Emily’s House and Philip Aziz Centre doors are still open, while practicing our social responsibility and ensuring compliance with ongoing Ministry and provincial guidelines.   We’ve had to make some hard decisions on downscaling programming supports, which are at the heart of holistic hospice care.  Our focus must now be on core services and end-of-life care.  In this new environment, children and families with palliative end-of-life care needs continue to receive our clinical supports, however, some recreational respite and psycho-social programs are reduced at this time. And in this time of excessive social isolation, we have initiated daily phone and virtual supports for palliative, at-risk adults, and emergency advocacy supports to ensure their safety.  This new delivery of “virtual hospice” support can prove to be a lifeline.

Additional contingency plans, currently in development, will further impact our employees and volunteers, as we continue to focus on core operations and processes, and reduce risk exposure. While Ontarians have been asked not to gather, we are postponing and working on contingencies for summer memorial and fundraising events. Clearly, this is the best course of action, to help protect the larger community, as well as those who are vulnerable and turn to us for care.

We may be called on to help increase bed capacity in the city to respond to COVID-19. If it comes to this, we will be ready and responsible to do our part to contribute to extending capacity in the health care system.  In the meanwhile, our new protocols, transportation and admission processes are reviewed daily in this fluid situation, to ensure safe access to quality palliative care and support.

We know you have been impacted as well, and that our COVID-19 plans may not be an immediate concern for you, but we do wish to proactively communicate some of the hard work underway behind the scenes on behalf of clients. We know you care about our continued operations.  We will update you periodically on progress and news.  In the meanwhile, if you have questions, or if there is anything we may do to help support you and your family in this challenging time, please reach out to us.  Now, more than ever, we need to care for and support one another in our community.

Thank you and be safe.

Rauni Salminen
CEO & Founder of Emily’s House
/ CEO Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care