NEWS in General – February 9

Don’t forget… if you got your 3rd shot somewhere else, be sure to let EHS know!

GGH News

Addressing the backlog of surgeries and procedures
Request for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee volunteers
What’s On Your Mind? answers posted

COVID-19 News

Mask requirement change when entering/leaving GGH

Other News

Homewood Cyber Security Incident
Physician Resource: Physician Empowerment
Valentine’s Day is coming!
Black Tie Bingo ticket deadline extended

GGH News

Addressing the backlog of surgeries and procedures

To allow for staff and resources to be redeployed to care for record-high numbers of critically ill patients throughout the pandemic, non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures were postponed or cancelled. Wait lists for surgical procedures were a challenge prior to the pandemic but have climbed throughout each wave.

In local hospitals, the total number of COVID inpatients continues to drop.

Across Waterloo Wellington,15,937 patients are currently waiting for surgeries or procedures, of those over 56% are cataract patients. Broken down across hospitals, the backlogged cases are as follows (and does not include endoscopy procedures):
• Cambridge Memorial Hospital – 1,922 (1,337 are cataract day-surgery patients)
• Grand River Hospital – 2,254
• Groves Memorial Community Hospital – 176
• Guelph General Hospital – 4,095 (2,400 are cataract day-surgery patients)
• St. Mary’s General Hospital – 7,490 (5,286 are cataract day-surgery patients)

“We appreciate how difficult these surgical ramp down periods are for patients who are waiting,” says Melissa Skinner, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “We welcomed last week’s announcement by the province which outlined a plan to phase in gradual increases. At GGH, cancer screening, some diagnostic procedures and some ambulatory care clinics resumed this week. We hope this is just the beginning and that over the next several weeks we will be able to gradually restart more and more. I can appreciate this may not feel soon enough for those patients and their family members who have been waiting so long. Our focus is moving ahead, carefully but with purpose. Our hope is to not only ramp up but do all the we can to plan to address the significant back log as well.”

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Request for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee volunteers

A message from Marianne Walker, President and CEO
In June our Board of Directors approved the following statement. “Guelph General Hospital (GGH) is committed to understanding and challenging racist and oppressive systems and behaviours so that all residents, patients, families, staff, and volunteers will experience inclusive, accessible, and welcoming health care spaces and services, free from barriers at GGH.”

During our strategic planning process, we heard from both staff and our community that we need to create a welcoming and safe place for everyone. We want to develop a culture focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion by recognizing and addressing oppressive systems and behaviours in offering care, building relationships and leading.

Much planning has taken place about moving forward with this work, including the establishment  a cross-functional Committee, which will :

  • Create space and support to understand the barriers in our workplace
  • Build organizational awareness about the experience of the workforce for those who may have experienced racism or other barriers to inclusion
  • Identify systemic barriers that are limiting our patient care and employee experience
  • Identify actions to help support an inclusive culture, and
  • play an essential role in supporting the equity, diversity, and inclusion change

The committee is open to all staff, volunteers, physicians, midwives, and our Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) members.  There will be a particular focus on attracting people who can share ideas and perspectives related to their lived experience as a person who is:

  • Indigenous, Innnu, Inuit or Métis
  • Racialized
  • Black
  • LGBTQ2SIA?
  • Living with or has a history of living with low income
  • Living with disabilities, including mental health
  • A person who has immigrated to Canada
  • Allies who are skilled in influencing change are welcome

If you would like to join this new committee and share your skills and experience towards developing the plan, please Email – (this confidential email will go to organizational development) or visit the Intranet page – to learn more about the work underway and ways to contribute and share your experience and ideas

I am excited to move this work forward. We have lots to learn and are committed to listening, learning, and making the changes needed to achieve our goal. I hope you will consider volunteering to help with this important work.

Thank you, Marianne

A recording of our Virtual Town Hall held Jan. 26 has so far been viewed 175 times on YouTube. The video can be found using this link.

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What’s On Your Mind? answers posted

During our recent Virtual Town Hall, time constraints meant five submitted questions went unanswered. These included; follow-up with staff on stress leave, capacity challenges and other topics of interest. These answers, plus another about making visitors sign out, can be found on “What’s on Your Mind?” Please remember, it is hosted on our Intranet and only viewable within the organization

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COVID-19 News

Mask requirement change when entering/leaving GGH

Starting this week, all workers entering GGH must wear a medical grade mask (i.e. procedure/surgical mask) when entering or leaving the building to/from your department. 

This is a change from the current use of personal face coverings (which includes cloth masks) when entering the building and then changing into a procedure mask.

The change comes from our COVID-19 Incident Management Team’s continual review of Public Health guidelines and recommendations, and wanting to put in place best possible protection for our workers.  As per the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), “In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection.”

Workers are asked to ensure they are wearing a medical grade mask at anytime they are in the building. There will not be boxes at staff entrances to access, please ensure you have medical grade mask ready to use when entering/leaving the building. If workers do not have access to medical grade masks, please take one from your department, and use conservation methods to keep the mask in good condition to use going in and out of the building.

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Other News

Homewood Cyber Security Incident

Last Thursday, staff were notified via email of a July 2021 cyber security incident experienced by Homewood Health, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) used by the hospital. Unfortunately, limited personal information, such as individuals’ names, date of birth and contact information was accessed, as well as some possible clinical data. It is highly advised if you or your family members have accessed EFAP services that you call Homewood’s confidential inquiry line at 1-833-787-2862. For more information, the email contents can be found here.

Physician Resource: Physician Empowerment

Physician Empowerment is a Canadian online community for physicians, designed to support the growth of one’s practice, as well as one’s life outside of work.  There are many free resources and mini-courses, such as “Balance your Practice and Personal Life” and “Perfecting the Business of Medical Practice,” as well as more involved options such as paid conferences.  Engaging in their resources creates opportunities to connect with others in the field, as well options to earn CME credits.  Check out www.physempowerment.ca today!

Valentine’s Day is coming!

Valentine’s Day is coming next week and your Directors will be provided with Valentines for you to give to your fellow coworkers if you would like. If you cannot wait until next Monday, please email HealthandWellness@gghorg.ca to request a PDF of Valentines you can print yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day! 


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Black Tie Bingo ticket deadline extended

Ticket sales end this Sunday, February 13. Come ‘Around the World’ with us and help raise funds for the new MRI scanner from the comfort of your own home.

Tickets include access to the live stream, a four-course gourmet meal ready to heat and eat, wine, access to the online silent and live auctions. You will also get to play a fun game of bingo, be entered for the chance to win raffle prizes, and so much more!

Don’t forget the Pick Your Prize ticket option where if your number is drawn you automatically get to pick any prize from our Live or Silent Auctions. Only 125 tickets will be sold and you are invited to purchase as many as you like while quantities last.

Purchase your tickets and find more information at, www.blacktiebingo.com.

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