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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!

Mobilizing COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics to Support Hot Spot Communities

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Please note that the following is an internal update only and will not be shared externally.

The COVID-19 crisis has continued to escalate in regions across the country, including in Ontario where several regions were designated as hot spots.

In an effort to further expand its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the Government of Ontario previously announced the launch of mobile vaccine units for small to medium-sized businesses in these hot spot communities with a history or risk of outbreaks, and where employees have been unable to work from home. 

This initiative has been delivered through collaboration with many integrated health care teams and experienced system partners, including Medavie. As a health solutions partner, we have a longstanding history of partnering with government to bring care to communities and have quickly demonstrated our expertise in supporting vaccine administration and establishing clinics in many communities across the country.

Beginning Friday, May 7 and continuing on an ongoing basis, our teams of frontline workers, supported by many people behind-the-scenes, have come together to operationalize a series of ongoing mobile vaccine workplace clinics across the Greater Toronto Area, Peel Region and Durham Region. This work has translated into establishing and operationalizing community clinics in these hotspot areas of the province too.

On Friday, May 28, Medavie was onsite at the Canadian Sport Institute to support vaccination efforts of our Olympic athletes in preparation for the Tokyo 2021 Games. Our team is incredibly proud to help get our athletes ready for the Games, while supporting the health and wellbeing of the broader public.

All this is in addition to the ongoing efforts of our teams across the country on the frontlines of COVID-19. We will have additional details to share as vaccination administration continues.

Members of our Medavie Health Services’ onsite vaccination team, alongside the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Onsite at a mobile workplace vaccination clinic

A Little Bearamedic Goes a Long Way

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A little more than five years ago, Kira was born in Truro in the presence of several paramedics after her mom, Jessica, had gone into labour and called 911.

Kira’s first gift was a Bearamedic teddy bear, given to her by one of those paramedics a few moments after she was born. Over the years, Kira grew attached to that bear, bringing it with her wherever she went.

Unfortunately, earlier this spring, Kira left the bear in a park in Halifax while at the IWK for an eye appointment. Jessica recently reached out to us about getting a new one as Kira was missing her bear.

On May 26, EHS Operations paramedics Amanda and Hisanobu met Kira to give her a brand new teddy bear! To say she was happy to have her Bearamedic back is an understatement.

Hours after that meeting, Mom said Kira was still clutching the bear, making sure it never leaves her sight.

“Thank you so much for making it possible for her to get another bear. She’s happy to have her bear back,” Jessica said. “She hasn’t put her bear down since receiving it. She missed it.”

Sometimes it’s the little things paramedics do that make a big difference and it certainly was in Kira’s case.

COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Efforts in Elgin County, Ontario

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Medavie EMS Elgin Ontario has been actively working in partnership with Southwest Public Health to administer COVID-19 vaccines at multiple locations within Elgin County, including the Elgin County Mass Immunization Clinic. 

Additionally, as part of a mobile team approach, paramedics and public health nurses have been travelling to accommodate residents that are homebound with complex medical issues while also administering vaccinations at congregate living facilities, retirement residences and long-term care facilities (LTCs).

The mobile team has also been working to support other emergency services who are out in the community by administering vaccines at the Ontario Police College, as well as to those with the St. Thomas Fire Department, St. Thomas Police Services and Elgin OPP. They’ve also been operating mid-sized, standalone clinics to vaccinate targeted populations such as the Amish, Temporary Foreign Workers and seniors’ apartment buildings.

As of May 28, 2021, 100,000 residents in the Southwestern public health region had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Medavie EMS Elgin Ontario has also been crucial in local COVID-19 testing efforts throughout the pandemic, including surveillance testing for staff at three local long-term care facilities beginning October 2020.

At Medavie EMS Elgin Ontario, the health and safety of our community is of primary importance as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to be working alongside our local partners – Southwest Public Health, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Testing Centre, London Health Sciences Centre and our allied emergency services – to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to those in our community. Our paramedics have been unwavering in their ongoing commitment to supporting the residents of Elgin County, finding ways to continuously adapt and deliver.” ~ Gord Mathers, Operations Manager, Medavie EMS Elgin Ontario

Photos:

Gord Mathers, Operations Manager alongside the Hon. Jeff Yurek, MPP and Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks while working together onsite at the Elgin County Mass Immunization Clinic. Min. Yurek is also a practicing pharmacist in the community.

MEMSEO paramedics Stephanie Grant and Ben Rees provide vaccinations to the Ontario Police College.