Note from Michael Dec. 12, 2023: Reflecting on this past weekend's tragedies and the healthcare response

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO


Notes from Michael

Hi everybody,
Almost all of you will heard by now about the tragic car accident that happened Friday outside of Charlottetown and the fatal housefire on Saturday in Summerside. Given our small size, I am sure some of you know those involved in the crash and fire. These tragedies remind us of how fleeting life can be and the strong connection our health system has to our community at these times. 

Thank you to all who responded to these emergencies. 

Upon hearing the news of the major vehicle collision Friday, the QEH Emergency Department immediately called a partial Code Orange. Front-line staff, managers and leaders rushed back to the ED to respond and those already working didn’t leave. Inpatient wards called to offer resources and to offload the overburdened ED. The PCH and our community hospitals and long-term care facilities called to see what they could do, finding ways to support QEH which was in capacity overload. Hearing the Nova Scotia medevac helicopters fly over my house showed that our provincial partners were in Nova Scotia were responding as well.   
On Saturday, PCH experienced two major events, the first being a fire in our mental health department that disrupted care, and then responding to the tragic housefire. The PCH was incredibly close to having to call a partial Code Orange as well – thankfully, the QEH was able to accept diversions after some conversations, easing that burden. This was another incredibly difficult incident for our teams to respond to, and as always, staff and PCH and across the province answered the call. 

To those of you who have responded to these incidents or are otherwise impacted by them, Health PEI is here to support you. 

Occupational Health and Wellness will be available to work with affected teams in any way needed. Debriefs are happening now. If you need support, please be sure to speak with a manager if you feel comfortable doing so, or reference our Occupational Health and Wellness materials, including the Mindbeacon online counselling and mental health service. Our teamwork and support for each other has to be ongoing and extend beyond in the events that take place. 
I am so proud of how you came together: you worked as a system, and as we debrief these incidents and move forward, I want to assure you, the organization will be here for you as well.

Thank you,

Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “Notes for Michael”.


Last Updated