Important Message to Our Community
April 30, 2021
The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) is experiencing unprecedented pressures as we respond to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to providing inpatient care to residents of our communities, we are now caring for patients transferred from hard hit regions like the GTA in our Intensive Care (ICU) and Medicine Units. These transfers place an incredible stress on the patients and families who are impacted. We know our team will provide those in our facilities with high quality, compassionate care and support, which is a hallmark of the HPHA.
In preparing to receive COVID-19 patients from other parts of the province we are often faced with needing to move patients between hospitals in our region. In making these decisions, you can be assured that clinical need is the most important deciding factor. These transfers are very stressful and we thank you in advance for your cooperation. It is also important to note that these transfers are not viewed as voluntary and are being undertaken to ensure we provide the best care for as many people as possible, regardless of where they live. In saying this, we extend gratitude to all hospital partners for their commitment to this process.
The impact of this third wave on the HPHA team has been significant. We have had to reduce scheduled patient activity across our sites to allow our team members to be redeployed to support our ICU at our Stratford General Hospital site, where we have more than doubled the number of beds. All staff and physicians, regardless of where they work across our four sites, have been tirelessly supporting our patients and their families, our partners and one another as we deal with these uncertain times. Like many of those in our communities, our team has been facing many stressors brought on by this pandemic and we acknowledge the incredible strain that this has placed on everyone.
If your care has been delayed, we offer our sincere apologies. Please know that we are regularly reviewing all services impacted and will communicate with you as appropriate. Our hope is that we will be able to limit the amount of care we need to reschedule however, as above, we are faced with having to reassign staff to those areas in immediate need. Our concern is that we are not going to have enough ICU beds to support those in need. Should this happen, this will mean that we will be faced with the unthinkable - deciding who receives care and who doesn’t. The HPHA Team has had to prepare for these discussions and will only initiate as an absolute last resort and after receiving direction from the province.
Until there is a steady supply of vaccine for all, targeting vaccines to those parts of the province with the highest incidence of COVID-19 is the fastest way to stop the spread. Our region has excelled in administering available vaccine and will continue to make the local supply available to those who are eligible.
We thank Huron Perth Public Health and all partners involved in the vaccination program. When your time comes, we urge you to get vaccinated with the vaccine that is available. All are safe and equally effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization.
In the meantime, we all need to continue to follow public health guidelines – masking, physical distancing, hand-washing, limiting interaction to those who are in your household and following stay-at-home orders.
We thank everyone for your support and for doing your part in preventing further unnecessary harm and death in our communities. We know the impacts of the pandemic have been very serious, both for our health and for our local economy. As such, please safely support local businesses and let’s remember to always be kind to each other.
Ron Lavoie, Chair Board of Directors
Dr. Kevin Lefebvre, Chief of Staff
Andrew Williams, President & Chief Executive Officer