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March 09, 2022 Dear colleagues,

March is a significant month for recognizing some of the critical professionals who empower our work at Baycrest. On behalf of our staff, students, volunteers, clients and their families, please join me in honouring our Social Workers during Social Work Week (March 7 – 13), Music Therapists during Music Therapy Awareness Month, our Pharmacy Professionals during Pharmacy Awareness Month and our Dieticians and Nutrition Staff during Nutrition 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.

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. Throughout the pandemic, our Social Workers and Music Therapists have developed new programs, worked in much smaller groups and one-to-one, using technology to help keep clients, patients and residents connected, linked with families and supported their teams. Similarly, our Pharmacy Professionals have found novel ways to continue delivering outstanding care, whether through virtual consultations or nimbly adapting to changing best practices. Our Dietitians and Nutrition Staff have demonstrated unwavering dedication to our clients across the campus through their expertise, creativity and client-centred approach as they navigated the many challenges resulting from the pandemic.

Here at Baycrest, you will find these professionals in so many areas: in the Hospital, at the Terraces, in the Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged, and in community and ambulatory settings. These are important members of the inter-professional team, engaging with patients, clients, residents and families.

Social Workers
This year's Social Work theme is “More than Ever. Mental Health Access for All.” This year’s campaign comes at a pivotal moment for mental health. At Baycrest, we provide services to a population at risk for isolation and loneliness, among other conditions that could have a negative impact on overall mental health and well-being. Throughout the pandemic, the Social Work Department at Baycrest has been instrumental in working with the interprofessional teams to keep our patients and residents connected with their families and friends, helping them navigate the day-to-day changes of visitation and providing creative solutions to give patients, residents and their families more time together. Having a network of support is only one key element that contributes to positive mental health outcomes. As we look toward recovery from the pandemic, we could expect that there will be an increased need for this kind of exemplary support and thank our Social Work Department for their commitment and dedication now and always, to building connections to the right supports and right resources at the right time. #MoreThanEver.

Music Therapists
Music Therapy is an invaluable clinical discipline that uses music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health and well-being. Music Therapists enable all individuals to achieve optimal quality of life and improved physical, mental and social/emotional functioning through meaningful engagement with music, all of which are essential in supporting our residents, patients and clients through this pandemic and combatting social isolation.

Pharmacy Professionals
Baycrest’s pharmacy team, consisting of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, makes a positive impact on care as trusted medication experts by ensuring medication is effective, safe and tailored to the individual needs of the patients/clients; they provide education on medication use and medication devices, and ensure timely access to medications. People often don’t realize that on top of caring for patients, pharmacy professionals have played a critical role in the nationwide public health efforts to fight COVID-19, administering more than 17 million COVID-19 vaccines across Canada, as well as spending countless hours managing drug shortages, during the pandemic. Our pharmacy team prioritizes empathetic, individualized care and actively listens to patients to support their treatment goals and promote patient autonomy, advocating for evidence-based, patient-centered healthcare.

Dietitians and Food and Nutrition Staff
Dietitians across the country remind us of the importance of healthy eating and the positive impact nutrition has on our health and well-being. Baycrest’s Food and Nutrition team makes a positive impact on care by providing one million meals annually, in order to meet the nutritional and therapeutic needs of our clients. At Baycrest, registered dietitians and diet technicians are important members of the interprofessional team, engaging with patients, clients, residents and families to help them work towards better outcomes and optimizing nutrition management. This year’s theme is “Unlock the Potential of Food: Ingredients for a Healthier Tomorrow.” During March, dietitians across Canada are coming together to share how they can support you and make your future a healthier one. For resources and recipes, visit

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. It’s also an important opportunity to acknowledge the challenges you’ve faced and the intense pressures the pandemic has put on all health professions. It’s a time for us to rally together as a community and stand strong and proud for how far we’ve come and what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Scott Ovenden
President and CEO, Baycrest Hospital
T 416-785-2500, ext. 6594 | C 416 908 6901
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