Medavie Health Services Messenger

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

Medavie Awards $50,000 in Scholarships to Exceptional Post-Secondary Students

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Medavie, through its Foundation, has awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships that will be distributed to 10 exceptional students across four provinces. The scholarships will support recipients in their post-secondary studies and future careers in health care.

“At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and educational experiences of youth across the country, we were pleased this year to increase the number of scholarship recipients from two to 10. These young Canadians were selected based on their academic achievements and efforts to give back to their communities – all while overcoming challenges in their own lives,” said Joanne Kviring, Executive Director, Medavie Health Foundation. “As part of Medavie’s core mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians, we hope these scholarships will support each recipient in their studies and path to being part of the next generation of health professionals in Canada.”

Since 2017, the charitable foundation has awarded these annual scholarships to Canadians, aged 17-29, who are enrolled in full- or part-time studies at a Canadian post-secondary school, are pursuing a health-related program of study, and have overcome adversity related to mental health, either through lived experience or a family member.

The Medavie Scholarship honours Pierre-Yves Julien, former CEO of Medavie, who believed in helping communities where employees and clients live and work, and supporting Canada’s next generation of health care leaders. The program aligns with the Foundation’s core causes including adolescent mental health, post-traumatic stress and healthy living.

2020 Scholarship Recipients

  • Ashley Thornton, Fredericton, NB, St. Thomas University (BA in Psychology)
  • Grace Dawson, Thunder Bay, ON, Lakehead University (Nursing)
  • Ruby Gaudett, North York, ON, University of Toronto (BA in Sociology, Minor in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies)
  • Dylan Morrow, New Ross, NS, Acadia University (Bachelor of Kinesiology)
  • Emily Roden, London, ON Western University (BA, Major in Sociology)
  • Cassie O’Hagan, Barrie, ON, University of British Columbia (BA, major in Psychology)
  • Molly Hingorani, Toronto, ON, George Brown College (Nursing)
  • Blake Colbran, Burin Bay Arm, NL, Memorial University of Newfoundland (Bachelor of Science)
  • Sophia Keast, Toronto, ON, York University (Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology)
  • Ezra Morarescu, Ancaster, ON, Wilfred Laurier University (Psychology)

If you have questions or would like to be notified when the scholarship program opens in Spring 2021, email MHF@MedavieHealthFoundation.ca with “Scholarship” in your subject line.

EHS Operations gives the gift of life

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EHS Operations is once again excited to participate in the annual Sirens for Life challenge in Halifax.

A partnership between Canadian Blood Services and emergency services personnel across the country, Sirens for Life seeks to collect blood donations, which could help save lives.

The goal for this year’s campaign, which includes EHS Operations, Halifax Regional Police, RCMP, and Halifax Regional Fire, is to collect at least 300 units by the end of February.

Ian Kennedy, the Community Relations Paramedic at EHS Operations, is a regular blood donor, so participating in Sirens for Life was something he felt was important to do.

“Giving back in this way is important for me, particularly as I have seen firsthand how people can benefit from blood donations,” he said.

Appointments are necessary to give blood in order to respect physical distancing. Schedule by downloading the GiveBlood app, visiting https://www.blood.ca/en, or calling 1 888 2DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

The Chatham-Kent Community Paramedicine Program is expanding!

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Since 2015, Chatham-Kent EMS has had an established team of community paramedics that have been providing care to patients in the comfort of their homes.

It was recently announced that the Chatham-Kent Community Paramedicine program will be expanding to include an additional 12 hours a day of community paramedicine service to Chatham-Kent. The main objective of this program is to provide services for patients in the community who are at high risk of hospital admission.

Expanding the Community Paramedicine program is just the most recent demonstration of the team’s value within the Chatham-Kent health care system. In February 2020, the Chatham-Kent Community Paramedicine program was recognized by the Ontario Community Paramedicine Secretariat (OCPS), which presented Chatham-Kent EMS General Manager Donald MacLellan and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) with the Leadership in Community Paramedicine award. The award recognized their ongoing efforts to improve the health of their community and the teamwork they’ve demonstrated in launching and expanding the program.

Congratulations to the entire team on your continued success!

MHS West donates to local foodbank

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On November 5, 2020, MHS West presented a $7,500 cheque to the Innisfail and District Food Bank. With many of the holiday events being cancelled this year dur to COVID-19, it’s wonderful to see our paramedics overcoming these obstacles to make a difference in people’s lives.

Pictured above is John Barry, General Manager MHS West’s Central Alberta Division.  

Thank you for all that you have done to keep the holidays special for your communities. While this year may look a little different in terms of food and toy drives, you are doing wonderful work supporting your community by improving the wellbeing of Canadians. Happy holidays!

Your mental health matters – use BEACON for support when you need it

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This year has certainly brought forward new challenges and obstacles to overcome. As we enter into the holiday season, which can be an especially difficult part of the year for some, we encourage you to take care of your mental health and use the free services that are available to you.

Through Medavie, all employees and their families (16+) have access to BEACON – including full-time, part-time, term, casual, union and non-union staff.

BEACON is a digital cognitive behavioural therapy resource to support mental health and is offered in both French and English.

Once you sign up with BEACON, you will complete a personal assessment that will help ensure that BEACON therapy is compatible with your needs.

Your use of BEACON is entirely confidential. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support – you and your mental health matters and BEACON can help.

HealthEd students participate in blood drive clinic and toy drive in their community

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Earlier this month, students from Medavie HealthEd’s Tracadie, NB Primary Care Paramedic program took part in both a blood donation clinic and a Christmas toy drive.

It’s a great example of how so many of Medavie Health Services’ employees and even our students give back to their communities!

HealthEd began offering a French-language Primary Care Paramedic program in Tracadie-Sheila, NB in 2019, after recognizing the demand for a new paramedic education program on the Acadian Peninsula. By providing a French language option in Tracadie, the program opens up opportunities to a large population of New Brunswickers without them having to travel to Moncton.

EHS Operations receives vehicles for non-clinical patient transfer from Nova Scotia Government

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As part of a one-year pilot project called the Medical Transport Service, the Government of Nova Scotia has purchased three vans for EHS Operations to use for non-clinical patient transfers. The goal of the program is to free up paramedics and ambulances so they can respond to emergencies and traumas.

Currently, EHS Operations provides non-clinical, non-emergency transportation by EHS ambulances with two paramedics. This new program will help alleviate pressure on the emergency health system in Nova Scotia and free up services from non-emergent tasks.

Scheduled to start in February 2021, the service will be staffed by EHS employees who will be in communication with the EHS Medical Communication Centre. 

This program will provide service to Kentville, Bridgewater and HRM and will be able to transport several people at a time.

Keeping Canadians Safe With the COVID Alert App

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Here’s a safe and simple way you can help improve the wellbeing of Canadians

Throughout the pandemic, Medavie Health Services employees have been working tirelessly to keep our patients and communities safe. Everyone has stepped up to answer the call for care, where and when it’s needed. Thank you for all you have done – and continue to do – to improve the wellbeing of Canadians.

Your role on the frontline has never been more important. That is why we are encouraging all MHS employees to download and install the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app on your work and personal phones. By doing so, we’ll be helping to protect the health and safety not just of those around us but our families and communities as well.

How the app works

The COVID Alert app anonymously tracks close contact with others who are also running the app. If someone you’ve come in close contact with later tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive a one-time key from their local health authority to enter into the app. The app will then notify you of the potential exposure and provide guidance from your local health authority on what to do next.

Your privacy is protected

While the app does track close contacts, it’s important to understand that it does not collect personally identifiable information. It has no way of knowing your location, name or address, the place or time you were near someone, or your health information. And if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the app will explicitly ask for your consent to share a random key on your phone – it is up to you whether you share that key or not.

How to install the app

You can download the COVID Alert app for free from both the App Store and Google Play. It should work on any smartphone released in the last five years, including iPhone 6S or newer (running iOS 13.5 or newer) and Android devices running Android version 6 or newer. Once installed on your phone, the small app runs quietly in the background, using Bluetooth to anonymously exchange random codes with other phones running the app. By installing and running the COVID Alert app, we can ensure we are helping to limit the spread of infection and prevent future outbreaks. You can learn more the app and the Government of Canada’s coronavirus response at Canada.ca/coronavirus.  

Emergency Health Services loans AEDs to Royal Canadian Legion branches across Nova Scotia

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Over the next few weeks, 38 Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) branches across Nova Scotia will receive life-saving gifts in the form of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). They will receive these AEDs through a four-year loaner program made possible by Emergency Health Service (EHS).

EHS is sharing AEDs that were previously assigned to EHS Medical First Responder agencies, as they have upgraded to newer models.

Mike Janczyszyn, EHS AED Registry Coordinator and Ian Kennedy, Community Relations Paramedic, have been supporting this government initiative by collecting and distributing the AEDS to the various legions across the province.

While older, the AEDs that are being loaned to RCL branches are functional and safe and will provide a life-saving opportunity in the event of an emergency. Each AED being donated has been outfitted with new batteries and pads to ensure their effectiveness.

Along with calling 9-1-1 and performing CPR, the use of an AED greatly improves the chances of a positive outcome in cases of sudden cardiac arrest.

Doug Cormier, president of Amherst Legion Br. 10 accepts the AED from EHS Community Relations paramedic Ian Kennedy.

Paula Poirier presented with national award by the Trauma Association of Canada

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On November 20, 2020, the Trauma Association of Canada (TAC) virtually announced Paula Poirier, Chief Operating Officer, Emergency Medical Care (EMC) as the 2020 recipient for its Dr. Charles Burns Board Recognition Award.

This significant recognition was created to honour the visionary leadership of Dr. Burns, who was the first President of the TAC. The award is presented to a physician or other health care professional who has been a past member of the TAC and continuously demonstrates outstanding leadership, endless passion, a spirit of volunteerism and who is considered a visionary and innovator in the field of trauma by their colleagues.

“We are very fortunate to have Paula as part of our leadership team,” said Erik Sande, President of Medavie Health Services. “At Medavie, our core mission is to improve the wellbeing of Canadians. Paula’s energy, clinical expertise and commitment to our communities – especially through the COVID-19 pandemic – have advanced that mission and helped transform the delivery of trauma and emergency services.”

With nearly two decades of experience in emergency health services and the first non-physician selected to be President of TAC, Paula currently leads the day to day operations of EHS Operations, 811 Telecare and strategic long-term planning initiatives.  

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award,” said Paula. “The fact that it comes from my peers and colleagues at TAC makes it very special and I will continue to focus on collaboration with them and with the communities we serve to drive innovation.”

Congratulations, Paula on this well-deserved recognition!