A message to the Niagara Health team from President and Interim CEO Lynn Guerriero:
"One year ago today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
You may notice the flags across our sites flying at half-mast until the end of the month. This is in recognition of the gravity of COVID-19 in our community, and in honour of those who have died and their loved ones.
I am incredibly proud of how our Niagara Health team has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing high-quality, safe and compassionate care.
Saying I appreciate you is not enough.
It has been a long and difficult year. COVID-19 has affected us in ways we could not have imagined. Today, I encourage you to take a minute to pause and remember all that you have done over the last 12 months to care for patients and lift each other up.
I can also appreciate that it may feel like we are on a never-ending ride in some respects. Things have moved and changed so quickly, and there isn’t a lot of time to reflect on how much we have learned, how nimble and creative we can be, and how well we work together as a team.
You have gone above and beyond and made many personal sacrifices to care for others. You’ve earned the respect and admiration of Niagara residents, and I join them in thanking you for your extraordinary efforts, which continue to be a critical part of our community’s pandemic response.
We got through the first year by relying on each other and have a strong foundation for the next phase of the pandemic. Based on experience, we should expect setbacks.
While progress in the vaccination rollout is encouraging, I know that the recent government direction to change the time interval between first and second doses is frustrating and disappointing to many of you, as it is to me. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has committed to continuously assess vaccine effectiveness based on its recommendation to delay the second dose, and Niagara Health will continue to advocate daily for access to vaccines.
Today, I also reflect on the challenges and losses experienced by our community, and on behalf of the Niagara Health team, I’d like Niagara residents to know that we are always here – to care for you, and to support you.
Thank you, everyone."