulance base at Chatham-Kent EMS could become permanent

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Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulances and related services, is extending its temporary critical-care land ambulance base at Chatham-Kent EMS until March 2021. The announcement comes as Ornge looks to increase its resources in the region, especially as it accelerates its response to COVID-19.

As Chatham-Kent EMS General Manager Donald MacLellan said in an interview with the Chatham-Daily News: “Overall, from a partnership perspective, having the Ornge team in our headquarters, temporarily, has helped build relationships. As a service, we have certainly seen the benefit, because historically those land transports would have been assigned to a Chatham-Kent EMS unit.”

The Ornge critical care land ambulance system allows for patients to be safely transported by specialized critical care paramedics, without the need to bring along doctors, nurses or reparatory therapists from the hospital. Its success in dealing with increased call volumes, increasing capacity for its fleet of air ambulances and meeting the demands of COVID-19 has the Ornge leadership team and health officials looking ahead beyond next March and considering making the Chatham-Kent base permanent.

Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell visits MHS operations in Ontario

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Each year, paramedics take the time to remember colleagues they’ve lost in the line of duty. While COVID limited their ability to gather, this year was no exception as the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell visited ambulance operations across Ontario, including stops at Chatham-Kent EMS and Perth County Paramedic Services.

Built in 2015, the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell was designed by Ottawa paramedic Michael Dunlop to honour paramedics who have died in the line of duty. The bell is housed in Ottawa and the fallen are normally remembered during a large ceremony each year. However, with this year’s COVID restrictions, the organizers of The Paramedic Ride – a not-for-profit organization that’s raising money for a paramedic memorial monument in Ottawa – arranged to have the bell travel across Ontario, visiting all 52 land and air ambulances services in the province.

In June, the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell visited Chatham-Kent EMS, where the names of the fallen were read during a bell-ringing ceremony. A similar ceremony took place in early September in Perth County, where Perth County Paramedic Services paramedics gathered with local officials.

“From coast to coast across Canada, paramedics remain ever ready to respond to the needs of our communities,” said Perth County Paramedic Services Chief Mike Adair during the ceremony. “Paramedics choose their career but it’s far more than that. I believe it’s a true vocation. They live for the calls they face, sometimes with adversity that comes with both the physical and psychological challenges that can stay with them throughout their careers. It’s perhaps because of this that paramedics are masters of learning and working together.”

Celebrating Pride in 2020

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Teams across Medavie have been actively supporting Pride for a number of years. And, while the events might have looked different in light of COVID-19, this year was no exception.

Celebrations began in June with our team at Medavie Health Services West, where a Pride flag was flown and paramedics showed their support by wearing rainbow-emblazoned uniforms.

EHS also took to social media and proudly shared a photo of an ambulance decorated in celebration of Pride, while employees from TeleHealth and the Medical Communications Centre showed their support with flags and pride colours.

At Island EMS, crews around the Island received special Pride themed treats and decorated an ambulance.

In Ontario, our Operations supported Pride with various social media messages and other local activity.

Corporately, in addition to lighting up our Moncton office with all the colours of the rainbow flag, Medavie also contributed a total of $75,000 to organizations that provide health resources and supports to LGBTQ2+ youth.

Be sure to check out the collage below for photos from social media of Operations participating in Pride celebrations. Thank you for all that you do and happy Pride 2020!

A Message from Erik Sande

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In the following video, Erik Sande, President of Medavie Health Services, provides a reflection of the year to-date and reviews some of the amazing achievements from across our Operations.

Jim Christie retires from Chatham-Kent EMS

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After 46 years of service, dedication and leadership to the EMS community and paramedic profession, Chatham-Kent EMS Operations Manager Jim Christie has announced his plans to retire on July 29, 2020.

Throughout Jim’s career, he has served as a frontline paramedic and leader in the Hamilton, Halton-Mississauga, London and Chatham-Kent area. He has also been instrumental in impacting many operational portfolios and building positive working relationships with Chatham-Kent’s community agencies, partners and the local union leadership. Given his many accomplishments and passion for paramedicine, we feel honoured to have had him as part of our Medavie Health Services family.

Congratulations Jim – we wish you a very healthy and happy retirement!