*Please see below a media release issued by Joseph Brant Hospital.
January 4, 2021
905-632-3737 ext. 2038
For Immediate Release
Burlington, ON – Joseph Brant Hospital’s Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) – the first of its kind built in Ontario – is ready to welcome its first COVID-19 patients this week as part of a strategy to respond to a heightened need for COVID-19 care and increasing pressure on hospital capacity across the Hamilton, Niagara,
Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant and Burlington (HNHBB) region.
“The Pandemic Response Unit was built to ensure that should the need arise, we would have additional bed capacity available to care for COVID-19 patients – and that time is now.” — Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital
This week, hospitals will begin identifying and working with patients who have progressed in their care and could receive care in the PRU, a state-of-the-art all-season field hospital located on JBH grounds.
“The Pandemic Response Unit was built to care for COVID-19 patients whose condition has stabilized but require support that cannot be provided at home, such as oxygen therapy and medication, as well as ongoing monitoring of their symptoms and some personal support. Transitioning these individuals to the PRU allows them to complete their recovery in an inpatient unit that is specifically designed to provide the type of care they need.” — Dr. Ian Preyra, Chief of Staff at Joseph Brant Hospital
The healthcare teams working in the PRU comprise physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, home and community care coordinators, and many others.
The PRU is a key component of a regional strategy developed by HNHBB hospitals to meet the rising demand for COVID-19 care during Wave 2, while helping to minimize potential disruptions to scheduled and community care. The strategy is being led by the HNHBB Hospital Incident Management Structure (IMS) team, which includes representation from all regional hospitals, including CEOs and clinical leadership.
Under the plan, the PRU serves as a regional resource that can receive patients from four hospitals that are providing acute COVID-19 care: Joseph Brant Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital) and Niagara Health. Any transfers will be determined based on care needs and in consultation with patients and their families.
“Our healthcare system is being stretched to its limits. Opening the Pandemic Response Unit is a necessary step in our continued efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity for the sickest patients. All of the region’s hospitals are working closely together to ensure that care can be delivered safely with limited disruption to patients.” — Rob MacIsaac, President & CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences and Incident Management Structure (IMS) co-chair
JBH’s Infection Prevention and Control team was closely involved in the design of the PRU, leveraging current research and best practices in the care of COVID-19 patients. Its features include a filtered, negative pressure ventilation system, allowing for treatments that may generate aerosols to be safely performed. It also has durable, easy-to-disinfect surfaces, as well as other features to provide a comfortable environment for patients, such as natural light, portable laptop tables and free wifi to connect with their loved ones during their stay.
The 16,000-square foot structure was constructed in April 2020, after the Ontario government requested that hospitals implement capacity plans at their sites. It was built as a collaboration amongst Joseph Brant Hospital, community-based health care providers, the City of Burlington, and Halton Region.
- Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant and Burlington Region Statement: HNHBB Hospital COVID-19 Update – PRU Activation – Jan 4 2021 – Final
- A look inside the PRU with Joseph Brant Hospital’s President and CEO, Eric Vandewall, and Dr. Ian Preyra, Chief of Staff
- To learn more about the PRU’s features and benefits, visit the JBH website
- Read about the Regional COVID-19 Model of Care Strategy
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at email@example.com or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist