We cannot go back

Karen Perkin

Karen Perkin has acted as St. Joseph’s COVID-19 Incident Manager during the pandemic. Her strong leadership is pulling the organization through this historical time. Incredibly proud of the response from St. Joseph’s Karen knows we are fighting a battle hits close to home.

“For me COVID-19 has a face. My neighbour, who contracted the virus, succumbed to the illness. She was in her sixties and was compromised with a chronic condition. Every day I leave my house, I look across the road and understand what we are fighting for.”

For Karen, the virus has really highlighted the need for extra work around vulnerable people and patients, including those living in long-term care. “Long-term care residents are living longer and have very complex care needs and conditions. It is time that our attention turns to those most vulnerable, - who have been clearly targeted during this crisis and who have paid the price dearly.”

Inspired by the innovative work she has seen at St. Joseph’s, Karen is excited by the new opportunities that have presented themselves, though sooner than anticipated. “We were forced into a world of virtual care, which profoundly increased virtual patient visits. We cannot go back!  Now we need to improve this approach to provide the best experience for patients, caregivers, physicians and staff. This is very exciting work and frankly, a silver lining in the midst of a crisis.”

An integral part of the COVID-19 leadership team, Karen looks forward to getting back to her regular role. “I miss the social connections and ability to visit across my portfolio and across sites to connect with staff, physicians, leaders, patients and residents. I will never take for granted again these opportunities, and the ones to be with friends and family.”

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