Dear Community Members,
I believe it’s vital to keep our communities apprised of the challenges and opportunities facing our hospitals and our team of dedicated staff and physicians at Quinte Health Care (QHC). The unrelenting pressures of navigating COVID has significantly impacted an already strained health care system, while also reinforcing the power of innovation and teamwork. It will take proactive partnerships and a commitment to true collaboration to support our patients, teams and communities in the months and year ahead. It’s with that spirit of collaboration that I reach out to you with another update on Quinte Health Care hospitals.
We are cautiously optimistic about the trajectory of Ontario’s 4th wave. Our promising COVID trends are a direct result of our government, and our communities’ commitment, to adopting and maintaining evidence based public health measures, including masking and vaccination. We need only turn to our attention to the experience of the west to appreciate the devastating impact of removing these measures too quickly. While these trends are encouraging, the numbers you read in the paper or on our local public health website, only tell a small part of the current and cumulative impact of COVID on your local hospitals and the people who work there.
At present, your local health care heroes are caring for an influx of 4th wave, largely unvaccinated, COVID patients in our hospitals and ICU. They are working valiantly to address the backlog of people in our community who have been waiting for surgery and diagnostic services. They are also supporting an unprecedented number of people seeking care from our emergency departments and from our medicine units. They are doing all this when, like other hospitals, we are facing significant health human resources shortages and have a team of heroes who are fatigued from an 18-month long battle against COVID. While our teams have shown remarkable resilience, they continue to need the collective support of our entire community for the next leg of the pandemic journey. The most important ways our community can help is to get vaccinated and to demonstrate kindness, understanding and support to their local health care teams.
QHC is currently focused on two priorities – making improvements for today and planning for a stronger future. Our first priority is focused on ensuring continued access to care for our community while relentlessly pursuing new ways to stabilize and support our staff, physicians and teams. Both these efforts include working with local and provincial community, academic and government partners to tackle these challenges together. The bottom line is that we need a strong focus on caring for our community AND caring for the people who care for our community.
Our second priority is focused on proactively planning the future of QHC and its four hospitals. Despite continuing to face the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical that we find the time to plan for the future of our hospitals and health care in our region. We intend to reach out far and wide – connecting with residents, patients, families, partners and all our QHC team members across our diverse communities. Our goal is to collectively re-imagine and co-design the future of QHC and our community hospitals together. I have no doubt that together, we can chart a bold, bright future that makes QHC an even better place to receive and give care. We want to understand what is important to you about the future of your local hospitals. Diverse perspectives make us stronger and we would like to hear from every corner of our communities. I invite you to please take the time to share your thoughts through our online survey .
As always, I truly value the tremendous interest, passion and support our communities have for your local hospitals.
President & CEO
Quinte Health Care