Dr. Ashley Verduyn took time this week to answer our questions about Providence Healthcare and the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s the Chief and Director of Medical Affairs at Providence Healthcare with an interest in making a positive impact in people’s lives. Dr. Verduyn loves getting to know patients and helping them find the best possible care.
What inspires you?
Our incredible staff. They’re an amazing and talented team of professionals who go beyond the call every day to provide compassionate care for our patients, residents and clients.
How is Providence Healthcare supporting staff, patients, residents during these more challenging times?
These are indeed challenging times. Our highest priority is keeping our staff and the people in our care, safe. Because COVID-19 is a new threat, we learn more about it every day and adapt as we go. As high-level recommendations, policies and protocols change—almost daily, especially in the early days—we have been nimble. Our staff courageously put themselves in harm’s way every day for the sake of others. We have to do our utmost to keep them safe.
This is a really hard—and lonely—time for so many of our patients and residents. Due to Ministry orders, our patients and residents are not able to see their loved ones in person. To help, we have purchased iPads and laptops so that they can connect virtually with their family members. We see big smiles on everyone’s faces when they get to see each other—even if it’s just through a video chat.
We’re also keeping our patients and residents safe by bringing medical services into our hospital that would normally only be available elsewhere. We’ve arranged for some acute-care level medical services at Providence so our patients and residents don’t have to visit the emergency room. And we’ve implemented a telemedicine system so that physicians can consult with patients without interacting physically.
How are people at Providence Healthcare doing at this time?
The measures described above have helped us maintain a level of relative calm and normalcy at the site, which helps keep stress and anxiety low; and helps reassure our physicians, clients, patients and staff during a challenging time.
All in all this has reminded me that people are truly wonderful... the heartwarming acts of kindness and love far outweighs the bad. In Toronto, people have been delivering groceries for the elderly, checking on their neighbours, setting up teddy bear walks for kids, and so much more. They’ve been clanging pots on their porches at 7:30 p.m. every evening to show support for healthcare workers. We hear you and we appreciate it!
Dr. Ashley Verduyn is Providence Healthcare’s Chief and Director of Medical Affairs.