Report from Gord Wickham

Gord Wickham, Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

We recently celebrated Employee Recognition Week at our Hospital from February 27th to March 4th. It’s a week dedicated to celebrating the people, including medical staff, employees, teams, volunteers, Patient Family Advisors, and others – who are making a difference for patients and families in Northwestern Ontario through their outstanding service and dedication.

The Walk the Talk Awards are celebrated as part of Employee Recognition Week. With these awards, staff can nominate fellow employees to recognize their exemplary performance. After review by the Patient Family Advisors’ Committee nominations, an organization wide voting system is used to select the winners for nine different award categories. It goes without saying that every single member of our staff has ‘walked the talk’ this past year and I’d like to personally thank and congratulate them for their outstanding work.

This year, the 3B Surgical Inpatient Unit was selected winner of the Board of Directors’ Walk the Talk Award. This Unit was designated with many additional responsibilities and endured many challenges throughout the last year, but through it all, has performed in an exemplary manner under extraordinary circumstances. They supported the 3A COVID-19 Unit in February and March of 2021; they supported their own COVID-19 Unit in March 2021; and they also supported 3C when that unit had to absorb extra beds during the same month. Our Hospital has experienced significant staffing challenges and the 3B Team often worked significant overtime to support the patients and their fellow staff throughout the past year. They have remained calm and professional through all of these challenges, found ways to support one another and have embraced many new staff along the way.

The 3B Surgical Inpatient Unit team continues to amaze and inspire those around them as they navigate the trials and tribulations of looking after some of the most vulnerable patients in our community. They continue to support our patients, their families, and our community. Congratulations to the 3B Surgical Inpatient Unit, and all of the nominees and winners of this year’s Walk the Talk Awards.

Coming up later this month is National Volunteer Week (April 24-30), which is celebrated each year and offers time to reflect on the generosity of the many individuals who choose to give their time, skills, and energy to make this community better. Thank you to all of the Hospital’s Volunteers, Patient Family Advisors and Foundation volunteers. We are deeply appreciative of the support you provide to both patients and staff while contributing to patient and family centred care.

Finally, by now you are aware that the Government of Ontario dropped the mandatory mask mandate in the majority of public settings, with the exception of high-risk settings such as long-term care and health care facilities. This will not result in any changes at our Hospital and masking along with entrance screening will continue to be required to enter our Hospital and all satellite buildings. As the only intensive care provider in Northwestern Ontario, it is our responsibility to take every precaution to ensure a safe environment for every patient who requires care. These safety measures will be in place for the foreseeable future to protect those patients, our staff, and visitors. We hope you can respect the conditioned need for caution at TBRHSC.