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Inside this edition of the Insider:

  • Difficult respiratory season causing increase in Emergency Department visits
  • Mackenzie Health recognized as a leader in stroke care and education
  • Administrative Assistant receives Kudos Award for contributing to outstanding work culture
  • Dietitians provide eight tips on how to crush your healthy eating goals
  • Stride with Mackenzie Health Foundation to raise money for highest-priority needs

Difficult respiratory season causing increase in Emergency Department visits

Along with many hospitals in the GTA, we’re experiencing longer wait times than normal and appreciate our community’s patience.

It's currently respiratory illness season, and we've been seeing a higher number of people coming to our Emergency Departments than ever before. We’re doing our best to provide patients with the care they need as quickly as possible. 

We regularly see between 600 and 700 patients per day across our two Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centre. In the first few weeks of January, we saw an increase to between 700 and 800 emergency visits per day across our sites. Projections for 2024 have us likely exceeding 228,000 visits to our Emergency Departments by the end of the year.

To address this increase, our teams have implemented innovative solutions including opening additional beds and launching our short stay pilot in the Emergency Department at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. In the short stay pilot, 10 beds are available for patients who need to be admitted for less than 48 hours. Having this option available allows us to provide faster care to our patients, as only those who need longer care are admitted to our inpatient units. We also launched our Family Health Navigation Clinic pilot in October. The clinic is staffed by a family practice physician and a nurse navigator who see complex patients referred by our Emergency Department, ambulatory clinics and inpatient units who don’t currently have a family doctor for their follow-up care. The nurse navigator helps connect patients with a primary care provider in the community so the next time they’re seeking medical care, they’re able to visit their new family doctor instead of arriving to the Emergency Department. Family Health Navigation Clinic appointments are by referral from our Emergency Department, ambulatory clinics and inpatient units only for patients who may require repeat visits.

Our staff and physicians work tirelessly to deliver the best possible care to our patients every day despite the less-than-ideal circumstances of the current capacity pressures. We’re proud of their dedication and commitment, and we appreciate your patience as we do our best during this challenging time. Thank you for your co-operation as we continually adjust to meet our community’s needs.

If you're experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department. For non-emergencies, please consider visiting our Urgent Care Centre.

Hear Mackenzie Health updates from our Executive Leadership Team

Did you miss our annual Telephone Town Hall on Jan. 24? Listen to the recording on our website to hear from leadership on how we’re supporting residents across western York Region as well as our future plans to enhance and expand the programs and services we provide and more. Plus, we answer many of your questions!

Mackenzie Health recognized as a leader in stroke care and education

Mackenzie Health is home to York Region’s District Stroke Centre. As District Stroke Co-ordinator, Anna (pictured above), has witnessed the positive impact that the Sorbara Integrated Stroke Unit has on patients.

Anna Sewell’s world was forever changed when she was just nine years old. Her grandmother suffered two devastating strokes and was struggling to perform even the simplest of everyday tasks. Anna was sent to live with her to lend a helping hand. Her experience supporting her grandmother led her to pursue a career in health care.

In January 2023, Anna joined Mackenzie Health, home to York Region’s District Stroke Centre, as a District Stroke Co-ordinator. In her role, she witnesses the positive impact that the Sorbara Integrated Stroke Unit has on patients. The unit includes state-of-the-art technology, personalized treatment plans and the comfort of in-room rehabilitation, reshaping the recovery journey of patients who have suffered a stroke – patients like her grandmother.

This commitment to excellence in care was recently recognized by Accreditation Canada. In Acute and Inpatient Rehabilitation Stroke services, Mackenzie Health achieved Distinction – the highest level that can be awarded. This recognition is a testament to the unwavering commitment and outstanding efforts of our stroke team, including Anna.

As the York Region District Stoke Centre, we are proud to have earned this distinction. This accomplishment signifies that Mackenzie Health is a leader in providing assessment, consultation, treatment and education services for people who have experienced a recent stroke.

Achieving Distinction is no small feat, and it reflects the dedication and hard work of our entire team.

To learn more and to read Anna’s full story, visit our website.

Administrative Assistant receives Kudos Award for contributing to outstanding work culture

Our Kudos Awards recognize staff members for their incredible dedication. Nipulini (pictured above) is a staff member who goes above and beyond to support the team around her.

Every year, we invite our community and our staff to nominate incredible health care providers for our Kudos Awards and recognize them for their incredible dedication to caring for our patients. As one of our winners in the category of Workplace Experience, Nipulini stands out as an incredible example of an administrative staff member going above and beyond to support the team around her.

Nipulini works as the Administrative Assistant at our Reactivation Care Centre (RCC), helping her team take the best possible care of our patients. “We work together as a very close team,” says Nipulini. “Making sure our health care team gets the support they need is my job. When I do my job well, it helps them to do their job well.”

It’s all about putting a smile on the faces of those around her. Even something as simple as helping an elderly patient make a phone call to a family member brings her joy.

For Nipulini and others at Mackenzie Health, it’s the organization’s culture that keeps them here. Nipulini's commitment to contributing to a caring and compassionate environment is just one example of the supportive work culture and one reason why she was recognized by her colleagues with a Kudos Award – a staff recognition award honouring team members who go above and beyond.

If there’s a member of the Mackenzie Health team that you’d like to nominate for a Kudos Award, nominate them by filling out the application form on our website.

A list of our 2023 Kudos Winners can be found on our website.

Eight tips to crush your healthy eating goals from Mackenzie Health dieticians

Joanna Yollick, a Dietitian at Mackenzie Health, and her colleagues share ways to eat healthy and set attainable goals.

Changing your eating habits and becoming healthier can be challenging. We asked some of our dietitians at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital for their advice on how to not only set healthy and attainable goals for yourself but how to succeed when trying to stick to them. Here’s what they had to say...

  1. Set realistic goals for yourself

Come up with resolutions and goals that are realistic and achievable — ones you feel good about. Try not to choose resolutions or set goals that are rooted in guilt or pressure from external sources.

  1. Set positive “addition goals” for yourself

Set positive “addition goals” instead of “subtraction goals.” Rather than focusing on what you want to remove from your diet (enter feelings of depravation!), try focusing on what you can add to improve your nutrition (e.g. adding a high fibre breakfast to your day or increasing your water intake)

  1. Start small and build upon your success

Small incremental successes that you can build upon are more achievable and often more sustainable. For example, if your goal is to increase your vegetable intake, try introducing a new vegetable or one new vegetarian or plant-based recipe each week, rather than trying to overhaul all of your meals at once.

  1. Practice mindful and intuitive eating

Are you sitting down to eat with minimal distractions? Are you truly enjoying the taste of your food? Are you listening to your body so you're eating when hungry and stopping when full? Keeping simple questions like this in mind when you’re eating, or planning to eat, can play a valuable role in developing healthier eating habits.

  1. Have a game plan for the week

One key tip for not falling back into unhealthy habits is to make sure you have healthy options ready when needed. Whether this includes meal planning and prepping on the weekend, or having healthy grab-and-go snacks ready for work, taking the guesswork (and the rush) out of the equation can help reduce the temptation to grab takeout or less nutritious choices.

  1. Be kind to yourself

If you're not reaching your goals as quickly or as easily as you hoped and planned, remember that everyone's health journey is different and it's more important to establish sustainable, long-lasting healthy habits rather than short-lived or quick results.

  1. Think progress, not perfection

Remember the goal you’re trying to achieve — to develop healthier eating habits. If your efforts are resulting in you eating more healthy food and less unhealthy food, that’s a victory you should recognize. Expecting too much of yourself too quickly can be discouraging and lead to a decrease in efforts to improve.

  1. Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality

Some days are better than others when it comes to healthy habits and that's ok! Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off track. Remember your end goal and stay positive. Tomorrow’s a new day!

Following our dietitians’ tips can be a start to a healthier you. Just remember you’re not alone and there are resources out there to help you on your journey.

If you’d like more tips on how to support your nutrition goals from registered dietitians, try visiting UnlockFood.ca by Dietitians of Canada.

Mackenzie Health welcomed its first baby of 2024

At 12:27 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Mackenzie Health welcomed its first baby of 2024 at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital! Baby Mia weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz. and is the first baby for proud parents Vic and Katie from Maple. Congratulations to the new family and thank you to our incredible Woman and Child team for all the work they did to welcome baby Mia to the world. Thank you to RCC Media, the Tony Romanelli and Matthew Fusco families and the Vaughan Public Library for generously donating gift baskets to the family.

Stride with Mackenzie Health Foundation to raise money for highest-priority needs

Participants run or walk 5 km in support of funding for life-saving equipment and advancing cutting-edge technology and specialized programs.

Lace up your sneakers! The 19th annual Strides for Mackenzie Health is taking place at Canada's Wonderland on May 11! Registration is now open, and early bird pricing is available until Feb. 29. Stride with us as we raise critical funds to purchase life-saving equipment and advance our cutting-edge technology and specialized programs. Your support will have a significant impact and make this community event a success. Rally your family and friends and enjoy awesome perks including free admission to Canada's Wonderland, Strides swag and more. Sign up today by visiting MHFStrides.ca.  

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For questions or concerns regarding care at Mackenzie Health, please contact Patient Relations at: patientrelations@mackenziehealth.ca.