From My Heart
I am rarely at a loss for words. However, acknowledging the nurses in our health care system during these unprecedented times leaves me unsure of what I can say that truly reflects my appreciation, respect and admiration for you.
Over the last months, we have faced one of the most significant health care crises in generations. Through it you have been at the front line, providing direct care to affected hospitalized patients, and leading a full-scale public health response.
You're front and center, working around the clock to protect the health and well-being of patients and the public at large; in Long Term Care and personal care homes, through home care, palliative care, mental health, primary care, public health and of course in our hospitals. You have also gone above and beyond – without being asked – to help where needed at Health Links, testing sites, personal care homes, Occupational Health and acute care.
Not only has COVID-19 impacted your work, it has also impacted your families and your home. I have heard from some of you about how worried you are about your families. Will you bring COVID home? Will you have to isolate from those you love? If you get sick who will care for them? These are real life challenges you and all healthcare staff are facing every day, yet you continue to show up and lead the way.
And that's the theme for National nursing week this year, "Nursing: A Voice to Lead." Your voice – and your actions – are being be heard and felt by your patients, their families, your families and our health system as a whole.
We aren't able to celebrate Nurses Week the way we do each year, and we are appropriately acknowledging the contributions of all health care workers during this unprecedented time. But I still needed to write to acknowledge and thank you for all you do, even if I can't find words enough to express how much respect and gratitude I have for you.
Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Health Operations Officer