In March 2020, Women’s College Hospital, like hospitals across Ontario and around the globe, undertook extensive planning, a ramp-down of clinical services and a series of operational pivots to address known and predicted COVID-19 pandemic factors. One of the most significant shifts in these past months has been an accelerated virtual care strategy – converting face-to-face clinical appointments to video visits so that patients are able to see care providers and access necessary healthcare. We opened a COVID-19 assessment centre, created mobile health teams to support vulnerable communities and partnered with a long-term care home to ensure the safety of their residents and staff. We implemented rigorous safety measures to screen and mask every person entering the building. We built a new in-patient surgical unit structured to help our health system partners ensure access to required surgical care through the pandemic.
And we did it all without hesitation – sometimes proactively and sometimes reactively depending on the situations at hand. Our staff and physicians volunteered and were redeployed into new and challenging roles. For some, shifts were necessary to ensure safety and services could continue with the support of dedicated teams working from home. For others, the pandemic meant braving work each day on site at the hospital, long-term care sites or shelters. As leaders, we couldn’t be prouder of the response of Our People.
Without exception, the experience of the pandemic has pointed to deepened social, economic and health disparities across the most marginalized communities. There has been a disproportionate impact on the lives and health of individuals who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Women’s College Hospital is working to lead and create a radically equitable COVID-19 response within our organization and across the system.
The year ahead will require Women’s College Hospital to be a driving force for change in our health system as champions of equity and a committed system partner. In the stories that follow, you will witness how teams across the organization have stepped up and stepped out of their daily roles to respond to this global public health emergency – demonstrating ingenuity, collaboration and compassion for patients, community and one another.
We are Women’s and together we are revolutionizing healthcare for a healthier, more equitable world.
Heather & Tammy
Heather McPherson Tammy Brown
President & CEO Chair, Board of Directors
Women’s College Hospital Women’s College Hospital