Although one resident remains hospitalized, the Jan. 26 fire at Caressant Care, Bonnie Place in St. Thomas is being called “a perfect case” where the sprinkler system worked, firefighters were on the scene within four minutes and staff and residents had participated in a practice fire drill less than three months previous.
The late-evening blaze sent seven people to hospital, including four residents, two staff and a firefighter. All have been released with the exception of one resident who remains in critical condition.
But, what if that blaze had, instead, broken out in either one of a pair of facilities that appear to have fallen through various cracks? Continue reading
Last October, about two dozen staff at the Elgin branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association stood outside the Centre Street office where they claimed to be working in an environment of fear, intimidation and anxiety.
At that time, OPSEU staff representative Carol Warner asserted St. Thomas employees are consistently targeted and penalized by upper management for speaking up about health, safety and other workplace concerns.
“It’s hideous, it’s a long-standing issue,” noted Warner. “I would say it’s a systemic issue. We have grievances in the docket that are, at a minimum, four or five years old. And the grievance program has flaws as well.”
That information picket by members of OPSEU Local 133 and the allegations of workplace harassment resulted in the appointment of a third-party investigator by the Southwest Local Health Integration Network (SW LHIN) to report on CMHA Elgin’s compliance with its contractual agreement to the LHIN. Continue reading
Is the goal of this provincial government to encourage migration from rural areas to urban centres, as suggested by one Elgin county mayor? That was one of the issues raised at a roundtable on rural poverty held Feb. 24 at the CASO station in St. Thomas and hosted by Elgin-Middlesex-London Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek.
Attended by two dozen municipal and social/community agency representatives, the forum was designed to get a sense of what rural poverty is and its impact on St. Thomas and Elgin county municipalities, explained Yurek afterward.
“What’s available and what barriers are out there for people. Too often policies are developed in Toronto with an urban lens and we need to look at it with a rural point of view. It’s different living in rural Ontario and we need to have a balance in policies to ensure we can help get people out of poverty in rural Ontario.”
It has been strangely quiet on the police headquarters front, albeit the petitions are still available to sign in city businesses and, no doubt, hundreds of individuals have registered their opposition to construction of a new police building.
Oddly, few if any of these ratepayers have attended the bi-weekly police building committee meetings at city hall, where both sides of the picture are being presented in a fashion that will allow an apples-to-apples cost comparison.
At the July 16 meeting, a representative from the Ventin Group confirmed a presentation will be made to council on Aug. 11 which will include the best estimate to date on the cost of a new police HQ adjacent to the Timken Centre.
Most revealing, however, was the update from Sean Panjer of SPH Engineering, which is in charge of detailing the cost of renovating the existing police station.
It should be a fair assumption the city has an open door policy to welcome new business to St. Thomas and make the move here as seamless as possible. Why would you operate in any other fashion?
So why are city staff — and to a lesser extent some members of city council — throwing up roadblocks and mounds of red tape in the direction of Kristie Morgan, who operates a much-needed adult day nursery at 24 Elizabeth St?
A nursery that operates six hours each weekday and employs five people in a city starved for jobs.
Yes she was afforded a small victory Monday when council allowed her to continue to operate her Time For You 2 facility in an area zoned residential, which permits churches, private schools and day nurseries limited to children under 18 with a developmental handicap.
Morgan’s operation deals with those over 18 years of age who benefit greatly from the life and social skills offered by Morgan and her staff. In the process affording much needed relief for the parents of these individuals.
Proposed St. Thomas facility
ST. THOMAS, ON, April 1 /CNW/ – Steve Peters, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London joined Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, St. Joseph’s staff, volunteers and patients, community members and partners for St. Joseph’s forensic mental health care building’s official groundbreaking in St. Thomas.
The St. Thomas facility will be a new 233,640 square foot hospital for forensic mental health-care built on the existing lands in St. Thomas and will replace the current facility. It will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient services, including assessment, treatment, outreach and support services to individuals with a mental illness who have come into significant contact with the criminal justice system.
opseudiablogue | February 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm | URL: http://wp.me/pLpCD-dh
Tomorrow (Friday) will be the last day to get a hair cut for patients at the Regional Mental Health Centre in London and St. Thomas.
The hairdresser employed by the centre was among 20 workers let go last month due to fiscal restraint. Now staff are being asked to “assist patients by providing guidance to access hair salon services in the community.”
The Centre says “alternate arrangements are being finalized to address the need for patients who are not able to attend the community for this service.” Of course, they couldn’t say what those arrangements are.
For those who need assistance in getting their haircut, it will now require two staff to take them into the community, instead of one performing the service on site.
The e-mail to staff at the Centre prompted a flurry of replies, most questioning the wisdom of this decision.
Writes one doctor: “She offered direct patient care to those who have been unable to gain access to community services due to mental illness, physical illness or poverty. Getting one’s hair done by Brenda had greatly helped the self esteem and sense of self worth of many of my patients as well as others. Just because Brenda is not able to prescribe prozac or olanzapine does not make her contribution to clinical care any less significant.”
Another doctor stated on the e-mail chain: “Our patients are already “marginalized” and stigmatized by the society at large. By taking away what little they do have we are also promoting, aiding and abetting this STIGMA ourselves. How can we then tell our peers in the non-mental health settings and the society at large to dispel this stigma?”