On behalf of Central Health, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work undertaken by so many people this past week to provide support and care to vulnerable individuals in a time of crisis. On August 7, 2022, as a result of poor air quality conditions connected to the ongoing wildfires in Central Newfoundland, Central Health started the evacuation of patients and long-term care residents from healthcare facilities in Grand Falls-Windsor. Staff and Physicians mobilized quickly to support the transfer of approximately 40 acute patients to the Eastern Health region and 68 long-term care residents to the Western Health region over the course of a 24 hours period. In addition, emergency services remained in place at Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, in Grand Falls-Windsor, with support provided through staff and physicians. Many put their lives on hold, even returning from vacation, to assist. In addition, we had more than 100 staff members who made the difficult decision to spend time away from their homes and families in a time of crisis to provide care to those in need.
To our staff and physicians, I would like to say thank you for everything that you do and have done to support the transfer and safe return of our patients and residents.
Thank you also to our numerous supporting partners, especially Eastern Health and Western Health and their staff and physicians. When you saw people in need, you sheltered them, you fed them and you cared for them. The people of Central Newfoundland are so very fortunate to have such wonderful partnerships and supports in place.
I would also like to recognize and thank our partners at the provincial government. Working closely with a number of departments, we are so grateful for your support, guidance and quick response which allowed us to safely move those who were most vulnerable to the worsening conditions.
As President and CEO of Central Health I would like to thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for caring for our residents, patients, and accompanying staff as if they were your own. You went above and beyond to answer the call when we needed you most.