Horizon Star - November 2018

Emergency response training highlights cooperation of Horizon, partner organizations

Program supports URV cancer survivors to Stay Strong

also support the program through their presentations during the education day. Julie Brown, a physiotherapist, provides supervision and individualized exercise programs and Karen Cluff, a registered nurse, provides support and guidance. “Our goal is to sponsor this program on an ongoing basis twice a year, however, we do count on donations within our community in order to continue,” said Denise. If you would like to make a difference by supporting cancer survivors as they take back control of their lives, please contact Denise at 506-375-2624. Your donation is greatly appreciated!

Horizon recently participated in a two-day emergency response training exercise, ensuring our facilities and staff are prepared for a nuclear emergency. The event, called Synergy Challenge 2018 and hosted by NB Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, saw 1,000 people from more than 35 agencies run an emergency response simulation. The goal of the exercise was to test how local, regional and federal organizations work together, ensuring the best response and recovery efforts are in place should a real-life emergency occur. Within Horizon, staff and physicians from many departments and community services took part, playing a vital role in providing care and treatment to casualties in the event of a nuclear accident at Point Lepreau. “The way everyone came together to practice their skills and training in this exercise is a great example of One Horizon teamwork,” said Dennis Doherty, Horizon’s Chief Emergency Management Officer. As part of the exercise, the emergency department at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital received a patient with simulated injuries and contamination for assessment and treatment. An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was established within the hospital to manage response efforts, while a reception centre, staffed by Horizon Addiction and Mental Health team members, was set-up at University of New Brunswick Saint John for residents who would be evacuated from the Point Lepreau area.

Cancer survivorship describes the broad experience of living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. It includes the physical, psychological, financial, emotional, spiritual and social challenges beyond the diagnosis and treatment phases. In the Upper River Valley area, Stay Strong is a free and unique program for adults undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and/or other cancer treatments. The program includes a one-day cancer survivorship education session followed by a 12-week exercise program at the AYR Motor Centre in Woodstock. “The main objective of Stay Strong is to educate participants on different aspects of health and wellness, followed by an exercise program aimed at minimizing the negative side effects that people tend to experience from cancer treatments,” said Denise Gray, Oncology Nurse Manager at Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital (URVH). “It will also improve quality of life and allow individuals to maintain their independence.” Through partnerships within Horizon, along with the generous donations from community members, the Upper River Valley area was able to begin host its first 12-week Stay Strong program, in early October.

“It was her hard work and belief in the Stay Strong program that helped us to gain community involvement,” she said. The program would also not be possible without partnerships within the community, including donations from Dr. Alex Wishart, Dr. Kent Orlando, Lenehan, McCain and Associates, the AYR Motor Centre, who donated 12 weeks of free gym time, and the Bath Lions Club, who donated $5,000. The Lions Club is also hosting a Medical Travel Auction on Friday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. with proceeds going toward medical travel expenses within the region.

The entire interdisciplinary team at URVH

Horizon’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) during the Synergy Challenge.


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Denise credits Tina Harding, a Patient Experience Advisor, with getting the program underway.

The Bath Lions Club is a major sponsor of the program, having donated $5,000 to the cause. From left is Lori Canam, past president; Karen Smith, King Lion; Denise Gray; Nurse Manager, Oncology; URVH; and KimHoyt, secretary.

Horizon’s Command Centre during the Synergy Challenge.

Emergency department staff assess and treat a patient with simulated injuries and contamination during the Synergy Challenge.

Sharf Chowdhury, Saint John area Emergency Management Coordinator, debriefs Horizon President and CEO Karen McGrath, while Dennis Doherty, Horizon’s Chief Emergency Management Officer looks on at the Synergy Challenge.

The Communications team responded to questions on social media, facilitated media requests and provided updates to the public through public service announcements and news releases. “Horizon’s Emergency Management Team has been preparing for this exercise for over a year, working closely with community partners and this collaboration really pays off,” said Sharf Chowdhury, Saint John area Emergency Management Coordinator. Initial feedback on Horizon’s participation in this exercise has been very positive and lessons learned will be used to enhance training and performance in the future.

Horizon Addiction and Mental Health members. From left: Jennifer Anderson-Apopei, Kelly Quinn, and Beth Campbell, at the Synergy Challenge Reception Centre.

Participants of Upper River Valley’s Stay Strong program, from left: Pearl Dickinson, Linda Petrie, Neil Keenan, Sibyl Sercerchi, Lynn Bull, IreneWilliams, Debbie Goodine, and Sue Tappin.

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