Providence Transitional Care Centre (PTCC), located in the former St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital at 340 Union Street, was designed to enhance the quality of life for people across the region. Since it opened on Oct. 4, 2021, it has met that goal.
“The care has been excellent here,” says Ada Groves, softly. “I didn’t even know this place existed before I arrived. I’m so happy I came here.”
Ada is clearly grateful for the care she receives at the specialized site. The 82-year-old arrived with a broken wrist this past July and is working to regain her strength. Her goal is to return home.
“The staff is very helpful. They want to please you,” she says from her electric wheelchair.
Watching Ada from a distance, Jessica Gow, Charge Nurse – Level 3, smiles as the patient talks about the care she receives at the hospital which is nearing its one-year anniversary.
“I love Providence Care,” says the 32-year-old Registered Nurse (RN) . “I fell in love with the organization when I started as a student around 10 years ago. I have worked at PTCC since it opened and it’s been wonderful to be a part of building something new in the organization. You are not just an employee at Providence Care; you’re a person.”
Jessica didn’t know what to expect when she joined the nursing team at PTCC. The program is designed to enhance regional services to help patients avoid an emergency department visit or admission, PTCC also helps support patient flow within acute and sub-acute hospitals, and primary care physicians in their practice.
The Right Care in the Right Place
“We ensure individuals receive the right care, in the right place, when they need it,” explains Diana O’Grady, Vice-President of Patient and Client Care at PCH. “The services and level-of-care provided at PTCC address an identified gap that we had in the Southeastern Ontario. The philosophy is to enable residents of the SE to remain in the community for as long as possible so when they come to PTCC for care, we collaboratively develop a care plan based on their specific needs with a focus on transitioning back to community living.”
Asked to describe her work, Jessica pauses slightly before she replies, “We provide a safe spot for people which takes the pressure off acute care sites and the community for respite. We restore strength and function so people can return home. We found a gap in the health-care system and we’re helping to bridge it. We help fulfil the wish of individuals to return home.”
“I think the past year has been wonderful and I’m excited for the future,” continues the friendly charge nurse. “It’s been a whirlwind of a year. We’ve experienced it all such as the challenges of COVID-19 and better times.”
A Holistic Approach
Below on Level 2, another charge nurse by the name of Jessica Almeida is proud of the good work at PTCC.
“I love it here,” the RN says, kindly. “We accept a wide-range of medical conditions. I love the range of medical care and treatment offered here. I like to see our patients get better.”
Jessica says the staff amazes her every day as they take a holistic approach to patients of different ages and mental & physical health care needs.
“We have a great team of physicians, therapists, OT/PT assistants, nurses, unit aides, unit clerks, management, maintenance workers, and environmental services,” she explains. “We all pulled together and overcome challenges that comes with opening a new hospital. We have all shown our dedication to PTCC, overcoming many challenges such as COVID outbreaks, learning new equipment and staff shortages. I have also seen so much resilience, as overcoming these challenges has made our team so much stronger. We are small in numbers, but we have been able to accomplish a lot.”
Barb Matassa is one of Jessica’s patients. She arrived at PTCC four weeks ago with an injured ankle and hopes to return soon to a local retirement residence.
“I’ve really quite enjoyed it opposed to other places I’ve been,” says the 88-year-old about the medical care she has received at PTCC. “They’re all very prompt and friendly. I think they’re doing a good job here.”
Program Manager Marie-Jo Cleghorn notes, “We have an incredible team at PTCC. These two charge nurses are the barometer for the units. They lift people up when morale is flagging, and they are the constant champions for best patient care. Our small but mighty team has gone above and beyond, despite the many challenges we faced throughout the pandemic which is why PTCC’s one-year anniversary is such a success story.”
- Providence Transitional Care Centre features 64 beds across two units. The first 30-bed unit opened on Oct. 4, 2021.
- Providence Transitional Care Centre offers the following services: restorative care, cognitive behavioural support, short-stay respite, and convalescent care.
- The centre provides increased capacity to meet the needs of frail, older adults and those living with dementia, including responsive behaviours.
- Length of stay varies, but may be up to 60 to 90 days.
- Queen’s University owns the building at 340 Union Street and is leasing the Gibson Wing to Providence Care.