December 18, 2020
The following message was shared with staff and physicians at London Health Sciences Centre earlier today:
December is traditionally a time for reflection, to look back on the year that was and recall its highs and lows. I can say unequivocally that 2020 will become a cornerstone in LHSC’s historic legacy.
For many, this has been a year filled with struggle, uncertainty and fear. People have experienced financial, health, and relationship challenges and the world has lost more than 1.6 million souls to COVID-19. I know that these realities have been experienced in some way by every one of you reading this message. And despite this, you have continued to show up, and rise to the daily challenges of providing health care during a global pandemic.
I was reminded of this last week in the face of a Code Orange, called as a result of a community tragedy. Despite the ongoing pandemic, an associated outbreak, and a regional capacity crisis, our people rose up and demonstrated exemplary teamwork, skill, and professionalism both inside and outside our walls.
These inherent capacities are borne out every day at LHSC. We are innovators. We are collaborators. We are continually looking for how we can improve. This has never been more true than throughout the pandemic and I am frequently in awe of the innovations – from simple to complex – that have been implemented efficiently and safely.
Above all, and at all times, we care. We care about our patients, each other, our loved ones, our community. And I am humbled by how you continue finding ways to express that care in profound and often indelible ways. You lead by example, showing our community how to care through your actions and behaviours.
This pandemic has necessitated endurance levels for which we may not have been prepared. Our colleagues at University Hospital, many coping with the personal sacrifice required of work quarantine, continue to show up and care. The same can be said of every person at LHSC who has continued to show our community that we are here, saving lives and changing lives.
This perseverance, commitment, and passion is what the people of LHSC will be remembered for in the years to come. Caring for those who need us in the face of adversity and anxiety. Extending grace, living our values, and supporting our community. This is not just what we do; this is who we are.
After so many grueling months that have taken their toll on our community, I am concerned you may not sense the collective gratitude that was once palpable. Please never forget that you are heroes; you just wear a different kind of mask. Every day your actions have the power to make a positive impact on your colleagues, your patients, and our community.
Despite the hardships of physical distancing and other measures to keep us all safe, this is the time of year I hope you can find new ways to focus on family, friends, and the traditions that mark us as human. These are what nourish us, and in my experience they often bring about a collective willingness to take a deep breath, and to extend peace and goodwill to one another. As we look to 2021 and the optimism provided by the COVID-19 vaccine, I hope we can continue to feel pride and a renewed sense of purpose each time we walk through the doors of LHSC.
This year has been exceptional. We will never forget its lessons and impact. LHSC and the people who are its heart will never be the same. We will be stronger, more resilient, and more connected than ever before.
It’s who we are.
With my deepest gratitude and wishes for a safe and health holiday,
Dr. Paul Woods
President and CEO