It is my pleasure to present my report as the President of the Long Term & Continuing Care Association of Manitoba Board of Directors, for the fiscal year 2019-2020. Our AGM was delayed due to the pandemic and we are planning for 2020-21 AGM in next few months. This is a quick one-hour AGM to bring us up to date and to confirm virtual elections.
I am pleased to share some highlights with you.
This past year, the Minister of Health tasked the Health Transformation Team with developing one Standardized Service Purchase Agreement for Personal Care Homes, Supportive Housing and Community agencies. The association had four members as representatives on that team. It quickly became apparent that one standardized agreement would not be a fit for both PCH and Supportive Housing. The association was able to provide evidence to support a separate agreement for Supportive Housing. LTCAM has been able to foster a strong relationship working with both the Health Transformation Team and Shared Health.
In 2019-20, the association offered tours of all three care and living options: Independent Living with Services, Supportive Housing and Personal Care Homes, to all MLAs in the province. A few were able to tour before Covid-19 struck. The feedback from the MLAs was extremely positive. Through touring all three care options in one day they could easily compare and contrast the differences and clearly see where the needs are.
In June 2019, Jan was invited to represent us at the Thorvaldson Care Center’s 60th anniversary celebration. There, Jan offered a congratulatory speech and presented the Thorvaldson’s with a commemorative plaque. In attendance were several Government dignitaries including the then Deputy Premier of Manitoba, Heather Stefanson, and the leader of the Opposition Party leader, Wab Kinew.
In 2019, the association built a solid relationship with two staff at the Rainbow Resource Center, something we had been working on for several years without success. Unfortunately, both staff have left leaving a void in that organization and our ability to develop our relationship. Our working relationships and partnerships throughout the community in other areas, as well as the province and the country continue to provide the Long Term & Continuing Care Association with the power of a greater voice. The Association continues to work with the Manitoba Seniors Coalition and provide consultation to the National Seniors Council. We reach out to MARCHE (Manitoba Association of Residential and Community Care Homes for the Elderly) on areas of common interest. Nationally, our association remains a long-standing member of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC). The CALTC lobbies politicians in Ottawa twice per year, now virtually, as well as through ongoing correspondence.
The Board members of the Association worked hard this year, finalizing and fine tuning our new Strategic Plan. New Mission, Vision and Values statements were created. It was approved by the Board in June 2019. A progress report will be presented to all at the next in AGM in October.
In March 2020, our world changed when the Pandemic began. Our members’ paramount focus became and continues to be, the safety of staff and residents. Public Health Orders were implemented and it became clear it was necessary to cancel our 2020 LTCAM Conference and Exhibition. All of the Association’s energy was directed towards helping our members. To that end, LTCAM ran a campaign for to acquire donations of iPads, tablets and smart phones from communications companies for homes to be able to connect seniors with their loved ones. The Association garnered enough donations to offer every Personal Care Home and Supportive Housing residence in MB, devices. LTCAM also connected PPE suppliers with our members when shortages occurred. LTCAM assisted Government, Home Care and Shared Health with information from our comprehensive database of contacts and by flagging Assisted Living as an environment of risk and providing the province with a way to contact all Assisted Living Residences. LTCAM lobbied and was successful in having some inclusion of Assisted Living in the fan out of provincial information. Public Health set up two presentations/meetings with over 60 Assisted Living residences across the province and began providing them with links to information and education.
LTCAM created a position paper and an on-line petition for the public titled “Shine A Light” on Long Term Care. Over 800 people completed the online form of support and letters with these names, were sent to all MLAs and all MPs in Manitoba.
Fifteen new members were welcomed to the association in 2019-20. (and 19 more in 2020-21).
More than 200 media interviews, requests for information and letters to Government Officials were responded to and generated during this fiscal year.
The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for us to recognize the Association’s volunteer board, board committees, our many other dedicated volunteers, as well as our numerous sponsors, supportive organizations and associations: provincial, national and international. A big thank you to our Association staff Jane Hiebert and Aymee Koop for all your work during this stressful year, for supporting our members and our Executive Director, Jan Legeros. And a heartfelt thanks to Jan for her leadership of our Association, for keeping the pressing issues of members top of mind with our RHA’s and government and moving our causes forward. In addition, thank you for growing the organization as well as raising the profile of long term and continuing care within the health care sector.
We are hoping that finally, through these and many other entities’ efforts across Manitoba and Canada, positive changes to infrastructure, funding and staffing will occur and improve the way we deliver care to seniors.
We look forward to the future when we have a Covid-19 treatment and enough vaccine that can return us all to a safe place.
President and Chair, LTCAM Board of Directors