Message to our Community: Changes to SHN services and activities

To the Scarborough community,

Changes to Clinical Services and Activities

The spread of COVID-19 requires Scarborough Health Network (SHN) to prioritize essential activities, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and promote social distancing to keep our patients, staff, and volunteers safe.

The means we have had to make some difficult choices about what we can and cannot continue to offer at our hospitals in order to keep the resources we need free for COVID-19 management.

Please see below for a breakdown of the affected clinical services and activities under the dates these changes will become effective:

Phase 1 (March 16): 

  • Reduction in non-urgent surgical activities,
  • Closure of pulmonary function testing
  • Closure of Rehabilitation Outpatient Program

Phase 2 (March 18):

  • Reduction in non-urgent:
    • Diagnostic Imaging activities
    • Oncology Outpatient Program activities with considerations for an alternate model of care through telephone and/or virtual care
    • Cardiac Outpatient Program and Cath Lab activities
    • Arrhythmia Lab and Clinic activities

Phase 3 (March 23):

  • Reduction in Galaxy 12 Pediatric Clinic activities
  • Reduction in non-urgent activities for the following areas with consideration for an alternate model of care delivery through telephone and/or virtual care:
    • Medicine Outpatient Programs
    • Nephrology Outpatient Programs
    • Diabetes Outpatient Programs
    • Mental Health Outpatient Programs
    • Heart Function & Cardio-oncology Outpatient Program
    • Stroke Prevention Clinic

Changes to Non-Clinical Services and Activities

SHN relies on the incredible generosity and energy of our many wonderful volunteers to help us provide a number of our services. For their protection, and to maintain proper control over who is in our hospital environments at all times, we have asked volunteers not to come in at this time. Therefore, please note that some of the usual services and activities you may be familiar with at SHN will be impacted.

Read below for the status of certain non-clinical services and activities. All changes/cancellations/closures are effective immediately and will be in place until further notice.

Impact on Volunteer Services:

  • For the health and safety of volunteers, particularly those who are elderly, all Volunteer Services (including Patient Family Advisors and Spiritual and Religious Care Volunteers) have been cancelled
  • As volunteers are critical to operating hospital gift shops, they have been closed

Impact on Spiritual and Religious Care:

  • To support social distancing, Worship Services will only be conducted virtually and livecast on Channel 76 for General and Birchmount
    • Centenary does not have access to Channel 76, so staff are exploring another technology solution
  • Visiting clergy supporting patients on a 1-on-1 basis will continue
    • They will be treated as visitors and will be screened upon arrival

Impact on the Cardiac Rehab Program:

  • Normally we have over 100 volunteers onsite and at our satellite sites helping with peer support and education
    • We are working on how to leverage technology to provide this care virtually in order to continue this essential work

Impact on the Information Desk services:

  • Volunteers will not be available to gather wheelchairs and return them to the lobby for use by patients

Impact on Registration Kiosks:

  • At our Centenary hospital, there will not be volunteers to assist with using the patient registration kiosk machines, so please ask someone nearby for help if you need it and try to be understanding

Impact on CAVA the (Call ahead for Volunteer Assistance) program:

  • As this service will not be available, please leave extra time to get to your appointments

The decision to make these changes has been an extremely difficult one, as we know they will be disappointing to many of you. Please understand these measures are only being made to match the severity of the situation we are now in. These services and activities are part of what makes our hospitals such wonderful places for care, and will be reinstated as soon as possible.

We apologize in advance for any inconveniences this will cause and thank you for your understanding as we work through this challenging time together.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO signature

Elizabeth Buller,
President and CEO

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