“No questions, just action!”

Colleagues’ cooperation and camaraderie across sites assures safe care for SAPA clients

On behalf of everyone in CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, I would like to express a heartfelt thank-you to all those who practiced such outstanding teamwork and displayed genuine camaraderie in coping with the effects of the emergency gas leak in Côte Saint Luc on September 6.

Close cooperation has now become second nature in our CIUSSS, and we can cite many examples of the way it has enhanced the day-to-day care that we provide. But it sometimes takes a sudden and potentially calamitous incident to properly demonstrate how far we have come in supporting one another, while minimizing disruption to the services that healthcare users receive.

I was pleased to receive a copy of an email in which Moira MacDonald, a SAPA coordinator at CLSC René Cassin, offered many examples of the assistance that employees at her site received, particularly from colleagues at CLSC Benny Farm. The problem was that Ms. MacDonald’s staff suddenly found themselves without electricity (no computers, telephones or lights), which meant that no calls could be received from clients, no schedules could be printed, and no referrals could be received.

In response, Benny Farm staff rose to the occasion by agreeing to take phone calls that were forwarded from René Cassin, print SAPA referrals for later follow-up, make work space available to René Cassin employees, and much more. Everyone rallied to organize schedules and visits on their personal cell phones, resulting in clients continuing to be seen and visits being completed. Several SAPA employees out on home visits even brought coffee and food to the few members of René Cassin staff who had to stay in their offices.

Ms. MacDonald notes that at one point, it seemed as if special measures might be necessary for René Cassin clients who were on oxygen and whose backup batteries might not last much longer. Barbra Gold (Director of SAPA) and Rosalie Dion (Associate Director of SAPA, Long-Term Care) were contacted for help and they immediately agreed that, if needed, these clients could be directed to one of the long-term care centres. “No questions, just action,” Ms MacDonald wrote. “They were remarkable!”

To me, this is a perfect example of what our CIUSSS has been striving for since it came into existence 3½ years ago. While improvements can always be made to the way we deliver health care and social services, we have clearly evolved—and are continuing to evolve—into a true network where the exceptional needs of users and staff in one facility can be supported by caring and concerned members of staff in other CIUSSS facilities.

Once again, I wish to extend my warmest thanks to everyone who did so much during the recent emergency and to all those who give so much of themselves for our users every single day.

Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D.
President and CEO