Responsiveness to COVID-19: Emily’s House Partnership with Michael Garron Hospital as Interim Crisis Response to “put patients first”

Our CEO Rauni Salminen shares this update on responsiveness to COVID-19. An Emily’s House Partnership with Michael Garron Hospital as an interim crisis response to “put patients first.”

In a warm, encouraging communication to all staff and the extended care team, Rauni recognizes that: “It’s been a tough few weeks, yet you have pulled through with a team spirit, grace and skill. Your efforts and willingness to shift your learnings and responsibilities is a prime example of how our health care system can come together to work efficiently and effectively in a timely a coordinated manner when needed.  You are an integral part of helping make this happen, as you without hesitation stepped up to the plate rolled up your sleeves and moved into the arena. A practical example of how a truly integrated health system could work, ensuring none fall between the cracks, as all services are coordinated and available when and where needed.  Partnerships have been key to help navigate through this pandemic." 

Please see excerpt below from an article published by Michael Garron Hospital that mentions our Emily’s House partnership.

Working with peer organizations to put patients first

With the quick and expansive spread of COVID-19, hospitals throughout the city recognized a need for additional beds to make space for incoming patients. This is where Emily’s House, a children’s hospice in Toronto’s east end, came in.

With parents choosing to keep their children at home during the pandemic, the hospice found itself with several open beds that could potentially be used for other patients, regardless of their age. Thus, Emily’s House offered its spare beds to MGH, allowing the hospital to transfer stable adult patients to the hospice and subsequently increase its number of available acute palliative unit beds on-site. Transferred patients receive care both from Emily’s House staff and dedicated MGH physicians who also support staff if needed in adult palliative care.

“The project really demonstrates how beneficial hospital partnerships can be and how community providers are being nimble and responsive during the pandemic” says Karina. “It’s been so nice to see everyone come together – from the patients and families we’ve worked with to the staff making it happen. This is what cooperation and thinking outside of the box is.”

The benefits of this partnership have also been recognized by Emily’s House’s CEO and founder, Rauni Salminen.

“My entire team feels this opportunity to work with MGH is a productive and meaningful way to do something tangible amidst this crisis,” says Rauni. “It’s a way of standing with all the frontline workers who are so diligently and compassionately caring for the sick.  We are standing together with you all to see this through.”

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, MGH’s palliative care team hopes that these partnerships and initiatives serve as a reminder about what is possible when people work together.

“The work that has been done throughout our community during COVID-19 has been incredible and a real reminder that at the end of the day, we all, as providers, will do whatever it takes to keep our patients safe and comfortable,” says Dr. Joshi. “That is our goal at all times, after all.”