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A Letter to Our Community – March 31, 2020




A Letter to Our Community

During uncertain times, we want our community to understand how Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is preparing to address the COVID-19 global pandemic. As always, ensuring the safety of our patients and team of dedicated and skilled professionals is our highest priority. We need our staff and physicians to be here for you, providing exceptional care to every patient, every time.

Ensuring safety has led to some difficult decisions – ones we wish we didn’t have to make.

In addition to screening every person entering the hospital, we cancelled non-urgent surgeries and procedures to reduce visits to the hospital. Under normal circumstances we never want to cancel services, but these times are not business as usual. In doing this, we have more resources to re-direct toward COVID-19 and most importantly, to help ensure non-urgent patients remain socially distanced.

As much as we understand the positive impact family and friends have on our patients, GBGH has restricted visitation for safety reasons. This is not a decision we take lightly. To help patients and loved ones stay connected, the hospital is now offering free television, phone and internet service.

We wish there were never times when we have to turn away our patient’s loved ones, but we need to preserve their safety as much as that of our patients and team. Patients will continue to need love and support as they return home, so we ask their families and friends to stay safe, practice social distancing and remain healthy for them in the future.

When it comes to love and support, our community is certainly showing theirs for GBGH. We appreciate everyone’s overwhelming outpouring of gratitude for our hospital team. It certainly does not go unnoticed and provides that extra boost our team needs to get through challenges. We are encouraging messages and photos of thanks for the hospital through social media using #AllHandsOnDeck, #HeartfeltThanksForGBGH and @GBGHFoundation.

As healthcare providers continue doing all we can to prevent the spread of infection, a COVID-19 Assessment Centre has been opened in Midland – through a partnership with Chigamik Community Health Centre and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. This clinic was established to meet the needs of community members who have symptoms. The Centre is available by appointment only to ensure social distancing and effectively manage the need for screening, and where appropriate, testing. Information about the Centre can be found on GBGH’s website – http://gbgh.on.ca/midland-covid-19-assessment-centre/.

GBGH is well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 taking all precautions necessary to ensure safety – both inside our hospital and in the broader community. Everything our hospital does wouldn’t be possible without our exceptional team. Each day they make us proud and confident we will meet the challenges ahead.

Gail Hunt – President and CEO, GBGH

Dr. Vikram Ralhan – Chief of Staff, GBGH