It was an afternoon of celebration as more than twenty individuals across Scarborough were awarded COVID-19 Humanitarian Service Medals, including team members from Scarborough Health Network (SHN).

A total of nine incredible individuals from SHN were recognized by the MP Shaun Chen, Scarborough North, on behalf of the Canadian government, for their continued dedication and tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Dr. Reena Lovinsky: who as the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, played a pivotal role in guiding hospital policies and safe practices throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Norman Chu: who as the Chief of Emergency Department at all three SHN sites was instrumental in treating thousands of patients. He was also involved in recruiting physicians for support in setting up assessment and vaccination clinics.

Dr. Lisa Salamon: An emergency physician and an Ontario Medical Association (OMA) leader, Dr. Salamon worked hard to ensure physicians in Scarborough had PPE to practice safely, and provided leadership in testing and vaccinations of several nursing homes and vaccination clinics in Scarborough.

Ms. Glyn Boatswain: As the Chief Nursing and Allied Health Executive, Glyn not only lead the COVID-19 testing in Scarborough, but was also responsible to work with community partners to set up all the vaccination centres. Over 760,000 doses of vaccines were administered, including hot spots across Scarborough.

Ms. Petra Sheldrake: As Director of Laboratory Services, Petra was responsible for setting up COVID-19 PCR and antibody testing in the hospital and community, so that patients could be tested and treated quickly, including following the necessary isolation precautions.

Ms. Shirley Ward: As Director of Human Resources, Shirley and her team ensured that recruitment was ongoing to maintain adequate staffing during the pandemic as hospitals dealt with shortages.

Ms. Penny Karafile: As the Director of Facilities and Support Services, she ensured all the cleaning standards were met in all areas so that patients, staff and physicians were kept safe.

Mr. Kamau Young: As Manager of Information Technology supported setting up mobile clinics so SHN could provide services closer to patients’ homes in the community for testing and vaccinations.

Mr. Tyler Crocker: As Director, Plant and Facilities Operations led the oversight and supply chain for all the PPE supplies in ensuring that health care workers were kept safe while treating patients. He was also responsible for security staff at all different sites where pop-up clinics were set up for COVID-19 testing and/or vaccinations.

Identified as one of the hardest-hit areas in the province – where 16 of 17 Scarborough postal codes were designated hot spots and positivity rates across three assessment centres hit 27 per cent – SHN and its community rallied in spirit, resolve and with record-breaking donations and vaccinations. Since the pandemic began, SHN has provided life-saving and sustaining measures to COVID positive patients and compassionate care for those in need, and along with our Scarborough Vaccine Team partners have administered over 765,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses with more than 80 per cent of our Scarborough community now fully vaccinated.

Congratulations and thank you to all of our SHN team for your resilience, extraordinary accomplishments and dedication during these unprecedented times.