A leader in innovation: piloting a digital vaccine booking and tracking tool
With flu shots being more crucial than ever in fall of 2020, Bruyère was the first to pilot a new technology developed by CANImmuinze as a part of our annual flu vaccine clinics. Through our partnership with CANImmunize and the CAN Health Network, we deployed an app to help staff book appointments faster and fill out paperwork digitally. The CANImmunize Clinic Flow tool also alleviated the paper burden on our clinic teams.
Serving the community through our COVID-19 vaccination clinics
In April 2021, Bruyère opened its COVID-19 vaccination clinic in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health. To reduce barriers for high-risk populations in accessing vaccines, we also partnered with the AIDS Committee of Ottawa and local settlement agencies to offer vaccination clinics for their community members. A few special guests even showed up: Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, and our Member of Parliament, Mona Fortier.
Creating the DCP program and working with Connecting Canadians to help overcome isolation
In August 2020, we created the Designated Care Partner program to help patients and residents overcome isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions. Bruyère was one of the first to institute a program that trained caregivers to allow them on campus at all times, recognizing the important role family members play in the health and well-being of patients and residents. Our ongoing partnership with Connected Canadians also helped patients and residents connect with their loved ones virtually at the height of the pandemic when they needed it most.
Building health care capacity at Greystone Village Retirement and the Orleans Health Hub
To better serve our community and to build more capacity in the health care system, we added close to 50 beds in our hospitals in 2020. Then, in response to COVID-19, we opened an additional 120 transitional care beds at Greystone Village Retirement in November 2020. With the opening of the Orleans Health Hub in July 2021, we expanded our Geriatric Assessment Outreach and Brain and Memory programs to provide better access to our patients in the East end of the city.
Tenants creating beauty at Bruyère Village
Tenants at The Village beautified the grounds over the summer, all while fostering a sense of community and maintaining their well-being. Outside at both the Villas and Besserer Place, tenants look after flowers and butterfly gardens and have built a large garden where veggies are grown in garden boxes. So impressive is their endeavour that CTV News covered it on the news!
Going digital: virtual events to raise funds, mark milestones, and celebrate accomplishments
- Virtual Life Changing Breakfast and Bruyère Month
In November 2020, we hosted our Life-Changing Breakfast virtually for the first time. This signature fundraising event was one of our best, raising $880,000 to help support patient care and research across our campuses. Bruyère Ambassador Henry Burris hosted the event, offering powerful insight into how Bruyère rose to the challenges of the pandemic and how we are re-envisioning health care in the region. With our first ever Bruyère Month taking place in September 2021, we are rethinking how to engage with our community while raising awareness and funds. Local landmarks and businesses will be Tinting the Town Teal throughout the month in support of Bruyère, culminating in our virtual Yesteryears Breakfast.
- Marking National Indigenous Peoples Day
On June 21, 2021, we held a Summer Solstice event to welcome the sun’s blessing and celebrate the heritage, culture and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This virtual ceremony also acknowledged the tragic findings of remains near former residential schools and honoured the life of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman who died in a Joliette hospital shortly after being mistreated by staff members.
- Marking International Women’s Day
In March 2021, we hosted a virtual event highlighting the important role women play within our health care system. Our virtual panel featured leaders in their fields: Amy Hsu, PhD, Bruyère Research Institute investigator, Dr. Elizabeth Muggah of the Bruyère Family Health Team and the President of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and Anne-Laure Grenier, Quality, Resident and family-centred experience head for long-term care.
USWs stepping up to help during the pandemic
With COVID-19 restrictions preventing volunteers and visitors from coming onsite to provide support to patients and residents, we created the Unit Support Worker (USW) role to address the gap. Over the course of the pandemic, close to 100 dedicated USWs worked on various tasks across our campuses, including setting up virtual visits, helping patients and residents at mealtime, and providing much needed support to staff on the units.