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May 06, 2022 Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of our staff, students, volunteers, clients and their families, please join me in honouring our Nurses, Personal Support Workers, Physiotherapists, Physiotherapy Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. The week of May 9 is National Nursing Week, May 19 is Personal Support Workers Day, and May is National Speech and Hearing Month and National Physiotherapy Month. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on and appreciate the leadership and commitment of these professionals and acknowledge their contributions in healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baycrest’s 400+ nurses – Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners – play a significant role across our campus in a variety of settings (in-patient, residential, ambulatory, outreach, and virtual), and in their varied roles spanning clinical practice, education, research and administration. Nurses support the person, family or group with their physical, psychosocial, behavioural and personal care needs. The nurse is often the coordinator of care and a strong advocate for the individual and his/her family. Let’s commemorate Nursing Week with “A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.” As we mark National Nursing Week this year, it is recognized that we are entering the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taxed our society and healthcare system and has had a profound impact on nurses and the profession here at home and around the globe. As we commemorate Nursing Week this year, we recognize the value and contribution of nurses, and also acknowledge the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic.
Personal Support Workers
Baycrest’s PSWs work collaboratively with physicians, nurses and other members of the healthcare team to deliver exceptional patient care and contribute meaningfully to the client and family experience. Personal Support Workers Day is an opportunity for us to recognize the essential role PSWs provide as part of the interprofessional team. As we all know, the current environment we find ourselves in is truly unlike any other. These dedicated staff members have gone above and beyond, like so many of their colleagues, during the challenges of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, the essential services provided by Personal Support Workers have been instrumental in keeping our residents and patients safe and well cared for. 
Physiotherapists and Physiotherapy Assistants
The theme for National Physiotherapy Month is “Physiotherapy, a key component to Long COVID recovery and optimal care.” The Physiotherapists and Physiotherapy Assistants who work across Baycrest are critical partners with all of our teams. Now, more than ever, they have adjusted to support the ongoing pressures across the healthcare system and are working with their colleagues to ensure the best possible patient care is being provided. Physiotherapy expertise is proving to be a critical partner in Long COVID support and recovery. Even as we begin to emerge from more than two years of dealing with the pandemic, we are learning about the need for safe rehabilitation interventions for people who have experienced COVID-19, people living with Long COVID and those who support them. The clinical decision-making of our physiotherapists can help with appropriate management, education and recognition of our patient experiences. Our Baycrest physiotherapists and assistants are embracing these new challenges, staying positive in their interactions with patients and families, supporting their colleagues and continuing to be the best that they can be.
Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Audiologists raise awareness about communication health, highlighting the importance of early detection and intervention of communication disorders, and the role their disciplines play in helping people to “Speak well. Hear well. Live well.” This year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) will focus on drawing attention to the importance of access to SLP and audiology services in long-term care. Audiologists and SLPs play an important role in helping our clients with speech and hearing problems to communicate. Audiologists optimize communication ability for clients with hearing loss by identifying, assessing, treating and rehabilitating hearing difficulties. SLPs assess, treat and manage patients with communication and swallowing disorders. At Baycrest, they work as part of the interprofessional teams in our ambulatory clinics and hospital units. Throughout the pandemic, our Audiologists and SLPs have worked alongside other healthcare practitioners in redeployment to front-line care, demonstrating their breadth of skills and unwavering commitment to Baycrest staff, patients and residents through their support in COVID-19 testing, feeding assistance and facilitating virtual visits with families and physicians. They found creative solutions to the communication challenges posed by pandemic precautions such as mask-wearing and social distancing in an effort to keep our clients connected to their loved ones when they were unable to see them in person.
Please join us in recognizing these exceptional groups of professional staff for the tremendous role they play in the lives of those we serve each and every day.
Thank you to all the Baycrest healthcare providers for going above and beyond during these unprecedented times.
Scott Ovenden
President and CEO, Baycrest Hospital
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