A message from Dr. David Pichora
Dear colleagues, patients, families and friends,
As you are now aware, on Monday, November 19, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) declared a Code Silver following a shooting in the Emergency Department at our Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site. Unfortunately, one individual was seriously injured as a result of this incident. This type of event shakes us all, so I wanted to take a moment to follow up and share some thoughts.
First, let me express on behalf of the KHSC Board of Directors and the hospital’s Executive leadership team, my deep appreciation to everyone at KHSC. I am proud of every single person who works, learns and volunteers at both of our hospital sites, as well as our many satellite teams around the region.
On Monday evening, our Emergency and Urgent Care teams worked together to ensure that we continued providing emergency care during our lock-down, and they worked hard to lend support and care to our frightened and worried patients and families. I also heard of the leadership and support our teams provided to each other, for which I am deeply grateful. Our teams across both hospital sites continued to focus on keeping our operations going even while they worried about the safety of their colleagues in the Emergency Department. This is a testament to their dedication and professionalism.
At the best of times our work can be challenging, yet each day our teams rise to the occasion, providing the highest-quality care to our patients and their families, as well as each other. I am grateful that KHSC employs such professional, skilled and compassionate individuals. I personally witnessed this professionalism again after meeting and speaking with a number of staff, patients and families on Monday night.
This incident has shaken many of us. To our staff, I want to take the opportunity to remind you that counselling is available 24/7 on an anonymous and confidential basis. Counselling has also been made available for all physicians through Queen’s University. For members of the community, I would like to reiterate that our hospitals are safe places and that you can continue to feel comfortable accessing care for yourself, or for members of your family.
In the coming days, we will be undertaking a number of responses to this event, including touching base with those patients, physicians, learners, families and staff who were in our Emergency Department on Monday evening. We have begun holding debriefing sessions to conduct a full review of this incident with the aim of learning from it. We will be engaging Kingston Police and Corrections Canada in this review process to consider next steps.
At KHSC, we care for the marginalized and the vulnerable; it is what we do in health care. During our most difficult moments, we turn to our mission and values to guide us forward. Our value of compassion must remain at the core of who we are and of how we work at KHSC.
Please take some time today to reach out to your colleagues and friends across our organization to continue to care for one another.
President and CEO