NewsNovember 2020

CIUSSS staff praised for dedication to healthcare users in battling COVID-19

Pandemic pledge at Public Information Meeting: “Bodies apart, hearts together”

The ability of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal to prevail against COVID-19 will eventually be possible, thanks to “our professionalism, our leadership and our focus on the particular needs of individual users,” says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the healthcare and social services network.

Speaking on November 4 at the CIUSSS’s fifth annual Public Information Meeting, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg praised “members of our staff—whether they have direct contact with patients or play other important roles—for enduring long shifts and difficult working conditions.

CIUSSS banner“They have also made many personal sacrifices while working in demanding situations to comfort and support the elderly and the vulnerable.

“Not only did they effectively fight the virus, they went a long way in dispelling the feelings of dislocation, disorientation and depression that many healthcare users experienced due to physical distancing.”

Because of the pandemic, the Public Information Meeting was held as a virtual gathering for the first time, with attendees logging in to Zoom. This was an opportunity for CIUSSS officials to meet with the public, in order to recap the highlights of 2019-2020 and to answer questions from those in attendance.

Dr. Rosenberg also noted that his emphasis in 2019 on increasing the use of new forms of digital technology had a beneficial effect during the pandemic, since platforms like Zoom were quickly implemented enabled users and professionals to stay in touch despite the lockdown.

“Digital technology—combined with compassionate, humane care—allows us take larger steps toward our goal of enhancing the quality of person-centred care,” he said. “It’s a powerful tool that enables us to better understand each person’s needs and, in many instances, to customize their care.”

“One fundamental principle has remained the same: Our CIUSSS maintains its commitment to placing your needs first.”

Dr. Rosenberg concluded by promising “to continue our resolute battle with COVID-19, which can be summed up in one simple phrase: ‘Bodies apart, hearts together.’”

Alan Maislin, President of the Board of Directors, said that even though the pandemic brought change to almost every aspect of the CIUSSS’s activities, “one fundamental principle has remained the same: Our CIUSSS maintains its commitment to placing your needs first.”

This is why so much effort has been put into ensuring convenient access to testing clinics, making allowances—where medically adivsable—for caregivers to make personal visits, and implementing telehealth, Mr. Maislin said.

“Of course, we all hope that by this time next year, the pandemic will be a distant memory,” he added. “But whatever happens, you can rest assured our CIUSSS will continue to make you our top priority.”

Francine Dupuis, the CIUSSS’s Associate CEO, and Dan Gabay, Assistant Executive Director, reminded those at the meeting that even though COVID-19 has been the focus of attention for a full year, CIUSSS staff have continued to pursue excellence in matters unrelated to the pandemic.

For example:

  • The Nursing Directorate took the lead in implementing a new protocol for patients who are recovering form certain types of surgery. It reduces complications and shortens the amount of time that patients spend in the hospital.
  • The Department of Professional Services worked closely with the Pharmacy Department to broaden the use of electronic prescriptions, which are filled more accurately delivered to patients more quickly.
  • As a result of work by the Rehabilitation and Multidisciplinary Services Directorate, waiting times for treatment have been substantially reduced for children under the age of 5 who have autism spectrum disorder.
  • The Support Program for the Autonomy of the Elderly has collaborated with several facilities in the community to provide support to a greater number of elderly individuals who are suffering from a reduction in their physical or cognitive abilities.
  • To improve energy efficiency, the Technical Services Department is forging ahead with its multi-year, multi-million-dollar project at several sites, including Catherine Booth Hospital, Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre and the JGH.
  • Security in all of CIUSSS facilities has been updated and enhanced. Additional personnel have been placed in high-risk areas, and a system has been introduced that instantly alerts staff to situations that require prompt attention.

Beating COVID-19 is a major challenge, Mr. Gabay agreed, “but the pandemic does not define us. Each and every department in our CIUSSS remains committed to improving the full spectrum of health care and social services.”

In addition, Carrie Bogante, Director of Finance, provided an overview of the CIUSSS’s sound financial health, while Maude Laliberté, Commissioner of Complaints and Quality of Service (Ombudsman), explained the complaints process and its importance in improvements to health care and social services.

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