Starting a new job in a key healthcare leadership role in the middle of Canada’s worst pandemic in a century has a new set of stresses attached to them.
Stacey Daub, new President and CEO of Quinte Health Care (QHC), has been tackling the her new position since January and expressed what its like being an incoming CEO in the midst of a pandemic as well as other topics during a virtual Zoom meeting with the Rotary Club of Picton Tuesday.
Prior to coming to QHC, Daub had done much of her previous work around the role of medium and small hospitals and their capabilities in their local communities.
That led her a recent site visit at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital to help understand what is happening inside the Emergency room during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“I have spent a lot of time out at the hospitals,” Daub stated. “I was at Picton last Friday, spending the day at the hospital and I truly believe you can’t understand the experience of the staff, the physicians or the patients unless you actually spend a lot of time by their side so I’ve been quite active. Last Sunday I spent the day at the Belleville General Hospital intensive care unit in the emergency department and given the pressure they’re under, all I can say is they’re just so thankful your there by their side to hear what’s on their mind and to support them.”
Daub also spoke of the family-oriented feel at PECMH that radiates from the staff to the patients.
“I have been at all four hospitals and they are all unique and different,” said Daub. “One thing I will say is the smaller hospitals like North Hastings and Prince Edward County (PEC), they have a different culture and feel to them and I know when pateints visit them they feel that. They feel more family-oriented and many of the staff who work there also have many family members and they care for there own family members. It’s the four hospitals and their relationship between each other that really creates the strength for a community and I think there is so much more we can do to bring more services close to our community if we work hard to think of strengthening each individual hospital but the hospitals as a group.”
Settling in Ameliasburgh, Daub went on to talk about her experience since arriving in PEC and how capacity is a big challenge here in the hospitals.
“I came in January and we were in the midst of the second wave,” Daub expressed. “There were a lot of capacity challenges here so the hospitals were very full and just to give you an example, PECMH usually operates at an occupancy of inpatients at around 8 to 10 patients. They’ve been supporting between 20-25 patients on a day-to-day basis. Since Januarythe team there has been amazingly resilient and creative in figuring out how to create that capacity.”
Daub added she was worried when she first arrived about older adults in long term care homes and retirement homes getting vaccines as well as the build up seniors in the hospitals who were unable to be admitted to those long term care facilities due to the waves of COVID and restrictions on admittance.
“One concern when I arrived was access to local vaccines especially for long term care home and retirement homes,” said Daub. “We were successful with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health in advocating to get those vaccines out to older adults in (LTC) and retirement homes to protect them. But it also means long term care homes and retirement homes aren’t really admitting patients and individuals, so we have a very large number of Alternate Level of Care individuals who should not be at the hospital and really could be cared for better in a long term care home or retirement home. I visited many of them in PEC on Friday and quite honestly, it’s a tragic set of circumstances to see older adults in a hospital for such an extended period of time. Having said that, watching the teams and their creativity in the way they are supporting the individuals I feel they are very well cared for. We really have not been able to get people back out into the community, so during the second wave it was very challenging.”
Four months into her career at QHC, Daub expressed that the organization was a really good match for her skill set, not only for the geographic beauty of the region but also what the hospital group stands for and how it aligns with her beliefs.
“When Quinte came up I think it really made a good match,” Daub said. “Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in the world but I think the history of the four hospitals, the history of their relationship within their communities and the opportunities ahead of us- I think is a really good match for my skill set and what I believe in. So as I come to this community I’ve heard about the history, I’ve heard from each of the communities about the concerns for their hospital, about the erosion of local services, about their worry about tomorrow and what I can only commit to you is that I will be a fierce advocate for all four hospitals because I believe very strongly in the goal of having high quality compassionate care that’s close to home as possible.”
For more information on QHC please visit https://www.qhc.on.ca/
For more information on the Rotary Club of Picton please visit https://portal.clubrunner.ca/1145