Dr. Judy Suke isn’t one for tooting her own horn. In fact, she said she finds its awkward to talk about herself. However, Dr Suke helped create, and is helping to run, the COVID assessment centre that continues to operate on the grounds of the Haliburton Family Medical Centre (HFMC).

“I am just one small piece of a much bigger, quite inspiring puzzle,” Dr. Suke told The Highlander recently.

She was referring to what she calls the “inspiring collaboration between our HFMC office, led by our COVID hero and office manager Kim Robinson, Dr. Scott Coles, along with many other COVID heroes, including daily EMS involvement led by Jo-Ann Hendry, support from the local hospital, roads and fire departments.”

She said all of these community partners contribute in key ways and the centre wouldn’t exist without them. Dr. Suke added that the day-to-day operations of the assessment centre rely on staff from all of the teams she’s mentioned, along with dedicated HFMC staff who “care and counsel patients in our assessment centre tent.”

She said their physician assistant, Kevin Penney, along with nursing staff, are at the frontline of the effort, along with nurses inside the office that field calls to triage, and or, make assessment centre bookings and help with all the follow-up calls and counselling. She said administration keeps it all rolling smoothly.

“I have never doubted how lucky I am to work with such an amazing group of people. All of our staff have stepped up with ideas, contributions and creativity to help.”

She had accolades for physician colleagues, such as Dr. Steve Ferracutti, for his leadership in educating hospital staff around care of COVID patients, while training them around policies and procedures that ensure staff and community safety.

She said Haliburton Highlands Health Services chief of staff, Dr. Keith Hay has been a guide and excellent leader; Dr. Kristy Gammon and Dr. Tina Stephenson key “and honestly every single physician. nurse and administrator that is a part of our HHHS and HFMC team.

“Members of our medical community are working hard at many levels to contribute not just to pandemic care, but evolving primary care models and needs. COVID heroes are everywhere you look right now amongst your medical community and beyond, which says a lot about our community.”

As for the public, she lauded them for playing their part in the physical distancing measures which are essential in keeping our population healthy during this difficult time.

“Physical distancing and COVID stress are hard. You all are COVID heroes.”

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