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Hospital staff honoured for dedication when storm closed the County

Quinte Health Board member Christian Sauvageau thanks members of the PECMH team for their commitment to their patients and each other during the major winter storm over the Christmas weekend 2022.

Quinte Health honoured staff from the County’s hospital for their commitment to patients, and each other, during the major winter storm Christmas weekend that closed roads following rain, high winds and heavy snow.

The Quinte Health Board of Directors expressed gratitude at its January meeting, impressed with the level of teamwork and commitment displayed at all four hospitals – but presented its monthly Values in Action Award to the PECMH team.

“They were hit hardest by the storm and deserve so much recognition for living all four of Quinte Health’s values and going above and beyond to care for patients and each other during this major weather event,” said board member Christian Sauvageau. “Thank you to this wonderful team.”

Prince Edward County was hit particularly hard by the storm that caused the OPP to shut down the roads, so getting to and from work was a challenge for many.

Most of the hospital team members were unable to get in for their day shift on Christmas eve, unless they walked. Recognizing the unprecedented circumstances, the nurses who worked the evening/night before stayed in the building for 30-plus hours, ensuring that the 20 inpatients were cared for. One ER nurse who lives close by, selflessly gave up her Christmas to come in Dec. 24th and 25th despite not being scheduled.

Food Service Worker Joseph Byford, who is fairly new to Quinte Health, worked evening shift on the 23rd and stayed around the clock on the 24th to make sure patients were fed.

“We are incredibly grateful to Joseph for taking the initiative to go above and beyond. He even prepared extra food for the team members who were working very long hours. As nurses we can do many things, but running the hospital kitchen isn’t one of them,” said Lisa Mowbray, Hospital Site Lead and Manager of Patient Services.

Another nurse who lives close by also prepared extra food for the team and the two Hospitality Services Representatives (HSRs) worked tirelessly that weekend, preparing unconventional spaces for team members to rest while maintaining services within the hospital.

Two physicians found themselves helping staff get to and from the hospital. There was digging, there were falls in hip-deep snow, there were acts of good Samaritanism by helping others who were stranded. Paladin staff also displayed incredible kindness digging out staff vehicles, and kept the main emergency room entry clear of relentless, blowing snow as much as they could.

Mowbray explained there are many to thank – even complete strangers who found themselves stranded in the waiting areas helped out where they could.

“To say I’m incredibly thankful, grateful and humbled by the team’s efforts is not enough. I have never felt so helpless knowing this was unfolding and unable to get there myself.”

The Quinte Health Board of Directors, expressing gratitude at its January meeting, for the level of teamwork and commitment displayed at all four Quinte Health hospitals and to the emergency services and municipal teams who helped keep people safe through the storm.

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