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An Open Letter to Our Community


Restrictions Changes in Ontario

As restrictions begin to lift across Ontario, we are cautiously optimistic.  We know we aren’t out of the woods yet- the pandemic is still our reality.  In Southwestern Ontario COVID-19 cases are increasing and our hospital system partners remain under pressure.  While the Province has made some changes for the general public, our setting is unique. We are different from a restaurant, a school, a recreational centre, or a movie theatre. Unlike those venues, our families have no choice but to travel far from home to receive specialized pediatric and neonatal care in the hospital. We care for society’s vulnerable - newborns, cancer patients, children who have experienced traumatic injuries, medically fragile children, and those dealing with a variety of conditions.

To keep our vulnerable children and families safe, we must remain vigilant within the walls of our three programs (RMH London, the RM Family Room London in Children’s Hospital, and RMH Windsor inside Windsor Regional Hospital). Current covid practices and vaccine requirements will remain the same. We continue to serve in- hospital families in both traditional and creative ways including an expanded Cart with a Heart Program and Snack/Light Meal “Grab and Go” bags from the RM Family Room London and the RMH Windsor.  We thank you for continuing to understand and follow our practices and for your patience.

 

Keeping Families Close

We know family plays an important role in a child’s health care journey. We continue to monitor and adapt our practices to align with Provincial direction, local Public Health recommendations, and our partner hospitals. At this time, there will be no changes to the vaccine policy and proof of vaccination will still be required for all individuals inside our programs. When the time is right- changes will come.

We also recognize that some families have chosen to not receive a vaccination and we continue to support them in different ways in consultation with their care team in the hospital.

 

We are modifying our services, cautiously

We are working to find a balance between modifying services while protecting our families as well as our staff and volunteer resources. As hospitals move forward to address the significant surgical backlog, we need to ensure we can be there for families. These children and families are our relatives, friends, and coworkers. As a care partner and congregate living environment we need to ensure our doors remain open.   If our staff and volunteers are away due to illness or exposure, it compromises our ability to provide all elements of our services.  An outbreak inside our walls can have a significant impact.

We understand that everyone is tired. We are too. We feel for our healthcare partners and first responders. While we see the impact of the virus diminishing- cases continue to occur and we are closely monitoring what is going on in our communities and with our partner hospitals. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but for us- the tunnel is a bit longer.

 Thank you for understanding and for supporting our staff and volunteers.   They have worked tirelessly over the last two years to keep our doors open and our programs running.  To the families, we serve thank you for adapting to the changes and respecting our limitations.


Tracey Keighley-Clarke, RN, CON (C), B.A., M.H.S.
Chief Executive Officer

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