Pat Armstrong, PhD Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, York University
Amit Arya, MD Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University
Eric Hanna, CPA, CA, MBA, CHE President & CEO, Arnprior Regional Health
Ashley Verduyn, MD Chief and Director of Medical Affairs, Providence Healthcare
During the “first wave” of the pandemic, over eighty percent of all of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths occurred within the care-home resident population. In Ontario, the government set up the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, whose mandate is, in part, to consider the impact of existing physical infrastructure, staffing approaches, labour relations, clinical oversight and other features of the long-term care system on the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes. One of the Commission’s interim recommendations is to require homes to establish or enhance relationships with acute care hospitals and public health units, using a “model… based on trust, collaboration and respect on all sides for the expertise all parties bring to the priority of ensuring the health, safety and well-being of residents.” Some provinces already mandate these relationships.
This panel is composed of health care providers based in large urban centres, an administrator of an acute care hospital, long-term care home and community services in a rural setting, and an academic who has contributed to national sociological and medical literature on long-term care, comparing outcomes in long-term care residents in different Canadian jurisdictions.
How did these relationships influence long-term care homes’ responses to the pandemic? How can these relationships be established and strengthened in the short-term? What areas of collaboration, if any, do Canadian provinces and territories require long-term care homes to maintain with other health sector organizations? What are the risks in reaching out to help a neighbouring health care facility during a pandemic, and in the long-term? And how can these risks be mitigated?