PO Box 492, Bridgewater, NS, B4V 2X6
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Wendy OickleWendy Oickle has cleaned during other viral outbreaks, including H1N1. But when COVID-19 preparations started at South Shore Regional Hospital, it spurred her sense of fear.

“It was very scary,” the Environmental Services team member admits.

Amy BezeauPhysical distancing has been a challenge for most of us since COVID-19 became a reality in Nova Scotia. We cherish the times when we can pass a neighbour on a walk or interact with someone at our local grocery store. For those on the Veterans’ Unit at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, their day-to-day may have changed socially, but in other ways it has brought them new opportunities.

 Debbie Nodding full time cafeteria worker SSRHFor many healthcare workers the simple task of picking up groceries can be challenging, given these uncertain times and long hours.

Nova Scotia Health’s Nutrition and Food Services teams around the province came together to see how they could help. That’s how the Healthy Corner Store came to be at Sylvia’s Café at South Shore Regional Hospital and other hospitals on the South Shore. 

“It’s really nice to be able to provide this service,” says Michelle Roberts-Chevarie, Manager of Nutrition and Food Services for South Shore Regional, Fishermen's Memorial, Queens General and Roseway Hospitals. “We are able to offer every day grocery essentials such as loaves of bread, 6 pack homemade muffins, cartons of milk and bunches of fruit to staff and physicians while keeping the prices low. These are things that we are purchasing or making anyway so there isn’t extra work made by trying to source these items.”

Morgan McCarthy, Nutrition and Food Services Supervisor at South Shore Regional Hospital says staff really seem to be enjoying the new service. “Staff are able to pick up things where they work, especially milk. They have the security of knowing they can buy them here.”

These pop up corner stores can be found at all hospital sites on the South Shore. “I’ve witnessed a doctor so happy about being able to access bread at a site that they were actually swinging their loaves as they were leaving,” notes Michelle.

When it comes to patient services, Morgan says not a lot has changed. “Our staff are still serving patients, except those who are on droplet precautions, who are served by staff on the units Hospital staff are coming into the cafeteria more now because people are going out less. Our staff in nutrition and food services practice social distancing as much as possible. When staff go up on clinical floors they have to wear masks.”

Cafeterias at all South Shore hospital sites have been set up for social distancing, with markers on the floor and tables spaced out to achieve two metre distancing. The Nutrition & Food Services team was also able to fast-track the implementation of a debit machine for non-cash transactions.

As for when we get to the other side of this pandemic, Michelle feels a couple of these initiatives could stay in place. “The healthy corner store could continue due to the convenience it brings. Perhaps the social distancing initiatives too. It’s going to depend on provincial directives but we are going to learn a lot from this experience.”

“Our staff always step up in unusual circumstances. Understandably, there was a bit of apprehension at first to come to work in this new “normal” but now more are feeling more comfortable. They’re scheduled on two teams so they know who they are working with every shift and they know this is to help protect them as well. The team has been very adaptable and we’re pleased to be here to serve our patients and support our hospital staff.”

Michelle TipertWhen you work on the Women and Children’s Unit at South Shore Regional Hospital, you’re used to being ready to work in any kind of circumstance, but COVID-19 was a real curveball.

Alex n CindyLunenburg has always been the little community that could.

And now, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts people throughout Nova Scotia, the staff at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital are banding together to support healthcare throughout the South Shore.

Melanie Nauss and FamilyTo say a lot has changed quickly in the Operating Department at South Shore Regional Hospital would be an understatement.

Like many of us, Perioperative Services Manager Melanie Nauss was aware of the growing concern around the COVID-19 pandemic. But once she received word all non-essential surgeries in the regional hospital would be cancelled until further notice, the role of her department changed drastically.

Patti 2
We all get into routines with our jobs. For Nova Scotia Health Authority Western Zone Physician Recruiter Patti Smith, her days were full, welcoming doctors from near and far, interested in practicing medicine from Hubbards to Yarmouth to Kentville.

In early March 2020, while preparing to host an interested doctor from England, Patti sensed change was afoot.

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