Friday, April 3, 2020
COVID-19 Update from the Department of Medicine
Department Head Message
Dear Department Members:

I invite you to read our COVID Update newsletter for this week. I hope people are taking care of themselves and I want to thank all of you for the tremendous work you are doing to prepare for COVID-19 as well as continuing to care for the patients who need our help every day.

I know there are a lot of new asks each day and that may seem overwhelming, but our department members have the knowledge and skills needed to meet this challenge head on and support the system to care for patients as the situation evolves. All health care workers are being called to respond. We are positioned to lead the way and help everyone be successful.

I am so grateful to be a part of this strong, unique and diverse group.

Keep well


As of April 2, 2020 in Nova Scotia
positive cases
(130 in Central Zone)
negative cases
21 cases are considered to be recovered as of April 3.

March 30 - Nova Scotia reports first case of community transmission.

March 15 - Nova Scotia announces first presumptive cases.
Tracking COVID-19 in Canada
CTV News is tracking all cases of COVID-19 in Canada (includes an interactive map of Canada).

Interim Medical Site Lead for QEII
Dr. Simon Jackson (Division of Cardiology) has been named the interim Medical Site Lead for the QEII. He will work with Kitty Connell and Jill Flynn (Site Directors for the HI and the VG) to oversee clinical care through the COVID period.

As Site Chief, Dr. Jackson will be creating a database for all physicians in the central zone that will include:
  • each physician
  • their skills and
  • where they might be able to support patient care during COVID 19.

The ask will be coming out next week and your division heads will be checking in with you to help complete this important project. This will help to assure that all physicians across the zone will be contributing to the system as we move forward.

Denise Hatchette is working with Lesley Dagley and Chad Shearer on a similar project for our administrative staff.

Schedules are:
  • emailed from Sophie Montreuil to the staff members that are scheduled.
  • saved on the Google Drive under the MTU folder.

Telehealth Zoom for Virtual Care
To help support patient care and health care providers in the current COVID-19 pandemic, Telehealth Zoom has been approved as a virtual care platform for use on an interim basis for all health care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals and staff).

  • You must use the NSHA / IWK Zoom application. Do not use your personal Zoom app.
  • You must use NSHEALTH.CA email account.

Invitation is sent on behalf of NSHA Virtual Care Team :
  • 1st email - Welcome to Telehealth Zoom - from
  • 2nd email - Zoom account invitation - from

BMJ article - published 25 March 2020

COVID-19: a remote assessment in primary care
This article has lots of good tips on a virtual visit during COVID.

BMJ 2020;368:m1182
Working remotely
NSHA Asset
Personal Computer
If you have the 2 options below, they will remain, however , no new accesses to these tools will be offered.


  • VPN (virtual private network) – allows access to all clinical applications but not shared drives

  • RDP (remote desktop option) – allows access to your desktop so access is the same as you would have at your desk
A NEW remote desktop solution is currently being tested by some users in the DoM. This looks promising and we look forward to an organization wide roll out.
DoM Research during COVID-19
UIMRF COVID-19 Emergency Bridge Funding

Please note that this is a short-term funding source of last resort to help support DoM research teams, and is not intended as a means to fund new research projects, related or unrelated to COVID-19.

For more information:

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 7 .
DoM Research on Twitter

Spectrum MD
Spectrum MD, an antimicrobial stewardship app, is now live and available to NSHA physicians, pharmacists and nurses.

The app contains :
  • local COVID-19 information and pathways, Community Acquired Pneumonia, Influenza, Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, and vancomycin guidelines
  • a full listing of formulary antimicrobials with dosing information and local pathogen sensitivity information
The app has the feature of ‘push notifications’ , which enables the posting and automatic notification of up-to-the-minute treatment guideline updates to all who have downloaded the app.
Additional treatment guidelines will be added as they become available.

Dr. Paul Bonnar
Co-lead, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
Spectrum MD app can be downloaded as an app to Android or iPhone at:

App helps Nova Scotians write personal directives
"Jocelyn Downie, a professor at Dalhousie's Schulich School of Law, is making it easier for Nova Scotians to let their health-care wishes be known.

Last year, Downie and the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) started to develop a personal directive app — the first of its kind in Canada. The website-based app can be accessed via the LISNS website."

Published April 2, 2020
Personal Directive (step-by-step)

Once the directive is completed online, it can be downloaded immediately or the app can e-mail it to the person. Once it is signed and witnessed, it is valid.
Occupational Health info for NSHA healthcare workers
3D-printed face shields
Shields up:
Dal labs collaborate on 3D‑printed face shield for health‑care workers

"An interdisciplinary team from the Faculty of Engineering has been working with colleagues at the Nova Scotia Health Authority to develop a successful, made-in-Atlantic-Canada prototype for a face shield..." Read full story

Dal News - April 1, 2020

This is just one example of Nova Scotians who are stepping up to make personal protective equipment during this pandemic.
Award nomination deadline extended
Award nominations are being accepted for the following awards:

1. Faculty Excellence in Medical Education
2. Outstanding Core IM Resident Award (one selected per PGY level)
3. Clinical Excellence Award
4. Excellence in Leadership Award
5. Excellence in Quality & Innovation Award
6. Outstanding Consultant Trainee Award
7. Brian M. Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education (suggestions to the committee for nominations are being accepted, no formal criteria or form)
8. DoM Achievement Award (suggestions to the committee for nominations are being accepted, no formal criteria or form)
9. Program Administrator's Award
10. Team Lead Award
11. Administrative Assistant Award
The deadline for all Department of Medicine Awards has been extended to Tuesday, April 28 .

Criteria and application forms are available on Google Drive .

Please send in your completed nomination packages to: .
Emotional Support from Doctors Nova Scotia
Coping with COVID-19
"Physicians are welcome to join Drs. Jaqueline Kinley and John Chiasson, director of the PSP, for daily online meetings (via Zoom) to chat about coping strategies and mental health concerns with COVID-19."

Daily at 1 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting here:
Employee Health
When you take care of yourself, you take care of others.
The emotional health and well-being of employees as we move through the coming days and weeks is extremely important to NSHA.

NSHA has arranged for the employee and family assistance program (EFAP) provider to provide two facilitated opportunities per day starting March 27th. To join, log onto ZOOM (group format discussion), and discuss techniques and strategies that will help navigate these uncertain times.
Monday to Friday – 10 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting here:

Monday to Friday – 9 p.m. 
Join Zoom Meeting here:
What happens to a COVID-19 test?

NSHA Microbiology Laboratory
Uploaded March 18, 2020
Video: 3 min 25 secs
Donning & Doffing instructions: PPE used for droplet and contact precautions

NSHA / Dr. Lynn Johnston
Uploaded: March 13, 2020
Video: 9 min 57 secs
3D imaging shows how quickly COVID-19 can attack a healthy person's lungs

CTV News / George Washington University Hospital
Uploaded: March 28, 2020
Video: 1 min 5 secs
Weekly updates
COVID-19 Weekly Update for DoM

Tuesdays – 8 - 9 am
Join by Skype or phone

If you have trouble joining Skype:
  • Join via "Try Skype web app" link (in calendar invitation)
  • Use Internet Explorer
  • Some older computers do not have a built in microphone. You'll need to plugin a headset/microphone.
  • A weekly email update from the Department of Medicine will be circulated on Fridays.

  • When necessary, Dr. Short will email Department members about major developments/changes that cannot wait until the next update.
PLEASE stay muted unless presenting
From Skype desktop or web application:
From a cell phone, press the mute button and it will change colour to indicate you are muted/unmuted.
When calling in, you may also use:
press *6 to mute
press #6 to unmute
Websites to reference
Above image from Public Health Agency of Canada