CEO Weekly Newsletter - November 1, 2021

 Happy Halloween 

 For a second Halloween in a row, Yellowknife finds itself in yet another pandemic environment. This Halloween however, AVENS is still recovering from our recent outbreak, so festivities where more restricted than originally planned. 

 Even with stricter safety parameters in place, the incredible Recreation and Wellness Team did a fantastic job in finding that perfect balance of spook-tacular fun with our residents. 

 Halloween holds a special significance in seniors’ lives. For many, the yearly spook-fest is and opportunity to re-live youthful memories. In years past, many of the dressed-up grandchildren were allowed in the facility where the seniors were delighted with all the costumes and the trick-or-treating that followed. 

 This year, Halloween was fun and enjoyable for all. Some of the activities included, pumpkin decorating, scary spooky movies, and even some costumes on parade. 

 Halloween treats in the Manor with host and Recreation and Wellness member Holly

As well this year, with our new bus, a group of half a dozen senior adventurers took to the Yellowknife streets on a quest to find the most decorated house. Fun times were had by all! 

Covid restrictions also meant we had an extra supply of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers readily available. Virtual Halloween hangouts with family occurred for many which provided the perfect opportunity to get everyone involved, while keeping everyone safe. 

A guest cameo from none other than Nintendo’s Marioand Luigi

One of the many Yellowknife houses fully decorated for Halloween. Notice the shadow silhouette of the bus in the background 

Housekeeping Team member Delia Weir taking a moment to celebrate Halloween in the Manor 

Freddy Kruger (aka Director of HR) even had time to “slice-up”a Halloween themed Lunch and Learn session for the ManagementTeam. The topic was on employee burn out

Our Management Team’s Friday coffee was a little bit more spooky than normal

Hoping that maybe Halloween 2022 will bring AVENS back to some of our normal festive practices. 

We definitely miss our families and our little ghosts and goblins visiting our facility! 

Tim’s Rrrroll Up To Win 

It’s Tim Hortons Rrrroll up to win in Canada and AVENS is one of their number one fans. 

The incredible Recreation and Wellness crew loaded up our AVENS Tim’s mobile cart with an array of fresh goodness. As they travelled last week from Cottages to the Manor, you could hear the laughter and joy in the air. 

That was not all that was in the air, in fact, the smell of glazed doughnuts and fresh coffee was hard not to miss. 

There goes my diet! 

Some of our Manor residents enjoying some fresh Tim Hortons Coffee and doughnuts from our AVENS Tim’s mobile cart (inset) 

Again, a heartfelt shout out to the incredible Recreation and Wellness Team for always going the extra mile for our seniors… one sip at a time or one doughnut bite at a time. 

You are all GEMS! 

AVENS Vaccination Policy, Testing & Booster 

Starting November 1st, 2021, AVENS has enacted our newest operational policy HR 036- Covid-19 Vaccination. 

However, before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to thank AVENS employees for your steadfast support throughout the pandemic. We hope that you and your family are fairing well despite the many challenges we have collectively faced and continue to endure related to this pandemic.

A lot has happened within healthcare facilities regarding Covid-19 vaccines, both locally and nationally, over the past couple of weeks relative to requiring staff to become vaccinated. 

We all know that science and data point to the vaccine’s critical role in protecting our residents and each other from this deadly disease. This is further evidenced by the recent announcement that the GNWT will be requiring all their workers and contractors to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by November 30th, 2021. 

AVENS is in-line with our GNWT partner 

We encourage you to review this policy (A copy has been emailed to you and is available in each staffroom) and should you have any questions or concerns to please speak to our Human Resource Department. 

Vaccination is the first step towards prevention 

The vaccine is effective in reducing illness and saving lives and we encourage everyone who is medically able to get vaccinated. 

With all the recent community activity with Covid-19 and a growing list of exposure sites, AVENS has been in what we classify as “Red Alert”, per OCPHO guidelines. 

This means that AVENS has had to be more vigilant with all our Covid-19 measures, including the restriction of access to non-employee personnel. We know that this has been extremely hard on our residents, but this is for everyone’s safety.

More recently, we had our first outbreak at the end of September and AVENS was declared an outbreak site. While Covid-19 screening and testing occurred immediately thereafter with various methods, AVENS finds itself now in a holding pattern for testing while still being declared an outbreak site. 

This means that weekly, our residents are being tested using the PCR method (This is where samples are being sent to Stanton Lab) and employees are being tested on Tuesday and Friday’s with the Abbott Panbio rapid antigen screening tool. 

It is important that all AVENS employees adhere to the orders from the OCPHO while these testing conditions are being implemented. We will accommodate those who miss a testing time due to illness, however, a missed testing appointment will affect your ability to perform your duties for your next shift. 

We hope this cautionary note and the previous memo’s that you have received will emphasize the importance of AVENS and its employees in adhering to these emergency health orders. 

We hope that testing is not permanent, but for now, we have to do our part to keep our facility safe. 

Finally, we have some good news to share regarding the ability for our employees to receive their 3rd Moderna Vaccination, or as some have coined it, our “Booster”. 

As of October 27th, 2021, Yellowknife Public Health allowed AVENS employees to attend the walk-in clinic at Centre Square Mall, during regular scheduled hours to receive this third dose. 

Covid-19 booster shots have arrived 

Appointments are not required, but you will need to bring a copy of the memo that was sent to your email on October 27th, 2021 for proof that you work at AVENS. 

Once you choose to receive the 3rd dose of the Moderna vaccination, it is very important that you let the Department of Human Resources know or you can inform the Director of Care. 

Again, should you have any questions or concerns about anything related to Covid-19, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Director or my office. 

Care On Call: The Bell Has Rung! 

Last week we featured the exciting launch and the community wave launch of Operation Care on Call. Our community did take notice. 

Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful support we are gettting: 

Early out of the gate was Cabin radio 

Then came a front page cover in the Friday NNSL Yellowknifer 

This same Friday NNSL paper also featured a two page spread. Absolutely wow! 

Our socical media Twitter feeds were in full force. Here we see one of our Twitter posts

Our instagram page showed a lot of support out there 

Lasty, our AVENS Facebook account saw a lot of likes and shares 

Next week, we will take a more indepth look at some of our early donors to this fundraising campaign and talk a bit more about the on-line voting of Operation Care on Call with the Field Law Community fund which is on NOW. 

Please go and vote! 

At anytime, if you want to know more about Operation Care on Call, please visit our website. 

Remember…Quick response matters!