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Jan 24, 2022

Message from Kim Delahunt, President & CEO, clarifying false claims from the Service Employees International Union

I am compelled today to issue further clarification of the January 22nd statement about false claims that continue to be shared in the media as a result of ‘tips’ and interviews by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 

To be clear: Only trained health care professionals provide patient care at Headwaters Health Care Centre, regardless of external or internal circumstances. Some non-clinical staff may perform duties outside of their usual scope of work occasionally when necessary but rest assured that these do not include caring for patients.

In response to a baseless claim made by the SEIU, at no time have non-clinical staff been asked to, nor have they carried out any patient care duties. As a result of Directive #2 issued by the Province on January 5th, requiring all hospitals to ramp down all non-emergency surgeries and procedures and other non-urgent diagnostic imaging and ambulatory clinic activity, we have been able to redeploy clinical staff from the areas impacted by the directive to areas of the hospital with the highest need for additional patient care support.

We are very disappointed that SEIU has created a false narrative at the expense of the hospital and our hard-working staff, who have given everything they have over the past 22 months in the service of their community.

We at Headwaters are proud of our reputation as an exemplary place for residents in Dufferin-Caledon to seek health care, and we are dismayed to have to defend ourselves against flagrant lies. In challenging times we count on our professional colleagues to work with us and rise to meet the occasion; our staff continue to go above and beyond, and we continue to be humbled by the courage, perseverance and resilience they have all shown.

Unfortunately, inaccurate information in the media as a result of SEIU’s claim has consequences. We are aware of at least one patient who needed to be transferred by ambulance to our emergency department who expressed hesitation about that because they “didn’t want to be cared for by kitchen staff”. It is dangerous for patients who need emergency care not to seek that at Headwaters as a result of blatant misinformation.

To be clear, we value the integral role our nutrition services staff and all our staff bring to their jobs as part of the team. But once again, only clinical staff are involved in caring for patients. And we will continue to lean on our whole team, as we have done since the beginning of this pandemic, to see us through.  We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated staff members who volunteer to take additional shifts to provide coverage to areas where staffing levels have been affected as a result of COVID-19.

The union’s claims are baseless. We want to assure the public that Headwaters is a place they can continue to rely on for safe and compassionate care.

Thank you.
Kim Delahunt, President & CEO