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December 18, 2020

2020 Celebrations: Compassion and care during COVID


Caring for COVID-19 patients: a second wave

As COVID-19 spread in the community, Hamilton hospitals recognized the need to consolidate COVID care and expertise in fewer, select locations. At Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), unit 8-West at the HGH site became the spot, later transitioning to 5-West. Read.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant health emergency of our time and certainly the top story of our look back at 2020.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) helped lead the pandemic response for our community, our province and our country. The accomplishments we achieved together are remarkable. It’s clearer than ever that HHS is an organization of exceptional strength and capability. The stories we covered throughout this unprecedented time in our hospital’s history capture the compassion, bravery, creativity and expertise of the people who work in every corner of this organization.

Our teams rallied together to set up an assessment centre, develop new policies and procedures, implement screening stations across our sites, and respond in support of community and long-term care partners in crisis. At the Hamilton General Hospital, two units were designated to care for COVID-19 patients, one in the spring and one providing staff relief and taking over in the fall. There was significant clinical and emotional learning shared from 8-west to 5-west.

To help support families affected by childhood diabetes, a team from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences’ McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) launched a diabetes and COVID-19 website. Experts from MCH also collaborated with other Ontario hospitals for the ongoing effort to support the safe reopening of schools in the fall. Additionally, our infectious disease specialists stepped up to provide timely advice for parents-to-be and parents with newborns.

Together with our partners at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, HHS opened a new, temporary health facility in downtown Hamilton to increase healthcare capacity in the face of a second wave of COVID-19. HHS was also called on to provide leadership at long-term care homes in the community.

COVID-19 was the dominant story of 2020 and will continue to influence every aspect of medical care as we move into a new year.

Read all the 2020 celebration stories this month.