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Stevenson doctor shares his experience working on the frontline

May 1, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The stress endured by healthcare professionals as they respond to COVID-19 can be overwhelming, as some carriers of the virus can be contagious without symptoms.

But emergency room doctor at Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) Kaveh Kavoosi is staying vigilant and exhausting every precaution necessary to ensure he’s not bringing the virus into the workplace.

He said healthcare workers across Canada are under increased pressure as they work through the pandemic.

“There’s no off button for stress as healthcare workers,” Kavoosi remarked.

The staff at SMH always work collaboratively, but since the virus hit, there’s stronger communication within the organization, including environmental services (cleaning staff) and laboratory technicians.

“I feel like there’s greater cohesion with our group than ever before,” he lauded.

Operating the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH is another way that staff and physicians are working together currently.

“Our team has been managing so well throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Matthew Myatt, Chief of Emergency at SMH.

“Our staff and physicians are supporting the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in addition to supporting the Emergency Department (ED). It’s definitely a challenge, but one that our staff have taken on fully without hesitation,” he adds.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at SMH has also been a collaboration with local community physicians.
“I thank the community physicians who have come forward to help support the staffing of the Assessment Centre,” says Dr. Myatt. “Without their support, it would certainly be difficult to manage and would put a strain on our ED Team,” he adds.

It’s critical for the public to note that the best way to protect themselves is to heed advice from Public Health and stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing.

Dr. Myatt encourages the community to contact their family physician’s office for a virtual visit first if they are feeling ill before coming to the Hospital.

“We’ve got to remember that the front liners are actually the last line of defense. The first line of defense is us applying isolation and staying at home,” Kavoosi stressed.

The virus has rapidly spread throughout the world in a short duration of time as its highly communicable and symptoms can be non-existent or delayed.

What’s key in getting past this pandemic is ensuring everybody is doing their part to stop its spread.

“The big message would be that we’re all in this together,” Kavoosi said.

“If everyone can apply the things that are best practices…they’re going to make us safer and help us get through this collectively, in the most effective way possible,” he added.

Going forward when the pandemic eventually passes, Kavoosi said he hopes that there are some collective lessons learned globally.

“I hope we get the message that things need to change, that we can’t just keep living at the expense of the world,” he stressed.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, industrial activity has come to a halt, flights have been cancelled, and the air is becoming cleaner, but these improvements to the environment could be lost when society returns to normalcy.

Kavoosi said what’s key is remembering the benefits of a slower moving world and having a stronger appreciation of the power and fragility of each human life.

“I am so proud of our staff and physicians who are on the front line, caring for our community at this challenging time in health care,” says Jody Levac, President and CEO, SMH.

“The pandemic is progressing at a rapid pace, which means our staff need to adapt to changes almost daily. They are courageous and resilient, and always put the needs of our patient first.”

The support that SMH has received from the community has made a big impact at the Hospital and does not go unnoticed from the staff.

“The support we’ve received from the community has been outstanding – I can’t thank them enough,” says Levac.

“The encouraging messages, signs and artwork, donations of PPE and supplies as well as financial donations has been incredible. It makes a difference to our staff who face challenging days, so thank you to this wonderful community.”

SMH is operating their COVID-19 Assessment Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m., which is a new timeframe. For more information, please visit:

If you are interested in making a donation to SMH towards the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund, please visit

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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