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Ontario home care companies to require COVID-19 vaccinations for staff

 “With infection rates again on the upswing in Ontario, and understanding the risks presented by Delta and other emerging variants, we know that we must further strengthen efforts to ensure the health and safety of those on our team, and of the vulnerable populations with whom we work.  We believe this is the right thing to do.”

Jo-Anne Poirier
President and CEO
VON Canada

As leaders of organizations providing government funded home care in Ontario, we have made the decision to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all of our team members. As an integral part of the continuum of care for our clients, we are proud to join our partners across the health system in taking this important step toward ending this pandemic.   

We have listened to our clients and their concerned family members, and to our staff, the vast majority of whom have already been vaccinated voluntarily.  While the home care sector has remained the safest across the health system, with very little transmission of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, with the rise of the highly transmissible Delta and other variants, we are choosing to do even more to keep our vulnerable clients and our staff safe.

Together, our 23 companies provide the majority of government-funded home care across the province, serving tens of thousands of people in their homes every day.  Providing nursing, personal support, rehabilitation and other therapy services, we help people return home from hospital, and we support people to live at home, where they want to be.   We recognize the important role we play in the health system, and for this reason, we state the following:

  • We will support, educate, and actively help any of our non-vaccinated staff without a valid medical exemption, so that they feel safe and motivated to become vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • We call on our funders and referral sources to support our direction and to work collaboratively with us to mitigate any capacity challenges as we work through the next several weeks; and
  • We call on all leaders of healthcare organizations to implement, at a minimum, a policy to hire only vaccinated health care providers, to help stabilize the healthcare work force by preventing movement between employers.

We are extremely proud of our staff who have demonstrated their dedication to our clients over and over through the last many months.  Today, we join other healthcare leaders to help build a fully-vaccinated healthcare workforce across the province. Details of our plans to work together to move to full vaccination will be outlined in the coming weeks, as we collaborate with our leaders and team members to implement a smooth and timely process.

1to1 Rehab – Stephanie Hayes, Chief Executive Officer
Acclaim Health – Angela Brewer, Chief Executive Officer
Bayshore HealthCare – Stuart Cottrelle, President
CANES Community Care – Gord Gunning, Chief Executive Officer
Carefor – Steve Perry, Chief Executive Officer
CarePartners – Linda Knight, Chief Executive Officer CBI Health – Jon Hantho, President and CEO
Circle of Care – Carey Lucki, Chief Executive Officer
Closing the Gap Healthcare – Leighton McDonald, President and CEO
Communicare Therapy – Cindy Harrison, President and CEO
GEM Healthcare – Gaye Moffett, President and CEO
Integrated Rehab Professionals – Angela Dye, Chief Executive Officer
Kawartha Therapy Services – Mary Ann Story, Owner/Manager
Nightingale Nursing Reg. Ltd. – Sally Harding, President and CEO
ONE CARE Home and Community Support Services – Kathy Scanlon, Executive Director Partners in Community Nursing – Theresa Henderson, President
Right at Home Canada – Dani DePetrillo, Chief Operating Officer
RNS Healthcare Services Inc – Angela Westheuser, President and CEO
SE Health – Shirlee Sharkey, President and CEO
Spectrum Health Care – Sandra Ketchen, President and CEO
SRT MedStaff – Marlene Klewans, President and CEO
VHA Home HealthCare – Kathryn Nichol, President and CEO
VON – Jo-Anne Poirier, President and CEO

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Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They accredit a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs. Accreditation Canada has been helping providers improve health care quality and safety for more than 55 years.