A new direction – for the time being
Today we treat you in a different way – effective immediately we are suspending active non-emergent patients:
Hello Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park and all of you who are part of our humble world. We are devastated today. Having been the chief morale and crisis manager during this time for our team, I have had to keep a close eye on our staff and the developments in regard to the Covid19 pandemic. I continue to keep a glimmer in my eye but today it is shared by a few tears. I have struggled with the moral and ethical dilemma of how to remain open for the patients who rely on us for their physical and mental well-being; their own livelihood and, in many instances, providing care to patients so that they can continue to help our medical and first response system remain functioning. We are struggling to keep the swell of our patients from becoming a burden on the amazing nurses and physicians who we are so very fortunate to have around us. Chronic diseases and acute traumas don’t go away because there is a pandemic. This is why we will be back as soon as we can.
We have an amazing staff who was given the choice to socially isolate in order to come to work to help those very patients. Who, when given the choice to come to work or stay home supported, overwhelmingly chose to come to work. We have had to balance this with the over arching realities of a virus that threatens all of us. We have done this because of our values which start with “Improvement in human life and condition.” Many of our staff are dealing with family members who are of advanced age and immunocompromised. This has weighed heavily on me as well. We recognize the significant stress that losing employment has on our dear staff.
Those who know me personally will understand that this has been the hardest day of my life. I have always put patients first. We have always put staff on a pedestal. As a company we have lived a value system that prioritizes everyone else well over our own needs. So when the stress of risk to our own health was the main question, the early answer was: we stay.
Yesterday the scales were tipped. Emotions such as fear and panic are easy ones to give into. Public opinion should never influence a person’s moral or ethical values. This was hard. As medical professionals we are trained to remain calm and make calculated decisions to ensure patients are safe. Do no harm. Taking an evidence based and scientific approach to this crisis, there was always one question that ruled in our decision to remain open. Can we effectively screen our patients, employ universal precautions and take exceptional measures to keep our clinics a safe harbour for our patients, our staff and ourselves. Sadly the announcements made by the Chief Medical Officer about the importance of “flattening the curve” and doing our part has become more and more paramount. This, along with the developments in the spread of community acquired cases, increased our level of concern. I can’t stress this enough, we have gone to extreme measures to maintain a safe environment. It remains a safe environment and it will be an even safer environment when we re-open. Our goal is to re-open with newer measures that gives our patients the spaces that they deserve to get better. We need some time to do more homework, speak to infectious disease experts and prepare to re-open armed with all of the information we need to keep our staff and patients safe.
We are looked upon for being a leader in the community. By remaining open I believe we did our part while we could, to help the system function. That said, remaining open also took all of our energy and resources away from developing an alternative for patients as this pandemic situation continues to unfold.
Down but not out… We are Leading Edge after all
Long hours have been put into this decision. Long hours are presently being put into the development of a best alternative to our amazing environment and technology putting more focus on our amazing people using a little technology. By early next week, we will have up and running a tele-medicine program whereby our patients will be able to see the smiling faces of our physiotherapists and receive ongoing advice and support through this crisis. We are not going anywhere. We are a company built on ethics and ingenuity. Combine those two and you will see that we can tip the scales back in our patients favour. Giving all of you the opportunity to stay home and get advice and the self care you need to help keep moving.
Our present date to re-open is April 6, 2020. This gives us several weeks to ensure massive social distancing for all of our patients and team to practice. Remaining at home can help to get us through this crisis. To the best of our knowledge all of our staff remain healthy. We are very thankful for that. Clinics are all getting some needed rest. Seeing emergent patients on a case by case basis in the meantime and maintaining constant communication with all of you is what you can expect from our dedicated team. At this time, our regulatory body continues to support our decisions.
How can you help us?
We have never really asked that question. Our job is to do the helping. So let us do that.
You can help by letting us help you or your family and friends. Let your friends and family know that Leading Edge is available for online tele-medicine. Our phone lines and website are still up and running. Patients can get in touch with us at their local clinic’s phone number as usual and arrange a virtual visit where we will do our best within our abilities and the limits of the technology to help them deal with their problem.
Reach out to us on Social Media – we could use some happy power while the music is turned down.
Finally, we ask that you do something, just one thing that is selfless for someone else. Let’s show the world that sometimes out of hard times, the best in us will shine.
How about today?
If you need us, we will be there. Call us and we will call you back. Email us and we will email you back. We will still have someone to answer the phones, even if it’s during limited hours, because we are a people business.
Our partners have come together in an amazing way. They are amazing people. I glow with pride and now a smile as I share that we are hitting pause on the music temporarily but THE SINGING WILL GO ON.
I love you all. See you in a few, even if we are wearing masks to muffle the singing.
Grant Fedoruk – still singing