Ten great things that happened this week

Happy #FathersJoel Beadle is pictured here with his new little warriors Avery and Hadley at St. Michael’s NICU.

Happy #FathersDay from all of us at Unity Health! Joel Beadle is pictured here with his new little warriors Avery and Hadley at St. Michael’s NICU. Photo credit: Katie Cooper

(June 25, 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) The Toronto Star showcases how Providence is rehabilitating patients after COVID-19

Joe Kotelniski, 83, was admitted to Providence after weeks of hospitalization due to COVID-19. “It was this place here that pulled me out of the quagmire and brought me back to my senses,” he said in an interview last week, the day before he was discharged. “My appetite is back. I could eat a horse if they put one up here.” Dr. Ashley Verduyn, Chief and Director of Medical Affairs at Providence, and Laura Conway, Speech Language Pathologist, discuss the rehab process and road to recovery for some COVID-19 survivors. Read the Star article.

2) Virtual care is transforming mental health care for patients at St. Joseph’s

Norma, 65, lives with bipolar disorder and is a patient of the St. Joseph’s Family Health Team (FHT). When she experienced a decline in her mental health during quarantine, she was quickly able to book weekly appointments with her family doctor in the FHT, which made managing her symptoms and health easier. Read about Norma’s experience with virtual mental health here.

3) St. Michael’s teams are reaching out to the marginalized across the community

The Academic Family Health Team at St. Michael’s knew they needed to reach out to marginalized members of the community as soon as the pandemic started. They have completed Wellness Check-in calls followed up by calls from specialists, and contributed to an open-access Google Drive that includes important health and wellness resources for the community. “We quickly realized that COVID-19 was going to change everything, and those changes would disproportionately impact people experiencing disadvantage in our community,” said Dr. Ritika Goel, a family physician with the FHT.  Read about their work here.

4) Son thanks Providence staff for caring for his mom with a special birthday gesture 

Last week, Jordan decided to celebrate his 38th birthday by donating free burritos from Racho Relaxo to all Providence staff as a thank you for the excellent care that his mother received there. About 400 Providence staff members received free burritos thanks to Jordan. Read about this here.

5) Four research projects at St. Michael’s received $4 million from the federal government

Four research projects at St. Michael’s hospital have received a total of $4 million dollars from the federal government to support their COVID-19 research. They are four of 139 research teams across Canada who have been awarded funds to accelerate their research projects that are focusing on the development of measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its devastating impact on people, communities and health systems. Read more about the research projects here.

6) When the salon at Providence shut down in the pandemic, Marlon Manuba grabbed his scissors and stepped in

When Marlon Manuba, an Operations Leader for Food and Nutrition Services at Providence, discovered that the salon in the Houses of Providence had closed, he created a mobile hair salon to provide haircuts in residents’ rooms and help them look and feel their best. Read about this act of kindness here.

7) Shoppers Drug Mart donates products to Providence staff and physicians

This week, Shoppers Drug Mart donated numerous products including hair care, foundation, lip stick, eye makeup, face masks and more for Providence staff and physicians to pick up for free. This was organized by the Providence Healthcare Foundation & the COVID-10 People Support Plan group. See photo.

8) We celebrated Father’s Day across the network 

Fathers, grandfathers and father figures received plenty of love at Unity Health Toronto on Sunday. The Neonatal ICU (NICU) team at St. Joseph’s presented new dads with moulds of their babies’ footprints or handprints with fish drawn on them as a reminder to keep on swimming. See photo. At the Houses of Providence, residents received gift bags stuffed with socks and toiletries, and staff at the NICU in St. Michael’s wrote messages for fathers on whiteboards next to their baby’s beds. See photos of fathers at the two NICUs.

9) Summertime and a pandemic: Dr. Mark Downing answers pressing COVID-19 questions

Will my hot flashes affect my COVID-19 test? Can the virus spread through sweat? Dr. Mark Downing, Infectious Diseases Physician at St. Joseph’s contributes his expertise and perspective to the many questions being asked about experiencing summertime during a pandemic. Read them here.

10) Two Unity Health research projects are advancing care for two key vulnerable groups

Two Unity Health-led research projects are tackling groups that are more disproportionately affected by COVID-19 than others. The first project, led by St. Michael’s researchers, is researching the medical and psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on people living with diabetes. The second group, led by researchers across the network in collaboration with other organizations, developed a virtual platform that connects long-term care residents with medical specialists to reduce the need for hospital visits. Read about them here.