Yee Hong Newsletter

Celebrating our People

It was an evening for celebration and staff recognition during Yee Hong’s 29th Anniversary Celebration. On November 23, 2023, nearly 500 people came together at the Brighton Convention Centre in Toronto to mark another year in Yee Hong’s journey. The event featured a 10-course Chinese banquet-style dinner, as well as entertainment, games, and prizes. It was also an opportunity for Yee Hong leadership to raise toast to the many people who make our hallways and homes special.

Yee Hong’s McNicoll home in Scarborough is also ringing in 29 years in 2023, while our Mississauga home marked 20 years on December 14.

Building and Supporting our Team to Continue Providing Excellent Care

We are home to a team of skillful, compassionate, and dedicated people who embody Yee Hong’s values within our homes and their community. Keeping this team whole is a priority, which is why we’re taking steps to enhance our recruitment strategy. These include:

  • Introducing a new Applicant Tracking System, to enhance our efficiency in attracting, recruiting and onboarding new staff.
  • Extending our Employee Referral Program, to continue providing up to $750 to employees for recommend a friend or family member to work at Yee Hong. Learn More
  • Conducting employee town halls, focus groups, and engagement surveys, to stay in close connection with our teams and ensure their concerns and feedback are heard.
  • Providing training, mentorship, and skill development, through formal and informal career development opportunities.
  • Recognizing staff success, through employee celebration events throughout the year.

Partnerships That Have Impact

On November 23rd,  senior leaders from Yee Hong toured  Wellbrook Place (Partners in Community Health, created by Trillium Health Partners) — a new home in Mississauga where more than 600 residents will eventually call home. Yee Hong saw some leading practices in LTC and community hub design and was proud to see how its support through advisory services has contributed to the successful completion and opening of this home.

New funding for Innovative Community and In-Home programs

Yee Hong is excited and honoured to have received $1.5M in national grants to support two aging in place initiatives for seniors.

The first is our Age Well at Home Project. Thanks to a $1.1M grant from the Federal Government, we are moving ahead with the implementation of a two-year project that will provide three aging at home services:

  • System Navigation Services to facilitate seniors to apply for seniors related services (e.g., old age allowance, seniors housing, long-term care, etc.)
  • Fall prevention clinics
  • Home maintenance services.

This Age Well at Home Project is designed to fill the current services gap. To overcome language barriers, its services will be provided services Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.

The second program is our “Online Dementia Hub.” We are grateful to receive $300,000 in funding from the Federal Government to develop an Online Dementia Hub for Chinese residents in Canada that will provide information and services related to Dementia in different cities across Canada.  We are working with our IT team and the research team at the University of Toronto to develop this innovative and interactive website and hope to launch it in early 2024.

We are proud to be moving ahead with these initiatives and eager to see them make an impact in the lives of seniors throughout our community. For details on either program, we invite you to call our Yee Hong information and referral hotline at 416-412-4570.

Yee Hong Breaks Ground on the Latest Long-Term Care Home Development in Scarborough!

On Thursday November 30th, Yee Hong was very pleased to announce the newest and fifth long-term care home on our Finch Campus of Care. Along with the Honorable Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care and the Honorable Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility, the groundbreaking ceremony was joined by residents from our Finch Home and Yee Hong Garden Terrace, our community and construction partners, senior leaders from Yee Hong, and the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation and their valued donors.

During the announcement Finch Home, Minister Stan Cho and Minister Raymond Cho and other government officials committed to a continued strong partnership with Yee Hong including support and funding to increase access to culturally appropriate seniors care across the GTA.

This marks yet another significant way Yee Hong continues to expand its impact, in a new home that increases capacity along our full continuum of care, empowering older adults as active community members – “living their lives to the fullest with independence, health and dignity”.  As we continue to identify project and construction milestones, we will be holding celebrations along the way and look forward to you participating.

Celebrating this incredible milestone, (from L to R) were Councilor Jamaal Myers, Scarborough North; Dr. San Ng, Yee Hong CEO; Tony Chang, Yee Hong Centre Board Chair;  Honourable Ontario Minister of Long Term Care, Stan Cho; valued donors, Ms. Winnie Ng and Mr. Anthony Ng from the Wo Si Chong Charity Foundation; Dr Joseph Wong, Founder and Board Chair of the Yee Hong Wellness Foundation; MPP and Honourable Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho; and Stephen Siu, President of the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation.

Prioritizing resident health

Respiratory Illness Season is here, which means we must all be extra vigilant in protecting residents and their families. At Yee Hong, we have taken measures to prepare for the challenging winter season by organizing immunization clinics for residents and staff, verifying plans to respond to possible outbreaks and ensuring our homes are well stocked with essential items and PPE supplies. We are also working with Ontario Health Teams, local pharmacies, and other community healthcare partners to promote immunization clinics.

Family members have a large role to play in keeping residents safe by:

  • Testing yourself for COVID-19 if you have been exposed or are not sure
  • Staying home if you are sick.
  • Wearing masks when visiting and keeping them on at all times.
  • Washing your hands fully and often.
  • Getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they become available to you.

Keeping everyone safe and healthy will always be our top priority. I am proud of the work Yee Hong’s team did to protect our residents throughout the pandemic, and confident in our ability to demonstrate the same resilience during the flu season ahead.

Families Have Their Say

As part of Yee Hong’s continued commitment to family engagement, we virtually hosted a town hall for more than 70 families on November 8th. The 1-hour zoom meeting included updates on Centre initiatives including CPS services, the status of capital projects, human resource strategies focused on recruitment and wellness and plans to keep residents safe during respiratory illness season. Many families asked about Yee Hong’s community and home services and how to access them, to which we responded with the number of our hotline. Families also had the chance to ask questions and raised issues regarding parking and the availability and timing of vaccine clinics. In 2024, bi-annual town halls will continue to ensure families stay well informed.

Sharing Our Experience with Providing Culturally Appropriate Care

Yee Hong was invited to present at the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA) annual conference in October 2023. The conference, called This is Long Term Care, united long-term care stakeholders across the province to discuss key issues and opportunities, such as the necessity of providing culturally-appropriate care for Canada’s diverse aging population. Yee Hong leaders, including Dr. San Ng, CEO, Dr. Mable Ho, Director of Education & Research, and Ms. Chau Nhieu-Vi, Executive Director, Mississauga Centre presented what it means to genuinely provide culturally appropriate, person-centred care that celebrates the similarities and differences among our residents, and how doing so leads to incredible outcomes for our residents and staff.

As Dr. Ng and her colleagues emphasized during their presentation, there is no cookie-cutter approach to culturally appropriate care. It falls on every long-term care provider to connect with and learn from their people to foster an environment where their beliefs, traditions, and preferences are respected.

On November 14, 2023, Dr. San Ng, CEO of Yee Hong Centre, and Mr. Adil Khalfan, President and CEO of Kensington Health were also featured in a podcast that spoke about the importance of culturally-appropriate care and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. The OLTCA Podcast: Coming of Age has a following of 50,000 listeners internationally. You can listen to it here

Thank you to the OLTCA for the opportunity to speak about this deeply important and personal topic.

Continuing our EDI journey

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are more than buzzwords at Yee Hong; they’re our guiding lights. Since opening our doors in 1994, we have been dedicated to embedding the principles and spirit of EDI in everything we do by practicing three distinct values:

  • We Care, by being compassionate to our people, seeking to understand and support each other, respecting diversity, promoting inclusion, and supporting individuals to be independent and make their own choices.
  • We Collaborate, by working as a united team to achieve our shared vision, pursue enhancement opportunities, overcome challenges, and make a positive impact on our clients, staff, and community.
  • We Commit, to continuous learning, innovation, and improvement, as well as to championing equity and social justice and empowering our people to live their authentic selves.

While EDI has been part of our DNA for decades, in December 2022, we launched an official EDI working group with representation across the organization to formalize our commitment. Since starting, the working group has   designed specific initiatives against our EDI vision and framework.

A key outcome is the creation of a Yee Hong EDI Toolkit, which provides practical tools, guides, and other resources to support staff, physicians, volunteers, and community members in enhancing EDI across our continuum of care.

Our definitions of Equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Importantly, our toolkit is not static; it will be updated and improved as we learn and adapt and we will continue to report our progress in creating an inclusive environment where everyone belongs and has opportunities to reach their full potential!

Congratulations John!

John Tcherkezian, Yee Hong’s Occupational Health and Safety Manager, is this year’s CHAIR Leadership Award recipient!

This award recognizes John’s outstanding work and leadership in reducing acquired infections using engineered infection prevention technologies.

Since May 2021, Yee Hong has been working with CHAIR (The Coalition for Community & Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction) and Lundin Mining to trial an Antimicrobial Copper Project at Finch Centre.

With John’s leadership in this project, we replaced or treated 700 high-touch surfaces in our Finch Centre with solid layer antimicrobial copper. This material has been proven to eliminate up to 99% of harmful bacteria within two hours.

This initiative is a great enhancement to Yee Hong’s vigilant infection prevent and control measures to keep seniors, families and staff safe.

Thank you John for your continued dedication to health and safety, and congratulations again!

May 19 is Personal Support Worker Day

By: Bonnie Wong, Director of Home Support Services

May 19th is Personal Support Worker Day. I want to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate our Home Support Workers (HSWs), all of whom are personal support workers.

Our HSWs work tirelessly to support seniors’ independent living in the community. HSWs provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to clients living in five buildings and the surrounding areas. Their care and dedication make a huge difference in the lives of many seniors and their caregivers.

Most of our Home Support Services clients are considered as high-risk and require frequent visits from our HSWs throughout the day. Our HSWs support clients’ activities of daily living to help them remain independent and continue to live in the community. 

Each day, our HSWs will go into the homes of different seniors, providing scheduled services such as medication reminders, bathing assistance and mobility support. HSWs also provide unscheduled services, such as security checks and responding to emergencies. 

Our HSWs are truly the hidden backbone of our Home Support Services. Without their care, many of our clients would not be able to live in their own homes on their own terms. Thank you, team!

Meet Roberta Lau, Director of Capital Projects

Career paths in seniors’ services are vast and varied. There are many roles and professions we often do not think about. Construction is one example. Although her educational background is in architecture, Roberta Lau found the perfect fit for herself at Yee Hong as Director of Capital Projects.

In her role, Roberta supports our Facility Managers and Executive Directors in renovations and maintenance projects across our four Centres and Garden Terrace. Working with a team of consultants and Yee Hong colleagues, Roberta also plays a key role in advancing our new Finch II long-term care build. From getting government approvals, to meeting with stakeholders, to choosing the right type of toilet paper holders, Roberta does a lot behind the scenes to move the project along.

Although Roberta’s work can be challenging at times, the satisfaction of knowing she played a role in adding 224 beds and the fifth long-term care site to Yee Hong keeps her motivated.

“The work I do is truly coming from my heart because I grew up knowing about Yee Hong and our great reputation for culturally appropriate care. There is a lot of value in the services Yee Hong brings to the community, particularly the Asian community, and I am proud I can help alleviate some of our long waitlists through my work.”

This April, Roberta celebrates her one-year anniversary as a Yee Hong family member. However, her connection to long-term care dates back to her university years. During her studies, Roberta’s grandfather was admitted to a long-term care home. The facility did not feel home-like, and her grandfather had a difficult time adjusting to his new residence.

“I thought a lot could be done to improve the physical environment in long-term care homes. After all, this is a place many seniors called home. Everyone deserves to live in an environment that is comfortable, uplifting and warm,” Roberta recalls. Her grandfather’s experience inspired Roberta to design a long-term care for her final year thesis project.

At the same time, the provincial government was rolling out a long-term care redevelopment project. Roberta’s thesis project caught their attention and she was hired to support the redevelopment project with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, thus starting her career in healthcare. Since then, Roberta has worked in government, consulting, and hospital, but feels her career has come full circle now that she is back in long-term care with Yee Hong.

Roberta is happy to share that the Finch II project is moving according to schedule. We’ll have more exciting updates about the project in coming months, so make sure you stay tuned to our newsletter and social media channels!