Note from Michael, Dec. 6, 2021

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

Hi everyone, 

I’ve been formally in the CEO role for a few weeks now, and since I’ve been here, one of our executive team’s goals is to keep staff better informed and to listen to staff to find ways to support them to help our organization grow. 

I’ve been sending emails your way on important topics regularly and I’ve heard from many of you that you appreciate the updates. Moving forward, I’ll be sending this email weekly to every member of the Health PEI team during the first half of the week. These messages will also be posted on the Staff Resource Centre under Michael’s Notes, so that they are accessible. You will still see an occasional one-off email from me outside of these, but the intention is to keep your inbox a little less crowded while staying in touch.

I also want to hear from you about things that need to be shared or issues that you need to hear about from leadership. If you have topics to cover, please send them to with subject line “Notes for Michael”. I can’t promise everything will make it in, but we’ll read all the submissions. 


National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It marks the the day in 1989 when 14 young women were murdered at Polytechnique Montréal. 

On December 6, we remember:

  • Geneviève Bergeron
  • Hélène Colgan
  • Nathalie Croteau
  • Barbara Daigneault
  • Anne-Marie Edward
  • Maud Haviernick
  • Maryse Laganière
  • Maryse Leclair
  • Anne-Marie Lemay
  • Sonia Pelletier
  • Michèle Richard
  • Annie St-Arneault
  • Annie Turcotte
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

This is a very important day of remembrance and action, and one that is close to all our hearts. 

As a health care organization that is working to protect its own staff from violence and as health care workers who often encounter social issues where violence is involved, this day is a stark reminder of how important this work is. 

Beginning this week, we are launching a anti-violence campaign across social media and in newspapers and radio to raise awareness of this issue. 


The new COVID variant Omicron is all over the news, and it’s being met with some anxiety around the world, and across Canada, and it was a big topic in Dr. Morrison’s briefing last week. 

We don’t know a lot about this variant yet. We do know it likely originated in southern Africa and it has many mutations. We do not yet know just how transmissible it is relative to Delta, whether it causes the same degree of serious illness and how well our vaccines will work against it.  Everything you are hearing in the media currently is mostly speculation based on a small number of cases—much work needs to be done to answer these questions and it will be done quickly over the coming weeks. It is important to investigate this new variant, take it seriously, but also to not panic.  

One thing we can be confident in is that our public health measures and infection prevention and control protocols will work as they have with other variants. In my mind, the biggest risk to COVID getting out of hand this winter isn’t a new variant, but rather our complacency with these control measures. Wearing PPE, maintaining distances, getting tested when needed, and not coming to work while ill all need to continue. Things like Christmas gatherings are strongly discouraged between co-workers – a small outbreak can easily close a service. If you do decide to go ahead, make sure to follow all physical distancing, hand hygiene, and mask wearing protocols. Things like caroling shouldn’t happen in our facilities.

I have begrudgingly put on hold any plans for celebrations here at Garfield—we may end up celebrating the holidays in April, if that is when it is safe to do so!


Our new patient experience manager Kim Bustard has launched a video series/podcast, interviewing people across Health PEI about uplifting examples of patient-centered care. The first video can be viewed at and new videos will be posted to the Staff Resource Centre and Health PEI social media.

The first edition, Hot Rod Walker, is about the physical medicine team at QEH who suped-up a walker for a patient who was embarrassed by the grey metal one she was using. It’s a story about going above and beyond and doing it with joy, and I think it’s a good example of the great people we have across Health PEI.


Many of you know Marion Dowling, our Chief Nursing and Professional Practice Officer, from her career across Health PEI, her work in this role and as one of our co-leader for the COVID-19 Joint Response Team. But did you know that she’s also now a Distinguished UPEI Alumni?

Marion received the award last week for her service in nursing, leadership and in fighting COVID-19. This award is very deserved. And Marion is the first to say the recognition anyone in Health PEI received for the work done to contain COVID reflects on all of the Health PEI team for the amazing work you’ve done. 

Congratulation Marion!

If you know someone who has received an award or done something that should be recognized, please let me know!


During National Ethics Week Nov. 1-7, Dalhousie University Ethicist Dr. Christy Simpson provided a webinar for all staff entitled: “Promoting an Ethical Culture and How to Respectfully Disagree”. 

The webinar was recorded and is available here: It’s an important topic and I encourage everyone to watch when you can!

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

Last Updated
Mon, 12/06/2021 - 14:55