Medavie Health Services Messenger

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

Communities Coming Together

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At Medavie, everything we do is to improve the health and wellbeing of Canadians, and we have never been more committed to that mission than over the past year. When COVID-19 affected nearly every aspect of our lives, our teams stepped up to help Canadians and the communities they call home.

The needs of our communities have been significant throughout this crisis, especially for our most vulnerable and at-risk community members. That’s why just weeks into the pandemic, through the Medavie Health Foundation, we committed $5 million through a COVID-19 Response Fund to improve access to food and youth mental health services — the most we have ever committed through our Foundation in a single year.

We have been inspired by the stories of people the Fund has supported from every corner of our country who are caring for Canadians and building a healthier future together. And now, you’re invited to explore the stories highlighted in the COVID-19 Response Fund Report and see how communities have come together in the face of considerable change and uncertainty.

We are incredibly proud of the impact this Fund had on areas of food security and youth mental health, especially for communities most impacted by the pandemic. We know the full impact will continue to be felt as funds are disbursed through 2021 to help communities recover.    

Explore the report online at medavie.ca/stories/communities-together.

Feel free to share with your colleagues and friends. And, while you’re exploring the report, consider checking out the rest of Our Stories, a new section on our website highlighting the people, projects and initiatives that are helping to improve the wellbeing of Canadians. New stories are added regularly.

Moose Jaw & District EMS to join Medavie Health Services West family of companies

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Medavie Health Services (MHS) West is pleased to announce that Lifeline Ambulance Service Inc., known as Moose Jaw & District EMS, will join its family of companies, while continuing to best support the needs of patients in Moose Jaw, the town of Central Butte and surrounding communities.

“Our team at Moose Jaw & District EMS prides itself on delivering a high standard of quality care and best serving the needs of the people in our communities,” says Kyle Sereda, Chief, Moose Jaw & District EMS. “With a mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians, MHS West shares in our commitments and provides our service with an important opportunity to build on our well-established programs and services, while looking at new ways to provide care to people in their homes.”  

Moose Jaw & District EMS will continue to serve the community while becoming known as MHS West – Moose Jaw. The team currently responds to 5,000 calls annually, delivering a tiered response of Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support service delivery in both urban and rural environments through standby and on-site deployment. Kyle Sereda will remain in his role as Chief and Angela Sereda, the current Deputy Chief, will transition to a new role as Manager, Mobile Integrated Health.

“At MHS West, we are committed to providing innovative health solutions that serve to meet the needs of our patients and communities,” says Gerald Schriemer, Chief Operating Officer, Medavie Health Services West. “We look forward to welcoming the team from Moose Jaw & District EMS to our family of companies. As well, working collaboratively with everyone on-the-ground to build on the many successes achieved to date, while evolving and enhancing service deliveries into the future.”

Moose Jaw Today

CJWW-AM News

Culture Corner: Our Values in Action

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2020 Welcome to Leadership Cohort

Editor’s Note:  Culture Corner: Our Values in Action is a new feature of MHS Messenger that celebrates how Medavie employees are living our values each and every day.

A big shout-out to the 164 leaders across Medavie Health Services enrolled in our 2020 Welcome to Leadership program for living our Medavie Values. The group started their journey last September and are working toward achieving the program requirements by December of this year.

Medavie Welcome to Leadership is a 12-month program organized in partnership with Harvard ManageMentor®. It requires discipline as leaders access self-directed, on-line modules and quizzes to complete the program and graduate. The program is being co-facilitated by Marie-Noelle Do-Thanh, Organizational Development Consultant; Edgar Goulet, Vice-President, Quality, Patient Safety and Education; Craig Burgoyne, Organizational Development Specialist; and Kim McIver, HR Lead – Respectful Workplace Advisor.

Kudos to this team of Community-Minded leaders for demonstrating Accountability to their own personal development and to continuous learning as they journey-on this year!

The Medavie Welcome to Leadership program targets leadership foundations and provides opportunities to gather and share best practices about key leadership accountabilities. It includes access to a learning path linked to our values and includes a library of bilingual modules and Leadership Cafés on targeted topics to leverage learnings and key concepts. Our leaders often report that one of the most rewarding benefits of the program is building an internal network with others and feeling a sense of connection toward common work and goals.

At the end of the 12 months and completion of eight selected modules, leaders will be invited to a graduation ceremony with Senior Leaders to celebrate their successful completion of the program.

That’s a wrap on Pride Month!

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Throughout the month, we were proud to shine a light on all the different ways that we can Live our Values and Celebrate our Differences.

Here are some highlights of Pride Month at Medavie:

Special Pride Webinar

On June 22, 2021, we hosted a special Pride webinar featuring hosts Anita Swamy and Pierre Marion in conversation with Michael Bach, CCDI founder and Pride at Work board chair. Michael shared the significance of our activities to recognize and support the important work that is being done to achieve equality, dignity and greater visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited (LGBTQ2S+) Canadians.

Click on the video below to watch the Webinar recording.

Lighting up Our Buildings

At Medavie we had a month-long celebration that included lighting our office in Moncton and St. John’s in the symbolic rainbow colours.

We also hosted a light show at our offices in Toronto on June 28 & 29.

Social Media

We proudly let our Facebook friends, Twitter and LinkedIn followers know what Medavie cares for ALL Canadians. We updated our social media icons to reflect the symbolic rainbow colours throughout the month, provided a custom Pride email signature to employees, and developed a custom Facebook photo frame.

Our DEI Centre

Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy, we are acting on our commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture at Medavie. Our goal is to create a workplace where we demonstrate our values every day. This includes celebrating and respecting our differences.

Our DEI Centre is home to plenty of resources including terminology, information about pronouns, the Canadian Centre of Diversity and Inclusion, and more! Check out our DEI Centre.

And that’s a wrap on Pride Month! We look forward to celebrating Pride Month year after year.

Did you know?

The rainbow flag — created by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 — is a familiar symbol of LGBTQ pride. But did you know that each colour on the flag has its own meaning? In the widely known six-colour flag, red is symbolic of life, orange represents healing, yellow is sunshine, green is nature, blue represents harmony and purple is symbolic spirit. In the original eight-colour flag, hot pink was included to represent sex and turquoise to represent magic/art.

Over the years, there have been many variations on the flag. In 2020, new colours were added to the flag in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, including black to represent diversity, brown to symbolize inclusivity and light blue and pink to represent the colours of the trans pride flag.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion centre is here!

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As you know, our mission is to improve the wellbeing of Canadians, and this begins with you – our employees. Together, we are committed to a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Where we live our values every day in the way we treat each other and those we serve. We appreciate your commitment to ensuring Medavie is a welcoming and inclusive environment.

We believe creating a diverse and inclusive environment will allow us to foster the ongoing innovation and creativity that is critical to our success.

Today, we are pleased to announce that our DEI page on MHS Messenger is now live and accessible to all employees from the menu at the top of the page, next to the link for Workday.

In our new DEI Centre, you can find special DEI news and updates, resources including terminology, pronouns and more, and information about our DEI Senior Leadership Council.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach us via our confidential inbox: DEI@medavie.ca

Perth County Paramedic Services Launches New Safe Place Campaign

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Perth County Paramedic Services is kicking off a new campaign titled “My Workplace Is A Safe Place.” Aimed at demonstrating support for marginalized populations, the new campaign will include placement of a new safe space decal on all ambulances and supervisor vehicles in Perth County.

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“The goal of this new campaign is to let the people in our community know that when they call 911, for any reason, they will be respected and treated with compassion and without judgement, “said Mike Adair, Chief, Perth County Paramedic Services. “As paramedics, our primary responsibility is to provide high-quality care to our local residents while ensuring everyone feels safe and respected no matter their race, creed, religion, personal identity, socioeconomic standing or disability.”

In Ontario, marginalized populations can face higher amounts of bias and stigma. This may increase the likelihood that these groups of people will underutilize health care due to fear of discrimination or mistreatment.

According to Adair, “Paramedics play an integral role in the health care setting. Whether we are treating a patient roadside or inside an ambulance, this new campaign aims to let everyone in the community know that wherever we are called to, we will create a safe environment for our patients.”

Watch for the new safe space decals on Perth County Paramedic vehicles this month.

Source: PerthCounty.ca

Article from the Beacon Herald

Caring for all Canadians – Medavie supports northern communities in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada

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Doug Pamment steered his snowmobile toward a far corner of the frozen Ontario lake, on the outskirts of Fort Hope, to settle in for a few hours of ice fishing. The vast, snowy landscape stretched for seemingly endless kilometres. He and Nuka, his husky-shepherd mix, scanned for the right spot to cast a line and enjoy a mid-winter lunch.

Not a bad way to spend a day off.

Paramedic Doug Pamment in Fort Hope, Ontario

Doug is among the paramedics helping increase access to care for people living in remote Indigenous communities across northern Ontario and Manitoba. Having spent two decades in the British Army and serving combat tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo, he has “never had a problem” stepping out of his comfort zone.

Using a team-based approach, paramedics like Doug are using their unique skillsets and training to provide direct patient care and consultation beyond hospital walls, while assisting with local health care programs and bringing surge capacity response with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a contract by Indigenous Services Canada, the initiative has seen Medavie Health Service draw on its longstanding expertise in mobile integrated health and community paramedicine, an evolving model of care that expands the traditional role of a paramedic to assist with public health initiatives, primary health care and preventive services. In communities across Canada, paramedics are helping to bring high-quality care directly to patients, when and where they need it; increasing capacity in our health systems.

In small communities, public services can be integrated in unique ways.

They draw on their skills and training in crisis response when leading trauma responses in the communities, supported by their local colleagues, which can even include coordinating air ambulance medivacs in challenging weather conditions. While caring for a patient being evacuated, Doug recalled setting aside a pair of gloves momentarily only to find they quickly shattered from the cold. “Oh, I am really far away from normal life right now,” he thought.

The role of paramedics continues to evolve in these communities, influenced heavily by local needs and considerations. Work can be varied beyond the clinical environment, from providing community elders with various health and safety training to COVID-19 testing and mitigation across the community.

During Manon’s time in Gods River, she became the local COVID-19 contact authority and public health educator, a role focused on the implementation of safety protocols and managing aspects of the community’s testing for the virus. She also compiled weekly health information newsletters on COVID-19, flu clinics, general hand hygiene and shared the information on local radio. The impact was immediate: the community’s flu clinic saw record turnout.

Paramedic Valérie Bordeau enjoys northern Manitoba’s great outdoors.

The paramedics who have answered the call work on rotations, which can last two weeks to several months, are working alongside First Nations and Inuit Health Branch-employed nurses.

Manon Timshel, a Portage la Prairie, Manitoba paramedic jumped at this opportunity to work outside of her typical scope as a paramedic — and support underserved communities. Within hours, she had filled out an application and was ready to take on the challenge.

During an early rotation, Manon was stationed in Gods River where she quickly bonded with a local charge nurse. Together, they began coordinating how to use their complementary medical skillsets to best meet local patient needs.  

The Northern Lights are not an uncommon sight.

Valerie Bodeleau of Quebec, Chris Wood of Nova Scotia, Josh Riccituo of Ontario and dozens of others also embraced the opportunity. Each chose to go beyond their traditional roles and comfort zones (and into a colder climate) to hone their skills and advance their profession, all while ensuring people within the communities they serve have access to a trained health care professional.

Their work in Canada’s North does not match how frontline health care providers are generally depicted or perceived ― answering urgent calls with lights flashing and sirens wailing.

There are no 911 dispatches. Most of their time is spent working with local health professionals at their community’s nursing station to support daily tasks ensuring patients access the care they require.

On an average day, the paramedics provide a broad spectrum of family medicine services, from assessing a patient’s health and providing advice on medications, to performing routine bloodwork and examining infections ― even treating dental problems. The work always keeps them on their toes.

They draw on their skills and training in crisis response when leading trauma responses in the communities, supported by their local colleagues, which can even include coordinating air ambulance medivacs in challenging weather conditions. While caring for a patient being evacuated, Doug recalled setting aside a pair of gloves momentarily only to find they quickly shattered from the cold. “Oh, I am really far away from normal life right now,” he thought.

A view inside local clinics and of PPE requirements for paramedics in managing COVID-19.

The role of paramedics continues to evolve in these communities, influenced heavily by local needs and considerations. Work can be varied beyond the clinical environment, from providing community elders with various health and safety training to COVID-19 testing and mitigation across the community.

During Manon’s time in Gods River, she became the local COVID-19 contact authority and public health educator, a role focused on the implementation of safety protocols and managing aspects of the community’s testing for the virus. She also compiled weekly health information newsletters on COVID-19, flu clinics, general hand hygiene and shared the information on local radio. The impact was immediate: the community’s flu clinic saw record turnout.

She and the other paramedics have strived to get to know their work colleagues and community members, focusing on listening to their needs and identifying where they can be the most help. Building trust is recognized as an important first step in forming relationships.

The paramedics working on rotation are being recognized for the value they’re adding as health care professionals. There have been many moments of thanks and recognition from community members seeking out their advice. One paramedic was even treated to a birthday party and local animals like Nuka, Inuit for little sister, have become fast friends.

Time off creates opportunities to explore Canada’s north, including ice fishing in -40c. Local dogs like Nuka can provide company.

The paramedics have been struck by the rich culture, history and beauty of communities and their isolated locations ― hidden from the rest of the world.

All see the opportunity to adapt their field’s skills and expertise outside of their traditional roles long after the pandemic ends.

This model of paramedicine is growing exponentially across the country. In the process, it is enhancing the ability of health care systems to deliver care to people at the right place and right time. By integrating with other health care providers in communities, large and small, paramedics are helping to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits, reduce hospital admissions and expand long-term care options for the vulnerable and underserved.

The impact of their work is especially felt by small rural communities, often separated by vast distances. The additional resources can improve the efficiency of care delivery for local patients and ultimately create more accessible points of entry into the care system.

Seasonal scenes greeting paramedics and community members in and around Fort Hope.

Manon summed up the impact of their work. “Paramedics are the boots on the ground, always thinking about the needs of the community. This kind of paramedicine is a direct example of how we can fill gaps in health care systems and really help people.”

Are you a Primary or Advanced Care Paramedic interested in this rare opportunity to make a meaningful difference for Canadians and their communities? We’re still hiring. Reach out to hr_isc@medaviehs.com or visit medaviehs.com/careers for more information.

Saskatoon Health Bus delivers COVID-19 vaccines

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The Saskatoon Health Bus, which provides mobile healthcare services in and around Saskatoon, recently pivoted their approach to supporting their communities by providing COVID-19 vaccines clinics. In partnership with Medavie Health Services West and staffed by an MHS West paramedic and nurse practitioner, the Health Bus is providing COVID-19 vaccines to those who are experiencing challenges accessing immunization clinics.

The Health Bus clinics are scheduled throughout the month of June, while continuing to provide their regular healthcare services to people in the community.

We love to see our impact on improving the wellbeing of Canadians!

Source: Saskatchewan Health Authority

Medavie joins Faster Together campaign

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Getting vaccinated can bring us all back together, faster. That’s why Medavie is part of a Canada-wide coalition of business, industrial and educational organizations, labour unions, and individuals working together to promote COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and help speed a recovery from this pandemic. Research by Abacus Data shows that 21% of Canadians are hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

Campaign message

Faster Together is a national volunteer-based initiative to encourage up-take of COVID-19 vaccinations. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says the campaign’s message is simple: the faster we all do our part and get vaccinated, the faster we can all get back together.

This is how we get our lives and businesses back to normal and the business community is eager to help assure Canadians that vaccines are safe and effective. We’ll all get to the finish line faster by working together.”

Federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu describes vaccination as an important tool important tool in the fight against COVID-19.

“Innovative initiatives like “Faster Together” bring organizations together to help encourage Canadians to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, protecting themselves and their communities, and helping us get back together, faster.”

Campaign Participants

By joining this coalition, Medavie is supporting the important work of Faster Together to help get Canadians back together safely and return our economy to health.

Medavie is in good company, with organizations ranging from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union to businesses like Facebook and Cineplex, and well-known Canadian celebrities such as former broadcaster Peter Mansbridge and Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea fame, all signing on to take part in this public awareness campaign. To see a complete list of participants, visit the Faster Together website

Each one of us can do our part to protect ourselves and fight this pandemic. And, every step we take brings us closer to seeing our family, friends and co-workers, re-opening our businesses’ doors and re-starting our economy. 

This is Our Shot

Medavie is also providing its support to a second national campaign, This is Our Shot, which aims to empower Canadians with the knowledge they need to feel confident about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. This is Our Shot is supported by a number of prominent health organizations, major league Canadian sports teams, large international brands, and several Medavie Blue Cross clients including McCain, Sobeys, WestJet and more. 

We’re supporting both campaigns because we know it takes all of us — individuals, organizations and governments — working together to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence and help end the pandemic. Learn more or view a full list of supporting organizations at thisisourshot.ca.

Hesitant about getting vaccinated?

Overcoming vaccine hesitancy will help speed the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

We invite you to read our article that dispels common myths about COVID-19 vaccines.

The more people who are immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread and the faster we can return to our “new normal” work and home lives.

Not sure where to get vaccinated?

Each province in Canada has responsibility for administering vaccines. To find out when and where you can get your shot, please click on the link for your provincial government’s relevant web site.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

British Columbia

Yukon

Northwest Territories

Shaun MacLaughlin, ACP, recognized as Volunteer of the Year 2021

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Shaun MacLaughlin, an Advanced Care Paramedic with the EHS Emergency Preparedness & Special Operations team, was recently recognized as Volunteer of the Year 2021 by the Town of Westville in Nova Scotia.

Shaun has helped organize several volunteer initiatives with EHS paramedics over the years, including holiday toy drives. However, his dedication to his community doesn’t end there – Shawn also volunteers with the Westville Fire & Rescue and most recently joined the Police Commission.

Congratulations, Shaun, on this well-deserved accomplishment!