CEO & CHIEF MHO Update: March 29, 2020


Today’s message is different from the regular message you receive from the two of us each day.

On behalf of Island Health’s Board of Directors, our Board Chair Leah Hollins wanted to share a few words with you which she has outlined below.

We hope you enjoy Leah’s note. We look forward to reconnecting with you tomorrow on our regular updates.


With appreciation

Kathy and Richard



Over the last several weeks, Island Health’s Board Directors have experienced an overwhelming sense of pride seeing how all members of the Island Health family have stepped up to prepare for and respond to this global pandemic.

As a former nurse and health system administrator I know the incredible sense of responsibility you hold for yourselves in this situation – caring for those we are entrusted to serve no matter where, when, why and how individuals present requiring your help.

Our public health and primary care teams, and partners, are frequently the first point of contact for people impacted by COVID-19. With nimbleness and ingenuity, you have quickly adapted learnings from other jurisdictions and created new best practices for others to follow. Thank you for everything you are doing to help people, and to flatten the curve.

To those working in our communities – supporting individuals with frailty, or mental health and substance use challenges – thank your for your compassion. You always remember many people are scared these days. You always provide the calm and compassionate clinical voice and support these people need to help them through the challenges of today.

I want to acknowledge members of the Island Health family working in our long-term care homes. As we know from this illness around the world, and as we are experiencing elsewhere in British Columbia, our long-term care residents are especially vulnerable. Thank you to everyone working in and with our long-term care homes to keep our residents as safe as they are.

To everyone working in our hospitals – medical staff, nurses, lab techs, food service workers, care aides, housekeepers, porters and the many more of you working every day – our deep appreciation to you for all you have done to prepare our hospitals to be ready for the confirmed cases that will arrive at our sites requiring care. With our first patients now beginning to arrive and require care, you have prepared us well. Now your work turns to caring. Thank you for what you have done to-date and thank you in advance for your work which will  increase in the coming weeks.

Many more teams are essential to supporting those who provide direct care. While I won’t be able to do full justice in recognizing everyone who has touched this work I do want to note a few groups that come to top of mind as I write this– schedulers and payroll, IMIT, facilities management and logistics and supplies, human resources, professional practice, medical affairs, communications. Thank you all. To those I’ve neglected to mention please be assured that your work is also recognized and deeply appreciated by the Board of Directors.

I want to share my appreciation for our President & CEO Kathy MacNeil, our Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick, and all members of Island Health senior leadership teams. The work they are doing with all of our Island Health teams, with their colleagues in other health authorities, and with the Provincial Government, has been extraordinary.

To our volunteers I also want to thank you. I know this is a difficult time for you. At the time you want to be even more engaged in supporting our patients, clients and residents; we asked to you step back – for your own health and those around you. We look forward to the day, and hopefully soon, we are able to welcome you back.

In closing, as you continue to focus on those you serve, please remember to take the time to also focus on yourselves and your families. Stay safe with your family. Stay safe in the community. Stay safe when at work.

Please take care of yourselves and each other. We will get through this together.

Leah Hollins


Board of Directors

Staying informed:

  • Visit Island Health's ‘source of truth,COVID-19 WEB PAGE on the Intranet. Transcripts or recordings of the Town Halls will be posted after each event.
  • The Medical Staff website has specific information for medical staff.
  • We are also posting information for the public on our social media channels. We encourage you to follow/retweet/share BCCDC’s and Island Health’s posts.