2021 highlights – and what's ahead for 2022

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As we approached the end of 2021, we remembered some of the highlights from the past year – and took a look at what’s ahead for our hospitals in 2022. Read these four short stories below.

The launch of Oak Valley Health

In August, we officially announced the new overarching name for Markham Stouffville Hospital and Uxbridge Hospital. As part of phase one, you’ve probably began to notice some of the new Oak Valley Health signage.

Helping lead the organization into phase two is Taylor Giffin, our digital communications specialist.

"We’re all looking forward to the full implementation of the Oak Valley Health brand in 2022," says Giffin. "You’ll begin to see more changes soon as we complete upgrades to our website and update our social media platforms."

Vaccination milestones

Since first opening 42 weeks ago, over 236,500 vaccines have been administered at the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Centre – including over 3,848 for kids five to 11. The vaccination centre, operated in partnership by the Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team, Oak Valley Health, and York Region Public Health with support from the City of Markham, continues to offer first, second, and third doses to eligible groups.

With a new variant and cases continuing to rise, receiving two doses of a vaccine – plus a third dose when eligible – should be a priority as we look to better control COVID-19 heading into 2022, says Jada Myers, vaccine clinic and COVID-19 Assessment Centre team lead.

"If the per cent of fully vaccinated people continues to rise, it puts us in a better position to return to a post-pandemic normal," says Jada. "To some degree, COVID-19 will likely remain present, much like the flu, but we can get to the point where the virus can be kept in check."

Language interpretation services

At Markham Stouffville Hospital, we enhanced language services with on-site Mandarin and Cantonese speaking professional interpreters. Our interpreters provide private and confidential interpretation assisting patients to understand a diagnosis, requirements for a procedure, or reviewing discharge information.

“In cancer care, at least 20% of our population has Cantonese/Mandarin as their first language and need interpretation services," says Dr. Mateya Trinkaus, medical oncologist. "I can personally attest that this service has been, and is, an essential element to our ability to deliver safe, honest, and dignified care to our patient population.”

With the success of interpretation services at the hospital, the program will be expanded in the coming months and years. Plans include the addition of several languages to best reflect the diverse and growing community.

Surgical and orthopaedic care

This year, Oak Valley Health enhanced its capabilities to provide orthopaedic care, bringing the very best in surgical care to the residents of Markham and Uxbridge.

At Markham Stouffville Hospital, the Orthopaedic Joint Assessment Centre was expanded and refreshed, says Erin Landry, patient care director of surgical services, Markham Stouffville Hospital.

“More space means we can bring in additional staff to provide a wider range of services in one space as needed, thereby reducing patient wait times and giving them the answers, treatment, and relief they so desperately need as soon as possible and as conveniently as possible,” says Erin.

At Uxbridge Hospital, a satellite surgical clinic officially opened, offering more services to the residents of Uxbridge without having to travel to Markham for further care, says Sandi Lofgren, patient care director, Uxbridge Hospital.

Looking ahead, patients from Markham and Uxbridge will continue to receive the care they need in an efficient manner, allowing for faster recovery from joint pain and returning to a quality of life they can enjoy.