Ten Great Things That Happened This Week

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)

(April 30, 2020) – We know that living and working through COVID-19 is tough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the wonderful things that are happening at our sites – and for our people – along the way.

Each week, we’re sharing a list of 10 great things that happened over the previous week. Have a story you’d like to share? Send it to communications@unityhealth.to.

1) Specialized COVID-19 rehab and recovery program opens at Providence Healthcare

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 centre 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.  Read about this new recovery program.

2) COVID-19 outbreak in St. Joseph’s ICU was declared over

The COVID-19 outbreak in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre was officially declared over on Sunday, April 26. Thank you to the many teams who worked so quickly to contain the outbreak and protect our patients, staff and physicians throughout the outbreak, which lasted just under two weeks.

3) St. Michael’s scientist co-leads a Toronto clinical trial on potential COVID-19 treatment

Can an existing HIV medication slow the spread of COVID-19? Dr. Darrell Tan of St. Michael’s Hospital alongside his co-leads Dr. Allison McGeer from Sinai Health and Dr. Adrienne Chan from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are launching a clinical trial to find out. Read more about this study.

4) Unity Health Toronto’s Board of Directors contributes to COVID-19 Support Fund

The Board of Directors of Unity Health Toronto have created a “COVID-19 Support Fund” as a way of recognizing and thanking all the staff and physicians across Unity Health for their important role in this pandemic. 100 per cent of our Board members contributed to this fund. We want to sincerely thank all of our Board members for their incredibly generous support and we look forward to sharing more details on how these funds will be used to support our efforts in the near future.

5) Joan Seeram of St. Michael’s was named as CBC Toronto’s ‘Front-line Hero’

Joan Seeram, an environmental services worker at St. Michael’s was named as CBC Toronto’s ‘Front-line Hero’. View the post on facebook.

6) ‘It made me feel safe’ – a patient’s experience at the ED during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people may have fears about seeking medical attention at hospitals – that they might expose themselves to the virus, or be an unnecessary burden on the health system. Paravaneh Laraya learned those fears aren’t necessary. Read about her positive experience at St. Joseph’s Emergency Department.

7) Dr. Ashley Verduyn advises on how to support seniors through the rules of the pandemic

If you know a senior who isn’t complying with physical distancing or stay-at-home orders, ask questions to learn more about why they aren’t complying, suggested Dr. Ashley Verduyn, Chief and Director of Medical Affairs at Providence Healthcare. Read about it here.

8) Pandemic Pregnancy Guide created as a virtual hub for pregnancy during COVID-19

Drs. Tali Bogler, Eliane Shore, Sheila Wijayasinghe and medical students Sepand Alavifard and Sarah Freeman of the Family Medicine and Obstetrics teams from St. Michael’s Hospital came together to create the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide. It is a virtual platform to provide medical information on pregnancy and COVID-19 and to form a community for expecting parents during this uncertain time. Hospital News covered an interview with Dr. Tali Bogler on her initial plan to support expectant mothers and newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article here.

9) Code Lavender – supports for staff, leaders and physicians during stressful situations

To provide compassionate support for our people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Unity Health is introducing Code Lavender across our three sites. A Code Lavender is a supportive response available for staff, leaders and physicians who are facing extraordinarily stressful situations. When a Code Lavender is called, a spiritual care response team will provide a variety of supports that can include a purposeful physical presence; prayer, meditation or comfort; mindfulness exercises; and support to contact specific resources available to staff.

10) Beautiful artwork containing thanks sent to St. Michael’s Paediatrics Team

Beautiful art work was shared by students in grades 7 to 9 at the Agincourt Sai Centre with the Paediatrics team at St. Michael’s Hospital. View the art work here.