MUSKOKA — As Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare ramps up its pandemic response, CEO Natalie Bubela expressed her “confidence” in the “dedicated team” of hospital doctors and staff to handle the “extraordinary” health challenges ahead to protect all patients and workers.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon to Muskokans, she issued her assurance in:
“I would like to express my confidence in all members of the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) team and share my utmost gratitude to all of our staff and physicians for their dedication to hospital care for our communities.
“We assure our communities that both hospital sites have measures in place to protect the health of our patients, staff and physicians.
“While things may be done differently during this time, please know that our team remains dedicated to treating everyone with care and respect. Some of the steps we have taken to ensure everyone’s safety include:
- Initiating an emergency response to a pandemic plan, which includes daily command team meetings to ensure we are up to date on public health recommendations and Ministry of Health directives.
- Screening everyone who enters the hospitals for travel history and symptoms of illness.
- Limiting all visitors with the exception of visits for compassionate reasons, including palliative circumstances.
- Postponing non-urgent, elective surgeries. Affected patients are being contacted directly and will be rebooked as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Reducing, suspending or relocating some hospital services in order to create capacity for an influx in the potential acute care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Contacting patients directly to cancel most non-urgent, scheduled outpatient procedures and clinic appointments. Appointments will be rebooked as soon as it is safe to do so. Urgent procedures and appointments will continue.
- Enhancing infection prevention and control protocols and managing supply needs and monitoring supply levels to ensure preparedness while protecting everyone in our buildings.
- Working collaboratively with our partners to open community assessment centres in Bracebridge and Huntsville.
- Sharing information both internally and externally as the situation changes.
If you have a loved one being cared for in our hospitals, please rest assured they will continue to receive high-quality, safe and compassionate care by our providers who are working hard to make their experience is the best it can be during these challenging times.
We would like to also send out words of thanks:
- To our team members for their unwavering commitment to patient care and to keeping our facilities clean, maintained and safe.
- To our patients and families for their patience and understanding while daily routines are interrupted and we strive to continue to deliver essential treatment and care.
- To our Foundation teams, and their donors for continuing to believe in our hospitals and offering support and words of encouragement. Now is a great time for giving donations to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.
- To individuals, businesses and groups that are showing their appreciation and support by reaching out to offer various ways to help. We are feeling the love and we are grateful for every heartwarming offer. We are working through a process to ensure that gifted supplies are appropriate for hospital use and the best way to receive these. Please do not bring items to the hospitals unannounced. For a variety of reasons, we cannot accept gifts of prepared food and encourage you to think of others in our community who need that support.
- To our health care partners and municipal leaders for working together with us.
- We implore everyone to continue social distancing, which is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Choose knowledge over fear. Please remember to be kind and support each other, especially our most vulnerable.
MAHC continues to monitor new information on a daily basis and is committed to informing the community of updates on our website at www.mahc.ca/COVID-19/. During these challenging times, we appreciate your continued support and understanding.
Together, as a team and as a community, we can get through this. Stay safe and be well.”