By Selma Al-Samarrai

Laura Chiriac (top) and Emily Strauss are two of the B5 team members who came together to prepare this new space. (Photo by Kevin Saychareun)

Patients who require orthopaedic and amputee rehabilitation still require these specialized services – even if they have COVID-19. Rising to meet this need, Providence Healthcare, a hospital known for its excellent rehabilitation services, opened a brand new COVID-19 positive rehab and recovery program this week designed to care for COVID-19 positive patients.

“When we were first approached about this COVID-19 unit, a lot of things ran through my mind, but the first thought was this is an emergency situation and we need to prepare,” said Caroline Monteiro, the Patient Care Manager for the Orthopaedic and Amputee Rehabilitation unit on B5, which has three pods: north, south and west. She was called upon to help lead this new space, which is in the north pod.

“The team was completely on board, and there was so much support from our colleagues at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s. It has been wonderful to see how all of our Unity Health sites have come together in response to this pandemic.”

The rehab and recovery program provides orthopaedic and amputee rehabilitation support with safety measures in place for positive patients including an entirely isolated space with dedicated equipment and occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehab and nursing support.

Laura Chiriac, a Registered Nurse and one of the team members who helped create the space, said she is glad to be on the team providing this type of support.

“Patients coming to us may be frail, exhausted, lonely form being away from loved ones and afraid of what’s next,” she said. “During these times, I hope that our knowledge, care and compassion will be what they need to feel supported as they get stronger and healthier.”

Monteiro echoed those comments, saying her whole team is ready to help patients so they can get back to their normal as soon as possible.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve our community right now,” she said, “and for every single one of our team members for providing this important support.”