The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to think differently and consider new ways to invest in improving the health and wellbeing of Canadians.
For over 75 years, Medavie and our employees have maintained a strong tradition of supporting our communities. So it comes as no surprise that during this crisis they have risen to the challenge and continue to do so each and every day. Whether that means adopting new work practices and working from home, or dressing in full PPE gear as they face the front line of our healthcare response. Regardless of what ‘coming to work’ might mean for our team members today, one thing is for sure: their efforts unite us in our fight against COVID-19 and continue Medavie’s role as a not-for-profit health solutions partner.
Delivering on our mission during these difficult times
COVID-19 has been a part of our daily lives for several months now. In the face of this ongoing pandemic, our team at Medavie has continued to keep our core mission at the center of all we do: Improving the wellbeing of Canadians.
It has also forced us all to think differently and consider new ways to bring our values to life, including being caring and community-minded. One of the unanticipated benefits of this experience has been a strengthening of internal collaboration, the discovery of new and different ways to work together and how we work with our partners.
As the pandemic swept across the country, Canadians found themselves self-isolating and following social distancing guidelines. Even as restrictions started to lift, we knew that Medavie also had to adapt to this new normal. That includes giving our members and patients the tools and services they need to stay safe and healthy.
At Medavie Blue Cross, we introduced virtual health services and mental health tools, such as BEACON and our Connected Care platform, to make it easier for people to get help where and when they need it. Both are accessible through our Medavie Mobile app, which allows members to submit claims, search their benefit details and sign up for direct deposit, all from the convenience of their mobile device.
COVID-19 has also shifted the roles of our Medavie Health Services frontline teams and the role they have in their communities. Many of our paramedics have become part of interdisciplinary teams of health care workers that are conducting COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities and provincial borders. It has also changed how our paramedics and Extra Mural Program team respond to calls for help and scheduled appointments, taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of their patients and communities.
Caring for our communities when they need it most
We know that this pandemic has been difficult for many people. This is especially true for those already struggling. That is why Medavie has committed to Give5, including $5 million to support organizations with COVID-19 emergency relief and through recovery.
Over the past few weeks alone, we have donated almost $2 million to organizations that are focused on improving access to youth mental health and food security. They include:
- The Atlantic Compassion Fund that supports immediate and emerging needs of Atlantic Canadians in improving access to food and mental health services. To date, the Atlantic Compassion Fund has provided more than $1 million of support to 264 organizations on the ground in local communities across the region, meeting immediate needs every single day.
- The White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon, which has been preparing some 1,500 healthy meals, twice daily, for more than 500 Indigenous households in at-risk urban neighbourhoods in Saskatoon since the pandemic began.
- Jack.org to accelerate and expand its digital transformation and empower Canada's youth to take care of their mental health now and beyond this pandemic. I am proud to add that all donations made at Jack.org/Medavie will be matched by Medavie up to $200,000, allowing donors to double their impact.
- Food For All NB to advance and support the healthy food needs of New Brunswickers throughout the pandemic.
- The 519, providing Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ community with a safe place for connection and support through various programming.
- Eva’s, an award winning organization that provides shelter, transitional housing and programming to help homeless and at-risk youth reach their potential.
Working together for a better future
Beyond the pandemic, we have experienced other tragic events across the country and around the world. Like many other people, I have spent time reflecting on this, both as a citizen and as a leader of this organization.
Tragedies like what we have seen recently are far too common and so are small actions that happen every day which contribute to racism. At Medavie, we are committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion where our employees live our values in the way they treat each other, our members and patients, and society at large. Are we doing enough? Are we creating the right conditions and conversations to make this a reality? I am committed to learning more – to doing more to ensure our employees, clients and members feel safe and welcome.
It’s hard to believe, but 2020 is only half over. Now is an excellent time to reflect on the things we want to continue doing, not just beyond the pandemic but also moving forward as a society. We need to be deliberate and intentional in our actions to ensure we embrace this opportunity for real change. We’re already starting to see this happen – in the adoption of new technology, the introduction of innovative healthcare solutions, the shifting into the workplace of the future and in how we are strengthening who we are as a society, cherishing diversity and meeting the needs of the vulnerable, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. At Medavie, we are committed to living our values, and it is only by mirroring the communities we serve, that we can truly fulfill our mission.