To say 2020 was an exceptionally challenging year for our hospital would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic, and recent COVID outbreak at GBGH, has put incredible strain on our team of staff & credentialed staff, as well as our limited capital budget. A great deal of our time and resources in 2020 were dedicated to pandemic preparedness, response and recovery. The many challenges we faced served to make us a stronger team at GBGH and despite all the difficult times, there were some incredible things accomplished in our hospital over the past few months.
The Midland COVID-19 Assessment Centre continues to be a great partnership between GBGH, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre and the North Simcoe Family Health Team. More than 17,000 people have been swabbed since March 25, and in November, we began offering online appointment booking via the GBGH website in addition to telephone bookings.
One of the most meaningful and historic highlights in the past few months was the immunization of our hospital team. In January 2021, the majority of our staff and credentialed staff received the COVID-19 vaccine. Our goal at GBGH is to always provide safe, exceptional care, so having the vaccine available to us this quickly brings hope and a much-needed morale boost to our team.
In October, our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was designated as a Level 3 Basic facility, which is the second highest designation an ICU can receive in Ontario with the exception of specialty units (i.e. Coronary Care). For a community hospital like GBGH to have this designation is a testament to our commitment of providing exceptional critical care. We are very proud of this accomplishment and what it means for our patients who can receive comprehensive critical care services in our community.
We also entered into a partnership with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to offer echocardiograms at GBGH, and we anticipate, in the first year of the partnership, nearly 1,100 patients will be able to receive this service close to home. The service is now available to GBGH inpatients and patients from the community referred by a physician.
Through it all, on behalf of the entire GBGH team of staff and credentialed staff, we appreciate all the messages of support we have received from the community. Your kind words and positive thoughts inspire us every day. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to a brighter year ahead.
To send a message of support to the GBGH team, please click here.