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News & Media

Important Message to Our Community

December 24, 2021

As we enter the Holiday Season, we do so under somewhat of a cloud, not knowing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the Omicron variant, will have on ourselves, our families, communities and businesses. What we do know is that cases will increase in the short-term and that all of us, directly and/or indirectly will be impacted.

At the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) we have plans in place to support our communities through the Holiday Season for hospital-based needs that may arise. Within these plans, is the very real possibility, as evidenced by our need to close our Clinton Public Hospital Emergency Department for the day on December 24, 2021, that illnesses and subsequent absences from work due to COVID-19 will impact service delivery. Should this occur again, we will immediately communicate to those potentially impacted to minimize disruption and would therefore ask members of our communities, if possible to follow the HPHA on social media (Twitter / Facebook).

Currently, we have implemented seasonal adjustments to our operating room schedules which reduce access to scheduled surgeries through the holiday period, and have similarly adjusted selected outpatient programs. We have also been directed by Critical Care Ontario to be ready to increase our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed capacity in the event we see increased COVID pressures on hospital beds. This increase in bed capacity will require redeployment of staff. Should this occur, our priority will be to focus staff and resources to those in most immediate need. At time of writing, we have five admitted COVID-19 patients at our Stratford General Hospital site, four of whom are in our ICU.

Looking ahead, we are again asking for the assistance of our communities, specifically in relation to continuing to adhere to all Public Health guidelines and requirements. While we very much recognize the significant impacts that the pandemic has had on individuals and businesses, this is the very best way to minimize these impacts into the future. Maintaining a small circle of people around you, limiting interactions, wearing a mask when necessary, practicing physical distancing, regular hand washing, staying home if unwell, and getting vaccinated or booking a booster will all strengthen our ability to move through this latest wave as quickly as possible. On the latter point, we appreciate the demand on vaccine clinics and urge people to book at the earliest available time and to regularly visit the Huron Perth Public Health website for additional clinics or vaccine availability.

The impact of the pandemic on the HPHA team has been significant. All midwives, physicians and staff, 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.

The past 22 months have however reminded us of many things; the importance of community and of supporting one another; the interdependence of all health care partners; the key impact the social determinants of health have on community well-being; and the incredible resilience and compassion that resides in us all.

With this in mind, we say thank you and wish everyone the very best through the Holiday Season and into 2022.

Respectfully,

Ron Lavoie, Chair Board of Directors

Deborah Wiseman, Vice President Partnerships & Chief Nursing Executive 

Andrew Williams, President & CEO