Kelly Hassall, RRT FCSRT MEd

Stephen Buziak, RRT MA

The past few months have been quite a rollercoaster for the Leadership Committee members, as I’m sure they have been for all of you. Due to the unprecedented events that are currently unfolding, the decision was made to cancel the Leadership Summit that was to be held in June.  Planning is still underway for INSPIRE in October at Blue Mountain and every effort will be made to ensure that topics that were in discussion for the Summit are incorporated into the INSPIRE conference as appropriate.

Many of the other projects that were underway such as the expansion of the post-traumatic stress disorder research, the ultrasound training initiative, the finalization of the comprehensive job profile, the workforce planning initiative and the launch of the pulmonary diagnostic working group have also taken a back seat in order to address the current needs of RTs across the province.  Steve, Sue Jones and I would like to extend a huge thank you to the members of the Leadership Committee and various other RT leaders that we have reached out to over the past several weeks to assist with the ongoing supports that we are putting in place to assist RTs across the province in preparing and managing patients with COVID-19.  No one is an expert in this area and we are truly grateful for the time, energy and resources that have been shared from everyone that we have reached out to.

In particular, we would like to extend a huge thank you to the following RTSO members:

  • Jason Macartney for representing the RTSO at an in-person RTSO Stakeholder Meeting with the Ministry
  • Hasina Kanji-Jaffer and Agnes Ryzynski for sharing the Sunnybrook COVID-19 resources and some of the theory behind the guidelines being used to date
  • Matthew Ko for sharing his clinical experiences and lessons learned to date with COVID-19 patient management and simulation preparation
  • Tony Kajnar and Sylvia Mortimer for assisting in identifying and clarifying challenges with the management of COVID-19 patients in the diagnostics, primary care and community settings
  • Kari White and Tom Piraino for sharing the information from St Mike’s and the Toronto Center of Excellence in Mechanical Ventilation

In addition, we would like to thank the various vendors who have been answering our questions regarding stock, product specifications and equipment availability. Thank you to Paula Smith for her April 09 webinar presentation on filters.

As we continue to work through this pandemic, the leadership committee is dedicated to doing whatever they can to assist the RTs across the province in receiving the information, resources and support they require to keep themselves and their patients safe.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to office@rtso.ca with any questions, suggestions or comments you may have.  We welcome all thoughts and will do our best to use our network to provide timely and informative answers.

Take care, and thank you for all that you are doing for our patients during this challenging time.

Kelly and Steve

The Leadership Committee Welcomes New Co-Chair:  Stephen Buziak, RRT MA

Stephen is the Charge Respiratory Therapist for Halton Healthcare, where he coordinates respiratory care services for three sites. He graduated respiratory therapy in 2005 and began his career at London Health Sciences Center before joining Halton Healthcare in 2006. Stephen has a Master’s degree in Leadership from the University of Guelph. He continues to advocate for exemplary patient care provided by respiratory therapists.