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January 2020 Volume 4 | Issue 1


Welcome to 2020 Happy New Year, Kensington Health!

I wanted to start off the year with a heartfelt thank you for all that you do to make this place so special. Whether you’re a patient, resident, loved one, volunteer or a Kensington colleague, you are an important member of our community. It is with excitement that I share some of our major initiatives for the year to come – it’s going to be a busy one! Look for more information on these and many other projects in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the work ahead, feel free to send me an email at Ontario Health Team Ontario Health Teams are a new model of care and a core component of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to improve our health care system. In this model, groups of health care providers work together as one team to help patients move through the system seamlessly. Kensington Health is playing a leadership role in the planning of the Mid-West Toronto Health Team in partnership with University Health Network and 60 other hospitals and community agencies in our area. Still in the planning phase, this is an opportunity for us to create a deeper connection with our community. We are partnering with people with lived experience to co-design a health care system that is culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, and is easy navigate for everyone. Hospice Expansion Construction on the Kensington Hospice Expansion Project is set to begin in just a few weeks. The project will add nine additional beds and a new space for our Community Day Hospice Program, allowing us to make room for more moments that matter. This is a remarkable milestone in our organization’s evolution. Continued Work on our Living Well Strategy Living well is an attainable state of wellness of the mind and body that allows an individual to live their best life no matter where they are along their personal journey. Over the next year, Kensington Gardens, Kensington Hospice, and Second Mile Club will be working even closer together to further our palliative care offerings. Kensington is Getting a New Look We will be continuing our branding work with the Kensington Health Foundation. How we talk about Kensington, how we present ourselves to the broader community and how we are represented visually is work ahead for 2020. We will also have an increased social media presence.

John Yip President & CEO Kensington Health Our new look and voice will better convey who we are and strengthen the connection between the many services we provide. Stay tuned! Research and Education This year, we will see our research activities take off -from our forthcoming cytokines lab to educating gastroenterologists through our Skills Enhancement for Endoscopy initiative to new and existing partnerships with industry to conduct clinical trials. We will also be continuing our extensive educational activities with our academic partners to train future health care providers. Exciting HR Updates The HR team is finalizing its job evaluation initiative and will be implementing a new human resources information system that allows staff to view vacation balances online and check schedules remotely; this new system will enhance our shift scheduling.

KENSINGTON HIGH Electrophysiology Issue 5, May 2019 The Electrophysiology program at the Kensington Eye Institute provides patients with rapid assessments for a variety of diseases that impact the retina, optic nerve and visual pathways in the brain. Electrophysiology is a test that measures the response of various cell types in the retina (the layer at the back of the eye) including the rods (responsible for vision in dim lighting), and cones (responsible for colour vision). This test is very useful in diagnosing a variety of retinal diseases, including genetic disease. Kensington is the only clinic in Toronto that offers adult electrophysiology testing and diagnosis. Tom Wright, Research Scientist, runs the Electrophysiology program at Kensington Vision & Research Centre.

Learn more:

Fighting cancer with early detection Issue 2, February 2019 Every year, Kensington Screening Clinic provides approximately 5,000 screening colonoscopies and 2,000 gastroscopies to people in our community. “With colorectal screening, we’re able to remove the disease before it turns into cancer,” said Dr. Ian Bookman, Medical Director at Kensington Screening Clinic. “Many people don’t think cancer will happen to them and don’t want to discuss colonoscopies. But it’s important to talk about it since colon cancer is the most preventable cancer. People are anxious, but after their screening they often say, ‘I can’t believe that’s it.’” Learn more:

The Kensington Screning Clinic team encourages you to get screened.

What is a BMD test? Issue 8, August 2019

A bone mineral density test measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of your bone to determine if you have osteoporosis. It is today’s standard test for measuring bone strength. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone tissue. This condition can lead to bone fragility and increased risk of fracture, specifically in the hip, wrist, and spine. Osteoporosis develops over time and without symptoms, which is why early detection is important. Are you over 65? Talk to your doctor and make your appointment at Kensington Diagnostic Imaging Centre today. Nadra Chapman (right) is a Medical Radiation Technologist at Kensington Diagnostic Imaging Centre.

Learn more:


Building a culture of quality Issue 10, October 2019

In September, Kensington Health was one of three finalists for the Workplace of the Year award presented by the Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA). The award is presented to a long-term care home that demonstrates staff engagement, recognition and positive work place culture. Kensington Health also presented at the OLTCA conference.

Kensington Health’s quality team: Gemerdine Maravilla (right), Quality Coordinator, Ana Paula Anjos (middle), Manager of Quality, and Darla Matheson (left), Director of Quality and Risk.

But where do you start when it comes to creating a positive culture at work? A culture of quality is when employees feel quality all around them, see others take quality-focused actions and hear others talk about quality. At Kensington, building a culture of quality starts with experiences, experiences foster beliefs, beliefs influence actions, and then actions impact outcomes and results. Learn more:

Valuable members of our team Issue 3, March 2019

Our Personal Care Attendants got some extra support last year through the Excellence in Resident-Centered Care (ERCC) program at Kensington Gardens. ERCC is a program that aims to build PCAs’ capacity to deliver high-quality and safe care that meets the needs of people living in long-term care across Ontario. The training, delivered in partnership with Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute of Aging, aims to build practical skills. “PCAs are an essential component to the nursing team here at Kensington Gardens. They spend the greatest amount of time with the residents and family members,” said Eliana Araujo, Clinical Educator at Kensington Gardens. The education team: Gagandeep Dhillon (second from the left), Antoinette Julien (second from the right) and Learn more: contact Gagandeep Dhillon, Clinical Educator, Eliana Araujo (first from the bottom right) have been at supporting Personal Care Attendants’ training.

Eye Bank Accreditation Issue 7, July 2019

The Eye Bank team received its three-year accreditation from the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), surpassing the standards of the association. An EBAA accreditation indicates that an eye bank meets or exceeds health regulations and encourages public confidence in eye banking. “Thank you to everyone at Kensington who helped to support this exciting process. The entire team at the Eye Bank dedicated their time and effort to assist the inspectors, demonstrate process and lend support. Thank you to everyone for helping make this a success,” said Christine Humphreys, Director, Eye Bank of Canada. Learn more: Sunny Lau (left) and Jackie Clark (right) are Certified Eye Bank Coordinators at the Kensington Eye Bank.

Kensington Pride Issue 6, June 2019

Pride celebrations at Kensington Health were a spectacular affair! On June 3, the Kensington community came together to raise the Pride flag in front of our long-term care home. It was a morning filled with joy, reflection, dance and a memorable drag performance. For many, living in a long-term care home can feel like going back in the closet. When Dennis Lansdell moved into Kensington Gardens, he had similar fears. He wondered, “will I be accepted? Will I be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation?” As the Co-Chair of last year’s Pride event, Dennis wanted all residents to know that Kensington is a safe place to live and be proud of who you are. Dennis Lansdell (right), resident at Kensington Gardens, co-chaired the Kensington Pride event.

“I am comfortable with who I am here and I can be myself at Kensington,” said Dennis. Learn more:

Celebrating women Issue 4, April 2019 On International Women’s Day, the women of Kensington celebrated their successes within the organization. Kensington places great emphasis on having a diverse staff, with women holding key leadership and support roles across the campus. “International Women’s Day is a day for us to celebrate the women of Kensington for their strength, determination, independence and sheer motivation to reach for the stars,” said Nadine Persaud, Director of Client Services. In 2020, we want to continue to inspire each other to keep pushing for more gender balance. Kensington Eye Institute staff celebrated International Women’s Day.

Learn more:

Legacy through Art Issue 8, August 2019 Kensington Health and the Fort York Food Bank partnered up for the Legacy through Art program. The neighbourhood food bank referred their clients to Kensington’s Second Mile Club location at 25 Brunswick Ave. Participants worked towards creating legacy artwork to share with their loved ones. Legacy through Art encouraged participants to express their creativity and imagination through painting. The program started in June and will culminate in an art gallery show in January. “Programs like this really open up opportunities to outreach to our community,” said Becca Buttigieg, Manager at Second Mile Club. Second Mile Club clients and Fort York Food Bank clients expressed their creativity through the Legacy through Art program.

Join us for the Legacy through Art showcase on January 27 from 1p.m. – 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at 25 Brunswick Ave.

With the holidays behind us (cue: sigh of relief or shed a tear) and the return to daily routines, it’s no surprise that new year’s resolutions are top of mind. Health and wellness usually snag top spots, but the beginning of the year can also inspire positivity to implement changes that transform and revitalize us in many ways - not just increase metabolism. The end of one thing and beginning of another presents opportunities to look inward, assessing habits that offer positive energy and perhaps rethinking unwanted practices that hold us back. It’s well known that good habits lead toward a healthy lifestyle, positive mental state and longer lifespan, but did you know that boosting positive emotion can actually change your brain as much as nutrition or going to the gym, allowing for greater openness, relaxation, creativity and happiness? It’s one of the reasons that many people make a charitable commitment to begin such an important period. Giving resolutions focus on what matters most by resolving to prevent or repair the issues and social challenges that have impacted our lives or those around us, creating meaningful participation in solutions. There are lots of ways to give. Time. Treasure. Talent. All impact the brain, producing chemical reactions that reduce stress and increase positive emotions. So, if giving has historically been a year-end, tax-time activity that involves sending a cheque and a virtual goat to a place you’ve never seen, perhaps it’s time to consider the positive benefits of a year-round commitment closer to home where the impact is right in front of you and builds neighbourhood capacity. At Kensington Health, giving is as much a part of our community as bread and cheese are to the Market. Provincial healthcare funding covers basic clinical, long-term care and hospice needs but all the things that make Kensington special – like music therapy programs, specialized surgical and infusion equipment, fresh produce and even homemade meals at the Hospice - are made possible by giving. People who donate their time to shop and make specialty meals. Volunteers who assist patients undergoing surgery, give concerts to Gardens residents, or provide bedside care for those in their final days. Each of these contributions, along with the many donations we receive, is a kind of charitable resolution to fix local needs. In fact, between Kensington’s Staff and Board members alone, we received over $70,000 last year! Gifts from those who already give considerable time working or volunteering on our campus to ensure we can meet the community’s highest healthcare priorities. Of course, philanthropy has always lived here, covering as much as 39% of our operational costs. Giving to Kensington has a real and sustainable impact, improving the quality of life for those around us. And while it goes without saying that giving helps others, there are many benefits of giving for the giver, too! Lowered blood pressure, decreased depression, stress and anxiety. Not to mention enhanced self-esteem and positivity. That’s a whole lot of toxic housecleaning in exchange for good vibes only. So, as you consider implementing 2020 resolutions to ensure bad habits from the 2010s don’t creep into this decade, perhaps it’s time to consider creating some new habits that generate happiness. Who knew the benefits of giving it away could bring on so much?


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Keeping up with Kensington January 2020  

Keeping up with Kensington January 2020