Report from the Board Chair
As we embark on the fall season, we are pleased to share this report on the past year from Cathie Auger, the chair of the McCormick Care Group Board of Directors:
This past year, we have seen a marked improvement on the COVID-19 pandemic front. In particular, we saw the relaxation of a number of long-standing pandemic-related restrictions in our community and in our dementia and long-term care sectors.
Our board is deeply grateful for the diligent efforts of our staff to continue to maintain our standards of care excellence throughout the far-reaching and long-standing impacts of this tragic worldwide event. The support of our residents, clients, families, caregivers, volunteers, the McCormick Care Foundation and our community partners has been invaluable to our ongoing battle against the spread of this infection, and we are grateful to them all.
The home has begun to relax the rigid screening protocols in place as directed by the Ministry of Health, including active screening and rapid testing. However, we continue to remain vigilant about maintaining proper infection prevention and control measures, such as frequent hand hygiene and masking. I would like to take this opportunity to offer a big thank you to all the screeners and rapid test workers who for the last few years have been our first line of defense in keeping our residents and McCormick community members safe. Theirs was not always an easy job, and their professionalism and dedication to their roles was second to none.
This past year saw the resurgence of the more familiar infections in the home, such as influenza and respiratory viruses. The communication outreach protocols established during the pandemic continue to serve us well in keeping our families informed. We have also seen the gradual reintroduction of shared indoor and outdoor activities, most notably with the well-attended and much enjoyed family barbecue at the home in June. It is indeed a welcome development to return to the important events, activities and programs that keep us all connected.
This year, we welcomed Lisa Maynard to the role of McCormick Home administrator. We are very fortunate to work with someone of her experience and expertise in this important role. Under Lisa’s leadership, we are well-positioned to move the home onward through the post-pandemic phase and the priorities we have established.
McCormick Dementia Services continues to reopen its doors to the community, having officially welcomed back clients to the McCormick Day Program to pre-pandemic levels. While we have always been aware of the program’s importance to our caregivers in the community, we came to understand this more keenly when we were forced to shut down the day program. Dementia services developed virtual programs and services to continue to support clients and care partners and remains committed to meeting their needs by continuing to offer supports and services in ways that remain flexible and responsive.
One such example is through the McCormick Mobile pilot program. Together with researchers at Western University, McCormick Dementia Services has been developing a community outreach program that brings dementia care education and support directly into people’s homes, where they need it most. As we continue to develop and fine-tine this new program, we remain responsive to our participating caregivers through each stage of its development. We look forward to sharing more information on this innovative program as it progresses. I wish to thank Karen Johnson, director of McCormick Dementia Services, for leading this project. We are excited to be developing such an innovative community outreach program with our Western colleagues.
After a long hiatus, McCormick Dementia Research has begun to resume its pre-pandemic work. We were pleased to develop a new collaboration with Western University through the appointment of Winnie Twum-Ampofo as our new research coordinator. Winnie is working at Western’s Faculty of Health Sciences and will be sharing her time with us to develop our important work to enhance our model of dementia care and particularly in applying her knowledge mobilization expertise. Under Winnie’s expert guidance, we can be assured that we will make the connections we need in the sectors of education and research to improve the lives of those affected by dementia and ultimately transform the field of dementia care.
This past year, we also released our latest strategic plan. Mapping out our path toward 2025, this plan brings forward the priorities of our previous three-year plan and combines the more immediate priorities of our organizational renewal. These priorities include safety and quality of life, strong teams, and robust partnerships – which all present opportunities for enhanced care and a vibrant living and working environment. We look forward to implementing the plan with the invaluable support of our staff, residents, clients, caregivers, families, volunteers, the McCormick Care Foundation and our community partners.
We also in this last year saw the launch of a transformational and vibrant fundraising program by our partners at the McCormick Care Foundation. They have been committed to supporting the needs of our McCormick community through a number of creative campaigns, including a reimagined Ritz fundraising gala earlier this spring. We also thank them for their generosity in providing Ritz tickets to this year’s McCormick Care Group Employee Values Award recipient, Gail Collins, who exemplifies the best of what it means to work at McCormick each day. I extend my sincerest gratitude to Foundation director Michelle Hancock and the entire Foundation board for their unwavering commitment to us and to those in our care.
On behalf of our board of directors, I want to thank our CEO Steve Crawford for his leadership and tireless work and commitment to those in our care and our staff during the past year. We are very fortunate that Steve has been at the helm for many years at McCormick and particularly during this time of transformation and challenge. Thank you, Steve.
On behalf of the board I also want to thank our staff who are devoted to providing excellent care and support for our residents, clients and their caregivers and families. You strive every day to meet the needs of those you serve, and we are truly grateful.
I want to take a moment to thank Emily Williams for serving on our board for the past four years, most recently as vice-chair. Emily is leaving our board to focus on her responsibilities at the Middlesex London Health Unit. Emily — we are grateful to you for your leadership and for sharing your wisdom and strategic perspective. We will miss you and wish you well.
As we move forward, I am confident in the success of our recovery and renewal efforts. We are well-positioned to continue doing the important work we do, and I look with great hope toward a bright and exciting future ahead.
Cathie Auger, Chair
McCormick Care Group Board of Directors