Letter to Carewest employees from COO Dwight Nelson

To our valued and dedicated staff,                                                                                                                                             Jan. 7, 2021                                         

Like many of you, I am deeply saddened to hear the news that three healthcare employees have passed away in our province, due to complications from COVID-19. Like many of you, I grieve their tragic loss.

I am humbled by the tireless dedication and commitment of health care employees in our province – including Carewest – which has not wavered since the start of the pandemic. Carewest staff have been doing everything they can to protect the health of the people they care for and their fellow colleagues over the past 10 months and I know that does not come without an element of risk.

Carewest staff may be feeling anxious in light of the passing of these health care workers, as Carewest sites continue to cycle through outbreaks of COVID-19. As the virus circulates in the community, the risk of its entry into our care centres is higher. COVID-19 is a dangerous virus but preventing its transmission is within our control.

We know that we are living in truly extraordinary times. We are experiencing circumstances that no one in our generation has before. Every day brings new information, new guidelines, and new expectations of us all, as we come together to keep our clients, staff and families safe and healthy in the wake of the spread of this virus. It has changed our routines, changed the way we interact with each other and changed our lives.

But COVID-19 will not be a threat forever. Even today, there is light at the end of the tunnel as our staff register for appointments to be vaccinated against the virus and as we plan the rollout of the vaccine to residents and clients.

Meanwhile, we must all continue to be vigilant in everything we do, at work and at home. We must continue to follow all public health orders, continue to limit our contact at home to those in our household, continue to wear masks in indoor public places, and continue to change the way we do business – even if that business is as simple as buying groceries.

While in the workplace, we also must continue to be vigilant. Proper donning and doffing of PPE is critically important to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 between our colleagues or to our residents and clients. We must continuously mask and wear eye protection to keep ourselves and each other safe. We must practice unwavering hand hygiene and never ever come to work while sick – even with the mildest of symptoms.

While I am heartened Carewest is in the first phase of vaccination rollout for many of our health care staff and residents, it will still be months before all those who want the vaccine can receive it. While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we must still travel down its length.

During the next few months, I want you to remember how much you are valued and appreciated. Know that every time you push yourself, work long hours, feel overwhelmed – all while continuing to smile and comfort those we care for – it doesn’t go unnoticed. You continue to impress upon us your ability to be flexible, your capacity for resiliency, and an unfailing demonstration of our values and our philosophy of care.

We are working in a tumultuous environment, full of upheaval, change and uncertainty. Our staff, who continue to provide a standard of excellence in care, are without question, the heroes of today. It is with heartfelt appreciation that I say thank you for everything you do.

Best wishes to all – may you stay safe and healthy.


Dwight Nelson
Chief Operating Officer


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