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Category Archives: Our Communities

Chatham-Kent EMS proves that COVID precautions are having positive results

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The recent success of Chatham-Kent’s Long Term Care Home COVID-19 swabbing initiative has proven that enhanced public health measures established in response to the pandemic are working. 

On April 21, 2020, Ontario issued a new testing directive as part of the province’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes.  Chatham-Kent Public Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), Chatham-Kent EMS and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent responded to this call by immediately forming a partnership to systemically carry out testing of all staff and residents in Chatham-Kent’s Long Term Care Homes (LTCH). 

Testing commenced on April 24, 2020 and was completed on May 13.  Results of this testing produced 100 per cent negative results amongst 926 staff members and 765 residents from Chatham-Kent’s seven LTCHs.  Approximately 85% of staff and 95% of residents were tested as part of active surveillance; staff and residents not tested were due to reasons related to resident consent or behaviour, and staff scheduling difficulties and leaves of absence.

Each home was contacted individually to establish testing timelines and logistics.  CKHA’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre assisted CK Public Health and the Chatham-Kent EMS Community Paramedic Program with testing in these homes.  In some cases, the homes chose to do the swabbing themselves.  The new directive ensured that all residents and staff of LTCHs were offered testing even without symptoms. 

“I’d like to thank our Community Paramedics who answered the call to help our partners carry out proactive testing for our most vulnerable populations.  It’s been a team effort since the beginning to ensure our community remains healthy during this pandemic,” said Donald MacLellan, General Manager, Chatham-Kent EMS.    

Congratulations to everyone at CK Public Health, CKHA and Chatham-Kent EMS – these positive results are a major accomplishment for your community!

Perth County Paramedics launch Community Outreach program

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Perth County Paramedic Services has launched a new program in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Paramedic Community Outreach Program is aimed at bringing supportive care to patients with complex medical needs in their homes and in community settings when otherwise these individuals may not be able to access traditional health care supports or coronavirus assessment centres.

This mobile healthcare resource is focused on providing advanced assessment for individuals referred to the team who might benefit from treatment and referral to palliative supports and for those that require testing for the novel coronavirus by bringing the testing centre to them.

The primary purpose of this program is to complement the existing health care resources in Perth County and to assist with the challenges created by the current pandemic. Perth County Paramedics strive to provide community-based health solutions for residents of Perth County. The vision is to enhance patient care and the overall patient experience for pre-determined vulnerable patient populations that requires additional care and support to keep them at home or in the community.

To prepare for this program, six paramedics recently completed a custom training program related to COVID-19 testing procedures and Palliative Care within the community in collaboration with the Huron Perth Public Health Unit and the South West Palliative Care Network.

To date the team has performed approximately 200 COVID-19 tests in Perth County’s Long-Term Care facilities, Early Years Centres and for isolated vulnerable patients within the community.

#StrongerTogether

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In response to the recent tragedy in Nova Scotia, Medavie is contributing $100K to the Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund to support the immediate and long-term needs of the individuals, families and communities impacted by that province’s recent tragedy. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone touched by this tragedy, and a heartfelt thank you to our colleagues at Emergency Health Services and to all frontline personnel who dedicate their lives to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our communities.  

Caring for our Communities

Caring for our communities is at the heart of the Medavie Health Foundation.  Through our Foundation, Medavie is proud to support the Atlantic Compassion Fund (ACF) with a $750K contribution as part of our $5 million COVID-19 Response Fund focused on food insecurity and mental health supports. Managed by United Way Halifax in collaboration with the 10 United Ways across Atlantic Canada, ACF is helping meet the urgent and immediate needs of vulnerable people in communities throughout the region.

COVID-19 Funding Support – Caring for our communities

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Through the Medavie Health Foundation, we are committing $5 million to support our communities in responding to COVID-19. The funding will focus on initiatives addressing food insecurity and the mental health needs of adolescents and frontline responders coping with COVID-19-related anxiety and post-traumatic stress in areas where our employees live and work. In addition to addressing immediate needs, it will also support community organizations as they manage through – and beyond – this crisis.

As a not-for-profit health solutions partner, we are committed to our communities and to improving the wellbeing of Canadians.

Recognizing excellence in community paramedicine

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Community Paramedicine (CP) has been an increasing focus for Chatham-Kent EMS. Since 2015, its team of Community Paramedics has been providing care to patients in the comfort of their homes and communities, where they are at their most comfortable and healthiest. Last year, the team expanded its practice to include Community Wellness Clinics in a subsidized seniors’ complex, conducting cardiac, respiratory, diabetic and fall risk assessments to its residents. The overall success of Chatham-Kent’s CP program has led to a reduction in emergency department visits by more than 50 per cent.

On February 28th, that success 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 recognizes their ongoing efforts to improve the health of their community and the teamwork they’ve demonstrated in launching and expanding the program.

The OCPS supports the ongoing development of community paramedicine across Ontario. Among its goals is strengthening collaborations and partnerships, particularly with primary care, that can prevent hospitalizations and improve the patient experiences as they transition from acute care settings back to the community. In recognizing Donald and the CKHA, the OCPS hopes to “highlight the successes of planning and implementation of community paramedicine as part of a new approach to health care delivery”.

Congratulations to Donald and the entire team of Chatham-Kent EMS CPs on this well-deserved recognition!

Donald MacLellan, General Manager, Chatham-Kent EMS – fourth from right – with his co-recipients from the CKHA and award presenters from the OCPS

Giving back for the holidays

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The holidays are all about giving and, across the country, Medavie Health Services employees were once again getting into the spirit of the season during holiday food and toy drives for their communities. Thank you to everyone who donated their time and gifts to help make the holidays a little brighter for those in need!

Cultivating Wellness in Nova Scotia

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The advent of autumn, with its shorter daylight hours and crisp, chilly nights, might be viewed with trepidation by some, but not so for a group of paramedics.

As the leaves start to turn, paramedics at the Jamieson Street base in Dartmouth are excitedly waiting to see what the second harvest for their wellness garden will yield.

And cultivating the garden and watching it flourish has helped take their minds off the day-to-day stresses of the job.

“It’s a refuge, if you will. It’s a place to go and get away from the mindfulness of being a paramedic, just get out there and decompress,” said paramedic Glenn Sentner, who was an early champion of the garden and has helped get it to where it is today.

The garden was the brainchild of operations supervisor Krista Veinot and advanced care paramedic Matthew Fancey in 2018.

After getting the go-ahead, they engaged the services of operations supervisor Ritchie Gilby, who runs a small excavation and landscaping business.

Everything but the lumber was donated, with Gilby providing the materials – about eight yards of soil – and the labour to build the planter box, which measures about five-by-28 feet.

Since then paramedics have planted everything from herbs, radishes, cherry and roma tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, and zucchini.  

In June, Watch Commander Jimmy Hogan and EHS Operations supervisor Travis MacNeil built a community garden in Sydney for all staff to take part in and enjoy over the summer.

Hogan, an avid gardener at home, came up with the idea to help fellow colleagues who were interested in learning more about gardening.

That’s exactly what happened in Dartmouth, where paramedics, who had very little exposure to gardening before, were inspired enough to grow a green thumb.

The wellness garden has worked out so well, that Gilby said there has been talk of finding another spot at the station to build another area to grow herbs and produce.

“I think it’s a place for people to get to know each other,” he said. “They go out there, they talk, it’s pretty low stress in a relatively stressful environment. It’s just relaxing.”

Spreading holiday cheer

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Medavie Health Services employees were once again getting into the spirit of the season during holiday parades and food and toy drives in communities across the country.Thank you to everyone who came out to see us and who helped us spread some much-needed holiday cheer!

Facilitating access to youth mental health care in southeastern NB

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Atlantic Wellness Community Center is receiving a $150,000 grant over three years in support of Open Doors, as part of the Foundation’s 2018 Grants Program. The counselling program helps south-eastern New Brunswick youth struggling with mental health problems develop positive coping strategies through providing them with free and timely access to mental health care. Learn more.

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Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie, with representatives from Atlantic Wellness Community Center at the Greater Moncton Gives Back event on November 20.

Healing together

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As we are all aware, Friday, August 10th was a day that brought both shock and sadness to Fredericton, those in the first responder community and Canadians from coast to coast.

The loss of Constable Robb Costello, Constable Sara Burns, Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud is still being felt in the city and throughout New Brunswick. However, with it has come a tremendous outpouring of support that has seen people rally together to remember them.

Among those paying their respects was Ambulance New Brunswick paramedic Brian Fournier, who played a violin tribute at the Fredericton Police headquarters that evening. And, on Monday, August 13th, ANB paramedics and New Brunswick Extra Mural Program employees were among the thousands of people who took part in the Hands and Hearts Across the City event, linking hands across Fredericton.

It’s at times like these that we realize how strong we are when we reach out and support one another. Thank you to everyone for your compassion and your commitment to being there for each other.

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