Ten great things that happened this week

Yanira Rosa Gevara de Casco on the day she arrived home from Providence's COVID rehabilitation unit.

Yanira Rosa Gevara de Casco on the day she arrived home from Providence’s COVID rehabilitation unit.

(July 30, 2020) – 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 this week. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Send it to communications@unityhealth.to.

1) We spotlight how Providence is rehabilitating COVID-19 patients

After testing positive for COVID-19, Yanira Rosa Gevara de Casco was hospitalized for nine weeks, two of which were in a new COVID-19 rehabilitation unit at Providence Healthcare. This unit helps patients like Casco rehabilitate after long hospitalizations so they can go home safely. Read more.

2) St. Michael’s researchers are investigating how to improve the health of marginalized populations during the pandemic

Hotel isolation centres, mobile outreach initiatives and transitional housing are being offered to help marginalized populations during the pandemic. A research project led by scientists in the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s is examining how to make these services and programs more effective. Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi speaks to the goal of this research project, which is being pursued by 35 scientists, community partners and people with lived experience. Read more.

3) We spotlight the crucial role of Laboratory Services at St. Joseph’s

Although patients don’t see them, laboratory staff play a huge role in determining whether a patient has COVID-19. They work around the clock to handle and test patient samples in order to support medical diagnosis and treatment, and include multiple disciplines, each of whom provide a unique expertise. Learn more about our Laboratory Services.

4) How can pregnant women maintain their health during the pandemic? Our experts weigh in

Are pregnant women more likely to get COVID-19? How would that impact the fetus, and what can they do to stay safe? Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, Physician in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St. Joseph’s, answers these questions and more. Watch the interview with Dr. Kirkham.

5) Next in #BehindTheMask, we spotlight Elizabeth Rosario, a Light Duty Cleaner

When the pandemic struck, Elizabeth Rosario was asked to clean the rooms of residents in the Houses who were COVID positive. She shared with us how she prays before she enters each patient room, and how careful protective measures and her manager’s support has helped her stay safe during this time. “At first, my colleagues were scared to be near me. Now they call me “Covi”. I am not just a cleaner, I am part of the team and I get joy from making people safe,” said Rosario. Read the full #BehindTheMask profile.

6) What is intersectional feminism and how does it impact health care? Our experts weigh in

Intersectional feminism expands the way we look at gender equality to include many other factors including race, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. It’s a term that has helped explain why, for example, certain experiences differ for white women in comparison to Black or brown women. Dr. Malika Sharma, Physician and Education Lead in the Division of Infectious Diseases at St. Michael’s, is currently researching social determinants of health. She explains how understanding intersectional feminism has improved her ability to provide compassionate health care. Read more.

7) St. Michael’s researcher discusses how racism creates health inequities for Black patients

Dr. LaRon Nelson discusses the impact of racism on COVID-19 and HIV care for Black patients following a recent presentation on this topic at the virtual 23rd International AIDS Conference. Dr. Nelson is the Ontario HIV Treatment Network research chair in Implementation Science with Black Communities, which is based in the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s. Read the Q&A.

8) Washington Post spotlights the experience of one of our nurses during the pandemic

Shannon is a Nurse at St. Michael’s who works on a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit. The Washington Post profiled a photo of her on a break from a 12-hour shift. She talked about the importance of taking this pandemic seriously and following the guidelines so, “we can be done with the virus.” See the full gallery.

9) Three of our researchers join new national research network to study sepsis patients

Keenan Research Centre researchers Drs. Claudia Dos Santos, Jane Batt and John Marshall are now part of Sepsis Canada, a research network that will improve the treatment and recovery of sepsis patients. This was made possible by an investment of $5.7 million from the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Read the full announcement.

10) Two Family Health Team clinics celebrate special anniversaries

The St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team (FHT) clinic on 80 Bond celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year, and the FHT clinic at Sumac Creek celebrates its fifth. We separately spotlight their advocacy, innovation and the impact they’ve had on their communities and patients.