Ten great things that happened this week

Outdoor patio at St. Joseph's with opened green table umbrellas.

St. Joseph’s opened its outdoor patio this week!

(May 28, 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) St. Joseph’s opens its outdoor patio!

This Tuesday, St. Joseph’s opened its outdoor patio which is just beside the seating area in Lakeside Café so that staff and visitors can enjoy fresh air and sunshine during their breaks. To keep everyone safe, the tables have been spread out and seating will be limited to two people per table.

2) New Sunny Side Up program is giving patients a little fun and entertainment while in the hospital

In response to the current restrictions on visitors to St. Michael’s, Occupational Therapists Lee Rosen and Maureen Riley created the Sunny Side Up project to keep patients engaged and entertained throughout their hospital stay with puzzles, interactive games, educational links, and much more. “We created this project for our patients to help mitigate the negative effects of isolation and inactivity on one’s mental health, promote socialization throughout the quarantine, and support health recovery.” Read more about it here.

3) Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak explains how we can encourage positive behavior changes during the pandemic

“If we strive for perfection then I don’t think we’ll get anywhere. We need some guidance to help risk-stratify our own lives. And so, if designs can be put in place to allow certain activities to happen more easily… then people will gravitate to that. Make the default thing the easiest thing.” Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak, Emergency Physician at St. Michael’s, discusses more effective ways to encourage behaviour changes during the pandemic than shaming those who violate the rules.

4) The St. Joseph’s community is lifting the spirits of patients 

Bins filled with books, puzzles, sketchbooks, cards and other activities have made their way to patients in various units at St. Joseph’s Health Centre thanks to the generosity of the community. Read about it here.

5) Respirology Team turns the hospital hallways into a photo gallery

The Respirology team at St. Michael’s has put together a gallery of photos in 6 Bond, Central. This gallery was part of an initiative by the team to bring joy to the workplace and positively engage fellow staff members. Twenty-three team members including nurses, allied health professionals, researchers and doctors took photos that reflected the chosen theme: Hidden Aspects of Isolation. Check them out here!

6) Dr. Matthew Chellew and his band Docs That Rock “won’t back down” in this special performance

St. Joseph’s Emergency Department Physician Dr. Matthew Chellew posted a performance of a song titled “We Won’t Back Down” with his band Docs That Rock. Check out the timely video here that captures him getting fully PPE-ready mid performance.

7) Unity Health’s family doctors share advice and words of encouragement to patients

Many patients have shared fears about making appointments with their family doctors throughout the pandemic. From transferring mostly to virtual appointments to creating dedicated in-person care hours for specific patient groups, our network’s Family Health Teams are prepared to care for patients safely. Read about our interview with Doctors Daphne Williams and Karen Weyman here.

8) Tips for staying active at home  

Due to the ongoing restrictions of physical distancing and gym closures, most have turned to staying active at home. Creatively using items in your home as exercise equipment, warming up before stretching, and being mindful of your posture are just a few of the many tips that that Chantal Sinclair, Wellness Coordinator for Unity Health and Kary Unana, Physiotherapist at Providence, shared with us this week to keep you active and healthy at home. Read about them here.

9) Our experts weigh in on why that non-medical mask is good enough to keep you safe outside

When you step outside, should you be wearing goggles or face shields in addition to non-medical masks? And is a non-medical mask sufficient? Dr. Mark Downing, Infectious Diseases Physician at St. Joseph’s, shares his reassuring perspective in this CBC piece that answers the most commonly asked questions on masks.

10) We are reassuring the public that our emergency departments are safe spots for care during the pandemic

“It can be a pretty anxiety provoking experience to be an emergency department patient right now. The message is important to get out there: We’re ready to provide care in a safe way and we’re definitely available for patients who need in-person care.” Dr. Samuel Vaillancourt, St. Michael’s Emergency Department Physician, reassures that seeking emergency care during the pandemic is safe. Read his interview here.