Riverside saluted as safety ‘ambassador’

Peggy Revell

Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. has been recognized for its longstanding support towards improving community safety with an “Ambassador for Safety” award from Safe Communities Canada.
Presenting the award to Riverside at a board meeting last Thursday evening were Bob Swing and Grace Silander, with Safe Communities Rainy River District (formerly the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition), which had nominated Riverside for the annual Safe Communities Canada award as part of National Safety Day (Oct. 6).
“What we do in this district, most people don’t realize, it’s not done anywhere else in the world,” noted Swing, who is chair of the local Safe Communities Board, extending a huge “thank you” to the Riverside board.
“We have a safe community set up, and a lot of it has to do with the support Riverside has given us,” Swing added, highlighting the 10 communities and nine First Nations that are recognized with this designation.
“It’s not just the Canadian organization that recognizes it,” he stressed. “It’s the World Health Organization, as well, and there’s no one else in the world that can do that.
“And I think that the people who sit at this table need to take some credit in how we’re able to execute that,” lauded Swing.
The annual awards were created by Safe Communities Canada to “recognize and celebrate” business partners, volunteer partners, and community service partners who contribute to improving safety within their communities.
Riverside was recognized as a business partner for its longstanding support that has made the Rainy River District’s Safe Communities efforts possible.
“Riverside Health Care Facilities has been a partner of our Safe Communities efforts since our first meeting in 1992,” Silander recalled.
“Our group has struggled both financially and with sustainability, but we have been recognized by Riverside and they have supported us throughout.
“Without this support, the success of our safe community would not be flourishing today as it is,” she noted.
Silander said Riverside has ensured representation at the local Safe Communities’ leadership table over the years.
“Individuals were always at our planning sessions, they hosted and facilitated priority sessions, and they stepped to the plate when we were just down and out and didn’t have clerical work,” she remarked.
“Someone did usually step to the plate and give us a hand,” added Silander, noting Riverside always has been approachable and helped Safe Communities Rainy River when help was needed, such as opening its facilities for meetings such as the safety coalition’s annual general meeting.
Clerical support, with the patient safety co-ordinator at Riverside, has ensured “that we had one number to call and the communications of our safety efforts there was continuity at all times,” Silander continued.
She also highlighted two initiatives undertaken that have been a “win-win” for both Riverside and Safe Communities.
Thanks to a partnered grant proposal with New Horizons Canada, they were able to “revitalize” the Home Safety Checklist the safety coalition first did back in the early 1990s.
“This document has been integrated into senior safety, and has been used many times in the Community Care Access reviews in homes prior to patients being discharged from hospitals into their home settings again,” Silander explained.
“Our district seniors have all received the check booklets, and many of them have reported at how useful they’ve been.”
Further through this grant partnership, medication safety and the medication recorders “became a reality,” Silander said.
“Individuals throughout the district now carry a wallet-sized card close to their health card to communicate their medical histories,” she noted, pointing to how this is a great communication tool if a person is rendered unable to communicate in case of a medical emergency or trauma.
“Safe Communities Rainy River District is fully aware of the dollars that have been saved by the support through Riverside,” Silander remarked.
“Our group has been very successful, but our sustainability and growth are very much contingent on business partners such as Riverside,” she stressed.