Jonah Chevrier smiling in Thomson Centre

#IamMGH – Meet Jonah Chevrier

#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. Meet Jonah Chevrier, Infection Control Practitioner (IPAC) at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).

“MGH is my community hospital. Before starting my career here, I decided to apply to become a Patient Experience Partner. I did this because I’ve always known I wanted to apply my academic background to healthcare and was also interested in the patient care experience.

My experience as a Patient Experience Partner gave me more insight into the healthcare system and pushed me to continue my career journey at MGH. After graduating with a master of science in biology, I began working here as a Research Assistant and later served as a Surgical Quality Analyst.

I started my current role as an Infection Control Practitioner in January 2021 – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this position, I work on an interdisciplinary Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team with the ultimate goal of preventing the spread of microbes that can cause infections in the hospital.

I was drawn to this role because of its problem-solving nature, which requires the application of knowledge of disease transmission, and the immediacy with which IPAC decisions can keep patients, visitors and staff safe.

Every day in IPAC, there’s something new for our team to learn and new challenges to address. We aim to stay up-to-date on the latest research, which increases our knowledge and helps ensure we’re implementing best practices and guidelines for infection control.

In December 2021, when we once again began to see an increased number of COVID-19 cases in the hospital and community due to the Omicron variant, our team quickly mobilized to work with care teams to ensure maximum vaccination of our most vulnerable populations. We also adjusted our testing strategies to quickly identify COVID-19-positive patients and worked closely with inpatient units to focus on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in hospital.

In addition to COVID-19, this fall and winter has been characterized by influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as several other respiratory viruses. As a result, our team has developed strategies to identify, isolate and prevent the transmission of these viruses in the hospital.

When an outbreak is declared in a unit, we work swiftly to ensure it’s contained and our patients and staff are protected. One way we do this is by organizing the Outbreak Management Team, which is comprised of staff from across different departments at MGH as well as Toronto Public Health.

This collaborative team meets regularly during outbreaks to ensure all aspects of patient care can continue to operate safely while IPAC investigates how the outbreak occurred and organizes follow-up testing. The containment measures we take may include temporarily isolating the unit, enhancing cleaning and regularly testing patients and staff until the outbreak is over.

I’m grateful to be able to work as part of a team that has such diverse knowledge and skillsets. I’m also thankful for staff across MGH who provide feedback our IPAC team can use to develop and implement initiatives that support best practices for infection control.”

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