Staff and physician wellness and resources

Please note: This information is not for distribution outside of Unity Health; we are using a private section of our external website to allow staff easy access to these materials offsite and after hours.

At Unity Health Toronto, we are so grateful to all of you who are working so incredibly hard as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation. To care for the mind, body and spirit of our people, we are sharing resources and opportunities that are available to all staff and physicians. THANK YOU for all that you do and for keeping Unity Health Toronto’s mission and values at the forefront of all of your efforts… You are our health-care heroes!

We know this is a challenging time and that you’re working hard caring for our patients, your families, colleagues and yourself. It’s important that you stay healthy and well, which includes your financial health, so Unity Health is committing to paying all our staff – whether full-time, part-time or casual – 100 per cent of your pay for your scheduled shifts during the period of March 14 to April 6 for the following scenarios:

  • Asymptomatic staff member who was sent home by Occupational Health or Public Health and placed in self-isolation due to close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case
  • Staff who have traveled outside the country in the last 14 days, are self-isolating for 14 days, are deemed non-critical and unable to work from home
  • Staff with confirmed positive result of COVID-19
  • Staff who do not pass the COVID-19 screening questions

We will have more information about post-April 6 in the coming days, so please stay tuned.

The Centre for Addition and Mental Health (CAMH) is offering mental health and additions support for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit www.camh.ca/covid19HCW or view the attached poster for more information.

If you need any additional personal support and guidance right now, you can reach out to our employee and family assistance program provider ComPsych for different services ranging from stress reduction to financial management to COVID-19 specific resources.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Government of Canada will be introducing a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance

Some of these scenarios will not apply to Unity Health staff as we are committed to providing pay to those who miss work due to illness/quarantine as outlined above, and it is not expected that there will be a shortage of work for our employees. However, employees may find themselves in a situation where they need to miss work for other COVID-19 related reasons. Employees requesting a leave of absence to care for a family member are reminded to speak to their manager for leave approval.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

Canada Child Benefit
Eligible recipients will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.  If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to reapply.

Many different fitness facilities are offering free Instagram Live sessions and discounted live fitness classes including Sweat and Tonic. GoodLife is offering free access to all Les Mills on Demand workouts for current members – simply log in to your account to access them any time, anywhere.

On March 22, the Government of Ontario announced that select child care centres will be opening to provide 24-7 care to the children of health-care and other essential frontline workers.  Details on the locations and how to access care will be made available shortly on Ontario.ca/coronavirus.

To support staff who require parking downtown by St. Michael’s, we are introducing new parking options.

  • The parking garage at Li Ka Shing at 209 Victoria Street is now restricted to staff and patients only (this is on a first come first serve basis, with a limited number of spots). You will be required to show your hospital ID to enter the garage and the parking rate has been reduced to $10.
  • The Eaton Centre has generously donated 150 free daily parking vouchers which are available on a first come first service basis and can be picked up from the Li Ka Shing parking attendant when you show your hospital ID. You must use this voucher when you exit the parking garage at the end of your shift. There are 100 spots available at the Yonge Street entrance (on the fourth floor) and 50 at the Dundas/Bay Street entrance.
  • When these two parking options have exceeded their capacity, staff may choose to park at other surrounding parking lots. Consider using surrounding lots located on Bond (Church) and Queen Streets (Green P).
  • Street parking may also be available – Toronto Police Services have made changes to on-street parking enforcement to allow for more parking flexibility.

Staff reimbursement – Effective Tuesday, March 24 to April 10, any staff that have utilized paid parking around St. Michael’s will be eligible to be reimbursed for part of their costs. Staff will be eligible to be reimbursed for up to $20/day after they pay the first $10. For example: if you pay $30 for parking, you will pay $10 and can be reimbursed for $20. If you pay $15, you will pay $10 and can be reimbursed for $5.

Submit your expense information electronically to accountspayable@unityhealth.to. Please continue to use the regular expense form along with scanned images of your receipts (phone images are okay). There is no need to send in originals, but please keep these for a minimum of three months. Please submit the receipts on a bi-weekly basis to coincide with pay periods. Deadline for submission is April 8 and April 22 for payment on the next pay period.

We are monitoring the parking situation at St. Joseph’s, Providence and our offsite locations and will have an update in the near future.

Perkoplis is offering a number of discounts right now, including:

  • Meal delivery: Chef’s Plate, Hello Fresh, Door Dash, Foodora
  • Vitamins: Jamieson vitamin discount
  • Healthy Snacks: Prana healthy snacks
  • Mental stimulation: Kiwi- Hands on Science and Art Projects for Kids, Kobo, Rosetta Stone, Kids Learning and more

To access these discounts and more, visit the Perkopolis website 

  1. Click register up in the top right-hand corner
  2. Enter in your Unity Health email address
  3. You’ll receive an email from Perkopolis to complete your profile
  4. Once you confirm, you will be able to access all of the discounts

The Spiritual Care team has been supporting our people by being present at visitor screening entrances and providing guidance for patients and staff. Should your team require additional assistance or support, contact Bill Ford, Manager, Spiritual Care at Bill.Ford@unityhealth.to.

The Physician Health Program is hosting a daily Zoom meeting that occurs every week day from 12 -1 p.m. to support physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions are led by Dr. Kasra Khorasani, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Health Systems and St. Joseph’s Health Centre and are sponsored by the Ontario Medical Association.

Stay for one minute or as long as you can, and come back as many times as you like. Everyone is welcome. The chats are meant to be a safe space where physicians can talk about how they are managing.

https://zoom.us/j/595378840?pwd=NGx4N0IvZ1dHWDhyZGhOTTJZWUt1UT09

Meeting ID: 595 378 840
Password: 067104

One-tap mobile

  • +14388097799,,595378840# Canada
  • +15873281099,,595378840# Canada

To dial by your location:

  • +1 438 809 7799 Canada
  • +1 587 328 1099 Canada
  • +1 647 374 4685 Canada
  • +1 647 558 0588 Canada
  • +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Find your local number here: https://zoom.us/u/abc146nTUr

On-site and off-site accommodations have been put together to support Unity Health staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this will allow staff to rest comfortably between shifts. 

Staff who are unwell should not be working and not accessing these use accommodations

To support health care providers during the evolving COVID-19 situation, medical and nursing students at the University of Toronto are offering assistance with child care, pet care, grocery shopping and other general errands.

Our benefit providers at SunLife Financial are offering special deals on wellness products and services.  Log in to your Sun Life benefits home page and click on the Marketplace tab for more details.

Now is the perfect time to recognize your colleagues for the amazing work happening across our sites. We are excited to share that we have brand new Unity Health-branded thank you cards. Access virtual thank you cards here.

We are always looking at new opportunities to say thank you and support our people during this time. Keep an eye on Twice a Week for more updates.