March 22 Letter to the Editor regarding Lab Services and Chipman Food Services
No lab layoffs
I wish to address some of my concerns about the accuracy of Allan Lynch’s March 17 opinion piece. Regarding his statements about Annapolis Valley Health, I want to provide the following clarification:
We did not lay off 11 lab technicians, as indicated by Mr. Lynch’s article. In January, we brought in new technology to AVH that is available in sites across Canada which allows caregivers to perform testing at the patient’s bedside. This offers safe, quality, and often faster care for our patients. It allows us to be more efficient by sending the remaining routine tests to our main regional lab.
No individuals lost jobs in the change. To prevent layoffs, we held vacant positions and offered affected lab employees other positions across the district, consistent with union contract protocol.
The Chipman building houses the district storage and materials warehouse, training and education facilities, and as many as 160 employees in mental health and addictions services, finance, IT, people and organizational development, environmental Services, Security, Quality and Safety, and Executive. This location also provides outpatient services to mental health and addictions services clients and their families.
At the Chipman site, there is a small cafeteria operating as part of the district food service from Monday to Friday with limited hours. Some food items are delivered to Chipman from Valley Regional Hospital during regular supplies transport. Our food services prices are the same throughout the district; it is not subsidized and everyone pays for their own food.
We are proud to make healthy food choices available to our employees, physicians and patients/clients — modelling the way for our community to be healthy and stay healthy.
These are challenging times in our communities. We are working together to improve the health status. We need to use our resources as efficiently as possible. Decisions on these issues and the resulting changes are not always easy — for our organization or our community. We believe it is important that our community has correct information.
Janet Knox, president and CEO, Annapolis Valley Health