The pandemic started for me while I was working as the Team Lead of a Regional IPAC Team for Public Health Ontario. It became very clear very quickly that public health and IPAC measures needed to evolve and be implemented very quickly in the sector in most need - long term care. Before long, I was deployed into the most challenging of COVID-19 outbreaks in long term care homes, trying support the implementation of the IPAC practice at a time of sheer crisis. What that experience brought me was the realization that my current role could only bring temporary support. With that, I left my position to become the Director of IPAC in the long term care home sector.
In my new role, I supported our long-term care homes at adjusting the outbreak control measures that were implemented in the beginning of the pandemic to better align with best practice. Support homes with the implementation of best practice on a daily basis is the greatest challenge and reward of my career to date. I began working in the long-term care homes alongside the IPAC leads, supporting them in the application of ever changing government guidance and directives. Change started to happen and happen in the moment.
In my 29 year career in the public sector with 23 years specializing in IPAC, I was now faced the greatest learning experience in the long-term care sector. The clean lines of best practice are quickly blurred when the day to day care activities become priority. With a focus on relationship building, I recognize and demonstrate the value of the work of the IPAC Leads with a goal of elevating and strengthening their voice in the long-term care home. In time, I will support these IPAC Leads in attaining their CIC or a-IPC.
I have maintained my certification since 2007 and seen the value of my certification through out these recent years and my time in LTC as well. Ultimately, my certification validates and gives credence to my recommendations and decisions within my organization. With that, I now am able to build IPAC capacity in our homes one ICP lead at a time.
Sam Macfarlane, CIC, Team Lead, IPAC East Regional IPAC Team, Public Health Ontario – I would like to honour Sam Macfarlane. She exemplifies the core values of an ICP – empowering the voices of others, ensuring that the right information – best practice - is implemented, knowing the value of relationships. I have considered Sam’s leadership the standard ... the measure for my own work.