Story by Angie Gilchrist, Program Coordinator, Life Enrichment
Make no mistake. Not everything is doom and gloom currently in long-term care. As a matter of fact, the front entrance of St. Joseph’s Villa has never looked more colourful. Besides the photo-diary of our time spent “busy” in isolation from March to June, on August 20th the Villa’s Silent Auction went on display. Up for auction this year are 21 framed and hand-painted masterpieces done by the residents of St. Joseph’s Villa.
When large group programs ceased in March and physical distancing became a part of our new reality in long-term care, Life Enrichment Staff member Sadna Hettiarachchi reached out to Villa residents to share her love of art. Painting had always been an interest of Sadna’s and she was eager to be able to pass on that passion and enthusiasm to her residents. “The paintings turned out to be so beautiful and I could not believe my eyes!” And it is true. Everyone was very pleased with the results. “All staff members, residents and family members were elated with the result, taking time to admire the paintings, offered supplies to improve our painting and speaking with residents about their works of art. This further fuelled me to expand the program with more resident, projects and loftier goals.” There was some hesitancy at first when Sadna approached the prospective artists. “Whenever I (would) ask residents to come for painting they say yeah right, I’m not an artist, I’ve never painted.” The residents however would leave the program feeling “amazed” at their final masterpiece. “I can see it brings joy, keeps them active, engaged and for some, a reason for living.”
The art program has also inspired residents to pursue painting on their own with several residents investing in their own drafting tables and paint supplies for their room. When asked about the therapeutic benefits to the program Sadna believes the program “adds colour to their quality of life, helps to reduce stress , overcome loneliness, resolve conflicts, manage behaviour, increase self-esteem, self-awareness and many more.”
Sadna’s favorite memory from this remarkable program: “I have many sweet memories, when I was painting a Dachshund dog with a resident; she was in tears as it brought her memories back of her dog. She chose the colours of her dog, framed and kept it as a treasure in her room.
The Silent Auction will run until Friday September 18th. All funds raised will go to the Recreation Fund that assists the Life Enrichment Department to replenish supplies for recreational programming. The Life Enrichment Department is also currently considering producing a 2021 calendar which will include more resident artwork.
Your commitment to excellence and your contributions during these unprecedented times for the care of our residents has earned you this distinction and we certainly share in the pride of your accomplishment.
Left to right: Roger Leveillé, Site Administrator St. Joseph’s Villa; Doug Conroy, Manager Human Resources, Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations and Marcel Charron, President of Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor)
Earlier this month, Marcel Charron, President of Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor approached Glencore to ask if they could either donate PPE or provide funding to St. Joseph’s Villa and Villa St. Gabriel Villa to be placed towards the purchase of PPE.
Surrounded by Unifor staff members, Doug Conroy, Manager of Human Resources at Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations presents a cheque in the amount of $10,000 to Roger Leveillé, Site Administrator of St. Joseph’s Villa of Sudbury. The funds will be placed towards the purchase of personal protective equipment at both St. Joseph’s Villa and Villa St. Gabriel Villa. “Our gratitude is extended to Glencore for their generous donation to purchase much needed PPE for our staff” stated Roger Leveillé, Site Administrator, St. Joseph’s Villa.
The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is a national contest hosted annually by CanadaHelps.
In the month of June, every $1 donated (minimum $3 donation required) from June 1st through June 30th using the St. Joseph’s Foundation donation page on our website acts as a ballot to enter us to win a $20,000 donation.
All registered Canadian charities listed on CanadaHelps.org are eligible to win the $20,000 prize drawn on Canada Day, July 1st.
As a pure act of kindness, Johnathon Gillis and his family decided to make home made hand sanitizer for residents and staff at St. Joseph’s Villa. The special delivery package came with a heartfelt note from their daughter (see below).
“In these uncertain times, this thoughtful gift for our residents and staff is heartwarming and brings a tear to the eye.” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO/Administrator. Thank you to the Gillis family for helping keep the residents and staff at of St. Joseph’s Villa safe. It is truly appreciated!
In a display of strength and solidarity, staff and patients from St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre showed their support to their colleagues and to the residents of St. Joseph’s Villa who are currently in a COVID-19 outbreak.
“This act of kindness brought tears to everyone’s eyes and made the St. Joseph’s Villa staff and residents feel grateful to be part of such an amazing St. Joseph’s family. We are so fortunate to have such amazing staff working at both facilities. They are truly rock stars!” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO / Administrator.
St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, a 64-bed Rehabilitation Hospital and St. Joseph’s Villa, a 128-bed Long-Term Care home are co-located on the Village of Care site on South Bay Road. Both are distinct operations, with separate entrances and separate staff.
National volunteer week represents an opportunity for us to pause and express our gratitude toward our passionate volunteers who make it possible for us at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, St. Joseph’s Villa and Villa St. Gabriel Villa to deliver on our Vision of Making Lives Matter.
We are thankful to each and everyone of our volunteers, thankful – for their dedication, their loyalty, and their commitment to our residents, patients and staff. This past year, our more than 300 volunteers have contributed over 14,000 hours of caring support!
It is our time to applaud OUR VOLUNTEERS!
For those who are able to continue to volunteer during these tumultuous times, we are truly grateful. To all others, we look forward to seeing you again soon! Please stay healthy!
Today, Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Heath Centre confirmed that an outbreak has been declared at St. Joseph’s Villa long-term care home in Sudbury. Ministry direction requires a COVID-19 outbreak be declared with a single laboratory confirmed case in a resident or staff member. In this case, one staff member tested positive and is under active follow up with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
“St. Joseph’s Villa is working closely with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to ensure all measures are in place to protect staff and residents. We want to assure staff, patients, and families that the risk of infection in our facilities remains low,” said Ms. Palkovits. “None of the residents who were in contact with this employee is symptomatic and all are being tested. Residents continue to be isolated in their individual room. We are relieved to hear our staff member is no longer experiencing symptoms and is safely self-isolating at home,” said Ms. Palkovits.
“This is the first instance of a confirmed COVID-19 case being linked to a long-term care or retirement home in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “There are no cases among residents in the Villa,” added Dr. Sutcliffe
“With the declaration of an outbreak, additional control measures are put in place and overseen by an outbreak control team. In this instance, this includes the priority testing of identified residents and staff members, in addition to the already stringent COVID-19 protection action in place as required by provincial orders and guidance,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
Actions taken to date
As the facility cares for a high-risk population, St. Joseph’s Health Care has proactive policies and evidence-based practices in place to prevent any potential spread of infection. As part of precautionary measures with any respiratory outbreak in a long-term care home, all residents all residents are in isolation, in their own rooms, until further notice.
All St-Joseph’s Villa residents are being tested for COVID-19.
All St-Joseph’s Villa staff who were in close contact of the case are being tested for COVID-19.
All admissions to St. Joseph’s Villa have been put on hold.
Visitor restrictions have been in effect since the beginning of March.
Staff and residents are practising physical distancing within the home.
Staff screening occurs at the beginning and end of shifts, including temperature checks and all staff and essential visitors wear masks.
Residents are being assessed three times a day for symptoms of COVID-19. This includes temperature checks.
Case management and contact tracing
When Public Health Sudbury & Districts receives a report of a positive COVID-19 test result, staff follow-up with the individual as soon as possible. Public health professionals discuss the test results with the individual and explore possible exposure settings as well as close contacts of the case.
At the same time that Public Health conducts follow-up with confirmed cases, staff also begin the process of contact tracing. Through this process, Public Health identifies people who may have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 during the period of time when the person may have been infectious.
The purpose of identifying contacts is to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Close contacts are advised of important direction such as testing, self-monitoring, work-related direction, or self-isolation, depending on the specific circumstances.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate, then contact an assessment centre or use the online self- assessment tool to see if you need to seek further care.
For more information on how Public Health conducts follow-up after a positive test result, self- isolation, self-assessment, and assessment centres visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
705.522.9200, ext. 484 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200)
St. Joseph’s Villa of Sudbury Tanya Gil-Alfau 705.662.7500, ext 2104
Who wants to do the Monster Mash on Halloween when you can Mummify a Manager at St. Joseph’s Villa! October 31st brought out all the ghosts and goblins and four very brave members of the administration team who allowed themselves to be toilette papered from head to toe to see which team of front-line staff and residents could create the best Mummy. All teams put in a great effort, however after the residents weighed in with the “applause metre” the team who dressed up Lynn Munari, Director of Care at St. Joseph’s Villa took first prize. It was a joyful afternoon with lots of laughs that created a real sense of comradery as all staff and residents came together to celebrate the day.
St Joseph’s Villa Staff, Volunteers and Residents Celebrate Hand Hygiene Day
The evidence based Just Clean Your Hands program, launched by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in 2008 which was developed to help reduce health care-associated infections, has become a friendly competition between St. Joseph’s Villa, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre and Villa St. Gabriel Villa staff over the past years.
Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all staff for “Just Cleaning Your Hands!” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming more difficult, if not impossible, to treat. “Over the past years, our organizations have implemented strategies to increase our hand hygiene compliance rates. The data demonstrates that our strategies have and continue to be very successful” stated Ms. Palkovits.