Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is proud to be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020. Long before the coronavirus was on the radar, we had planned a series of events throughout the year to celebrate our first 60 years. The highlight of the year was to be a Strawberry Social Open House on the hospital grounds on June 27, 2020, the closest Saturday to the anniversary of our Opening Day. Although all of the in-person special events have had to be postponed due to the pandemic, we have switched gears and are delighted to be holding the Open House as scheduled, as a Virtual Open House instead!

The Open House will take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020 from 1 to 2 pm. Our program will feature several speakers, including MP Michael Barrett, MPP Steve Clark, and North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford, as well as a short history of KDH provided by our ‘resident historian’, Lynne Clifford-Ward, a new video highlighting our significant milestones, and more. 

Please join us on June 27, 2020 at 1 pm by clicking on this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/99462440080

UPDATE: Watch our 60th Anniversary Virtual Open House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOJim8mWWwQ&feature=youtu.be

This is a joint message from chiefs-of-staff at hospitals in the Champlain Region

OTTAWA – June 10, 2020 – Hospitals in the Champlain Region are taking a safe, coordinated and gradual approach to increasing scheduled services, which were postponed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While hospitals and their clinicians are eager to care for as many patients as is safely possible, this measured approach is in line with direction from the provincial government, which acknowledges this process will take weeks and months.

Care teams are reviewing each case individually based on medical need and urgency, ensuring that risks and benefits are properly evaluated before rescheduling the surgery, procedure, diagnostic imaging or clinic appointment that cannot be done virtually. Patients will be contacted as their care can be rescheduled. This increase in service is separate from the ongoing urgent care provided by hospitals throughout the pandemic. Hospitals have also been offering, and will continue to offer, many supports and services virtually throughout the pandemic, such as mental health care and follow-up appointments.

The work of increasing surgeries, procedures and services is being carefully considered and balanced with the potential need to respond quickly in the event of a surge in COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the region are collaborating to meet the provincial requirements prior to increasing services. Provincial criteria include: a lower-than-average number of patients in hospitals across the region, known as occupancy; appropriate staffing levels; and sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) supply; among other conditions.

We will carefully monitor our care volumes and adjust our plans as needed; decreasing some services again might be necessary if the region’s ability to meet the criteria changes, or COVID-19 activity increases in hospitals. And while some aspects of the patient experience will be different, such as fewer patients in waiting rooms, our teams will continue to deliver safe, high-quality, compassionate care.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in Ontario may last many months to years. As the region enters this new phase of the pandemic, the ability of hospitals to continue their increase of scheduled services is directly linked to the community’s ongoing efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. As a community, we must continue to be vigilant — following instructions from public health, including proper hand hygiene, physical distancing and masking protocols. This will allow us to avoid future peaks in transmissions, which would lead to decreased levels of service once again.

If anyone is in need of urgent care, we urge them to go to the nearest Emergency Department or contact their family doctor. Hospitals in the region are taking every possible measure to ensure patient and staff safety, and are here to care for everyone in need. Regardless of where care takes place in the region, patient safety is a top priority.

We would like to thank our community for their support and for their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we would like to thank all hospital staff, health-care workers, and essential workers throughout the region for their continued hard work and dedication. We will continue to navigate this exceptional time by working together.

Hospitals in the Champlain Region involved in this regional plan:

  • Almonte General Hospital
  • Arnprior Regional Health
  • Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital
  • CHEO
  • Cornwall Community Hospital
  • Deep River and District Hospital
  • Glengarry Memorial Hospital
  • Hawkesbury and District General
  • Kemptville District Hospital
  • Hôpital Montfort
  • Pembroke Regional Hospital
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital
  • Renfrew Victoria Hospital
  • The Royal
  • St. Francis Memorial Hospital
  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • University of Ottawa Heart Institute
  • Winchester District Memorial Hospital

Media Contact:

Michaela Schreiter, mschreiter@toh.ca

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is delighted to announce that the Municipality of North Grenville has proclaimed June, 2020 as “Kemptville District Hospital Month” in honour of its 60th Anniversary.

The month of June was chosen for this tribute as KDH’s doors officially opened on June 29, 1960. On that day, members of the KDH Auxiliary provided guided tours to more than 2,000 curious visitors. People from all over the region lined up to see what had been described in the Ottawa Citizen as “one of the best designed, most modern hospitals in Canada.”

The community was already very much invested in KDH, not only in terms of the financial donations that had made the construction possible, but also as a result of years of planning and advocacy by a determined group of local volunteers. “This district needs a hospital!” had been their rallying cry.

Over the decades, the hospital and the community have changed and grown side by side, through good times and bad.  When the Great Ice Storm of 1998 hit Eastern Ontario, KDH, with its diesel generators working at full tilt for weeks, provided food, shelter, and a respite from the cold and freezing temperatures. Now, as the community grapples with the ongoing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, KDH remains a haven of safety and security.

For the North Grenville community, having a hospital close to home is as important now as it’s ever been.

KDH continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the community. A major expansion in 2011, again financially supported by the community, this time through the KDH Foundation’s Lean On Me campaign, resulted in a new Emergency Room, state of the art Operating Rooms and Diagnostic Imaging suite. This was followed shortly after by the inception of KDH’s award-winning hip and knee replacement surgical program. Then in 2017, KDH opened its new clinic wing on the upper level of the hospital, where 4,000 square feet of under-utilized space was modernized to effectively double KDH’s array of outpatient services.

KDH’s further evolution now sees the hospital looking beyond its walls more and more. “I’m proud to say that KDH has become a leader in building and facilitating partnerships among health service organizations in the region with the aim of improving the coordination and integration of care,” said CEO Frank J. Vassallo.  “Current extramural efforts include working with multiple partners to help develop an Ontario Health Team, incorporating a much-needed initiative to increase access for children and youth to mental health and addictions services,” he added.

Long before the coronavirus arrived in North America, KDH had planned a series of events throughout 2020 to celebrate its first 60 years. The highlight of the year was to be a Strawberry Social Open House on the hospital grounds on June 27, 2020, the closest Saturday to the anniversary of Opening Day.

Although all of the special events have had to be postponed due to the pandemic, “We are not going to let the anniversary of our Opening Day go by uncelebrated!” Vassallo stated. The hospital has switched gears and will be holding a Virtual Open House on June 27, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. The program for the Open House will include greetings, videos, and a short history of KDH. The entire community is invited to attend – a link to the online event will be shared widely closer to the date.

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read
Communications Officer
Kemptville District Hospital
O: 613.258.6133 x 223 | C: 613.914.0195
Email: jread@kdh.on.ca

June 2, 2020 – With the Province’s decision to allow healthcare providers to resume services that had been deferred by COVID-19, hospitals in the Champlain Region are taking a coordinated approach to resuming scheduled surgeries, procedures, and other non-urgent clinical services.

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is working closely with other hospitals in the region to meet the provincial framework before increasing services. The timing of the resumption of services depends on a series of provincial requirements which include –

  • sufficient supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stock on hand;
  • regional availability of acute and critical care beds; and
  • sufficient staff available.​

At KDH, work is underway to meet those requirements so we can begin to gradually and carefully resume some of our services, while ensuring patient and staff safety.

As we begin to resume deferred procedures, we will continue to keep a close eye on the pandemic’s development. While we begin to increase our services, should there be further outbreaks of the virus or positive tests begin to rise, the hospital will need to once again slow down services.

For patients with previously scheduled surgery or clinic appointments, KDH will call them when booking resumes.

If the condition of anyone waiting for these procedures and surgeries has changed over this time, we encourage them to contact their family care provider for assessment.

If anyone is in need of urgent care, we encourage them to come to our Emergency Department.

We understand that the past two months have been stressful for everyone. KDH will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is joining the global “Light It Blue” movement to honour and thank all essential workers in the North Grenville community for their ongoing efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.

Starting this evening, the garden at the front of the hospital will be bathed in the glow of blue floodlights in a tribute to the healthcare professionals and other essential workers who are risking their health every day to keep the community safe and well.

Frank Vassallo, KDH’s Chief Executive Officer, noted that essential workers include first responders, grocery store clerks, bank tellers, people who work in drug stores, at gas stations, real estate agents, taxi drivers, and many more. “All of our essential workers deserve our heartfelt thanks for continuing to show up every day under the threat of being infected with the coronavirus,” he said. “This is just one way we can show our appreciation for their bravery during these unprecedented times.”

“As a small-town hospital with deep community roots, we wanted to honour not just our own staff and physicians on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, but all essential workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way each and every day,” continued Vassallo.

This is a collaborative initiative between KDH and the KDH Foundation, which supports high quality patient care at the hospital by funding priority medical, diagnostic and surgical equipment. The blue lights will illuminate the Foundation’s heart-shaped memorial stone garden and handcrafted pergola.

“We embraced this idea as it gives us an opportunity to honour all essential workers including KDH’s frontline staff, such as nurses, doctors, and other clinical professionals, as well as non-clinical healthcare workers like our housekeeping, maintenance and dietary staff,” said the KDH Foundation’s Executive Director, Joanne Mavis.

She noted that in response to an outpouring of donations from the community the Foundation has established a KDH Staff Support Fund.  Proceeds from this fund will be used to keep the hospital’s frontline and essential workers safe as they care for the community. Donations to this fund can be made online at https://www.kdhfoundation.ca/hospital-wish-list/staff-support-fund.

The “Light It Blue” movement originated in the UK and spread to the United States and United Arab Emirates before being adopted in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Blue lights are illuminating bridges, towers, power plants, football stadiums and other landmarks across the globe every evening to recognize the selfless efforts of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation

The Kemptville District Hospital Foundation (KDHF) is the registered charitable organization that supports Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) by fundraising for essential medical equipment that the hospital’s care teams need to care for patients. Government funding alone cannot supply all the equipment needed; KDH depends on the generosity of community donors to fund lifesaving equipment. Community support enabled the hospital to open its doors in 1960 and remains at the heart of KDH. Donations to the KDHF support the skilled and compassionate care that is happening every day inside KDH’s state-of-the-art facility. www.kdhfoundation.ca.

For further information contact:

Joanne Mavis, Executive Director, Kemptville District Hospital Foundation

Tel: 613.258.6133 ext. 185 | jmavis@kdh.on.ca

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Officer, Kemptville District Hospital

O: 613.258.6133 x 223 | C: 613.914.0195 | jread@kdh.on.ca

 

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is bidding farewell to its long-serving Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and VP of Operations, Andrew Pinhey, who has announced his retirement after 29 years at the eastern Ontario hospital.

Starting as an Accounting Payroll Officer in 1991, Pinhey was promoted to Manager of Finance in 1996 and Director of Finance in 2000, before ultimately assuming the role of CFO and VP of Operations in early 2016.

Andrew Pinhey

KDH’s CEO Frank Vassallo thanked Pinhey for his unwavering dedication to KDH and commended him for ably overseeing the financial operations of the hospital during almost three decades of growth and change.

“Over the course of Andy’s tenure,” he said, “KDH evolved from a typical small rural hospital into an integrated health service organization serving the local needs of North Grenville and South Ottawa, while making a contribution to regional health initiatives. During this time the annual budget grew from $6 million to $24 Million, and Andy navigated all the changes exceptionally well.”

“Andy’s retirement marks the end of an era,” Vassallo added, noting that Pinhey was born at KDH, and shared his commitment to the hospital with his father, Harold, who served 12 years on the Board of Directors prior to Andy’s arrival, as well as his mother, Avalon, who has been an active member of the Auxiliary for more than 30 years, and also helped establish the KDH Foundation. “Everyone at KDH wishes Andy all the best in the next chapter of his life,” concluded Vassallo.

Succeeding Pinhey as CFO and VP of Operations will be Marcus Hewitt, who completed the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program with a specialization in performance management and finance. Hewitt comes to KDH from the Municipality of North Grenville, where he was the Director of Finance. In that role he managed all treasury functions, oversaw long-term financial planning, and led a team of eight professionals. Previously, Hewitt served as Senior Analyst, Financial Planning and Analysis, at Brookfield Renewable.

Marcus Hewitt

Hewitt has a Bachelor of Social Sciences-Economics degree from the University of Ottawa; his licenses and certifications include Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and the Canadian Securities Course from the Canadian Securities Institute.

“We are delighted to welcome Marcus to KDH after an extensive search process,” said Vassallo. “He brings substantive financial skills and experience, strategic thinking ability, and a demonstrated aptitude in creating stakeholder relationships to our organization.”

Hewitt is excited about the opportunity to usher in a new era. “The evolution of KDH and everything it has accomplished around patient-centric care and building healthier communities is very impressive,” he said. “I am honoured to be joining the network of board members, staff, physicians, volunteers, and community partners who work together to make this hospital exemplary!”

Hewitt will take up his duties at KDH in May as the hospital continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Vassallo commented on the timing of the transition: “As we manage through these challenging times, it’s important to maintain clinical and operational continuance, so we will go ahead and manage this transition in our financial leadership in the most thoughtful and respectful way possible.”

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read

Communications Officer

Kemptville District Hospital

jread@kdh.on.ca

 

The Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) Auxiliary has made the difficult decision to cancel Hey Day 2020, scheduled for June 12thand 13th.    This would have been the historic sixtieth edition of the Auxiliary’s major annual fundraiser for KDH.

“In light of the amount of advance preparation involved and the uncertainty around the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt we needed to make this decision now,” explained Hey Day Convenor, Jolene Stover.

Held annually at the North Grenville Curling Club in Kemptville, Hey Day is one of the largest indoor garage sales in Ontario, attracting legions of bargain hunters, collectors, and treasure seekers. The fundraiser is made possible by its hundreds of dedicated volunteers who come back year after year to help.

Taken in 2018, this photo depicts the volunteers who had helped out at 10 or more Hey Days

“The Auxiliary would like to thank the many volunteers who would have joined us again this year as they always have, and the new volunteers who had already stepped up for 2020,” said Stover.

“We also want to thank the local businesses who would have supported us again with donations of much needed supplies and equipment,” she added. “Without their support, Hey Day would not be the success that it is every year.”

“And finally, we want to thank all of our neighbours, friends and family who have been saving items to donate,” Stover said. “We truly appreciate it and if possible we ask you to tuck them away for next year!”

KDH’s ‘resident historian’, Lynne Clifford-Ward, noted that Hey Day has only been cancelled one other time in its history: this was in 1967 during Canada’s centennial year, when the ageing Kemptville Arena, Hey Day’s home at the time, was demolished. In place of Hey Day that year, the KDH Auxiliary held a mammoth Centennial Garden Party on the campus of the Kemptville Agricultural School. It featured booths with candy, jam and jellies, a baking table and a wedding dress parade.

“It is poignant that this is also the hospital’s sixtieth anniversary year,” Clifford-Ward commented. KDH opened its doors to the public on June 29th, 1960.

All of the funds raised at Hey Day are donated to KDH to be used for the direct benefit of patients. Since its founding in 1959, the KDH Auxiliary has raised well over $1 million dollars for the hospital, thanks in large part to Hey Day’s success year over year.

“It has been a privilege to convene Hey Day for the past few years, Stover stated, “and I will miss the coming together of this amazing community. I am looking forward to the next Hey Day, on June 11thand 12th, 2021, and hope to see you all there!”

For further information, contact Jolene Stover at 613.558.1761.

About the Kemptville District Hospital Auxiliary

The Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) Auxiliary plays a crucial role at KDH, providing volunteers for every area of the hospital and raising funds for the direct benefit of KDH patients. The 200-plus members of the KDH Auxiliary give approximately 12,000 volunteer hours to their community hospital annually. Since its founding in 1959, the Auxiliary has donated more than $1 million to KDH through the operation of its coffee bar/gift shop, memorial donations to the Tribute Fund, and several events throughout the year. The Auxiliary’s major fundraising event is Hey Day, a giant garage sale held the second weekend in June. The profits of all Auxiliary activities are used for the direct benefit of KDH patients, primarily through the purchase of essential medical equipment.

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

Amid ongoing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, North Grenville’s WAY Collaborative is offering some basic tips to support children and youth experiencing heightened stress and anxiety manage their mental health.

“It’s normal to feel worried and overwhelmed during these uncertain times,” said Lorena Crosbie, Executive Director of Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville, a founding WAY partner. “And if you are already experiencing mental health issues, they could be exacerbated by the events unfolding day by day.”

WAY – Wellness Access for Youth – was formerly known as the Mental Health and Addictions Health Hub for Children and Youth in North Grenville. In addition to releasing the coping tips, the WAY Collaborative is also launching a new 800-line on Monday, April 6 2020 at 9:00 am: 1-866-741-1WAY (1929).

“Access to a wide range of services is now just a phone call away,” said Frank Vassallo, the CEO of Kemptville District Hospital, which has been working on the WAY initiative with close to 20 community partners since early 2018. “Children and youth and/or their families and caregivers just need to make one call, and WAY will connect them to the help they need.”

A good first step might be an appointment with a Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville counsellor, Crosbie explained. For youth who need help with housing, employment or support while waiting for a referral, WAY will put them in touch with Connect Youth. WAY can also connect parents and caregivers to help through PLEO – Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario.

Five tips to support mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

  1. Notice your feelings, and accept them.

You may have noticed changes in yourself, over the last few weeks, days, or even hours. Maybe your head hurts, or you have a stomach ache even though you know you didn’t eat a whole bag of candy like that one time…or maybe you feel so tired you could sleep for days. It’s natural for kids to feel all of these things when it seems like situations are outside of our control. Sometimes our bodies are trying to tell us that we feel worried, or confused, or sad, or lonely, or angry, or scared. Sometimes our feelings change quickly, and sometimes we feel everything all rolled up into one. Sometimes we may even think we feel nothing at all. All of these feelings are natural, and they are important because they are yours. Noticing your feelings, and letting them out is the best thing you can do to help yourself feel better. But how do you do this?

  1. Reach out to your supports.

Ask yourself, ‘Who can help me with these feelings?’ Pick someone you trust. Maybe it’s your mom or your dad or a big sister or brother. Maybe it’s your pet cat, who is a really good listener, or maybe it’s another trusted adult whom you could talk to by phone. Sometimes talking can seem too hard, or there doesn’t seem to be a right place to start. It can be helpful to draw your feelings, or to write about them. The key is getting them out safely, so they aren’t left hanging around inside. You can talk to your counselor if you have one or call WAY to talk.

  1. Focus on what you can control.

When you’re going through a lot of changes, it can be comforting to remind yourself what you do have control over. You can ask for help when you need it, from a family member or a trusted adult. You can also ask for the things you need. Some days that might be a hug from someone you love, or to hear that it’s okay to feel how you feel, or for someone to tell you this won’t last forever and we’re all in it together. Other times you might want some space to yourself, and that’s okay too.

We can also keep ourselves safe, by following information from trusted adults about staying at home and washing our hands and coughing or sneezing into our elbow.

  1. Keep doing activities you love.

It’s also important to keep doing activities you love – reading stories, watching movies, playing board games, singing and dancing, and connecting with the people you care about. Although you may not be able to be in the same space as everyone you care about because of the need for physical distancing, there are lots of ways to stay connected using your smartphone or tablet, or spending time with others in your home.

  1. Contact other supports if needed.

Call WAY at 1-866-741-1WAY (1929) to speak to a counsellor about current stress and anxiety or any mental health issue, and to get connected to any of the WAY partners whose services you need.

The WAY 800-line is answered Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays until 7:00 p.m. After hours please leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours. During the pandemic, services are provided over the phone.

Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville

Connect Youth

eMentalHealth.ca

KIDS Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868

Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health

mindyourmind.ca

PLEO – Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario.

-With thanks to Cheryl Gaumont and Samantha Schokking of Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville for developing the tips.

About WAY – Wellness Access for Youth

WAY – Wellness Access for Youth – is a collaborative made up of service providers who provide, refer, and support mental health and addictions services for children and youth aged 12 to 25 years of age in North Grenville. The overall goal of WAY is to increase access to safe, efficient, effective, timely and equitable integrated mental health and addictions services for children, youth and families living in North Grenville. WAY was formerly known as The Mental Health and Addictions Health Hub for Children and Youth in North Grenville and will be an integral component of the North Rideau Health Alliance Ontario Health Team.  www.kdh.on.ca/WAY/

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Officer

Kemptville District Hospital

T: 613.258.6133 extension 223

Email: jread@kdh.on.ca

 

“We’ve taken the appropriate measures to be prepared for COVID-19 and we’re here for the residents of North Grenville,” is the message from Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) today.

“KDH has taken a number of steps to ensure that during the COVID-19 pandemic the hospital remains as safe as possible for our patients, staff and visitors,” said its CEO, Frank Vassallo.

These steps include screening everyone entering the building and isolating those patients who are symptomatic for respiratory illness from those who aren’t, training all staff on appropriate use of personal protective equipment and assuring there are adequate supplies, and augmenting cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Consistent with guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Health, KDH is carefully scaling back non-urgent surgeries, procedures, and outpatient programming and clinics. These measures have been taken so the hospital is ready to take on potential COVID-19 cases and ensure the safety of patients, families and its workforce throughout the pandemic.

The hospital’s Emergency Department remains open 24/7.  “We are open and here to treat anyone experiencing an emergency – whether COVID-19 related or otherwise,” said Dr. Jonathan Rathwell, KDH’s Chief of Emergency Medicine.

“However,” he cautioned, “people should be aware that the health system is strained right now and everyone can help by not coming to the ER unnecessarily. If you are well, or have a chronic, non-urgent issue, you should do your best to stay out of the ER and contact your primary care provider.”

In addition, people should not come to the ER simply to get tested for coronavirus, Rathwell said, as that will overwhelm the system and there is no need in most cases.  People who suspect they may have COVID-19 should contact Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000), their local public health unit, or their primary care provider for assistance in determining whether they need to be seen and assessed or tested.

“Please do not present directly to the emergency department, as most people with COVID-19 can self-care at home and do not need medical attention,” said Rathwell.  “This will help protect resources and other more vulnerable patients who do need emergency care.”

If and when the need to treat COVID-19 cases increases, KDH has developed contingency plans to deal with greater volumes of people made ill by the virus. Vassallo noted that planning for larger-scale assessment and treatment of COVID-19 is in collaboration with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit.

KDH’s VP of Nursing and Clinical Services took the opportunity to commend the hospital’s clinical staff for their efforts during the pandemic: “Our nurses, doctors, rehab team, and lab staff have really risen to the occasion,” she said. “I am so grateful for their professionalism and compassion during these extraordinary times.”

Vassallo added his thanks to the rest of the KDH workforce, including dietary, IT, maintenance, environmental services, and support staff. “I can’t express how proud I am of the way everybody is pulling together,” he said.

“I am also grateful to our regional health service partner organizations in Eastern Ontario that continue to work together to provide seamless service delivery in our region, whether it is to address the high priority needs of COVID-19, or any other health matter that arises,” Vassallo added.

The KDH website’s COVID-19 page is being updated on a daily basis; the public are encouraged to check for further alteration of services as the situation evolves: https://www.kdh.on.ca/patient-visitor-info/covid-19-updates/

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Officer

T: 613.258.6133 extension 223

Email: jread@kdh.on.ca

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) has taken a number of proactive steps with the aim of mitigating risk around COVID-19 (coronavirus).

With the safety of KDH’s patients and families, staff, physicians and volunteers in mind, the following decisions have been made:

  • Restrictions have been placed on visiting patients until further notice.
  • Many non-acute outpatient clinics (specialist appointments) are cancelled until further notice. Some clinics will continue based on medical need or urgency. If your appointment is cancelled you will be called by the hospital.
  • All volunteer services have been suspended; this includes operation of the hospital’s coffee shop.
  • All large group events are cancelled until further notice.
  • All after hours meetings at KDH are cancelled until further notice.
  • All work-related travel is cancelled until further notice; personal travel is strongly discouraged; all staff and physicians who travel internationally must be cleared by Occupational Health before returning to work.

“I’m proud of the way KDH staff and physicians are pulling together in our efforts to control and suppress the spread of COVID-19,” said CEO Frank Vassallo.

The community is advised to consult the Public Health Ontario website https://www.publichealthontario.ca for up-to-date recommendations on screening, self-isolation, travel advice and public gatherings. Everyone is reminded as well to continue to practice frequent hand hygiene and careful respiratory etiquette.

If you suspect you may have novel coronavirus, call your primary care provider or local Public Health Unit and follow their instructions.  Please DO NOT present directly to the emergency department as most people can self-care at home and do not need medical attention.  This will help protect resources and other more vulnerable patients who do need emergency care.

As the situation evolves, we may have to monitor entry points. If you encounter locked doors, please use the ER entrance. And a reminder, please do not come to the hospital if you are ill.

Given the very fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation, please watch for future communications and advisories on this topic. “We will continue to be transparent and accountable in all our communications,” Vassallo said. “Our goal is to ensure all stakeholders are kept informed. The KDH team is very grateful for the collaboration and cooperation of all.”

About Kemptville District Hospital

Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides acute care hospital services, advanced orthopaedic care, and primary care management services.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Officer

T: 613.258.6133 extension 223

Email: jread@kdh.on.ca