“Thinking of the health of our whole population powered us through. I’m proud of our team’s rigorous work and fast response.”
“I’m a medical health officer and medical director for Communicable Disease and Harm Reduction. Keeping people in our communities healthy and protected from communicable diseases is my specialty. COVID-19 ramped up and put these skills to the test.
A key moment I remember is getting the call from the lab when we had Fraser Health’s very first case of COVID-19. It was someone who had travelled from Iran. This was momentous because before that, the focus had been on those who had been in China/East Asia – it told us that COVID-19 was much more widespread than we expected at the time. With this prompt, we moved swiftly into action to double down on our efforts to contain the virus. We had a core team of Communicable Disease nurses who are specialists in this work but we needed more ‘disease detectives’ on the case. We pulled in nurses from our public health units, health inspectors – we mobilized our whole team to do case management and contact tracing. Some people we follow up on will need support so that they can safely and effectively self-isolate. They may need support with their living situation, with groceries, with medications and language supports. Our team is always ready to support and respond through communications and outreach for these populations. There have been so many collaborative opportunities. We worked with teams at long-term care facilities. We collaborated with Primary Care to connect testing with our case management activities. This, combined with our contact tracing efforts means we are able to solve issues, control cases and prevent new ones from occurring. Thinking of the health of our whole population powered us through. I’m proud of our team’s rigorous work and fast response.”