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Riverside saluted as safety ‘ambassador’

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.

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