When Emily Hamilton started her new role as Manager of Community Programs in April 2020, she brought extensive experience working with the aging population that allowed her to hit the ground running in the throes of the pandemic.
I started the new position when the Adult Day Program (ADP) was closing temporarily and many changes related tot COVID-19 have followed,” said Emily, who manages the ADP, Assisted Living Services and the Grove’s Recreation Program.
A passion for helping the aging population
Emily started her nursing career as a RPN working primarily on the medical floor at Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH). While she continued working, she pursued and completed her nursing degree from the University of Ottawa.
“I wanted to get into health care because caring for people has always been important to me and familiar – my mom works in health care and my grandma was a nurse.”
After she graduated as a RN, Emily eventually found herself working with the new Geriatric Emergency Management program at PRH and later took on a role in Renfrew focused on Health Links and assisted living.
“I’ve always cared about the aging population and been committed to finding the best way to keep seniors safe and independent in their homes as long as possible,” explained Emily, who also completed a gerontology certificate from Ryerson University. “With my new role covering ADP, Assisted Living and Recreation, I have a chance to see seniors at different stages of their aging journey and that was an element that attracted me to the role.”
Adapting to ongoing changes during pandemic
Throughout COVID-19, Emily and her team have continually pivoted to adopt the new safety guidelines and directives for the community services and the Grove’s Recreation Program. This has included moving the Assisted Living office to the Hospital, facilitating smaller group activities with physical distancing measures in place, video and window visits for residents and their loved ones, and now outdoor and indoor visits with safety protocols.
“Emily joined our team at the height of the COVID-19 crisis and immediately took the reigns to lead her team through significant changes in how they deliver service to clients in the community and residents at the Grove,” said Brad Hilker, VP, Finance and Support Services, and CFO. “We are fortunate to have Emily’s extensive experience with the senior population and her proven ability to navigate change while always prioritizing the health and safety of the clients, residents and families.”
Emily is most proud of the adaptability and flexibility of her team during the pandemic.
“The staff have been very willing to do what needs to be done to serve the best interests of our clients and residents,” said Emily.